I’ve got this amazingly tone deaf email this morning offering us writing advice on Ryder. Heh. Today is just one of those days.
Yesterday Kid 2 moved to Austin in the middle of protests so it was a stressful day. Today the electrician looked at our flood issue and said he can’t do anything until an AC guy looks at it. The AC guy is coming tomorrow. Ten to one, he will tell us he can’t do anything until an electrician looks at it.
I’ve got a question for you.
Thank you for your input.
I freaking love hipster man espresso picture. Brightens my day every time I see it.
You know it always make me chuckle too!
Nancy OBrien says
I do read excerpts, but there are certain authors who are auto-buys for me. I don’t read excerpts of their books. I just buy them.
Karen Orrence says
Me too. If I know the author I don’t read the excerpt because I want to be surprised.
I love your work! I just can’t beleive you have fans writing negatives comments on your work .. don’t they understand how much we don’t want you discourage? We want you to continue your amazing work! We even need it! GEEZ nobody forces them to read if they don’t like it. Love you guys!
Maria R. says
I have A few authors whose books I have purchased and read over and over. You are one of those unique authors because I honestly have NO CRITICISM at all. None. You guys are remarkable. And I read dozens and dozens of books each year. Thank you for writing and for crafting these axung world’s and rich, multi-faceter characters and yummy male protagonists. Many, many hours have I spent indulging in getting to know my favorite books better and better, every year. I’m stoked about more Julie.
Ditto! Could not have said it better myself.
Kay Kaz says
I love hipster Espresso guy,too. 😀
It is always a delight when people try to teach you the job you’ve been successfully doing for years. Hard to stay polite sometimes..
Michael Cain says
I send samples to my Kindle ap. Today brought two novels by two different authors in two different genres—PNR and RomCom. Both started with a three part “definition.” Both sarcastic. One defining vampirism, the other sleeper. Twas strange.
Heather W says
Emily Su says
Judy B says
Lynne B says
Jeannette A Kinney says
Tiffany Crystal says
I autobuy AND read the excerpts because I’m too excited to wait, lmao.
Me, too. Sometimes its the only fix I can get to carry me through until the book comes out.
Same here. Though not all of my autobuys provide excerpts.
I do tend to read the samples for my auto-buy authors, too, while I’m waiting for the whole book to arrive!
Same here. I like to be surprised.
Me too! If a book I know I’ll like is coming I don’t want to read a chapter first and then wait for months & months for the rest.
Regina Hesse says
I agree. Favorite authors I just buy. I don’t read the excerpts as it would take too long before I could read the rest of the book.
Authors I know I’m happy reading anything they write, I typically just buy. If I know it’s not a genre I usually read, even though I otherwise like the author, I’ll read the previews. I’ll admit it took a while to talk myself into reading the Wildfire series, but I’ve enjoyed it so it’s all good there.
Re unsolicited writing advice, maybe understandable if this were your first or second rodeo… but seriously?!?!? I think you’ve got this writing thing down now.
That’s what I was going to say. I can’t handle it when I love an author and I only get a taste. I just pre-order and wait until I can devour the whole thing.
Angela Anderson says
Me too! There are a handful of artists I do not even hesitate buying and Ilona Andrews is defintely on that list.
I need to clarify my vote. For a new author I download a sample to look at later and as a reminder about the book. For an established author like you guys I just buy it ????. No sample needed.
Angela Harms says
Sarah F W says
+1; and I pre-order
Same. I also have used the sample option also to remind me to get the book later if I don’t have the $$ right when it comes out.
I always buy but I like samples.
Laura c says
What’s funny is somebody may have photo shopped a typewriter in front of him. How can anyone use a typewriter on a bed?
I think I see a croissant too…. heh!
I never noticed it was a typewriter until you mentioned it!!! Bwahahaha!!! And the paper is really old parchment too! I love this EVEN MORE now!!
Me too. 🙂
Tim McCanna says
Hipster man? I thought that was Gordon just relaxing as he was editing Ryder…darn, I guess I really, really need my eye appointment next week!
Honestly didn’t even notice him until I read this comment. Went back up and looked and started laughing. He does have quite the infectious smile ????
Jeanine Alexander Howley says
❤️ Rumor has it this is Mr. Ilona during his college modeling days…
I think you are one of the only authors on my “forever favorites” list that posts exerpts at all, much less in a serial. That is not the only reason that you are on my FF list…but I won’t say that having extra insight into your world doesn’t make me appreciate you that much more! ❤
JoAnne K. says
I do read excerpts, but depends on the reason (I know that doesn’t really make sense outside my head). If it is a writer I follow like Nalini Singh or JD Robb and the book is not due for some time I will gobble down the early chapter when posted. I know these types of authors put in enough to tease me, but with no real spoilers. (I would certainly put IA in that category.) However, it if is a ‘young’ author (only a couple of books published so far) that I plan to read anyway I will for the book to come. The only other excerpts I read are short snippets of unknown-to-me authors that I am considering. These are typcially very short passages just to get a sense of how they write. (I know complex answer to a simple question. Sorry about that)
I do much the same! Auto buy of anything by IA or Nalini Singh. Those are my favorites. The rest I check out to see if I think I’d like to read more.
Though sometimes I will try to hold off on reading an example chapter from a forthcoming book until I feel like I might die* waiting for the publication date.
*Would not really die. But the overly dramatic feel is part of the requirement for giving in, as is rereading all prior books in the series.
Same here, and where I get the sample chapters varies for the same reason. If I already read the author I go to the website but if they are new it’s generally from Amazon.
I am sorry for the difficult times made even more difficult!
Know that I really appreciate your freebies to us and am enjoying Ryder sooo much! It is a huge highlight of this really weird and crazy time!
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you for your post, Ilona Andrews. Some days are Monday repeated. Sometimes for 7 sequential days.
Regarding your question, I actually read more chapter excerpts on digital library before I make final decision of being on hold to borrow. But that was not a choice. Otherwise I do read on authors website.
On Amazon site I read comments not samples. Do the same on good reads. At that point I already know I am going to buy just dead tree or kindle is question. Barnes &Noble I am looking for something technical or a reference (like PDR) not pleasure.
Emily M says
I also tend to read samples/chapter excerpts from the digital library most often. I tend to prefer their “recommendations” over Amazon’s
I collect library cards. I hated the overdrive app, but I love the Libby interface (I think it’s better than the kindle one, even)
I’ll read the samples if I’m really impatient, but I try to just wait for the book.
Alas, I am not strong enough to resist a snippet from an author I like. If it’s not someone I am familiar with, I don’t know if I like the writing style until I’ve read some of it.
On Amazon, I read both excerpt and comments, but give more weight to the actual sample.
Comments are a personal opinion and, being older, I have more tolerance for the reasons why someone dislikes the “book”. (I am perfectly okay with a bit of exposition to help with world building. I have seen a bad review given “because the descriptions slow down the action”.)
I am the same way when looking for a something to read between releases of my favorite authors that I automatically buy. I want a sense of their writing style before I commit to buy from unknown authors. I used to read the first chapter of a new author before buying when we had bookstores to browse in.
+1 to the digital library for me too (especially if it’s an author that I haven’t read before), to decide if I want to read it/put a hold on it or to refresh my memory if I’m not sure if I’ve read it before.
I also read sample chapters at the end of a book. You two and Nalini Singh are the only authors websites that I follow, but I do read whatever is offered for samples from you three.
I pre-order your books, as soon as the Kindle link is available though, just to make sure I get it when it’s ready, whether or not there was a sample chapter. ????
The joys of home ownership are compounded when you’re not the original owners. Good luck with the repairs.
My Kid 1 was at a protest in the city yesterday, and I’m going to a vigil here in the suburbs later today. Our cops are pretty professional and I probably won’t have any guns pointed at me like she did. 50+ years since my parents supported the Fair Housing movement, and here we are. Still. I’m honestly glad they didn’t live to see this.
barbie doll says
I always read your excerpts. I truly wonder what some people have for brains. Unasked for advice even if it is relevant is never acceptable. Between AC and electrical is not a good place to be. You can tell the AC that an electrician has looked at it, just not said anything. Sorry I get snarky at the wrong times. I trust the AC and the electrician get together and that your flood issue can be quickly resolved. Thank you for writing in spite of things that interfere.
I like reading a little bit of a book before buying if it is a new to me author. I don’t use KU so it helps in choosing books. Hopefully the move went smooth for your kid. We are looking at least 4 of us here through the end of the year. So over the next couple of weeks we will be setting up an office in the room I do sewing and crafting in for my husband. Right now he is in part of our dining area which is fine but there is no way to close it off for when we are off quarantine.
Good luck with AC guy
When I used to have my book blog, I had great followers. But there was always some that felt the need to help/direct/intrude into how I did things. Or flat-out insult my intelligence, taste, and integrity. The raging fangirls of some authors would start spamming me one after the other if I didn’t have a feature of their author’s newest release, sometimes dramatically saying how they could no longer support me because…BECAUSE. Or direct exactly how I should do things to make it better for them. I don’t miss interacting with the online world. At all.
Toni Causey says
LOL on the advice. Unless they’ve got a stack of #1 NYT and USA today bestsellers, I don’t know how on earth they have the hubris.
