In an earlier blog post, Nick talked about the benefits of having book previews. Here we’re going to talk about how to create and what things to keep in mind for a great book preview.

If you’re anything like me, reading the description of a book isn’t enough for me to buy it. It’s a start, but those first few pages are key. Many times I find myself standing in the bookstore with almost the first chapter read when I start heading to the checkout counter. That’s what a book preview is! When the description isn’t enough, a book preview is a great way to draw people to your book.

A couple of things to consider when setting up your preview:

  • Are you just previewing the first pages of your book (The table of contents, the copyright page, a blank page, etc) or are you previewing enough that the reader can get a feel of what the book (or CD) is about? Don’t waste your time or your reader’s time with the first pages of your book. If they are pages you would skip in the bookstore, pretty sure the reader will do the same for your book. Give them something they want to read!
  • Preview doesn’t equal the whole book… unless you want to. Put up what you are comfortable with. If you do want to put up more than a few pages, think about having a free download of the first few chapters.

Now on to the how-to… Step-By-Step Preview Generation

Note: Before you start, keep in mind that the status of your project must be “Published” or “Available for Sale.” The maximum size for a preview is 2 MB.

1) In the last step of the publishing wizard, click the “View or Customize Your Book” link or, simply click the “View Book Preview” in your project page.

2) Next, click the “Customize Preview” link above the preview.

3) Choose between the following options:
a. Simple: This preview showcases the first 10 pages of your book including typical front page matter like the title, dedication, and copyright pages.
b. Design Your Own: For this preview, you get to choose which pages to include. You can choose to showcase fewer pages, the entire book, or a few bits here and there.
i. Just remember:
1. Separate numbers with commas
2. Provide the actual page number versus the assigned numbers printed at the bottom of the page.
3. Use a hyphen (-) to provide ranges of numbers.
c. Upload Your Own: Get creative because, for this preview, you can create your very own preview and upload it using any of the accepted files. Accepted files: (http://www.lulu.com/en/help/index.php?fSymbol=upload_filetypes)

For more questions about how to generate a preview for your individual project, click on the “Help” tab on the Lulu homepage and search “previews.”

Now that you understand how to create a preview, it’s time to make the choice. How much should you give away? To this I say…

Show a little leg- Make sure to include a sample of the very best your project has to offer because, in a way, this is a first impression with your audience. So knock `em out of their socks!

Take advantage of this Lulu offering and give your potential buyers a little extra incentive.