Monday, February 24, 2014

6 Ways to Entice Readers

How Much of an eBook is Read Before It’s Tossed Aside?

            Entire books have been written on the best way to grab a reader’s attention in the beginning of a book. The first sentence, the opening paragraph, and the first chapter have all been touted as the one thing of utmost importance.
What we need to keep in mind as Indie authors, however, is not what  hooks agents or publishers. We need to examine the reading habits of people who buy eBooks.

Things to consider before publishing an eBook:
1.     Amazon, the Indie author’s biggest marketplace, allows people to read a generous percentage of a novel. But most readers only read a page, if that, when deciding whether to purchase or download a book.
Make that first page a grabber and be sure it is mistake-free and well formatted.
2.     The opening sentence is not quite as important for eBooks as it is for books on a shelf, but the opening paragraph is!
Don’t waste it on things like description or back-story.
3.     Be sure your blurb is captivating! Run it by other authors or ask advice on your favorite writing site. A poorly written or boring blurb will not entice a reader to buy your book.
4.     Design the fist page to reflect the blurb!
5.     Early chapters must pull the reader into the story. It is a simple process to delete eBooks from a device! I’ve downloaded many eBooks (series seem to be the worst offenders) that have what can only be described as a boring beginning. I delete them.
Today’s reader is impatient to get to the heart of things. If you doubt this, James Patterson’s book sales should convince you that a fast-paced storyline works!
6.     Don’t perfect your first chapter at the expense of the rest of the book! Check your flow. Read your book out loud or better yet, have a friend do it for you.  Reviewers can be merciless in pointing out when a first chapter is not followed by more with the same level of excellence.

Dear Readers,
Personally, I only read about one out of ten eBooks that I download into my
Kindle. A common error for the Indie writer is eagerness to get his/her book published quickly, a lesson I learned the hard way. My first suspense book, She’d Not There, had to be re-edited and proofed three times after I published it!
I understand the importance of getting one’s work out there, but don’t rush to publish at the expense of turning out a fine product.
Hope you are all having a pleasant winter and staying warm,



  1. Your 6 points to consider before publishing an ebook are so true.
    I try to do each one of them!
    Thank You, Marla

    1. Good for you, Dave! The best advertising is a polished product! Good luck with the new
      book, hope you get a super amount of sales.

  2. I think we're all guilty of rushing in at times, Marla. Keeping these six points in mind should help me not to do that. Thanks for a great post. Jill

    1. Hi Jill,
      Glad you found it helpful! Just started an eBook that although the plot sounded interesting, the author dragged on and on "telling" the reader what had happened previously with no dialogue! About ready to quit.
      Makes me wonder if authors like that are not reading others' books to get a feel for
      what captivates readers.
      Have a great weekend,

  3. Interesting perspective Marla.
    As far as I am concerned, 9 times out of 10 I do tend to finish every book I choose to buy. First because I don't want to leave things unfinished and second because I believe there is always something good in every book. If I don't like the characters, I might like the plot...and even I don't like either of the above I might be intrigued by the writing style. At worst case, I will see mistakes I will try not to repeat in my own books.

    Now, as to what makes me pick a book? I occassionally read novels, but mostly I read what I write myself...short stories and flash fiction. I also often read non-fiction books. So first thing I do is browse through those genres. Afterwards, I will read the synopsis and if something in there triggers my interest I will click the buy now button. I often read books from authors I like, but equally often I read books that I find intriguing without caring abou who the author is..


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