I recently read a sample of what looked like an awesome book. Excellent cover, enticing blurb. The writing from the sample was very strong, emotional, evocative, well written. But after reading the sample, I didn’t buy the book.
A book that, had I not read the sample, I might have bought just because of the blurb and cover.
Why you ask? Reading the sample showed me it was not the right book for me. It was a darker and crueler world than I like to read (or write for that matter). The author had a young animal be injured, then saved, then basically sent off to be killed off stage. Yeah, no.
Now many folks would be fine with that- and it wasn’t gratuitous, it was to show how bad off these people were and the kind heart and abilities of the protagonist. But I am really not that kind of reader. For me, life is painful and dark enough, I read to escape. I don’t need everything flowery and bright, but I am also not looking for dark, gritty realism. I realized from that sample, that this book wasn’t going to be for me.
So, was having the sample chapter up a good thing or a bad thing for that author? They lost a sale from me after all.
Good thing. Very good thing. Had I bought that book, I would have stopped reading after the aforementioned incident, and been very disappointed. I would probably not recommend that author.
But now, I know I do have friends who might really enjoy that author- so I can point them that way. And more importantly, people who may have loved that kind of book, but who had been fence sitting on buying, would have hit that 'one-click buy now' button in a heartbeat after reading the sample.
As writers it’s natural to want everyone to love our book, but it’s not reality. I write funny, fast paced stories with magic and mayhem. Some are lighter than others, but my voice is the same. I wouldn’t want someone to buy my book expecting a high tale of morality, or an anxiety filed bit on the pain and suffering of life. So I try to make it clear what I write so my target audience can find me.
So if someone doesn't think my book is for them-I'm fine with that. Just recommend me to your friends who do like what I write-'k? ;).