Thank you for yesterday’s excerpt. It was just what I needed when I needed it.
I just went back and re-read The Edge — still one of my favorites because it was the first book of yours I read. Then I gobbled up everything and have re-read them all at least once, some even more. Obviously, you’re doing things right.
Donna A says
I can’t believe someone tried to give you writing tips. Unsolicited too. I mean, giving advice on how to do somebody else’s job is bad enough, but completely unasked for. Poor manners.
Regarding free excerpts, I only rarely read them, the same with episodic series. Once I realised Ryder was going to be more than a snippet I had to stop reading. I feel pretty sad about it but I’m hoping at the end it will either be compiled somewhere or published. Nothing personal, it’s an OCD/ASD thing, I have completion issues and they can spiral, it’s easier to manage if I just avoid potential triggers. But from what I read back at snippet stage, I’m really looking forward to the completed Ryder ????
I wonder what planet those people that write emails like that come from lmao.
Other than that…. Maybe just call the electrician and AC guy to come at the same time??
Wasn’t the actual question “is this setup up to code” not can an electrician fix my flood issue? I have another “wonder about” is there an exterior switch by that A.C. unit to shut the electric off by the service person? When we got central air we had to install an exterior shutoff switch so anyone servicing the unit could manually flip it and be positive it was off. I forgot to mention it before.
My cats are currently chasing a bee or a large fly around my living room, up the cat tree, over the chairs, and up and down the hall. Dani has some pretty good ballet moves!
Oh we know it’s not to code. That’s not a question. We don;t know what all the wires were, which is why the electrician came out, and it looks like most of the wires are AC wires but some are other wires. Life is full of wires.
Karen the Griffmom says
Welcome to my house. The previous owner was a”handyman”. I have other names for him.
Your comment has me chuckling – Thank you for that…..
Well I hope your issues go better than my elderly Mothers plumbing. 3 weeks total new septic system and indoor replacement at $30,000. Also why do people feel they need to give others theirs EXPERTISE ? Thanks for Ryder it is definitely a enjoyable read.
For writers I love such as Ilona Andrews, I preorder their books as soon as I learn about them, but I do read excerpts also.
My vote is that I don’t read excerpts, because I DON’T, EXCEPT for IA snippets which I come here for. So you two are the single exception to my rule. And most of the others are easier! Lots of authors, like Nalini Singh, send them in their newsletters, and I’ll pre-order the book but not read the excerpt.
I ended up canceling my pre-order of Gibson’s latest, Agency, because it was such a Big Deal that they were charging $18 for the KINDLE copy, and I wasn’t willing to pay that. Recently, Amazon had both Neuromancer & Count Zero* on sale (and I had picked up Mona Lisa Overdrive a few months back on sale), so I bought them and ended up not just rereading my way through his first two trilogies, but reading the two after Pattern Recognition for the first time. And at the back of those two is an excerpt from Agency, and I’ve just skipped it. I do think it’s come down in price, and if so, I’ll grab it, but just reading the excerpt without the rest of the book is awful.
I know that IA have said they write their stories in scenes, and maybe that’s why each excerpt seems a bit more complete, but I also know that their books are so infinitely rereadable (I regularly turn back to IA when I can’t think of what to read next) that reading an excerpt doesn’t really SPOIL anything, because I’m going to read the book 100 times anyway.
*When I moved to Austria in 2010, I had to leave my library behind, and for Reasons, it ended up getting donated to a public library before I could fetch it. I switched to Kindle at that time, and have been replacing my original library in bits and pieces, as I want to read them and as I see them on Kindle’s Daily $0.99 deals.
I have an entire list on Amazon of books I want, but not at the price currently being asked for them. Many of them are books that I have in dead tree version (somewhere, I think), but would like to be able to find when I want to read them. Others are books that I am unwilling to pay $10 or more for when the used bookstore has them priced at $4. I have very little room for more physical books, so I have to replace books, not just grab a bunch more.
I know that the author should price the book at the amount that will allow them to receive what their effort is worth. (Lilith Saintcrow has a very good explanation of this, but I read it quite sometime back and can’t find it easily. I’m lazy, sorry.)
Sometimes the books go on sale and I grab them. (There’s a Jim Butcher “Harry Dresden” on sale this week. Yay!)
Exactly! I get a daily email from Amazon with Kindle books on sale for $0.99-$3.99. Every couple of weeks, there will be a great day, and the rest of the time it’s kinda meh (at least one of The Edge books was on sale recently. Too bad I already own them)! Pre-Kindle, I couldn’t afford hardcovers, so I had to wait a year anyway. I figure it’s the same. But I thought it was the publisher who set the prices, not the author (unless it’s self-published, in which case I suppose it’s still the publisher ).
Twice I bought a newly released e-book for $13.99 by the same author. I got depressed because I over-spent on an E-book. A $7.99 book is okay but not one for almost double the price. I could have bought food for that extra amount. I should have a bought a used paperback copy for under $7.00, etc… I currently have one of my favorite author’s new release in my Amazon Wishlist waiting for the $13.99 to go down to normal $8.99 range – even if I have to wait a year later. In my budget, books are not necessities but a luxury.
Writing tips to successful writers! LOL
It’s like how I get told all the time that someone down the street told them some legal thing so whattheheck am I talking about when I answer a legal question. Really?
Anyways, good luck with the AC/electrician problem. Keep a couple of bottles of Prosecco and some straws on hand, just in case
Excerpts and Sample Chapters: I only read excerpts at an author’s website, and only in the case of those authors whom I already read, and whose books I am anticipating. If you or Patrica Briggs or Anne Bishop post an excerpt or Chapter 1 or Chapter 2 of your upcoming release, I will read it. Usually multiple times!
Bonus Scenes/Extended Epilogues/Deleted Scenes: Similarly, I will read bonus scenes or extended epilogues or deleted scenes (from books I’ve already read) that may be posted at an author’s website. Mariana Zapata has a wonderful unpublished “future” scene on her website for her book Kulti that catches us up with Sal and Kulti when their kids are young. Awesome!
Snippets: If an author I read/follow posts snippets or longer excerpts on their FB page, I’ll read those. (And website, too, of course. I’ll be honest: Yours is the only author website I check regularly. And by “regularly” I basically mean daily. And by “daily” I sometimes mean multiple times a day.)
Newsletters: I subscribe to a few of these and will sometimes read the content that comes to me via email. Kinda depends on the author, though, and the mood I’m in at the moment I check my email and discover the newsletter.
But I don’t download sample chapters from Amazon, and I don’t read excerpts at Amazon.
I guess author’s website, butI also do e-book samples from Amazon a whole lot more than I used to, in order to see if I’m interested.
I can’t believe someone was arrogant enough to give you writing advice. I love your writing and stories. Please ignore him or her. You guys are the best! I always preorder your work because I know it will be quality.
I don’t read samples from books (well very, very rarely) but I do listen to the samples from the audio versions. Sometimes an author can make or break the story experience. I do read reviews.
Prayers to your family and to the country. It is such a sad and scary time. And good luck with the construction issue. Always a headache!
I occasionally read excerpts from the public library’s samples. It’s pretty rare, though. I don’t read your samples since I always know I’ll be buying and/or checking out your books when they come out. Unless the sample comes out before your book! Then I read it. 🙂
I answered the poll for the general case, but you are an exception to the rule. If you intended it the other way, you can subtract one “I don’t read them”!
Tone-deaf is the default for those of us who dwell in the dark and communicate only with two other souls. Souls who also couldn’t distinguish a social norm from a small dog.
Try not to absorb our foolishness.
That aside, I’m loving Ryder! (But I’m okay if you have to pull the plug or change things up. Don’t stress on my account.)
I try to avoid the excerpts these days. I do a mix of digital (Nook and Kindle) and print, and I find myself unable to remember if I already have the book or if I just read an excerpt. This has resulted in finding more than one copy of books in some form or another and that’s less money I have to spend on a different book. I’ve addressed this by avoiding excerpts or teaser chapters at the back of books, because I definitely know if something is brand-new to me.
I don’t want to be spoiled, so I read the synopsis only.
I’m convinced that people who write synopses don’t actually want us to read the book. I haven’t read a synopsis in the last decade that didn’t make the book sound awful, and that’s for authors I love and trust! And if the synopsis does sound vaguely interesting, tells me that people who loved X and Y bestsellers will love this book, I’m far more likely to go read X and Y than the author trying to write like them!
Heh. One wonders why if said individual is such an expert why they aren’t writing their own books? There are times that a book or a scene in a book may take a turn I’m not thrilled about, but I’ve come to realize that’s frequently deliberate on the part of the author. Those feelings of discomfort or outrage or sadness are what they are trying to elicit.
Add to that, in a situation like Ryder where the story is still being written, we’ve no way of knowing where we’ll end up. Take “I hold the tower.” as an example. There were numerous speculations as to what that meant, but I didn’t see one of them that said, “Oh, Julie has a special pass created by the head of the order that guarantees cooperation from local chapters of the order.”
I prefer to get on board and enjoy the ride without trying to steer the bus.
It was a hard poll to answer because I will read excerpts of things I am genuinely excited about and/or committed to reading already, as long as I’m not afraid that reading them will ruin my appreciation of the upcoming work, but it’s author-dependent and mood-dependent. I read your sample chapters when I see them. If I’m not emotionally invested in a series, I will skip the excerpts because it makes it hard for me to remember which ones I’ve already read.
