Thoughts From the Morning Commute – Book Previews

Since I review books for Lulu Book Review I am frequently looking at other author’s websites to gain a little understanding about the person behind the work I am making a determination on whether I want to read their submission for review or not. For those who do not know how the process works, I’ll give a brief overview. Authors who would like to submit their work for review will post a query on the Lulu Book Review blog Pick Me! tab. Along with the name of the author and the title they would like reviewed, we request a link to where we can take a peek at their work along with a brief description of the work itself and why we should review it.

I am always amazed when I run across someone wanting a review that doesn’t provide a preview of their work. Once upon a time, as a novice writer, or even earlier – before I started writing (in my infancy), I may have considered posting a portion of my work where anyone could look at it as potentially detrimental. Why would I give something away for free, and even worse, would someone come along and try to steal my story. Now, those ideas are absolutely laughable to me. Not that literary theft doesn’t exist, but I just figure that’s not a huge threat right now in my life. And I quickly realized that every time I went into a bookstore, I would browse the shelves, picking up books, reading the back and then reading a few pages from the book itself. I used to spend hours doing that. Now I do most of my buying online and I still read a few pages of books before making the decision to buy.

Here’s the pay off for giving a little of your book away for free. Someone may not like your cover (even though you may love it – not everyone does), but become a little intrigued with your blurb on the back cover. The next thing they will want to do is take a peek inside to see whether the writing grabs them. If it does, you probably have a sale. If not, well, better luck next time. Without the preview, they may simply pass you on by. A book preview is like taking a car for a test drive. You’re interested in the car, you like the looks of it, or at least something has captured your attention, but you want to see how the car fits you and how it handles before making the decision to part with your hard earned money to but it.

So, then why, someone please tell me why, I keep running into books that people want to have reviewed but don’t offer a preview anywhere? Am I as the reader supposed to take it on faith that you are a fabulous writer and I will be captivated from the moment I flip to page 1? As a book review site, we can’t possibly read and review every book submitted to us for consideration, so we need a mechanism to assist us in making a determination as to whether or not we are intrigued enough by the writing to ask for the entire work. And the reading public works the same way, they want to see a few pages. And by pages, I don’t mean the copyright page, the acknowledgement page, the table of contents or anything else that fills the front of a book. We want actual content, and more than a paragraph or two.

If you don’t know how to best present your material in a preview, I would recommend the BookBuzzr widget as a nice, free tool to assist you in getting your work out there. Your goal as an author is to draw attention to your book, so use the book itself as a marketing tool. Let people take a peek. It will end up being well worth your while. The BookBuzzr tool is featured below. Take a look at the preview of Misfit McCabe

LK Griffie
To buy Misfit McCabe, visit my store at or purchase at
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2 Comments on “Thoughts From the Morning Commute – Book Previews”

  1. Pingback: Twitted by lkgg

  2. I so totally agree with you, in fact I very often tell people I communicate with on the Lulu forums that the should provide a preview, and use the the example of looking through a book in a store before you purchase it. I am amazed when some of them just don’t get that!
    I didn’t know about the Bookbuzzr widget. I will definitely be setting it up – when I have my next day off from work (the job that pays me.)

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