I love Amazon! I frequently search for books on Amazon. I pay attention to what Amazon recommends for me. I have a Kindle and often check Amazon’s list of “Top 100 Free” Kindle Ebooks. As a reader, the choices for “what to read next” are endless. My “to read” list is never under 25 books. Readers have so many choices these days, so, as an author, how do you convince readers to choose your book to read next?
One idea is to give away the first chapter of your book. Everyone likes getting something for free, right? The first chapter will give the reader a taste of the book and will entice them to want to read more. There are a few ways you can get your first chapter into the hands (or onto the screens) of your potential readers:
- Add a message in your email signature asking your contacts to let you know if they would like to receive a copy of the first chapter of your book. For those who reply, send them a PDF copy of the first chapter and let them know where to buy the hardcopy if they like it and want to read more.
- Put an ad in your local newspaper with a short (1-2 sentence) synopsis of your book, inviting potential readers to email you for a PDF copy of the first chapter for free. When you email the file to these contacts, let them know where to buy the hardcopy if they like it and want to read more.
- Similarly, put an ad on Craigslist (in the “free” section) with a short synopsis of your book, inviting potential readers to contact you for a free PDF copy of the first chapter. And – you guessed it! – when you send it to them, let them know where to buy the hardcopy if they like it and want to read more.
- First Chapter Plus publishes and distributes a monthly e-catalog, which includes the first chapters of print and digital books, and mp3 clips of audio books to over 35,000 opt-in subscribers. This listing will include the necessary details for where potential readers can find and purchase a copy of your book.
- If you’re a blogger, publish the first chapter of your book in a blog post or link to a PDF file where your readers can open the first chapter and read it. Be sure to let readers know where to buy the book once they’ve read the first chapter and want more. Author Ian Lurie actually allows his viewers to read the entire contents of his book, Conversation Marketing, online. See how he does this here: http://www.conversationmarketing.com/internet-marketing-book/
DISCUSSION: What are some other ways that you might distribute the first chapter of your book to potential readers?