Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday's Pre-Publication Post: Read an Excerpt from Quiet Americans!

So, as I continue preparing the new website for its debut, I've been trying to figure out the best way to present there an excerpt from my forthcoming story collection, Quiet Americans. To that end, this week, I've been experimenting with some free services provided by

It was easy enough to paste code into a blog post to share the above "widget" with you, and as the book begins to appear on more distribution channels, I can embed relevant purchase info. (Right now, pre-orders are available only via

What's most exciting, though, is that this techno-gizmo gives you a glimpse into the actual book. Including the entire opening story.

At least, it provides the entire opening story for now. I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps the excerpt should be more limited. Like the story's opening page?

What do you think? Would (much) less be more? Or in this case, would it be far too little?


grrlpup said...

On my elderly computer it took 5-10 seconds to load each page-spread. Not a huge deal, but if some of the less informative pages could be cut-- the spread that's a repeat of the title page, and maybe the acknowledgments too-- I'd get to the story faster. With the story starting on p.15, that was a lot of page-turns to get there.

Other than that, it worked great!

Bill said...

I would include the front matter which I like to read and Table of Contents and maybe the first three pages or so not much more than that.

good luck with the book :)

Anonymous said...

It looked wonderful on my 24-inch Mac. This was a delightful way to showcase your book. I will definitely buy it––as soon as I get my revised manuscript back to the publisher.

Best of luck,

A Fan

Anonymous said...

I think by being generous with the amount you "tease" with, you're more likely to get people who were on the fence interested. For instance, if I wasn't planning to buy your book and only read three pages of the opening story, I might think it was good but still not worth my money. If I read the whole first story and was deeply moved, I wouldn't hesitate to go out and buy the book. People will always take advantage and read only what's offered for free, but they wouldn't have purchased the book anyway, so consider the people who need more encouragement rather than those who are going to use the system regardless.

Anne said...

I agree with Anonymous! One full sample story is a great way to whet a reader's appetite--especially since most people shopping for collections are short fiction lovers to begin with. That said, you might appeal to more novel-oriented readers by cutting off this story before the last few pages--to build suspense and entice people to buy a copy to read it. Either way, this preview looks lovely and is a terrific resource for promoting *Quiet Americans*. I can't wait to buy a published copy!!

Jeff Vanke said...

Looks great! Imo, you can't have too much in marketing like this (unless you do just about the whole book). If anyone finds the sample too long, they'll just stop reading the e-version and eagerly await the hard copy!

Erika D. said...

Thanks, everyone. As usual, you've given me something to keep thinking about. I appreciate the responses so much!

Orville said...

Hello Erika you must be so excited! Congrats! The first story is pretty good. I think you should offer maybe just one story from Quiet Americans for people to read for free.