Just saying I love Ryder and diving back into Kate books as reread has been so very helpful! I found that I really loved again: Andrea’s book. Gunmetal Magic. Lots of fun Roman in there, but nice to read overall. It must have the most smack downs of any lol.
Good luck with tone deaf emailers and contractors!!
None of the options fit for me. I don’t look at samples on online, but when I have a book already for an author and there is a preview for their next book at the end, I do like to read those. I tend to only buy books online if they are a favorite author or just highly recommended by a friend, otherwise, I like to peruse them in person before buying.
Regarding the tone deaf email: Bless their hearts.
I hope the repairmen are able to identify and fix your issues quickly and smoothly. I’m probably dreaming but it’s a good dream.
I already lose entire days to your books. If you get any better, I will run out of free time entirely. Also, anyone that tone deaf can’t even help the one person they know best.
I missed one option: I also read sample chapters included with ebooks. And far more often than I download a sample from Amazon. Though not as often as I read YOUR sample chapters or snippets… 😉
Question: I voted for excerpt on authors’ websites because that’s usually where I go to research new book titles and learn more about an author. Sometimes though, I am on Amazon and download a free sample, but I do that mainly for non-fiction works. I’ve had better luck reading spending more time investing a new author before buying than reading the sample download of the book .
The sheer chutzpah to give you guys unsolicited writing pointers…. wow. I’m peeved on your behalf.
I really only read excerpts (those that I do read anyhow) on author pages. That’s limited to a FEW authors. Everyone else…. I don’t trust other avenues NOT to give something away that will ruin the experience – much like I anticipated movies\tv series – I’ll watch published previews – but try to stay away from other stuff that will spoil the experience.
I think you need a couple other options. Sometimes I read them in the back of books (those tend to change). And you also need an option for ‘it depends’. Some books I want to get a teaser, some I don’t want to torture myself!
Word of advice: if the AC person opens up the electrical panel on your compressor…stand back a ways. My tune-up person was trying to determine why my compressor wasn’t running. He opened it up and saw Fievel didn’t make it west and started clearing out the nest and another (live, obviously) mouse jumped out of the nest and almost got the guy in the face before heading to the bushes. That was an interesting day!
Now all I want to know is what was the text of the amazingly tone deaf email you received. Even without naming names, I know you are too kind to open the flood gates to the public shaming…. which would be kind of like going to a Demolition Derby. My dad took my brother and me to them when I was younger. Loved the noise, explosion, and colour then. Probably not so much now, but this, this would be fun 😉
Does that make me a bad person?
Aman Sidhu says
I read a lot of excerpts on goodreads. They usually have a few chapters of the book and it helps me decide where I want to spend my money. I also have a subscription to kindle unlimited and I buy most of my books from kobo.
If the book is from a favorite author…like you ???? then I just buy it outright!
Sharon Shriner says
You need the guys from This Old House…????
Jane Wu says
I am SO happy to see a Ryder storyline! Loved Magic Stars – Derek and Julie are intriguing characters. Thank you.
First, I am sorry you are beset by fools offering you advice. You are both amazing and adored!
Second, prayers for Austin bond kid.
Third….as for the poll….the results may be skewed. If you are asking do I need a chapter excerpt from y’all? Then no. It is House Andrew’s, to me this equates to buy, devour, adore, reread. No samples needed. I know I will love it….based on everything you have written and I have read. 99% of your stuff is on my top shelf, reserved for favorites, comfort, and the best of the best.
For other writers, yes I do like samples, typically done through Amazon or the writer’s website.
Hee hee. ???? My top shelf is reserved for the books I don’t really want other people to see me reading (the “smut” books, ones with the bare chested man and the woman falling out of her dress – or some version thereof). I’m also short, so my favorites are in the middle. ????????
Wes d says
Someone gave you advice ????????. On Your writing of Ryder? ????
Bahahaha ????????. Idiot!!!
I feel you on the contractor waiting game. We recently had a high speed car chase make a fantastic end in our kitchen. Cue 3 weeks later and we still don’t have all the contractor estimates we need to even get work started. So we’ve been left with no oven, stove, fridge, kitchen sink, or dishwasher. We’ve been down to a mini fridge, microwave, and take out when we’ve been super diligent about making food at home due to pandemic precautions. I now have strangers traipsing through my home and a hole in my house causing us to not be able to turn on the a/c when we’re supposed to have 90ish degree weather this week. I would just go chill down in the basement but due to the accident, I don’t have working lights. It’s been a long 3 weeks with no end in sight for this to end anytime soon.
Patricia Schlorke says
???? I don’t have any words to say except good grief
*sigh* It’s been a VERY long 3 weeks. The house got to 87 degrees today and I finally told my husband this evening I’m going to have to break down and turn the a/c on, regardless of the hole in the kitchen. He didn’t argue. I ordered lamps for the basement and another stand fan. We have used our overhead fans more during this period more than in the entire 3 years we’ve lived here. We try really hard not to because our parrots have to be confined to rooms where the fans aren’t running for safety and that doesn’t make them happy. We have several that get VERY vocal when grouchy.
For authors I know, I don’t read excerpts – except you, as you are the only ones with an awesome blog. For new authors I liberally use the kindle samples and decide when I get to the end of the sample. Thanks for the Jessie Mihalik recommendation by the way – I devoured the series this weekend…
I have to say Yes, since I’m enjoying the Ryder series. Otherwise, mostly no. I tend to think of excerpts as extended spoilers, even if they’re taken from the beginning of a book. I mostly read ebooks, so I’ll just go ahead and buy the book if it looks interesting enough. Ebooks don’t have the same clutter issues as paper, although if you look at my Kindle library, you might think otherwise. As the writers’ wisdom goes, the ending of your last book sells the next book, and that’s generally true.
I never read excerpts. When I read a book I want it to be all new, I don’t want to start feeling like it’s a repeat of something I’ve already read.
I gobble up samples. Apple Books is the best one. You open the book and read the first 1-9 chapters. Yes, I have actually been able to read the first 9 chapters in a book from a well known authors.
James Benton says
1) I freaking love Ryder and Innkeeper Chronicles
2)I read whatever excerpt I come across when the book looks interesting, wherever I find it.
Advise I was given at a young age…Give no advise unless asked.
I must have been annoying someone 🙂
I sometimes read excerpts if they come in the book I am reading. Like a chapter of book 2 in book 1. If it is on a site I try not to read it (if it is from a known series I love). I do read fragments from books I don’t know to see if I like the book (on my kindle app).
I voted no but it’s partly untrue, I will sometimes do it but I try not to as a rule. Yours are the only page that I follow a chapter based post on, and I only do it because I know I will buy and love the book. I don’t beta, books or games. I just want to be in the moment when I read/play, and if that means I buy occasional stuff that aren’t to my taste then so be it.
For every person who feels free to offer “suggestions” there are hundreds who love what you write and how you write it. I truly appreciate your work and I’m grateful that you share your talent!
Shannon from Florida says
Well actually ???? I read my chapters from Links on authors newsletters that I subscribe to. I checked the box for website but did want to clarify a little.
Like others here I have to say it depends….I gobble up serial writing (Inkeeper, Ryder etc) but do not generally read 1st chapters offered in back of books or on websites of authors that I know. Don’t want the frustration of wanting more of a book that’s several months away from availability.
On the other hand I will read previews on Amazon for books by an author I don’t know to see if they seem interesting before ordering.
So the answer is ….Sometimes.
As to the “advice” you received…just No people. Show some sense!
Natasha Johnson says
So I read excerpts on authors pages if its an author that I really enjoy and follow their page.
On Amazon if it’s not part of a series I already have or an author that I love THEN I will download the sample to see if it’s something that I would like.
Best of luck on the wires, hopefully the AC guy won’t say an electrician because that is annoying when that happens.
I lied. Most of the time I don’t read sample chapters, because I can’t run out and grab the book after I’ve been hooked, because it hasn’t come out yet. It’s too painful, especially with your books, The blurb is better. Unless, of course, I’m reading a series that has already been printed and the first chapter of the next, is at the end of the one i’m finishing. I can hardly wait for the next serial installment from you, let alone waiting months for a book to come out.
Except … S..K. Dunstall . Here’s the ” where” part. The sample chapter arrived in their newsletter, and I just couldn’t help myself! They both have other jobs, or I would suggest they tie themselves to their chairs and finish the damn book. Now!
Honestly, you writers always have some flimsy excuse for avoiding writing every hour of the day and night.
So employ stealth. Sneak those chapters into places where people have already read a few sentences of a chapter before they realize it and then cue the mustache twirling and the maniacal laugh, and reel them in . They’re good’n hooked!
Hey guys I think you might hv a “little” rain coming ur way early next week. I hope AC guy and electrician can choreograph a nice pas de deu before then.
I love excerpts. I read them anyway I can. Helps with the Anticipation. For example, if the authors of a very fine book that we are all drooling over, which is coming out at the end of August, should happen to divulge another 2-3 chapters of said book (I know, run on sentence), I would not say No to a look see.
