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Fringe Authors General Chat > Do you sample your writing content?

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message 1: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
I've had a productive week or do writing and posted a few snippets from the novel I'm writing on FB - which a few of my friends were kindly enough to remark and cheer upon.

Aside from the overall good feeling of that, it piqued interest on what I was doing and made people curious to know more and ask questions I wanted them to be asking.

A book I'm reading on marketing actually cited giving away content as an effective way to draw in readers and keep them thinking about your work between publication lulls. Has anyone - on blogs or such - sampled published or upcoming writing? Were you getting a good response?

message 2: by Jacek (new)

Jacek Slay I haven't (yet) but I agree - it is a good marketing tool. Well, that's what every publisher does - if the book comes out, there's usually a sample for the readers. But that's definitely something I'm going to do with my upcoming book.

The only thing I wouldn't be so certain of, is sampling an upcoming writing; but it also depends on how advanced that writing is. If it's the final, accepted and so on version, then sure - a sample might catch some eyes. If it's just a draft, I'd rather not go there...

message 3: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
I agree you don't want to toss just anything out there but - yeah - it's really cool to see how people are responding to hooks and lures :)

Then again, this is my first book so anybody expressing interest or - gasp - excitement makes me feel a lot more confident about what I'm trying to put out there.

message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason Crawford (jasonpatrickcrawford) | 591 comments On my website, the first few chapters of all my books are available for free.

I publish excerpts and snippets occasionally.

I use one-line excerpts when I self-promote (don't speak the word) on Twitter.

I haven't received any particular "OMG!" except from people who already know my writing.

message 5: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) I provide the issues of my graphic novels on my website, free to view. It's not the absolute final version, but pretty close. I agree, any form of sample is an excellent lure. Personally, I don't see it as marketing so much as simply showing this is what I have to offer, if interested, here's where you can see more. Cos, you know, I'm just at that stage.

I don't worry much about showing draft samples, because, well, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I always put out my best work. Most of my readers don't seem to notice tiny errors that I'll fix.

So far, the reaction has been nicely positive mixed with a few subtle threats of, hurry up and do more. But the latter I mostly ignore.

P.S. I realize how "I always put out" sounds so try to keep the jokes to a minumum, thanks.

message 6: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments I frequently put out some snippets on my series lage on Facebook. I'll include artwork with it in order to get more people to see it.

I typically get 100 or so impressions, which is about a 3rd of the follows I have.

I don't usually get like or comments. I have seen a bit of an uptick in sales, but by uptick I mean maybe 1 a week on average rather than 1 a quarter.

I can't tell if that's from publishing excerpts from my upcoming addition to the series, or because of word of mouth via Goodreads or what.

At the very least, releasing something for people to read is cathartic. It helps you feel like you're getting something done.

message 7: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments Should be series page* on Facebook.

message 8: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) It's quite cathartic. It's always nice to know you're not alone, screaming in space where no one can hear you...

message 9: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) I posted a snippet every Monday in March. I like to tthink that got one or two folks interested. I also have the first chapeter up, but I need to replace it with the current draft.

As a reader, I like to see snippets. Either small, favored sections or chapter samples.

message 10: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
I think the charm of the odd snippet is the lack of "presentation".

It's not the first few pages or chapter, which are designed to entice and impress. It could be from page 70 or 193 and it shows a readers how your write in the thick of things rather than as a first impression.

I like knowing a story is still going to be interesting past that introductory chapters :)

message 11: by Renee E (last edited May 08, 2015 10:04AM) (new)

Renee E | 395 comments I like seeing samples before I buy, too, or of works-in-progress, and leaving encouragement (if I believe it's well done, or at least has potential after more editing) . . . and backing out without being seen if I don't . . .

I've posted the first couple of chapters, a short segment of the novel under construction, some poetry, a short-short and a short story here. Once I get the novel closer to being ready to roll out I'll up the ante, work on more accessible and visible sample arenas.

