If the book you’re promoting is the first one you’ve published, readers most likely will be unfamiliar with you or your writing. Further, given the vast number of other authors out there, a potential reader might decide to pass over you for another one who is slightly better well known or who has more writing credits to their name.
You can counterbalance this by giving readers a free sample of your writing, proving to them that you’re the superior writer with the best book.
For a novel, this passage should be a representative of your story and compelling. It ought to create some suspense (without giving away the plot), solely to get readers interested in purchasing the book.
For a nonfiction book, the passage also should be typical of what readers will find in your volume and as well as be intriguing. It ought not to give away the “secret” revealed in the book but instead create interest so that readers want to find out what it is and purchase your book.
Just how much should you give away? If a novel, the opening chapter in which the reader meets the main character and learns about the conflicts facing that hero probably is sufficient. If a nonfiction tome, samples of 1-2 pages long from three different chapters probably is enough.
Novelists who’ve published a series of books focusing on a single character sometimes offer “bonus” sections in which they give away unpublished writing involving their hero. This is a great idea, especially if you’ve written a lot of background material that was excised from a novel or have a short story about the character that just can’t seem to get published. At the same time, you must be careful not to post writings that are inferior to your novel’s quality. Doing so will turn off potential buyers.
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.