How Much of an eBook is Read Before It’s Tossed Aside?
Entire books have been written on the best way to grab a reader’s attention in the beginning of a book. The first sentence, the opening paragraph, and the first chapter have all been touted as the one thing of utmost importance.
What we need to keep in mind as Indie authors, however, is not what hooks agents or publishers. We need to examine the reading habits of people who buy eBooks.
Things to consider before publishing an eBook:
1. Amazon, the Indie author’s biggest marketplace, allows people to read a generous percentage of a novel. But most readers only read a page, if that, when deciding whether to purchase or download a book.
Make that first page a grabber and be sure it is mistake-free and well formatted.
2. The opening sentence is not quite as important for eBooks as it is for books on a shelf, but the opening paragraph is!
Don’t waste it on things like description or back-story.
3. Be sure your blurb is captivating! Run it by other authors or ask advice on your favorite writing site. A poorly written or boring blurb will not entice a reader to buy your book.
4. Design the fist page to reflect the blurb!
5. Early chapters must pull the reader into the story. It is a simple process to delete eBooks from a device! I’ve downloaded many eBooks (series seem to be the worst offenders) that have what can only be described as a boring beginning. I delete them.
Today’s reader is impatient to get to the heart of things. If you doubt this, James Patterson’s book sales should convince you that a fast-paced storyline works!
6. Don’t perfect your first chapter at the expense of the rest of the book! Check your flow. Read your book out loud or better yet, have a friend do it for you. Reviewers can be merciless in pointing out when a first chapter is not followed by more with the same level of excellence.
Personally, I only read about one out of ten eBooks that I download into my
Kindle. A common error for the Indie writer is eagerness to get his/her book published quickly, a lesson I learned the hard way. My first suspense book, She’d Not There, had to be re-edited and proofed three times after I published it!
I understand the importance of getting one’s work out there, but don’t rush to publish at the expense of turning out a fine product.
Hope you are all having a pleasant winter and staying warm,