Help me Read Your Books!!!

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This is for ALL authors, so please listen up, this could mean the difference from my downloading your book and actually reading and reviewing it!

When I download books onto my Kindle Fire, I rarely just download one. So as I browse, get hooked by covers, read blurbs, and then buy, who knows how many will wind up in my Kindle that day?

Unlike a regular Kindle, the Fire doesn’t have a way to sort books, which I would do when I bought them if it did. Are you listening Amazon developers? I want to sort my books on my Kindle Fire.

Anyway, after reading Kristen Lamb’s WANA book, I realized it had been ages since I had read any YA books! I know I’ve downloaded a bunch. So I begin to scroll through my bookshelves and this is where the problem begins.

I can’t remember by title and author which books are YA, okay well maybe a few of them, but not most of them.

So I click on them, and I get the first chapter, which is okay, but what would be great? The blurb. Put your blurb on the first page of your ebooks! This way I know what I have bought and why.

If you are traditionally published, ask your agent and/or editor about doing this. If I don’t remember why I bought the book and it doesn’t grab me right away, or if it doesn’t fit my mood ,I move on. And instead of remembering why I got it I’m left with the feeling of not liking it.

THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE A PROLOGUE!!!! Yes, that did need to be in all caps. Quite a few of the books I searched through had prologues, which is either from the main characters past or way back in the past. I won’t know which until I get to chapter one. So I flip through the pages (one prologue was so long I gave up) to find Chapter One and then try to figure out if the book is YA.
This leaves me feeling frustrated by your book, which isn’t want you want.

Please, I am begging on my knees, help me change the way ebooks are formatted, put your blurb on the first page. Help me read your book!

Because it’s Monday- and I think I forgot last Monday I have music for you! It’s ‘I’m a Joker’ by Anri Jokhadze who is the first man to represent Georgia in the Eurovioson song contest! What do you think? Would you vote for him?

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26 responses »

  1. This is interesting, Alica. The usual advice is to open the e-book at the first reading experience (either the prologue if there is one or the first chapter). The reason given for this is that when readers get the sample, they get the first 10% by default and if you give them something other than the text, they end up with not very much of the book to read. But your point is a good one. I wonder how resolve these conflicting concerns?

  2. There’s recently been a chat about this very thing on the Indieromanceink loop. And many were saying that readers want the blurb on the page after the title. So that’s exactly where I put the blurb with a short conversation extract. And it seems to have worked. Although one commenter said she couldn’t find the conversation extract – I went back and said Chapter 11 page 4 and she came and admitted it was there! You gotta love readers!

    But yes, I get your point Alica. And you’re right! Maybe Amazon will listen if you tell them. Then again ……

    • I don’t think it’s up to amazon- it needs to be the people who set up the book. The authors and publishers need to put the a small blurb in the front. I would have been very happy with any book like that.

  3. Well, you just convinced me not to get a Fire. Not being able to sort my books is a no-win situation.

    I think you’re right, though. I also wish we could see the covers. I want as much of the regular reading experience as I can get with an e-reader. That mean seeing the cover first, then a title page, a copyright page, and yes, the blurb would be nice. It’s a hassle to have to connect to whispernet just to remind myself what the book is about.

  4. Alicia, this was so good, I had to tweet it out! Great advice and so true. I can’t sort books on my iPad and a blurb at the beginning of the book would be so helpful. Your post is so timely because I’m just starting to format a good right now. Thanks for the great idea!

  5. Great advice, Alica. That would drive me crazy. I’ll be sure to add the short back cover blurb for the print version to the eBook for my chapter book, coming out in October. Not that it will be too hard to tell it’s a kids’ chapter book since it will have B&W illustrations and simple language, but I’ll do this with my other books, too.

  6. Alica, you definitely have a great point! I’m glad you feel able to speak out about this. I on the other hand am just sitting back and watching all you guys out there and taking notes so that when I am ready, I’ll look like I know what I’m doing. LOL! Thanks. 🙂

  7. I have a Kindle Fire too and with so many unread books there, I could use the blurbs on the first page as a reminder of what this book was about. And I agree with Marlene that it would be nice to see the cover and index first thing. I especially miss the index on non-fiction books because now I have no idea of the exact contents of the book.

  8. Since I have a Nook, I didn’t realize Kindles have this problem. When you click on a title on the Nook, one of the options is Items Details and Options. If you click on that, it brings up the blurb. I used it all the time to put newly downloaded books on the right shelf.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

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