Wednesday Wing….what can I read in the first 10% of your book? #WriterTips #wwwblogs

Welcome to my new feature called Wednesday Wing where I’ll be passing on

observations, tips and information to readers I’ve made a note of.

Rosie's Notebook

Today I’m passing on a tip about the first 10% of your book.

With Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature potential readers can start reading your book for FREE to see it’s worth them buying. With online purchasing of books growing, this is a significant selling opportunity for authors.

Making best use of the first 10%

If a reader picks your paperback book up at a book store or a library, they can easily flick to the first page of the story.

When searching for a book online using the “Look Inside” feature a reader is stuck with the 10% allowed by Amazon. If your first few pages are full of a “dedication”, “Thank yous” to all your, beta readers, proof-readers, editors, book cover artists, family members and pet dog, “Quotes” from thrilled readers, “lists” of your other works, where to find you on social media etc, YOU ARE MISSING a huge MARKETING potential.

Don’t get me wrong, go ahead and have all these features, BUT have them at the back of the book. If a reader REALLY liked your work, they’ll read some of these and MAYBE follow up and go to your social media sites and look for more books you’ve written . BUT ramming this down a NEW reader’s throat before they’ve got to PAGE 1 of your story and YOU may well lose that reader before they BUY your book.

WHY NOT jump straight into the book WHAM! Hook that reader with an intense opening which has them reading down and hitting BUY.

For anyone who wants to argue that “Giving” the reader 10% of their 300 page book is letting someone have 30 pages FREE, meaning they then might not bother with the rest of the book, so filling the first 10 pages with dedications etc is a way of “Giving away less for FREE”. My reply is this, if a reader wants to give up after 30 pages the book either isn’t a subject they are interested in or you need to write a BETTER book, plus that view is so negative you don’t really want to sell your books do you?

Updated note – do check the latest advice from Amazon before uploading your book.

Here are links to previous Wednesday Wing Posts.

May 6th 2015 – Checking your WordPress is linked to your Twitter helps others share your posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7L2

May 13th 2015 – Writer’s Craft books by Rayne Hall full of REALLY useful tips http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Ma

May 20th 2015 – Hyperlinks, Short links and Linkys http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Rl

May 27th 2015 – Making your post titles easy to share on Twitter to maximise views. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7SA

June 17th 2015 – Creating Twitter pics that fit http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Y4

June 24th 2015 – Creating a slideshow on WordPress http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Yo

July 1st 2015 – Getting the most out of Google+ posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7YM

July 8th 2015 – Automated Tweets, LOVE ‘EM or HATE ‘EM? make use of them http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Za

July 15th 2015 – What’s Your Book Genre? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84S

July 22nd 2015 – Should you write dreams into your work? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84Q

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36 thoughts on “Wednesday Wing….what can I read in the first 10% of your book? #WriterTips #wwwblogs

  1. Well done, Rosie, and it’s reminded me to put something in the back of my new book that is currently at the front!

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  2. ps, I can’t believe people complain about ‘giving 10% away free’ – crikey, some people??!! Do you want someone to read it or not??!! I think some writers think it’s they who are doing the reader the honour by allowing them to read their hallowed words…!!

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  3. Excellent advice. I like getting to know the author better after I’ve read their book, so putting all the info at the end works better for me as a reader.

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  4. Sensible and insightful advice, Rosie – a no-brainer as the cliche goes. If you pick up an actual paperback or hardback you’d never plough through all the tedious acknowledgements etc. before dipping into the first chapter.

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    • Exactly Margaret! If the book is a winner, then you might peruse them later, but with an e/book and especially the “look inside” option on Amazon where lots of authors place their books, readers have little choice.

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  5. Right on, Rosie! No one wants to wade through all of that stuff at the beginning of a book: Readers want the story. Later, when they get to “The End,” they can browse through your acknowledgements and author info if they wish. I do have a necessary but short disclaimer (a few sentences) in the front of one of my novels, but that’s it.

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  6. Hi Rosie
    You’re tip about putting the extras in the back is sound advice.

    However, your comment about if a reader gives up after the first 10% and the story doesn’t interest them, that means you need to write a better book -is just not so. Not everyone will like every book. To expect so is naive.
    I’m sure you didn’t mean it quite that way.

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  7. I read similar advice some time ago and I’ve been trying to do that ever since, as it’s common sense. I’ve found books that had whole chapters of other books at the back, but then again it’s your choice if you read it or not (but sometimes meant the book was much shorter than it appeared to be). Thanks Rosie. I think the suggestions of making the posts into a book is a good one.

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  8. Hi Rosie. Nice to meet you.
    I really like this idea. Thanks for sharing it. Why not think outside the “book covers” (aka “box”) and put those things at the back of the book! Excellent. Hugs! 🙂

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  9. Great piece of advice – thanks for sharing! I have had the impression of late that Twitter has become akin to the classified ad section of a newspaper. Not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly something tweeters need to be aware of. As always, it’s a matter of making content match purpose and the needs of the medium.

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  10. Good solid advice, Rosie. Thank you for sharing. I read a similar tip some time ago and now make sure all the information stuff about my book is at the back. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?

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  11. Hi, Rosie – I actually don’t tend to use this feature as much as you’d think. In fact, I provide excerpts on my blog because most people like them, but I rarely read them myself. If a book interests me from the blurb (and yes, from the cover), I tend to like to just jump into it. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    • Ah yes, book covers and blurbs definitely help sell a book. Some of my review team will check out the first 10% read before taking on a book, if they find editing errors or are put off by the storyline they won’t take it on. I know some editors judge a book by it’s first 5 pages.

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  12. My publisher starts with a teaser page. Then just a few publishing “front matter” type things. I follow their pattern with my indies. But I’m older so I am very used to those “front matter” pages and skimming through them. There are only a few in mine. I think people can read three solid chapters. Have you read “The First 10 Pages” by Noah Lukeman? This is about how to hook a reader right away which I think is so important. If I’m not hooked in ten pages I doubt I will be later on.

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  13. I’d just like to say that I altered my introduction for my new book, yesterday, after reading this, leaving it very short and putting all the historical type info at the back, for those who are interested, and I think it works so much better. Social media links and ‘about the author’ should always go at the back, yes ~ as Terri Polen said, you’re not interested in the writer until AFTER you’ve read the book!

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