Here’s a confession: I never, ever read chapter extracts or samples when I receive them.
Often, publishers will release these extracts in the run up to publication to get people excited. Unfortunately, I don’t get excited by them: the very idea of reading just one chapter, or a chunk of book, and then having to wait weeks or even months before being able to continue frustrates me. Who would want to read the opening of the next book in their favourite series only to not be able to continue?! It’s like self-inflicted torture!
In the past, when I did read samples, I was always a bit confused. Should I just read the sample and skip to where it ended when the book finally comes out? Or should I reread the sample bit too, which in the long run means I read some bits twice when I could be reading something new for the first time?
I’ve never really understood why samples are so attractive for publicising books. I find them a really disruptive reading experience: I’d rather be a little more patient and wait until I get a copy of the whole thing. Nowadays, when I get sent them, I just put them to one side. I can’t help but wonder how many people actually read them, and if there isn’t a better way of generating a buzz for your book.