Thank you! I hope kid 2 stays save! note on samples. I prefer to read them on author’s sites because they usually have additional context plus i can see how many books i am signing up for and if need to buy a box set. 🙂
I try not to read any excerpts for a new book. I always fail, but sometimes I push it off for a month. I try not to because I know I’ll want to buy it, and I don’t have enough of a book budget to buy it all.
The author’s website usually is more generous with the excerpt chapter, if they provide one, and do not cut-off excerpts mid-sentence like some store sites do, which is quite annoying.
I am still amazed at how fast children grow up, and one day you turn around and they are gone…..hopefully with enough tools to survive out in the world and soar above the clouds of success, and the cell phone or return ticket to dial or come home anytime.
I read all excerpts on your website. Otherwise, I mostly just read them from another book that I’m reading when they put them in after the end, such as the first few pages of the next book in a series. Your blog is awesome, and your books are some of my favorites. In fact, I rarely re-read books, but yours are among the few exceptions.
Hate the catch22 you are getting with the trades. I hope you don’t have any further gully washers until this can be fixed. Love you guys! Thanks for the chapters.
Hugging you both so hard. And I. DON’T. HUG. just amazed daily at the level of stressors on us. You know what influences my buys? Oh yeah. Reviews. Multi detailed reviews from multi trusted sources. Sadly the other thing is price. I use 90% e-books. I cannot spend $14.99 For vapor ware. One fav author have EVERY ONE OF HER BOOKS FROM ALL SERIES latest that I drool over frequently is $14.99. I also dont buy hardbacks at $27.99. I want to but i SIMPLY cannot. BEE well.
Lynne B says
On Amazon, if there’s a “look inside” icon, I will read a new author to see if I’m interested. You, and several other authors, are an automatic buy! Hope the week gets better. Prayers for Kid 2’s safety and well being………… and for her parents peace of mind …..
I always read them. If I’m debating the purchase of a new author I’ll read them to get a feel for if I’ll enjoy the style of writing and characters off amazon. If it’s a author I like I’ll read it because I just usually can’t get enough and still mostly off amazon except for my very top authors. I’ll read them on the site because I’m usually there checking the site out for new news anyway.
I would love to know the context behind this picture… A presumably naked guy with a typewriter in bed that has faux parchment paper. He’s so tousled with his bed head and has a perfectly cut in half croissant with espresso. Anyone who’s tried to cut a croissant… you need a heck of a sharp knife to have it stay perfectly in shape! If I was in this picture as the recipient of that smile… I can just imagine my horror of THE CRUMBS!!! And hope he is stable enough in that position not to spill any drop of espresso!
Martha Parsons says
I don’t read excerpts. When I started reading novels again (once life calmed down), I went to Good Reads. I looked for funny books and selected books > 4 stars. One of those books was a book from Jeaniene Frost. Once I finished her books, on the authors page there was a list of similar books. One of those was Magic Bites. Obviously Magic Bites rating was > 4 stars. That is the story of how I have found all of my books and authors. Of course, there were some books I didn’t agree with ratings but many I agreed with.
side note: There appears to be a new trend that sets up disliking every character (one was made into a movie) – I really am not a fan of those. However, I have friends that just absolutely love to hate every single character.
When it is short stories on your blog, if it will turn into a book, I don’t tend to read it. If it is just an extra piece inside the world that will never be part of a book, I do. I don’t read only because I just really can’t help myself. I am that person who is a Benihana that waits to eat the entire meal once the chef is done. I am not like my son who eats as it is served. The exception has been Ryder. I think that is because I miss Julie. It is like seeing an old friend again.
I answered ‘Yes’ for reading sample chapters at author’s and at retailer’s sites – but to clarify, I’ll do that for an author I’m not familiar with, or an author who has started writing in a new genre (and I’m not sure if I’ll like them in this new genre).
For favourite authors, like yourselves, Patricia Briggs, Faith Hunter, it’s generally an auto-buy – or an auto-pre-order. I don’t need a sample chapter because I already know your writing style and genres, and even if you moved to a new genre, you’d still be on my auto-buy list.
Thanks for all you do to brighten so many of our days, sharing snippets, giving writing advice, and just generally sharing parts of your lives with us.
Tone deaf writing advice… cuz that’s not ironic!
But say someone did have a constructive comment to make, what’s the best way? Or is there one?
I’ve had occasions when I really want to let an author know that they should leave their thesaurus on the shelf because they’re using words incorrectly; or to take out their thesaurus because their favourite $0.25 word is getting overused. So do I tell them (I never have) and if I do, how?
–And just to be clear here, House Andrews has never been the target of my irritation.
Cindy M. says
There is as series in which the author used ” heels clacking” constantly to describe the sound the protagonist made when she walked. Constantly. It was very irritating. So, the series was supposed to be finished but she decided to write another book and just posted the first chapter online. There came a point when I just knew the author would say “heels clacking” and I thought, “don’t do it, don’t do it” and then she said something like “boots thumping.” I guess she realized that she used the phrase too much but couldn’t completely stop herself.
So the question always is, did the writer ask for feedback? If they didn’t, it may not be the kindest thing to correct them. Writers get a huge amount of feedback from readers in a way of reviews, comments, and emails, and it tends to be overwhelming. Generally, if you would like to help someone, I would ask if there is a beta reader team. A lot of writers use them and that’s the stage of writing when your suggestions will do the most good.
You have said in the past that you welcome polite and constructive criticism for the Innkeeper books. Is the same true for Ryder, since it’s also in installments, or given such the time and such the day, would you prefer we keep our mouths shut? I don’t have anything at this time, aside from smoothing out the early stuff (which you are certainly aware of), but I sometimes have had a suggestion for Innkeeper, so I thought I’d ask.
We do not solicit criticism of any kind at this time. We are writing the first draft. You can discuss the story in the comments, but if you send me an email with editorial suggestions, I will delete it unread. Let’s assume that after 22 bestsellers, we know a little bit how to do our job and we don’t require an avalanche of suggestions from well meaning but ultimately not qualified would be editors. 🙂 After all, there are 25,000 of you reading these chapters.
I definitely read early or preview chapters, but I do it on Google books.
Jessica A says
Someone gave you advice. On how to write. That’s, uh, special. I imagine their windows are very clean….
I read both excerpts and sample chapters – from known authors because it’s a taste of a drug I like, and unknown authors to see if I like their voice. With unknowns, I generally won’t buy the book if I can’t read a sample, because bad writing kills it for me.
Amber W says
Clarifying my vote: I don’t read excerpts from *you*, or any of my other favorite authors, as I know I love what’s inside, and I’m just going to buy it. I DO read excerpts from authors I am unfamiliar with to find out if I like their style and story. I felt that was the more relevant answer, so that’s how I voted. Sorry things are stressful! an you schedule the electrician to come back at the same time as the AC guy?
I do read excerpts if I can’t help myself, because they make me crazy. I am an instant gratification kind of reader, so waiting is not my strong suit. I usually only read them on author websites.
Jeffrey F. Smith says
To expand my votes. I will read snippets of established authors who are trying to whet my appetite for the book on their or their publishers website. If it is a new to me author I will check out samples on Amazon if the blurb interests me but doesn’t necessarily give me enough information to decide if I want to read the book.
I showed my elderly step-dad who is a semi-retired construction worker and head of maintenance for an apartment contractor the pictures of your air conditioner wiring and his words were a variation of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. And since you are already doing what he would have suggested I won’t suggest it.
Patricia Schlorke says
At least he didn’t say fubar. ????????
I also read sample chapters through the library….
You all write and I buy and read. It’s quite simple. I would never dream to tell you how to write your books. I’m so glad Kid#2 has safely moved. But as I a parent I know you will still worry it’s what parents do. HUGS!
R Coots says
Re: The Poll. I generally only read excerpts from Amazon and even that rarely (but I do it with unknown authors I’m not sure I should trust to tell a story decently). I avoid them when they’re included in books, because there is usually going to be a large gap between the book I’m holding and publication of the next book and one of two things happens: I get major deja vu when then next book actually arrives and/or the first (sample) chapter ends up being a thinly disguised recap of the story so far and I skip it anyways.
If people cannot determine how to appreciate your writing skills, they have issues unaddressable by fiction. Thank you!
Yes but no:
Yes I read sample chapters, usually on Amazon, but only of a book I am not certain I will buy (i.e. to check if it’s good)
So no, I never read sample chapters of yours – just click buy!
Some authors (you & a few others!) are automatically pre-ordered, & then I check the download date constantly until the book arrives.
For new writers, I will check out a chapter via Barnes & Noble, the writer’s page, or a trusted author’s page (how I found Jessie Milhalik).
Please ignore silly unsolicited critics….Knight Ryder (heehee) is wonderful!
Person be crazy giving you advise.. You guys have a gift and jealous fools try to slap at it.
And sympathy on your electrical/ac flood /wire headache. I worked at our local hospital through the pandemic and didn’t sweat it as I followed protocol. The little yellow light for check engine comes on in the car and I’m sweating bullets and stressing on how to do a simple task of dropping the car at the mechanics. Dealing with the pandemic was easier than getting the car fixed. Go figure
About excerpts: I’ll download a lot from Amazon on my Kindle to try out new authors, usually based on your recommendations or from comments on your posts.
I’ve created a collection and I’ll move there the Books to buy whenever I can.
