If you’ve read Make A Killing On Kindle by Micheal Alvear on making a fortune writing for the Kindle, you already know most of this and may want to play quietly in the corner while I educate some other folks.
This Sunday I was looking for a book to read on my Kindle. This should be easy since I have literally hundreds of books on my Kindle, mostly gathered up from the free books on Kindle resources. Some are self-published, others are from publishing houses of various sizes.
The first seven books I began to read on the Kindle, I deleted from my device after less than ten pages.
These are the reasons why.
1) When it comes to a book on the Kindle, I have already purchased the book. Therefore I don’t want or need five or six pages of review excerpts to remind me how wonderful this book is supposed to be and how talented the author is.
These pages are useful in a physical book in a physical book store – I will certainly flip through them to decide whether or not I want to buy. But in the case of a book on Kindle, these reviews (and honest customer reviews) are on the books page on Amazon. I have already read them, as well as a blurb about the book, and made my buying decision. Now you are just wasting my time and annoying me as I flip, flip, flip, flip – oh never mind I’ll read something else.
Delete From Device
2) Authors, especially self-published, some of you have taken to writing ten pages about why you wrote the book, what idea or notion inspired you, what purpose you had when you sat down to write. I don’t care why you wrote it. You probably wrote it for the same reason I write – I like to write, I like to explore ideas with my writing, and I like to make money with it.
If you wrote for a purpose, the book ought to accomplish that purpose through my reading it. If it doesn’t – you failed. Delete From Device.
If you have to spend ten pages justifying the facts you used in writing the book, then you must think I won’t believe you as I am reading. If you can’t create a suspension of disbelief in a work of fiction –why would I bother to read your book at all? Delete From Device
I understand that many of you have lots of fans who love to know all about your thought process as a writer. I am not one – and at this rate I won’t become one.
Feel free to share these things with me – at the end of the book. Hopefully, I will enjoy the book and I reach the end hoping for more, or full of questions about whether this could really happen, or thinking about the points you have made or the dilemma you’ve presented me with and then I will enjoy this information. But when it is presented at the front of the book – you’ve lost me. Delete From Device
3) A table of contents, the copyright info, perhaps a dedication – that’s all you need at the front of a Kindle book. What I don’t need – and this killed me – is a table of contents with links to the author info, copyright info, publishers info, and.. best of all … a link to the real table of contents. Which followed this first table of contents. By the time I read through the title page, the copyright info, the publishers info, authors info, the first table of contents which linked me to the title page, copyright info, authors info, publishers info, and – oh yeah – the real table of contents – and THEN I hit yet another “table of contents” with chapter headings – I laughed and, you guessed it, Delete From Device
This is what I want to see when I open a book on my Kindle.
A title page with the book title and authors name and the copyright info, maybe an intriguing quote or dedication. Followed by a table of contents with chapter titles. And then I want to see something that says “Chapter One – Mary had a little lamb…”
If I open my Kindle to find something to read – and have to flip through ten pages of things I am not, as a reader, interested in – you’ve lost me. Delete From Device
And I’ll remember you. I won’t bother with another book for free, and certainly won’t be buying any. I won’t write a review for Amazon or on my Kindle Book Reviews Blog.
Publishing for the Kindle is still in it’s infancy. It is already clear that it is creating a great opportunity for Indie writers, and small publishers to compete on the same scale as the big publishing houses. Little guys, here is your chance to shine, especially.
Apparently some of the big houses cannot grasp that they can’t just slap the book into some software and have it pop out formatted for Kindle. As I mentioned earlier, the lengthy pages of front “stuff” that helps sell the physical book in a physical book store is a waste of your readers time on the Kindle.
But, Indies, please don’t squander your opportunity by getting so wrapped up in your ego trip that you waste the first pages of the book on more stuff I don’t care about.
One last thought - if you allow your book to be “sampled” (the “send a free sample” button on Kindle book pages at Amazon) only a few pages are sent. If I ask for a sample, and all I get is copyright info and reviews, I won’t buy. If I ask for a sample and all I get is why you wrote the book or a justification of the facts presented in a novel, I probably won’t buy. After all – if you just told me your purpose for writing the book, then I don’t need to read it, do I?
I enjoy other peoples success at least as much as I do my own. I love to help others achieve success. This article is written in hopes that it will help publishers and authors create Kindle books that will suck in readers and sell like hotcakes. And save me from wasting half an hour deleting books from my Kindle before finding something to read.