The First One is Free (On Chapter Samplers and More)

The concept of a sample is simple: give the potential customer a small taste of the product. The idea is that you trust the product is delicious enough (food sample) or good enough (beauty product) that samplers will become purchasing customers. And it works! (At least it does on me.) There is many a food item at Trader Joe's that I have bought on the spot and tons of beauty products at Sephora that have hooked me into wanting more (Boscia's Luminizing Black Mask, I'm looking esp. at you).  

Publishers often create chapter samplers and give them away. It's a great way for readers see if the story is one they want to get invested in. If I'm on the fence about buying a book, or have heard great things but want to see if the book gels with me personally, chapter samplers are a godsend. I've read chapter samplers on Facebook (where there is, in fact, a sampler of the first 50 pages of my novel The Memory of After) as well as downloaded them from Netgalley and ebookstores to read on my Nook. If I yell in frustration when the sampler ends and I want more immediately, then it's time to buy the book. 

I'll give you a recent example. I happened upon fellow league member Lissa Price's ENDERS sample (the first two chapters) and after reading that, I am itching to get my hands on the hardcover I preordered. But maybe I need to order the eBook too?! What are you doing to me, publishers?

Just a word of warning on that last link - if you haven't read STARTERS yet, you should start there, and until Feb. 1, you can get the whole STARTERS novel for just $2.99

Which samples have you wanting more? 


Bonnie @ A Backwards Story said...

I hate reading Samplers when they come out months before a book releases. They just make me covet the book more, and I just CAN'T. So I wait, lol! But I love them when I'm unsure if I'll like a book! I love that you can download a sample on your ereader and go!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I bought Starters for $2.99 and so glad I finally got my copy. I rarely by kindle ebooks close to $10 but I'm considering it for Enders. Samplers are a great way to draw in more readers.

Kelley said...

I don't always like chapter samplers, but most of the ones I've tried have definitely been helpful. They convinced that I definitely wanted to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Crewel, What's Left of Me, and The 5th Wave.

They've also, on occasion, helped me decide that I didn't want to read the book in question. But then there are times, like with Feed by MT Anderson, where I REALLY disliked the chapter sampler, but then still ended up reading the book and REALLY enjoying it! So it's hard to tell, but generally, I do find them useful.

If it's a sampler for a book that's part of a series (and NOT the first book in the series), then I generally will avoid it because by that point I know I want to read the book anyway!

Lissa Price said...

Thanks, Lenore and kind commenters! So, strangely, the e-format deal is still on even though it is Feb. I can't explain it, but tell your friends.