Sometimes I just read excerpts of books I’ll never buy for the fun of it.
I’ll read excerpts on authors’ websites as well.
About life: your story on who comes first (AC guy or electrician) made me think immediately of one of my favorite movies: the Guy from Acapulco (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Magnifique), a French movie with Jean Paul Belmondo.
He plays an author of B action series (think James Bond on a budget), who is writing as fast as he can, juggling between real life where the plumber says he can’t fix the bathroom until the electrician comes first and the electrician says same and the book he’s writing where the flamboyant agent (played also by Belmondo) gets revenge on cameos from real life.
It’s hilarious, really good, with Jacqueline Bisset, and I highly recommend it!
PS: can’t believe someone sent you writing advice…. people are mad
I can give writing advice: Write more words! I have a degree and everything…
As a librarian responsible for selecting books, yes I will read excerpts of authors I’m not familiar with, or authors branching out in a new direction, before ordering them. I prefer authors’ websites and newsletters, but will consult other sites as well on occasion. I will often look at professional reviews as well if it’s an area I don’t read in myself.
For myself, I read excerpts from upcoming installments of series I’m already hooked on and from recommendations I’ve received for new authors, also from author websites and their newsletters sent to my private email. Sometimes those translate into library buys as well as personal ones.
I hope that is helpful.
I don’t normally read samples of books that are coming out that have not been published yet. I sometimes find that what is in the sample changes before the book is published. Happened a couple of times. I just wait for the book. If it’s an author I’m not familiar with, I always ‘download a sample’ of the work prior to buying.
I automatically buy IA and one other author, the rest I read the sample.
I only read chapters if they are not slated to be a future book. I don’t want to feel like I’ve read the book already when it comes out. But in cases where it is a story that is not planned for publication, yes I read those. I read them on the author blog.
Oddly enough, I relish reading your posts on the website, then when the final version comes out, I’ll enjoy it even more as I notice where you two have changed things and made them consistent. I have one, very tiny, not plot changing, quibble with
a small continuity issue in Ryder, and I am looking forward to seeing how you resolve it. Watching the editing process from afar is fascinating. Thank you for sharing!
Since you already -correctly- assume that the a/c guy is going to tell you to talk to an electrician, did you consider having them both come at the same time? It might be worth it to have both experts confer with one another on-site while you’re there to ask questions too. It adds up to the same services fees, saves you time, and gets the contractors to collaborate. I have found that when I ask contractors to tell me ‘How much it will cost to fix’ something, it kicks their problem solving skills into gear.
Thanks for putting up the fun survey. I clicked on reading sample chapters of the authors work on BOTH the authors website and Amazon. I like sample chapters to
see if the book is in my field of interest and because I can see if the author’s ‘voice’ is the same cadence as my ‘inner voice’.
Thanks for “Knight Ryder”; I laughed so hard it scared the dog! If it turns out that the horse talks, I might wet myself laughing.
Good luck with your construction re-boots and thank you for your generous blog.
The AC guy is absolutely going to say an electrician needs to see it first. It would be nice to be able to get both parties there at one time for issues like that. Maybe if you have a big enough box you can make a trap (one of those ones with a stick holding the box up and have a piece of string attached to the stick so you can yank on it and have the box close) and keep one of them there til the other shows up. Surely you’ve got some extra boxes lying around if you just helped Kid 2 move…
Andrea A says
I usually read excerpts to try an author I’ve never tried before, usually on Amazon. If by the end of the excerpt I’m hooked, I’ll go ahead and purchase the book. Otherwise for my favorite authors I will gleefully read whatever they make available as I try to wait for their latest book release, chiiiiiiiiiii 🙂
Yes – to preview chapters, snippets, and chapter series for several favorite authors on their websites/blogs/etc.
Yes – to synopsis of book on the inter-library loan system entry for that particular book.
No – to review sites.
My method of finding an author I like: short story anthology chain reading. Author A (that I’m already reading) has a short story in anthology A; then I read the other short stories to see if I like the other authors’ styles. Author B has good short story – then I look for more short stories by author B, or check out the series that the short may be from.
Repeat process. ????????????
One year I read 145 books from my local library, including books from the inter-library loan system it is part of.
(I am very “physical book” oriented; e-books are hard for me to read due to vision changes after several eye surgeries.)
Valerie in CA says
I’m lucky I am in the accounting field. When someone has the audacity to tell me how to account I can annihilate them.
I did it today.
I am astounded people suggest anything to you about book content. It then becomes there book, not yours. What’s next they want royalties?
Diane Ouwerkerk says
I will read a sample chapter of an author I haven’t read before to see if I like their writing style. If it is an author I know but a completely different series I will occasionally read a sample chapter.
I love reading what you put up online and then buy the book at the end to read it in its entirety, thank you for doing it this way, it brightens my day when there is a notification.
I’m betting you are right about what the aircon guy is going to say ????
I don’t read excerpts unless I’m not sure I want to read the book or unless it’s a random piece like Ryder started as and I get sucked in. I remember what I read, so if I read an excerpt before the book is available I might think I already read the book when I hadn’t.
i like to read the preview if its a new author to me.sometimes the jacket seems really good but then the writer’s style of writing is not what i like and i have a whole book i struggle to read.I also will read the preview of somebody im waiting on just to remind myself its getting closer to release date, look how good its going to be.. tease tease tease.
I’ve never read early anything from an author except for the innkeeper/ryder posts. Generally, I just buy the books of my go-to authors (Andrews, Briggs, Roberts, Maas) as soon as they’re available. The comments/replies on this blog are generally so kind and supportive . . . such a positive place
I also read sample from publisher’s website like Baen’s Bar where Jim and Co created a forum where fans and author can connect. He’s even got a slush pile subforum for unsolicited submissions to a be serialized.
There is a fan run website that collects snippets at http://jiltanith.thefifthimperium.com/ of some other authors (some are still Baen authors.
Patricia Schlorke says
Why do people have to give writing advice to you and Gordon? That’s like a someone who isn’t a biostatistician telling me how to do a hypothesis test. ????
I usually don’t read sample writing unless it’s snippets of writers I read all the time. Back in the day of paperback books, before e-readers, I would read the blurb on the back. If it caught my attention, then I would open the book and read the end. I got that from my mom. ????
Susie Q. says
I will read anything I can get my hands on from living authors I’m addicted to – Ilona Andrews, David Weber, Patricia Briggs, Eric Flint, Wen Spencer, Eileen Wilks, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon. Dead authors, no snippets, missing scenes because I won’t ever get the chance finished product. I’ve only regretted it once in Project Elfhome published in 2016 with first chapter of Harbinger which I’m still waiting for!!!!???????????????????????????? I don’t write fan fiction but have will tell myself stories to fall asleep to both original and that sometimes include the worlds of my favorite authors, and I’ve worked out a few different directions for Harbinger in the past 4 years.
I’ve been using the digital library since I got my first e reader. I read sample chapters of books there to see if I want to tag them for my wish list or holds.
Writing advice?!!? what is wrong with some people. writersplaining. incredibly wrong. If I could I would hit them with a wet fish.
Kelly Jacobs says
Some days just aren’t pleasant. Sometimes you’re lucky if it is just a day or two. I guess days like these make us really appreciate the good days and our loved ones. That has been my experience anyway.
That being said, between my air conditioner, garbage disposal and a faucet that has been leaking/squirting me for a while, I guess it is just my turn. Now if I can only win the lottery- probably would help if I bought a ticket though. I just hate putting my money down on a loosing bet (after all they don’t run this game not the take my money).
Love Rider. It’s your book and it is wonderful – just like all your other work. Do what I do – shut off anyone that aggravates you – for me it usually includes the news.
Alison J. says
I read exerts on FB, too. Yours. I also get emails from author’s when I sign up for their emails and newsletters.
I can think of a few off the top of my head besides you two – Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, Debra Dunbar and Kory Shrum.
I love the way you interact with your fans! I hate how hard it is to scroll to the bottom of the comments to leave a comment on my iPad.
This isn’t really relevant, so I’ll apologize in advance, but it brought me joy and I thought I’d share. With the way things are going, I thought people might appreciate Matteo Bocelli singing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing in Disney Goes Classical. I think that it’s a beautiful, peaceful, uplifting song to help offset some of the ugliness going around. ????
Lora Tyler says
Thank you so much for your stories. “Other’s” should stop you how to write. This is your baby. We are all along for the “ooh’s” and “awe’s “. Appreciate y’all very much. Sure hope your able to get your housing woes under control.
Ms. Kim says
If I’m reading a book in a series and at end of book an excerpt is given from a different series I’ll read it to see if I want to read that series also.
Today is a poopy day. I think I handled self isolation for a good chunk of time longer than most but the sad day depression has finally hit!
I like to browse Goodreads for new books (however I’m thinking that lately that website is losing credibility). I do read excerpts when I come across them but mostly I like to gouge a book by its reviews. Specifically its bad reviews. I love bad reviews.
On Goodreads lots of wannabe bloggers and book reviewers try to amass a following by reading everything then posting LONG awful reviews filled with Gifs and images and memes. The memes are mostly people acting absolutely crazy to illustrate their immense fangirling insanity which is good because I don’t associate with crazy people.
So I ignore the bloggers and the cultivated reviews because they just do it to get ARCs and internet points.
