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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I wrote about Trading Excerpts with Other Authors in the Back Matter of Your Ebook, and I'm curious how many folks here are doing it. And, if you are doing it, have you seen a significant increase in sales?

I've spotted at least one indie trading excerpts, and the book of the author whose except he'd included shows up in the second slot (after his other book) in the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section on Amazon. And his book showed up in the other author's "Customers Who..." section. So it seems like it's working for them, at least to some extent.

Thoughts?
 

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I wouldn't mind myself, but I'd never ask  :)  If someone came to me and said want to try it with one of my books, if I thought they'd appeal to a similar audience, I would do it.
 

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I swapped with Derek Canyon earlier this year, and plan to included it in every book from here on out. My book, Hard Day's Knight, appears on the first page of Derek's "Also Bought" lists for Dead Dwarves Don't Dance, and DDDD appears on the first page of HDK "Also Boughts." Add to that the fact that I've had several people email me that they tried my book after reading the sample in Derek's book, or that they enjoyed Derek's sample and bought his book after reading the sample in my book, and I have what Bob Mayer calls "anecdata" to back up the usefulness of the experiment.

I'd also suggest that people look a little outside their genre, as well. Derek is hard-boiled SF, while I write humorous urban fantasy, and it's worked well for us.

For all my future releases, I plan to offer at least three spots in the back of my books for authors to swap excerpts.
 

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I traded excerpts with Leslie DuBois (Queen Bee of Bridgeton) and with Gwen Hayes (So Over You) and I do think it has helped with sales. My book appears relatively high in both of their also-boughts list, and likewise they are high-ranked in mine.

And I've had readers write to say they'd discovered my book from the excerpt in the back of their book, or thanking for me for including one of the other excerpt, because it led to them discovering a new author.

As long as it's the same genre, or at least a storyline that would appeal to the same readers, I think it could only help you, not hurt. What harm is it to try? Worst case scenario, the reader ignores it. Best case scenario, you each pick up some new readers. Easy, free painless promotion. It's the best kind.

The best promotion for your writing IS your writing, so why not?
 

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I will do it (and have done so) but only if I have read the book that I'm mentioning--and I make a copy of mine available to the author I exchange with.

Originally we talked about excerpts, but so many readers don't like to find the length of the book showing up as greater than it is, so I've done an exchange of "blurbs" instead.  That seems to work rather well.

I try to limit it to one mention per back of each book.  I shouldn't say try--I do limit it to one mention.  As a reader, three would be the absolute limit.  One is easier on reader and authors (From my perspective.)
 

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MariaESchneider said:
I will do it (and have done so) but only if I have read the book that I'm mentioning--and I make a copy of mine available to the author I exchange with.

Originally we talked about excerpts, but so many readers don't like to find the length of the book showing up as greater than it is, so I've done an exchange of "blurbs" instead. That seems to work rather well.

I try to limit it to one mention per back of each book. I shouldn't say try--I do limit it to one mention. As a reader, three would be the absolute limit. One is easier on reader and authors (From my perspective.)
Hmm what do you mean by length? Like readers are getting to the end of the book, but it's only at 95%? The last 5% is excerpts?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ooo, it's Lindsay. Where've you been?

I did this with Switched for a while. I do think it helped, but not spectacularly. I'm actually kind of hesitant to do it again because I've heard it annoys some readers.
 

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Glenn Bullion said:
Hmm what do you mean by length? Like readers are getting to the end of the book, but it's only at 95%? The last 5% is excerpts?
I believe that's exactly what she means. I clearly state in my product description on Amazon that there are bonus excerpts at the back of the book, to avoid this very problem.
 

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I do - both for books in my genre, and out. Same as the big publishers do, only I limit it to a blurb and a link, rather than an excerpt. I'm actually getting ready to send out a few emails to inquire about blurbs for my next book coming out in July.

It does work for me - I've definitely seen cross-sales, so I'll continue the practice.

I put a blurb for my next book first, and then "traded" blurbs after (have only done one each book so far, but think I'd take up to three).
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the comments, everyone!

John, you and Derek were who I was looking at on Amazon for examples. :) Thanks for popping in!

Ooo, it's Lindsay. Where've you been?
Hey, Jason! Focusing on writing the next novel and blogging more than foruming (Spellcheck tells me that's not a word...how shortsighted :D)
 

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Hmm, about excerpts at the end bothering readers.

Maybe I'll rethink this with my own stuff.  I include excerpts for all my own stuff at the end of all my novels (obviously only two right now, but when I release the third, my plan was to have each book have two excerpts to the others).

Now, I'm not so sure.

Obviously, the plan was for the reader to go, wow, Glenn is an amazing freakzilla beast, I must read more of him, oh wait, here he is again.

I hoped the reader would think it's a bonus.  I love it when I get done a book on my Kindle, and there's an excerpt. :)
 

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GoblinWriter said:
Thanks for the comments, everyone!

John, you and Derek were who I was looking at on Amazon for examples. :) Thanks for popping in!

Hey, Jason! Focusing on writing the next novel and blogging more than fourming (Spellcheck tells me that's not a word...how shortsighted :D)
Did you try foruming? :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ryne Billings said:
Did you try foruming? :D
*cough* Ahem. Er, yes. Yes, I did. Spellcheck objected to that, which is why I changed it to the more creative spelling. But I've now changed it back so as to minimize confusion. Really.
 

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GoblinWriter said:
*cough* Ahem. Er, yes. Yes, I did. Spellcheck objected to that, which is why I changed it to the more creative spelling. But I've now changed it back so as to minimize confusion. Really.
I'm certainly not objecting to creative spellings. Have you seen how my name is spelt? ;D

I've only heard of two people with the same spelling. One of them is actually a KB author, and the other is a former Chicago Cubs baseball player. The latter was the one I was named after. :D
 

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Glenn Bullion said:
Hmm what do you mean by length? Like readers are getting to the end of the book, but it's only at 95%? The last 5% is excerpts?
Yes, this exactly. I used to include excerpts from my own books in the back of some stories--I now limit that because of reader expectations--they apparently don't like to be at 95 percent and the main story over...and the rest excerpts. Some readers really seem to like the excerpts--others hate them.
 

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I've never tried trading exerpts but I might someday. The thing is, in order to do that I'd have to be already familiar with the other author's writing. I feel like putting someone's excerpt in the back of a book is a bit like an endorsement and I wouldn't want to endorse just any old book to my readers. It'd have to be something that was actually a good read and in a genre similar to mine.
 

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About a year ago Amanda Hocking and I traded excerpts, then I had a KND sponsorship and my sales took off.  At the time, being new at this, I attributed my sales to KND but now I think it's much more likely that my sales point to product placement in Amanda's novel Switched.

Dawn
 
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