GR isn't, to me, terribly useful, either as a writer or a reader in that aspect. If there is an index of posted writing that's in any way useful to a reader, I haven't found it. It seems largely chaotic and random unless you happen to know someone and/or you've got a specific link.

message 12: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Some of the excerpts posted in this group made me go out and buy the book. So, that says something.

message 13: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
Right? Something to be said about a random passage :)

message 14: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Courtney wrote: "Right? Something to be said about a random passage :)"


message 15: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 154 comments Yes, I have. Mostly samples from WIPs in my suspense fiction series, to keep my fans itching to get their hands on the new book.

message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1398 comments Mod
I have samples of my works on a few sites which allow you to post samples. I also post full short stories on Wattpad which also has samples of my work.

message 17: by S. (new)

S. Rivera (sjacksonrivera) | 6 comments I've seen author FB friends who do this. Some pique my interest in their books and make me anxious to buy them, others have the opposite effect.

One author in particular, while I love her books as a whole, her snippets, for some reason, are so out of context, it only confuses me. Another one posts scenes that are not really appropriate for FB.

I've learned from this and I do post snippets on FB, occasionally, but I'm careful when choosing which ones. Those posts seem to get larger than normal reach, especially when I post them regularly, so I will keep doing it.

Just make sure it will leave the readers wanting more, not leave them shaking their heads.

message 18: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
Context is seriously key. I don't want to read anything that only makes sense if you've read up to that point or is giving too much story away but there are ways to showcase an exchange or narration that gives people an idea of what they're in for without making them wonder what the hell you're talking about lol

Like if you're writing about paranormal stuff or romance - lot of competition and odds are you're marketing it as such, why not show off what's setting you apart?

It's true for anything, of course, but I like to see how an author "tells a story when he or she thinks nobody is watching". The "here and there" scenes that hold a book together and keep things moving between the "make or break" plot points.

If an author makes me feel like I could flip to any page and be entertained or impressed, that's better salesmanship than telling me how fans of X meets Y will love it while reviews are praising it :)

message 19: by Caroline (new)

Caroline (carolineandrus) I posted my first chapter on Wattpad to positive feedback. I've also posted little one to two sentence snippets on my Facebook page. Getting the positive reinforcement encourages me to keep at it. Sure I think my book is amazing, but it's gratifying for someone else to enjoy it!

message 20: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 519 comments I've done snippets of my weirdness and had some positive feedback. it has brought in new sales occasionally so it does work.

message 21: by Jacek (new)

Jacek Slay I just wonder... do you people sample your writing content only on your "official" social media pages or also on your "personal" ones?

message 22: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 519 comments my snippets go on my official cos no one looks at my personal (I have no RL friends who give a bean or two). I actually have some fans
its a bit disconcerting yet exciting to know someone out there likes my weirdness O_o

message 23: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 154 comments Caroline wrote: "Getting the positive reinforcement encourages me to keep at it. Sure I think my book is amazing, but it's gratifying for someone else to enjoy it!"

Feedback is incredibly important. I encourage people to send me emails with feedback and I got a photo of someone who made a promotional bumper sticker for my freelance assassin protagonist, and fanmail from a reader in Australia who never wrote an author before but felt compelled to write me to tell me how much they enjoyed my work.

Knowing people out there are enjoying what you do is both gratifying and motivating.

message 24: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) I only really have an "official" facebook page. Twitter, tumblr, and occasionally wordpress have plenty of personal things on them as well as professional things.

message 25: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Crane (pamela_crane) | 6 comments Personally, I haven't offered samples of writing in progress yet, but I do give away a free book sample of a final product. I think it helps give potential buyers a chance to check it out before they buy it, and my sales have really grown because of it. I package it separately too. Here's an example of what I did, and even my rankings got better from offering a sample:

So, from my experience I love giving away free samples and see a lot of benefit from it from a sales perspective.

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