[eBooks] A note to eBook publishers

I got it, you are proud of your books. You have every right to be so. For God’s sake do not clutter up your sample book with the comments of reviewers about your previous books.


I downloaded your sample book. I took the first step. Then I flip through ONE HALF of the sample…YOUR chance to impress me, YOUR chance to get me to drop my hard earned dough, on people talking about your other books. I can, and more likely WILL, get those reviews off the internet or from the reviews other place: on blogs, Amazon.com, and on GoodReads. I do not need people wasting one half of your chance to snag my attention. When the sample is roughly 20 to 30 pages, two to five (!) are taken up by copyright, ISBN and “book designed by” (what does that mean anyway?) jargon and then you go and waste another three to seven pages of review snippets.

Well, you see where I am going. Some samples I get one chapter after all the mess to snag my attention. Sometimes I get five chapters. You do the math and figure out which book I will probably buy. This last one I just downloaded (I will not mention the book or author) I literally had one chapter amounting to a whole six pages after all the nonsense the silly publisher put in the front of the eBook. Buying this book? Doubtful.

Anyway, just my thoughts.


5 thoughts on “[eBooks] A note to eBook publishers

  1. So, your decision making process isn’t so much dependent on the quality of the writing or interest in the premise, but on the amount of free stuff the publisher gives you?

    1. Clearly you read my post. It has nothing to do with ‘free content’ and more with the fact that they are providing me with a sample (no more than I could get by going into B&N and picking the book up to scan through while I sample some coffee btw) and more with the fact there is simply so little content for me to judge whether or not I like the book enough to purchase it. Six pages of a book by an unknown-to-me author is simply not enough for me to judge if I will like the book or not. If the sample is too small, it will not be enough to hook me into purchasing the book.

      To each his own though, you like pages and pages of BS, good for you.

  2. The classic here in Carte Blanche, the new James Bond novel. The sample from iBooks contains no actual content! I’d have been happy with just the first chapter, but you don’t even get that. As you can imagine, I haven’t bought the book yet.

    – Neil.

  3. I get irked when there’s a lot of front matter too, in part because it does shrink the sample size (which has nothing to do with getting “free stuff” and everything to do with hooking you…the more the better for that to happen) and in part because it’s tedious to flip through a bunch of meaningless pages with an ebook reader, where you have to wait for each page to load before clicking to the next one.

    Authors can put the review snippets in the product description on the book’s page at the store.

  4. I agree with Matt and Lindsay. IMHO, putting review snippets and gobblygook in the beginning of ebooks is just redundant information that the reader has already read while on the ebook retail page. It’s like getting a sample at the supermarket. It’s hard to figure out if you want to buy that new juice or not if they only give you a drop instead of a quarter of a cup.

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