But the honest negative reviews hidden amongst all that are good to read. You can tell a lot when bad reviews all say the same thing.
You can also get a gist of what the popular fantasy fetishes are at the time too. All of a sudden in the top read categories are copies of all the same thing. Currently its magical divorced middle-aged women which I find a hilariously specific trope. There is also a LOT of reverse harem stuff going around too which is uhm… Frightening. And before all that it was dragon shifters, faeries, regular shifters, mermaids very briefly, vampires etc. etc.
Anywho all of this is what I look at when trying to find a new book to read. I cling to authors who stuff I have read before and know I like because lately I can’t find authors who write WELL. A lot of the books published recently seem to be fastfood type novels that are produced with the current flavour trend in mind and without much editorial support. I hate it and it has made me extremely picky to the point where I won’t read a book that has had less than a 4 star rating on goodreads and even this strategy is bad because you often find friends of authors giving books high ratings before they’re even published.
I could go on, there are so many different variables but it is safe to say you are one of my favourites and anything new you write I will probably read purely because you write well.
Stacy McKnight says
I read samples and snippets and sneer peek chapters. I like the glimpses at the possibilities. I am very mood driven in my reading and the samples often help me tag what is resonating for me right now. I have a tight book budget and storage space issues so I also use them to calculate the buy/borrow/ ebook / hard copy factors at any given time. Sweep of the Blade was my first real time experience with the serialization and I loved it and the generosity of the gift. (I am currently sucking up Ippos King oh so thankfully as I have waited an eternity for the stars to get back in alignment for it) Thank you for the novels, the shorts, the snippets and samples all! I appreciate them.
Has that Accessibility Tool Man been here this whole time and I just now noticed him for the first time???
He’s so useful!!!
@Joanne – accessibility man has been here a few months now here at the IA blog from what I remember.
the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been interpreted to include websites as well under its scope, and the Department of Justice kees touting the more recent Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 AA. The downside is with the range of devices, nuances of software in between them let alone the pre-existing code for said website, and lack of clear guidelines on specifically what is needed to be ADA and/or WCAG compliant has made it a confusing to navigate for most folks. There is no legislation that says specifically what those technical requirements would be. The touchstone guideline is to in good faith try to make your stuff more accessible, and the WCAG has a checklist of questions to help you along. So to that end, there’s been a range of tools, widgets, etc. to try to help with aspects of that (to varying degrees of efficacy). I’ve seen “accessibility tool man” as you call him, starting to crop up elsewhere, including some e-commerce sites I frequent.
Maria Z says
One of these days I would luv to see a post with the best comments from all of the “fan emails that tell you what you need to do” it might be a rolling on the floor laughing my hinnie off moment.
People are amazing.
Mary P says
I read reviews on blogs and Goodreads to find new stuff. I autobuy IA, Briggs, Singh, and other established authors I like… And try to checkout their website/newsletter freebees, every so often.
Tbh, I mostly go for Kobo, since it usually has the highest number of pages in an excerpt (or “preview” as they like to call it)
So, someone offered House Andrews (unsolicited) writing advice.
I am laughing so hard now. I know it’s not funny, but really I cannot help myself.
I try to imagine what it must be like to live your life with that absolute, unshakable confidence -that you are sooo smart, soo talented, that you know House Andrews’s business better than they do.
Must be awesome. I really would love to try it. Just once. Just for a day :))))))))
I’ll read excerpts from favourite authors on their websites, fav authors are always must buys so it’s just whetting my appetite.
New to me authors I will try samples of from ebook stores.
So the answer is both for me.
I have to admit it:
I read everything.
so yeah, I read the samples, even if I know I’m going to buy the book (and even if I know I’m not)
What can I say? I’m a word whore
Hope the day ended on a lighter note. I will add my amazement to that in the previous comments that people think they need to offer writing advice, especially when you so kindly offer insights to others on this subject.
Also hope the flood/wiring issue gets resolved and not just discussed among the various technicians.
As an addendum to my vote:
Love it when you post a snippet or add a sample chapter to your book. It reminds me of the amazing book that will soon be available and usually make me re-read the previous books in the series too (if I have the time or can deal with sleepless nights).
The samples on Amazon I usually go to for books you recommend here and I haven’t read the author before to get a feel for the book.
I sometimes read a sample from Amazon if it’s an author that I haven’t read before. Frequently, this leads to buying. Like some of the others in here, if it’s an author I regularly read I generally just buy the book. Occasionally, I’ve come across an author who wrote several series, but only one of which I’ve enjoyed. In that instance, I might try a sample first if they have a new series out.
Yes or No to the survey was too simple for me. I do read excerpts when I know the full book is available or coming soon – within a month. Otherwise, it is too frustrating to get hooked and then wait. Patience is not my biggest virtue.
I am a voracious, if not compulsive, reader so of course I read excerpts because, you know, words-on-a-page, but if you are wondering how it factors into a buying decision, like others here, if it’s an author I am a fan of, I will read it just because it’s something they wrote, but if it’s an author new to me, I absolutely rely on the sample to decide if I buy.
For an unknown (to me) author, I will also read amazon customer reviews. Reviews indicating a lot of poor grammar or excessive cursing make a story (no matter how great) unreadable for me. The grammar errors interrupt my reading flow and the cursing frustrates me, since I’m side tracked into pondering the character’s (and author’s) lack of imagination.
It’s a quirk, I own it.
We have a saying in Australia, the ” Tall Poppy Syndrome”. People who try to cut down a tall poppy because they feel jealous and threaten by their success. Ignore them, you and Gordon are wonderful writers. I just love all your books and and enjoy reading “Ryder”. I have enjoyed how Julie has evolved and how she is giving back to a young girl like Kate gave to her. By the way,I’m so grateful you have spell checker. I’m the worst speller. I once heard someone on a program say if you close your eyes and imagine a door your standing in front of and you have a paint brush and red paint, you write door on the door and you can see it in your mind the word door, you are good at spelling. I couldn’t even imagine the door, let alone write door on it.
Emily Edwards says
I read excepts an sample chapters on Amazon Kindle. If I end up like the book, I research the author. Once I find the authors website, I read about their books and read the excepts they provide to gage if I will pursue reading this new author. If I fall in love, then I devour all the books they have written lol
Ditto…I do this for authors with whose work i’m not familiar…to check them out before purchase or searching them at the library. IA, Roberts, Briggs, Evanovich….I just buy or rent.
I’ll read an excerpt if the author provides it because I figure they know what will give the flavor without spoiling the book.
As to the other, I’m just reading “The Death of Expertise” by Tom Nichols and he talks about the modern phenomenon of people spending a couple of hours on the internet who now think their opinion is as valid as someone who has spent years in the field.
My favorite part so far was about a student at an ivy league school arguing with his professor. The student finally said (essentially), “I suppose your theory is as good as mine.” To which the professor replied, “No. My theory is much better than yours.”
I try to avoid excerpts but I do visit a few author sites. If its there I’ll read it. But I try to stay off Amazon and B&N because I have little self control and will buy things.
Jocelyn Malone says
I selected no, but more accurate would be “very rarely.” Sometimes, I’ll read a sample chapter of a “next book” in a series that I’m a little undecided on. Very rarely I’ll read a sample for a new work from a known author. As a general rule, though, I don’t go the sample chapter route, especially not to decide on a new unknown.
New authors I read via Kindle samples, and I also like Kindle for publisher sampler collections and Tor extended sneak peeks. My eyes manage Kindle readers better than tablets, so they are always first choice.
But I do read website/newsletter excerpts for 5-10 authors and the occasional can’t-wait-for upcoming release. Though I prefer when they email out the samples as attachments I can then send to Kindle (Naomi Novik did this with A Deadly Education – I wasn’t sure I’d want to read it – but now the wait for pub. is killing me).
-Thank you so much for Ryder!-
If I see a book on sale or recommended by someone, I get an excerpt for my kindle from Amazon. Sometimes this leads to me buying the book, sometimes I put it on a list for “something I might buy if I run out of things to read or if it goes on a really good sale”, and sometimes I have no interest (much cheaper that way).
For something I’ve preordered, I usually won’t read an excerpt on the author’s website, since I already know I’m buying it. …That said: For a book that I’m anxiously awaiting, I’ll usually break down and read any excerpts and sneak peeks offered by the author(s) on their website.
I can imagine a retired or unemployed English teacher or professor seeking work read a How-To on promoting themselves. That person acquired a list of writers, sent a shotgun advertisement and did not pay attention to the addressees.
I don’t read the samples – But not because I’m not a fan. It’s because I get too addicted/ invested once I start something! ???? Even with Ryder I’m making myself wait till it’s all finished because that’s just how I am wired!
Nancy C. says
Oh my, what a spicy image! It made me smile 🙂 Even though I would never drink coffee or an espresso on white linens – the fear of spilling is just too great
I do sometimes wonder why people need to offer unasked for advice. To offer it to two hugely successful authers is realy rude. Please ignore the occasional idiot and remember there are people out here who see that you have a new book coming out and just order it immediately ( whilst bouncing up and down yelling mine mine mine miiiine. ) Hugs to you and your kids.
