In Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century amid the smoke of industry and the clatter of trains there lived two men, both handsome, both blue-eyed, and both unusually adept at their chosen skills.
Opening line from The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson.
Why the First Few Pages of Your Book Are So Critical to the Reader
Someone has just discovered your book on Amazon, they like the cover and the description, but what will they think of the information or story featured inside the first few pages?
The Digital World and Ebook Sampling
Once you've set up your KDP account you have a number of free marketing tools at your disposal. One of those is the free sample on a book's product page, which enables customers to scroll through the first four or five pages before choosing to purchase.
The reader also has access to any other versions including paperback and hardback where other samples can be seen. Giving the customer that same feeling of being in a real bookstore.
There are still people that prefer the feel of a real book in their hands than looking at one on a screen. But most of these readers are missing out on a wealth of information stories because they choose to stick with only paperbacks of hardback books.
How Do Readers Find New Books To Read?
They start with the biggest marketplace, Amazon, through Amazon book lovers have a choice of paperback, second-hand books, hardbacks, audio books and ebooks.
People start looking for books for numerous reasons:
- Education, politics, social sciences, they might want to learn something new.
- Mystery, romance, sci-fi, thriller, they might want something to read on the way to work or at night before they go to sleep.
- Self-help, fitness and dieting, they might want to improve something about themselves.
A lot of people are quite happy downloading an ebook on their tablet or phone. But not until they've been hooked by the book's first few pages. At this stage, whatever turns up first in the book sample can be make-or-break to the sale.
Hooking the Reader from the Start of the Book
When I start looking for a book to read I like to see what's in the contents page, then I go straight to the introduction. If I like what I see I buy the ebook.
Leave the Fluff at the Back of the Book
In any book sample you only have a few pages to showcase what your book has to offer. Which means the most important information (contents page and introduction) should always appear in the sample of your book.
If you're trying to sell your other books, products or newsletter leave until the last few pages. And put the good stuff at the front.
Keep the Format of Your Ebook Simple
When I set about publishing a book, I keep all of my formatting the same in both my paperback books and ebooks alike. All of these things are checked throughout the writing, editing and publishing stages. Ebooks read differently on devices, to paperbacks which are printed out in paper.
Keep it simple.
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