If you’ve already started writing the next book you plan to publish, the back of the one you’re about to release is a great place to promote it. You might do that by offering readers an excerpt of your next book. This is particularly popular among novelists.
Before doing that, however, you should be absolutely sure that the excerpt really will be from your next book. You don’t want to tease readers then decide not to publish the book or instead publish a different one. That only will confuse or disappoint them.
The excerpt should be powerful and compelling writing, a passage that really hooks readers. Chapter 1 usually makes a good excerpt. Whatever section you excerpt, though, make sure it can be read as a self-contained piece, with no extra explanation, and that it ends with an intriguing problem to be resolved.
No more than 10 or so pages need be given as an excerpt. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to give more than five or six pages. After all, the idea is to get the reader so excited about the story that they want to keep reading it once they’ve reached the excerpt’s end.
The text need not look any different, in terms of typeface or point size than the rest of the book. Some authors have placed their excerpts entirely in italics, but studies suggest that a large chunk of italicized print is difficult to read, so that probably is not advisable.
Be sure to clearly mark at the passage’s beginning that what readers are about to cast eyes upon is an excerpt from your next book. Give the book’s title and projected release date by month and year. For example, you might write “The following is an excerpt from (your name)’s next novel, ‘Title,’ due out July 2024.”
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.