KAROLA TISDALE says
I answere you query about reading exerpts in the back of books in the negative. It is because, if it is REALLY good, I want to have the book already. But I have read your exerpts for whichever Innkeeper book I found on your site. And I look back from time to time in case there is news of another Innkeeper book. I have started the Ryder series and will, as time permits, get caught up. I’m sorry someone dogged you about Ryder.
I am so sorry about your electrical, AC, whatever problem. It is hard to find out who has to fix something first. I live in the Austin area, but WAY up north in Leander. Sometimes tradesmen won’t drive up this far!!
Take car, we love you. And think Innkeeper!
For what it’s worth, I work in downtown Austin and have co-workers who have had the opportunity to join the protests over the weekend and observe closely. The protests have been, according to multiple people, peaceful and non-violent. The crowds are rowdy, they blocked traffic, yelled at cops, but were non-violent. So far this week (at least during work hours), I can personally attest that downtown Austin has been quiet and Mopac unobstructed, and I work right off of 7th street near I-35. I know this might not be much to ease your stress but sending well-wishes and prayers for continued safety and health for you and yours.
Noel Stark says
Hi. Just wanted to refine my vote in case you wanted the info — I don’t read excerpts of upcoming novels because I find them frustrating (I just want the whole book and don’t want to get started if I can’t continue) but I do read excerpts of serialized stories like Ryder.
It’s really fun by the way. Thanks for writing Ryder and sharing. And I’m annoyed for you that people are giving you writing advice on it.
Construction – Make friends (for you I imagine easy!) with a small business General Contractor. He/she is often better equipped to handle the small, irritating problems that undermine success of larger work. From organizing the “right” sub to directing the work according to the need and Code. He/she is qualified, licensed, insured, bonded and knowledgeable. A less knowledgeable person can increase the difficulty 10 fold. A GC is frequently less expensive than paying retail for the electrician and the A/C crews. And less bullsheet. I speak from experience. I know there are lots of bad stories, but I also know that there are many many good ones. Ones that are not heard at the dinner table for fear of losing that GC friend to a less scrupulous dinner friend.
Kind thanks for your work. Your writing has kept us entertained for some time and been a real gift during this pandemic.
Lois Breedlove says
I voted that I don’t read sample chapters.
But that needs a bit of clarification, because I do read on-going serialization like with Ryder.
I also will read a sample chapter of the next book that appears at the end of a book.
I used to try a sample chapter of a new author through the Amazon feature, but I rarely do anymore. I just buy the book. If the writing is bad, I don’t finish it, and I don’t buy another from the author. (Well, sometimes I even do that, if reviews indicate she’s improved.)
Laughing at the person who offered up advice on Ryder. But, was the advice bad? Or good? Or really bad? If the last can you share????
Bill G says
That wanna-be advisor is the sort of individual that makes mechanics and other such skilled workers post signs with an ascending scale of prices. Anyways, I’m loving Ryder even without any of my brilliant concepts being involved … (maniacal laughter breaks out in the audience at that.)
Best of luck with the flood control and to kid 2.
Hi, Ilona, first – a pox on those offering unsolicited advice, even with the best of intentions. When you want suggestions (like titles, or this survey), then you let us know and you get all the feedback you’d ever want or need.
In answer to your survey question:
Yes, I read excerpts on writer’s website
Yes, I read excerpts at retailer sites, like Amazon and Apple Books
I only follow three blog sites from authors directly and I love (LOVE) that you’re willing to post excerpts (like the serial for Sweep of the Blade and now, Ryder). I recognize these are at your discretion, while generating excitement in the community to purchase the final products.
I read excerpts at Amazon, although tend more toward the description and any reader reviews to inform me. Then, I’ll read a sample (is that what you mean by an excerpt?) on those that interest but I’m not quite sure about.
I also, thanks to your suggestions, read Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) and provide comments via Netgalley and, subsequently, Amazon.
I hope that answered your question.
Yes, I read excerpts on writer’s website (56%, 4,010 Votes)
Sometimes, only on your site, mostly hoping for an Inn keeper prequel.
LeAnn Morgan says
Read “work work work” and then saw the guy in bed photo. Ha! Needed that.
If I hear of an author or see a book I am thinking of buying on amazon or in a store, I always google the author and see if they have an exert or a first chapter on their website to read. If they don’t then I usually don’t bother with the book, I don’t like going in blind.
A blurb just isn’t enough to judge whether I will be intrigued enough by a story, if I will like a main character or if I will like the authors writing style. I hate wasting time and money on a book that ends up on the dreaded ‘did not finish pile.’ By reading exerts I have reduced that pile massively in the last decade and am much more selective now about books I buy.
Your books are the only auto buy ones I have no matter the series or if it is a new world. I have a couple other preferred authors but there is at least one series or world in their collection of books I have decided not to read because the premise or exert just didn’t appeal to me. I like having that extra advantage when making a decision to invest time and money into choosing an authors books to read. There is something very considerate about giving a reader a first chapter or longish exert, it is generous and really gives the reader a chance to make an informed choice about whether to read the story or not. I also think it implies a level of confidence in their work. I always feel better about those authors who post exerts or first chapters.
Vanessa Kilmer says
I don’t read excerpts.
Because 1: I don’t think it’s really enough to get to know an unknown author.
Because 2: If I know an author, their past work I’ve read and the description of the story is enough.
Because 3: If a known author completely changes their writing (usually a famous author who becomes preachy) again, an excerpt is not enough to know that.
Because 4: If a known author changes their style or genre, but they’ve kept they’re story-telling ability, I don’t think you’d tell in an excerpt.
Susan Conrad says
I only read sample chapters if the author is unknown to me, and the “back cover” info is intriguing . I have a list of auto-buy authors that I don’t bother with even reading the “back cover” info.
Of the two, however, the “back cover” info is the most important. If it doesn’t intrigue me, I won’t bother with the sample chapter.
Regarding the vote options: I selected Amazon for excerpts as my normal default but I daily check your site only for ANY book excerpts and funny blogs. I don’t know how many folks voted whichever way because of confusion. Wouldn’t everyone voting on your site be a BDH excerpt stalker and automatically be part of this group? ????
Grateful, as always, for everything you post here. You are the only authors that I read snippets from, so my vote of ‘Yes’ applies solely in your case. I have no self-control when it comes to your writing!
As for the unfortunate unsolicited ‘advice’… There is a psychological phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which boils down to this: The more incompetent someone is at something, the more awesome/competent they think are doing it. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10626367/)
Sounds like classic Dunning-Kruger to me 😉
Yes I read excerpts – on websites, amazon, wherever I find them. It’s like crack – it gets me all primed for the release and then I usually go back and re-read previous books to make sure I’m caught up!
Elaine Schmeck says
I mostly read excerpts from author sites/newsletters, but if I’m considering buying from a new-to-me author, I will read the samples on Amazon or listen to the samples on Audible
Ugh, on the wires! I guess you’ve noticed the coming weather?
You know, maybe if you have yourself been a NYT bestselling author you might have some room to talk and make suggestions on improving writing, but even then, one should wait to offer feedback unless asked. Oi.
As to your poll question, if I’m already a fan of an author I typically read sample chapters of a book from their website, or from it being included in the previous book release. And if the author has made me aware of a sample on one of the book review sites, I will go read that as well. I don’t really follow any of the book review blogs, so the fact I’m a fan of the author already and was notified the content was there is critical to me finding and reading the sample.
If it’s an author I am unfamiliar with, that’s when I like to use amazon’s sample feature. However even then I have been burned a few times when the sample chapter showed evidence of promise and as soon as I started reading beyond the chapter I discovered that while the sample chapter had been carefully polished to a shine, the rest of the book was a big stinking turd that hadn’t even been properly edited and was riddled with typoes, grammatical errors, and contradictory information. I find that is an alarming trend I see in a some of the self published side of the industry: a percentage of authors trying to capture an audience and grab that cash. It’s sad, as it really detracts from the good content that is out there.
Robert ewing says
Love you guys! Just hoping to make your day a little nicer. If everybody was just a little nicer to everybody else the world would be a much nicer place. Stay healthy!
Bonjour, I just wanted to say that you are my absolute favorite English writing author! I love your books, love the way you write, the humour, the 2nd degree and whatever they say just remember to never take anything personnaly ????. “La critique est aisée mais l art est difficile” (Philippe Néricault).
Patricia Case says
Maybe I missed this topic, if so, someone please enlighten me. Why haven’t the KD books and the Innkeeper books ( actually any of your books) been made into movies? The movie theatres would have lines around the block.
Laura Love says
The person on the email is an idiot. You know what you’re doing and you do it well! Anne McCaffery said in an interview that she had a bookcase with all her special go-to books for when she really needed them. You are on mine and have been since I discovered you. Thank you.
Contractors are like children sometimes. As a mother, you get the urge to grab them by the ears, sit them down, and say “Look! You play together well, or I’ll sit you in your corners and dock your allowance!”
Thank you for the gift of your writing.
Anne-Marie McRoberts says
So sorry about your house problems, renovations and works done by Bodgitt and Scarper are such a pain. Sending House Andrews writing advice? I hope their little cotton socks blacken and rot off!
