Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.
In on going reader retention series, Jami Gold at Fiction University, focuses on what is needed for a great excerpt. Your cover and your excerpt are the two main things potential readers will look at to pick your book out of the myriad of choices out there, so it is really important to get them right.
One hint that I can add, that comes from one of my paid jobs producing a daily newsletter, make sure you have a one or two sentence synopsis that captures the essence of your story then build on that. Very similar to the “elevator speech” this gives people an easy way to promote your book the way you want it. Especially if space is limited.
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Indie Publishing Paths: What’s Your Reader Retention Plan? Part Four
By Jami Gold, @JamiGold
Part of the Indie Authors Series
In this Indie Publishing Paths series, we first focused on how to decide which path will work best for us. Once we know our goals and priorities and are ready to put our book up for sale, we need to decide on:
- the where (such as whether we use a distributor or we sell direct through a retailer or go exclusive with Amazon’s KDP Select),
- the when (whether we delay, use a preorder, or go for immediate sales), and
- the how much (whether we price high, in the middle, or low, whether our pricing strategy is a good match for what we want to accomplish, and whether a freebie is a good idea for our situation).
The second phase of our indie publishing journey is to figure out how best to increase our chances for success along our chosen path. Whatever our goal, we’ll have a better chance of success if we can hold onto our readers from book to book.
So far, in the second part of this series, we’ve covered our options for…:
- keeping our readers (such as leading them to our next book or to our newsletter)
- using buy links to lead readers to our next book (with the pros and cons for each type of link)
- creating non-expiring buy links (so readers will never encounter a dead buy link)
One of the options we discussed in Part One of this Reader Retention Plan phase was including an excerpt of our next book at the back of this book. Let’s take a closer look at when including an excerpt might be a good choice for us—and when it might not.
What’s the Purpose of an Excerpt?
We’ve probably all heard that we sell this book with the packaging (cover, back-cover blurb, etc.), and this book sells the next book. A teaser excerpt, typically the first chapter of book two placed at the end of book one (and so forth), takes that sales idea to a literal level.
Just as a reader is most interested in our work (as they finish this story), we include a teaser of the next story. An excerpt—if done well—can hook our readers enough to click on our buy link and purchase our next book right away.
Sounds great, right? So why wouldn’t we always want to include an excerpt of the next book?
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