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Archived Author Help > Wibble-wobble: How long is the "ideal" preview?

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message 1: by Annie (last edited Jun 11, 2016 09:48AM) (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Hey everyone,

Hope y'all are having a fantabulous Saturday!! Hmm. I'm pretty sure that there's probably already a thread about this somewhere, but I can't find it, sooo....

May I get some input about the "ideal" length of a preview? I realize it's totally subjective and not precise at all. Like, I'm not gonna cut my poor character off mid-sentence just because I've hit a certain word count LOL. I know that Amazon uses 10% of your source file (size, not length) but that seems exceedingly long to me. I mean, maybe for a novella it makes sense. But 8000 words seems pretty hefty for a preview.

Anyhoo, I'm just curious if there is a general ballpark that I don't know about? Thanks you oodles!!

Hugs,
Ann

EDIT: Kobo's automatic preview is a quite bit shorter than KDP's. Just FYI :)


message 2: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Honestly, 10% is pretty standard, but Smashwords apparently suggests 20%. The only instance that I've run into where 10% is a bit much is my box sets. With five books, 10% is roughly half the first book, but I can't fuss too much because I run regular free promos on that particular book.

I believe you can also upload an excerpt here on Goodreads and you have the ability to set that to any length you'd like. Another option would be to host an excerpt on your website or blog. The nice thing about that is you don't even have to start from the beginning. You can just pick a scene that works for you.


message 3: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Oh, yeah! I totally didn't even think about box sets. Huh. Interesting!!

Yeppers! I've put the excerpt on here and always have random stuff on my website hahaha. The ones I post myself are waaaay shorter than 10% though, so I didn't know if there was a loose consensus *shrugs*

Thank you, Miss Christina! Hugssss!!

Ann


message 4: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor Christina wrote: "Honestly, 10% is pretty standard, but Smashwords apparently suggests 20%. The only instance that I've run into where 10% is a bit much is my box sets. With five books, 10% is roughly half the first..."

I'll try to remember to set it at 15% as a compromise, but even that is long when dealing with long works. We debate in other threads the concept of giving away books, but when putting together boxsets, the first book a series ends up being free anyway if they open the "look inside" or download SW's preview. This alone made the decision to put book 1 in my last series free a no-brainer, and it was the reason I put the first part of my upcoming 300k epic as a free stand-alone. I'm actually considering putting together a sampler of all the previews for all my books and release it as a freebie.


message 5: by Ken (last edited Jun 12, 2016 05:53AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Here's what Smashwords says about sampling: "Choose what percent of the book people will be allowed to read, starting from word one...Smashwords recommends at least 15 percent for full-length books and 30% for short stories. Sampling is a requirement if you want your book distributed in major mobile app catalogs such as Stanza and Aldiko, which collectively have over 5 million users."

They appear to allow you to pick a range from as low as 0% to as high as you want to go.


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