Tips & Tricks: Book Previews – Entice your Reader without Even Trying

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.

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6 Comments

  1. As a reader I always peek at those first few pages. I have about 14 pages available on my preview. I feel it’s a responsibility as a writer to let the reader know what they are getting into.

  2. shannon ann payne

    hello, i need help getting access to all those cover art you had posted to your site . free! i am not talking about the custom ones, i mean there were literally hundreds and scores of them.

    whatever happened to them ? can we still access them and how? shannonannpay5@yahoo.com

  3. Lauren Parker

    Shannon, You’re right the cover options have changes a bit. since there was a higher demand for custom covers and there were only a few covers that were used within our gallery we decided to offer the ones that were most used and give more creative control to the author to create the cover they want. You can still create covers for free or upload pictures but the massive gallery has been trimmed down. You can still access themes and free professional covers during the publishing process. Hope this helps. Take care and good luck with your project!

  4. Yanyara

    You could call me a very satisfied Lulu customer. Having said that, I wish to bring to Lulu’s attention the folliwng.

    Whether it’s in a brick and mortar store or online, book buyers love to browse ( it’s half the fun) before they pick a book at the end of it. I find Lulu’s PREVIEW THIS BOOK button could use some improvement.

    1. Whether one accesses the book through BUY button, Storefront or Content page, al three of them must have clear indication as to how to preview the book. Authors take a lot of trouble to provide the preview and I think it should be accessible easily and instantly without searching all over.

    2.Perhaps it will be a good idea to direct folks to Content page, from Storefront or BUY page by clearling putting PREVIEW THIS BOOK button just below the TITLE BUTTON.

    3. Once on the content page, I feel PREVIW THIS BOOK button which is visible after scroll, must be moved up to top left side, perhaps along with al other buttons in the group such as REVIEWS, BACK COVER etc.

    4. There is a Preview option without hitting the PREVIEW THIS BOOK button at bottom left, but that requires scrolling sideways and isn’t a great way to impress a prospect.
    May I suggest that that preview be replaced by the Front Cover Picture and PREVIEWTHS BOOK button placed just above the Pic, which would lead to the full page PREVIEW page as you have now.

    5. The Preview page is fine, it’s just access to it that is troubling. I bet many prospects get tired of looking and leave the page.

    Would appreciate comment from LULU power posters.
    Thanks

  5. Thank you for the well laid out info. Easy to read “how to” and excellent advice.

    Sincerely, Kat

  6. NEX-C3

    Előre is köszönöm és sok szerencsét! :)

One Trackback

  1. By Family Matters » Blog Archive » Bits & Bytes on August 27, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    [...] Lulu Blog – an interesting article discussing how to set up an effective book preview to entice buyers to buy [...]

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