Monday, January 30, 2012

Epublishing: 5 Reasons I Like Free Samples Better Than Reviews

I love my kindle. I have read a ton of books since I got it. I love the instant delivery of books at all hours of the day and night. I like all of the free and low priced books that are available. I like supporting indie publishers.

But, with so many titles available (and more each day), how do I choose?

1. Reading reviews can be frustrating. I used to go by the reviews on Amazon, but I found that for every book that I thought stunk, there would be a ton of people giving it 5 stars and raving about what a great book it was. In addition to being frustrated by reading a bad book, I was even more frustrated thinking about all the stupid people out there who thought it was great. (I can be a little judgmental.)

2.  Free samples let me decide for myself. I find this more satisfying than the reviews because instead of relying on others, I can decide for myself.

3. Free samples help me avoid my pet peeves. I have a number of pet peeves when it comes to books. One is typos and the other is head popping---changing point of view from character to character in the same scene. If a story is particularly good, I'll keep going and overlook either my pet peeves. But, too many of either of these annoying features will cause me to stop reading and probably write a bad review.

4. Free samples give me a real sense of what the book is about. Often the descriptions of books are very short and aren't always as descriptive as they could be. But, a free sample gives a real sense of what the book is about and what the tone of the book is. I've read a couple of Christian novels (which I knew had a Christian theme when I bought them). Many reviewers dinged those same books because they didn't feel that the Christian theme was made clear in the description so they felt like they'd been blindsided when they read the book and the Christian theme became more clear.

5. Free samples save me time and money. I've read some free samples and made a decision to either buy or stop reading within a page or two. With others, I'll read several pages and if I decide that I'd like to see what happens next, I'll buy. In either case, I've saved myself from buying books that I don't like and I save myself from spending the time to read books that aren't worth my time.

Next time you're wondering whether or not to buy an ebook, read the free sample. It's not as good as the free samples at the bakery, but it won't make you fat either.

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