Monday, July 11, 2011

Excerpt debate

Hey, what do you know? Two posts less than a week apart!

I’m deviating from my Kindle formatting posts today to ramble a little about my stalled website design. Stalled mainly because I’ve been focusing my time on editing, now that my day job has sucked up my afternoons. But also stalled because I’ve come to a point where I don’t know what else to include. (And because I still can’t come up with verbage for the “about the author” page. I have no idea what to say about myself!)

My current dilemma, however, is the book excerpt. I have a blurb written up that I’m fairly happy with (I’m never completely happy with anything, but I’ve learned to accept that and move on), but I also want to have an excerpt available for those who want more before they spend their hard-earned money on me. I know that Amazon automatically makes the first 10% of a Kindle book the free sample (if you offer a sample, which I will), and with my book, 10% is a little more than the first 3 chapters. I feel that’s a good sample for the book, since it’s a time travel story and the actual time travel itself happens in Chapter 3. (Funny, I just looked at one of my favorite time travel novels, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and it’s paced the same way: setup in the first 2 chapters, time travel in Chapter 3. I didn’t set out to do the same in mine, but hopefully I’ve stumbled upon the magic formula!)

From what I’ve read, I can’t control my Kindle sample, and I’m fine with that. What I need to decide, though, is if I want my website excerpt to be just as long. On the one hand, I like the idea of the third chapter being there, since that’s where the Titanic portion gets started, but I’m worried about having an excerpt that long.  My first 3 chapters total a little more than 8700 words (out of a total word count of 90,000). Personally, I get bad eye strain when I read on my computer, so an excerpt that long might scare me away. But I have vision issues, so I’m probably not a normal reader in that sense.

I could always do the first two chapters… that’s 5700 words and Chapter 2 ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. It could either be a smart place to end the excerpt, or really mean. Heh.

Well, I guess that’s all I had to blog about today. I’m mostly just thinking out loud here (I find it sometimes helps to write things down), but if anyone has any advice on the subject, I’m open to it. Until then, back to the edits!


  1. You should put the word "mega-nerd" in your blog title.

  2. @anann73 I'm not sure "mega-nerd" sounds very professional. ;)