How Free Previews Make Money

by Allison Horton on

How to make the most of free ebook previews

If your book doesn’t have reviews on sites like Amazon, or if you’re a first-time author, it is essential to let shoppers preview your book before purchasing. While an ebook preview is one of the last details in the publishing process, it should not be an afterthought. Allowing shoppers to preview the eBook increases the chance of making the sale.

Consider what you would do while shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. If you see an intriguing book by a first-time author with whom you’re not familiar, you likely read the first few paragraphs to get a feel for the writing. Give customers the same experience online with free previews, always leaving them wanting more. Examples for various genres include:

  • Novel previews: These might not necessarily be the first chapter; the best option will be an excerpt that ends on a cliffhanger or piques the reader’s interest in the story. Longer previews can be more valuable in order to establish the plot and connect the reader to the characters.
  • Nonfiction previews: Whether historical, political, or philosophical, nonfiction ebooks can provide free excerpts of stimulating, well-supported information on the topic to establish credibility.
  • Cookbook previews: The best provide one or two strong recipes to likewise establish credibility on the subject.
  • Business strategy previews: Again, this is your opportunity to establish yourself as the authority on the topic. When a shopper reads one good piece of advice, she'll trust that the rest will also be beneficial.
  • Fitness, sports, and diet book previews: Release a few exercises and tips to begin the reader’s learning process. To keep going, he’ll have to purchase the whole ebook!

Consider these strategies from best-selling authors: Self-published author Hugh Howey released five successful novellas in the series Wool, eventually combining them into one ebook, Wool Omnibus Edition. The preview for the omnibus edition is the entire first story in the series. Although shoppers have already read one fifth of the ebook, the cliffhanger nearly guarantees they'll want to read more.

Author and marketing expert Seth Godin strategically lets readers preview the beginning of his book, Unleashing the SUPER Ideavirus. The preview defines the "super ideavirus" and provides ample evidence as to why it's important to marketers. Once he has established the importance of and his credibility on the topic, the reader is more inclined to purchase the rest of the ebook.

Vook can build your ebook and advise on the right preview for you. Signup for a free ebook consultation today!

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