Do Your Sample Chapters Outshine the Rest of Your Novel?
How perfect sample chapters could hurt your book sales
In my last blog, as we discussed the prevalence of eBook returns, I was informed that often books are returned because the sample chapters were polished and professional, while the rest of the book lacked the same effort.
Writers beware. I know we read everywhere how important those opening words are for our sales. But as eBook authors, we have to remember, we need return readers. The more product we have out there, the more each book or story helps sell the others. If a reader buys your first book because the sample chapters made him want to read it, he would have felt cheated when the rest didn’t match the beginning. Even if he doesn’t return it, you end up with a reader who will never buy another of your books, or worse, write you a scathing review.
Word of mouth remains the best form of advertising. Don’t let a disgruntled reader spread the word that your work is not professional. It is up to you to make your writing captivating all the way through.
Two important reminders:
1. Be sure your entire work is free of spelling, grammar, typos and formatting errors before you publish. It’ll save you a lot of work later!
2. Everyone knows not to add too much back-story to the first pages of your novel. But you also don’t want to leave it out of your opening chapters, and then dump it on the reader all at once. Add it when the storyline warrants it, but as frugally as possible!
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on the topic of eBook returns. After considering them all, my personal opinion is that rather than shorten the time during which they can be returned, it might be fairer to limit the number of returns any individual could make in a given year.
I was dismayed to hear that writers actually published books having perfect sample chapters without an entire book to match! I thought addressing that might be worth talking about.
Thanks to all of you for your continued support,