I do read excerpts of new authors, just so I can check that the story is well written, I can’t tell you how many things I return unread as the style is just clunky and dire, the grammar appalling and they push my buttons by writing wracking when they mean racking. Wrack is seaweed, that nasty mediaeval instrument of torture that ripped joints and sinews apart is a rack, which is what you’re metaphorically doing to your brain if you’re trying to think of something. I’ll get off my soap box, sadly the season ticket to Hyde Park Corner is gathering dust at the moment.
I just recently read an excerpt of Martha Wells series about the Murderbot. It’s horribly expensive but hilarious and I bought the whole series and pre-ordered the next one. If you can imagine an android learning to pass as human by watching reruns of Star Trek…I did grudge the price, but thought, in the end, that she has to make a living and not all that many authors do from writing alone, so I should just step up and pay for my enjoyment.
“I’ve got this amazingly tone deaf email this morning offering us writing advice on Ryder. ”
I’m having a hard time getting past that, what with the belly laughs causing tears to run down my face here. I’d have responded, asking how many books the writer has published and how many of them have been sold. You do have to admit that your writing is unique, though, and some people only like cookie-cutter writing such as, “The sky was a brilliant blue.” or “He was a very handsome man!” Your writing actually paints the pictures of the backgrounds of your tales. After reading things you’ve written, I go back to other authors and I realize that too many of them skim over the background setting in an attempt to tell the story. This is not necessarily bad, but it is very different. Sometimes, I wonder about why you describe each piece of furniture in a room, but I always read it, and then I can see it.
I said I don’t read samples, because usually, I don’t. Then you blog something about an upcoming book, and I’m reading it avidly. Like so many others here, I will read a small blurb from an author I know, but mostly, I won’t bother.
I do hope you get that house fixed soon. My personal experience with a thing like that was that my parents were given an outdoor gas grill for some celebration, and my brother-in-law came over with it, set it up, and hooked into the gas line that led to the clothes dryer downstairs to let it work. Then, codes went into effect, and that house was “grandfathered in” as OK, but only until it was sold. When it was sold, it was pretty upsetting to the buyers that the gas company shut them down totally until that line was fixed properly. It worked fine for 45+ years, but it wasn’t up to code. I laughed. Codes only count when you do something after the code is written, I guess. Good luck with that.
Afeefa Zaman says
I’m very cautious about trying a new author. It often takes a pretty hefty recommendation, plus good reviews, to get me to read an excerpt from a new author. Authors that I know I like, I read their excerpts as soon I see them.
The one place where I might read a random excerpt is at the end of a book I finish. Whether it’s an excerpt by the same author for an upcoming book, or a new series, or even of a new author in a similar genre, I usually read it.
I hope your AC/Electrical work gets fixed fast!
I hope Kid 2 is safe and sound in Austin!
Thank you for all your time and effort in all your books. You guys are amazing! Unless the people critiquing you are authors who are better sellers/more critically acclaimed than you both, they should shut the hell up! I could never do what you do. I’m a pretty good tech writer and can compose a mean business letter, but to think up an entire world with a ton of characters and keep it all straight for book after book is just mind-boggling to me! Y’all are sorcerers of the best kind! Thank you again for all you do!
I will read excerpts to see if I enjoy a new (to me) author’s ‘voice’ and style of writing. Reader reviews are helpful if it’s a unknown author or genre – if there is a pattern in the comments regarding things like typos, continuity issues, or other things that create a distraction and pull a reader out of the story. That will help me decide if I want to use my time with that author. I am a voracious reader – so use my library card a lot. For my favorite authors – on autobuy – I will read chapters and snippets from their website – I love the ‘extras’ and out-takes. They add wonderful depth and are a joy to discover. I DO find that ‘sample’ chapters are helpful for audiobooks. Sometimes a narrator is not a good match for the voice that’s been in my head for a favorite book or series, or simply not a good match for the material. I appreciate being able to sample those, before buying.
(I enjoy being able to choose between reading or listening, depending on my mood).
My definition of heaven: a cup of tea, my knitting, and listening to the Innkeeper series 🙂
Thank you for Ryder …. it is a treat to discover in my inbox – and makes me smile whenever I see a new entry arrive.
tina henry says
Hipster man looks soft.
I voted ‘I read excerpts on author sites’, which is true, but thats only for authors I already adore. The rest of the time I read excerpts at the end of books? That wasn’t a vote option though.
I read excerpts from author’s websites and amazon.
Lol. Someone read a chapter/snippet you posted on your blog because you are kind enough to share with your rabid fan base and had the audacity to try to tell you what you should do to “fix” it? WOW.
I voted by saying I read excerpts on Amazon, but you guys are an exception to that because I am so greedy for anything you have written, I follow your blog religiously. Linda Howard is the only author besides you that I will purchase from without even reading the dust jacket blurb. Love you guys!
I don’t read excerpts but I do read the reviews. For authors whom I’ve never read before, I check to see if they use F-words (if a few or often?), end the book with a cliffhanger (just this book or all their books?) and if their series is a repeat (character never learns or never grows up.)
I recently gave up on an author’s book series after Book 6. Female MC kept lying and sneaking throughout the series. At ending of Book 5, she promised to be open with her boyfriend and not go behind his back. On Book 6, just into the book, she decides to sneak and Lied to her fiancé in order to help a male friend who on previous books was a jerk. I quit right then and there. Put all her book series in my Kindle Collection file from “LIKE” to “YUCK”. This will alert me not to ever buy her books again.
I only read samples and blurbs to determine if I want to read the book – once/if I already know I want to read it, I stop so I don’t spoil it for myself ????
Same as I wait for the innkeeper books to come out on kindle to buy ????
Erin Valentine says
I have some advice for you on writing. Please keep doing it exactly the way you’ve been doing it. Thank you.
Kim Kingston-Durgin says
Wow someone doesn’t read excerpts? Who are these people??? That’s a large part of the fun, trying to figure out what the rest of the story will be.
Honor Pattee says
I read sample chapters of books that are at the back of books that I’ve just finished. I don’t usually read sample chapters anywhere else, except here!
Your writing is fantastic!!!!
Hope everything goes well for you.
I autobuy all your books and love them!!! Even if I know a release date I still search in the hope there maybe something new that has popped out into the universe. I do read samples of new authors and sometimes of new worlds from an author I have previously bought. Love your work and love the snippets we get. Take care and thank you 🙂
I prefer excerpts and/or samples chapters on the author’s own site. Or at the end of the previous book, when available.
Especially if it’s an author I’ve read and liked previously.
Alas, there are not always samples chapters/excerpts available straight from the author.
Although, sometimes I’ll check the recommended, similar, or “also bought” books lists on places like Amazon and if something piques my interest I’ll read the sample chapters there rather than trying to track down the author’s own site to read samples.
So here’s some writing advice. It’s heartfelt. I really, really, thought about it.
Write whatever you want, whenever you want.
Tell Kid 2 I hope she stays safe in Austin. Of course I remember her as the feisty young lady who glued her glasses to her desk
Dana, Lexington says
It’s so hard to answer! Kind of both the big retailers and author sites. I see new books or books on special through BookBub (GREAT service!), which then directs me to the B&N site where I can read a sample. However, if it’s one of the 3 or 4 authors I follow closely (including yourselves) then I read what is available on your site, or in the blog posts (like Ryder). Often times, though, with those 3 or 4 authors, I DON’T bother reading the samples; I just hit the pre-order button and go! Snippets, of course, or a bit different from samples, and probably the only place available is the author site or the blog/newsletter.
I have no idea why someone would be so obtuse and disrespectful to offer writing advice to you two. Would the offer Rembrandt painting tips? Just ignore and please carry on as your work makes my boring existence exiting for a few hours I can immerse in your work.
One thought with regard to your flood problem. My husband called a CONTRACTOR for our flooding problem (Water pouring out around our downstairs bedroom and closet Light fixtures! I lost it, house brand new to me … my first weekend after moving in!). I was thinking but shouldn’t we call the plumber first to figure out what the plumbing issue is first? Turns out no.! The contractor will take care of everything because when he runs into things s/he can’t or doesn’t want to handle, he already knows a good subcontractor girl or guy!
Teee heee here with a side of snigger …. Knight Ryder …. Love it !!
I read that as “Kid 2 moved to Australia”, which was super impressive since travel is locked down so hard. You’d probably have to tunnel under the ocean to get here these days. It’s not too late. You could still move them here ;).
I read the excerpts, and then I read them again. And again. Basically the characters need a restraining order against me by the time the book comes out.
I read sample chapters on Amazon when I think I might want to buy a book, but am not quite sure. When it is your books or certain other authors I love, they are pretty much an automatic buy, so don’t read sample chapters at all.
In prior comment I should have added, read snippets etc in Nalini Singh’s newsletter. Also enjoy any and all snippets, excerpts etc from your blog!
Read sample chapters on Amazon only if undecided about purchasing a book by new author.
Laura Mast says
I sometimes read a sample chapter on amazon if I want to buy a book by a new author. I mainly get my sample chapters either by subscription to an author’s blog emails or at the author’s website
I only read your excerpts and then pre-order the book as soon as available.
I love the “samples” available for the Kindle. I’ve stopped buying hardcopy because we just don’t have the space to store it, so those samples and Kindle Unlimited are the ways I test out new authors.
Once I find an author I like, I’ll sign up for email updates if they do that. Those often mention previews on their web site; I’ll read those. Then I’ll figure out whether I want to get the book.