Monday, September 24, 2012

Do you read excerpts?

That's the question of the day. I see people (I should say authors) putting up excerpts of their books, quite often as #SampleSundays but not only. With the KDP program, authors cannot put excerpts up on their blogs, (which seems odd seeing as it is a form of advertising) but that's a post for another day.

What I want to know is, do you read excerpts? Ever? A little? Leave a comment, let's get a discussion going because I'd really like to know.

Because I don't read excerpts. Ever. Not even my favorite authors. I read the blurb, maybe a few reviews and then decide. But maybe I'm missing the boat here. Of course, part of my reason for questioning is this . . .

Before I put up my next books, before they go into the KDP select program and I can no longer share like this, would you like to see excerpts?

Like from "The Chronicles of Sin: Gluttony" or my new Urban Fantasy "Priceless" or maybe even from my contemporary romance I've just started, "High Risk Love."

Again, this is because I don't read excerpts, but maybe you do, and maybe you want to see more from me . . . (or less, I suppose that's possible too!)


Tory Michaels said...

I absolutely read excerpts...sometimes. The blurb has to catch my attention AND i can't be in my "i'm scrolling through my blog roll just to clear out all the new posts" mode (which is far more often these days than they used to be).

I find the excerpts a good way of getting a feel for the writer. If I don't like the flow from a 1000-word excerpt, I certainly won't check them out on Amazon to read the longer section there before buying.

Shannon said...

Hi Tory, thanks for weighing in. So a 1k word excerpt is something you actually take the time to read, that's really good to know! I would have thought that an excerpt should be half that to go along with general blogging rules of "not to exceed 500 words". And I agree, I tend to scroll too which is why I wonder about the excerpts in the first place :0)

Kathy Lynn Hall said...

I think I've read one excerpt - partially. I barely have time to read the blogs I love. In fact, the truth is unless the title catches my attention and it's really a great title, I don't read many blog posts. I wish I read more but it's just a matter of time.

Olde Yeller Cat said...

Always read excerpts on a new author I hear about, never read them on an author I've read. Back cover blurbs are useless to me: simply one author praising another. Inside front cover is a mixed bag, either tells too much or too little, so I just scan a few lines so it doesn't affect the story. Excerpt is the authors pick of the best of the story, If the best isn't there its the authors fault.

Melissa Breau said...

Hey Shannon,

As a reader, I do read excerpts—not all the time, but fairly often. Some of my favorite authors take a long time to write, but change out the excerpt available on their website semi-frequently to keep the reader waiting for the next book. I read those. I also find that I'll read an excerpt if the first few lines catch my interest.

Now, I think you're referring exclusively to excerpts published on a blog (and my answer above reflects that scenario) but I also read Amazon's "Look Inside" samples. Those I read constantly. I love that I can send the first couple pages of a book to my kindle to read and then decide once I've finished it if that's a book I want to buy on the spot. It also makes it really easy for me to remember which books I wanted to check out more and to get a feel for the quality of self published books—because if the Amazon sample is full of errors than I know I'm not going to be able to read the book without cringing constantly.

Shannon said...

Kathy- Yes, I think I am in the same boat as you and such is why I asked this question in the first place, I'm so busy and so I rarely get the chance to read excerpts.

Olde Yeller- Thank you for leaving a comment, I completely understand what you are saying in regards to not only blurbs but excerpts. :0)

Melissa- Great points, all of which I for one will take into account before putting any excerpts up :0)

Masha said...

I always read excerpts by writers I don't know. I sometimes read excerpts by writers I know and have already decided to buy from -- just to whet my appetite, especially when it's a "forthcoming" story. Then there are the writers and/or series I'm already set on collecting -- then I don't read the excerpts (usually) but I will read the blurb.

The length? My expectations vary according to the length of the work -- more for a longer story, less for a shorter work. But I do like to have a taste. Like, you know, I hate cooked carrots... or the literary equivalent. Whatever that may be.

David Bastiani said...

Hi Shannon
I always read excerpts! The only time I wouldn't need to is if I already knew I had already read the author's work before and enjoyed it. So, for example, the latest Deaver novel isn't going to warrant that. But anyone I've never read before...well, the books not getting read without seeing an excerpt first. I see it in exactly the same way as browsing in a bookshop. Like the cover, read the back and then have a look at the first couple of pages. I want to know the author can write the way I like to read. That's what I reckon anyway!
David :-)

Shannon said...

Masha- I was thinking that the "whetting of the appetite" was a great thing, and along some of the lines I was thinking too. Kind of get people revved up before a book comes out ;p

And for future refrence, I'm not overly fond of cooked carrots either, literally or figuratively LOL

David- Seems that you along with most of the commenters are saying the same thing- We read excerpts! Which is awesome, thank you for taking the time to comment.

Actually, that goes for all of you, many thanks!