I’ve had this idea for a while now but I haven’t really known how I was going to put it together until recently, so here goes..
When I purchase a book, whether physical or an ebook, I usually go by the cover and the back description. This is usually because I’m in a rush, because I’ve been recommended it, because I don’t wanna be spoiled (so sometimes I will just go by the cover alone) and because I buy a load of books online. Now if you purchase books online, especially on Amazon, they do offer you Free Samplers, to download so you can read. This is useful because you get to check out the writing style of the book and the author, before actually deciding to spend any money on the book by purchasing it. You get a better idea of whether you’re going to enjoy it and if it’s suited for you. I do need to say, you do need a Kindle, or the app, in order to get the free samplers, I think. This is also why normal people read the first few pages of a book in the shop before deciding whether to buy it or not. I’m not normal clearly.
I do like this idea and for this post I am going to be using that tool and download several free samplers of some books I have been undecided about purchasing and reading lately. Some are popular and hyped books, some are from independent indie authors and some are samplers I found and got approved for on NetGalley. Some of these samplers might be too long, so I might cut them down to the first chapter, let’s see how it goes.
The Witch – Shirley Jackson I’ve been having a bit a on off thing when it comes to Shirley Jackson’s books, so I thought she would be a good one to try trying a Sampler with. However, this one was not the right one for me to do that with. The Witch is a seriously short story by Shirley Jackson, equalling 15 pages I think, so you can imagine how short this sampler was. I did like the writing and I would’ve liked more, but it didn’t give me enough to get me hooked enough into the story to Need to know more. At least I know that if you try a Sampler with a short story, don’t expect much.
VOX – Christina Dalcher I’ve seen this book being advertised everywhere and it’s not until I started reading it that I remembered why I didn’t buy it months ago. At the time, the description reminded me of The Handmaids Tale, which I had just finished and I didn’t have a good experience with. After reading this, and believe me, I read all three chapters that were included in this sample, I really want to carry on. I’m gutted I don’t have the rest to carry on. I want to find out more and I already have questions, which is good form a sample to do to a reader. I liked the style and how the story is being told, even though it does still remind me a little of The Handmaids Tale, however, this I can already tell or hope is already so much better. It still makes me angry, the injustice and inequality, but that’s also why I want to carry on and read this book. The opposite is true of the other book. Now that’s how you get people into a book and get them to want to buy it! Good use of a free sample.
Hell In Rezta – Amy Flashman This is a book by an independent author on Amazon, who is also on twitter. A little heads up, the start of this book talks about, or at least hints at somethings that people may find upsetting. However, this made me instantly feel for the main character Shanna, and care about her wellbeing and what happens to her, plus also gives a deeper back story and it dragged me into the characters life in a more personal way. Again, I really enjoyed the writing of this book from what I got to read, plus it just got better the more I read, as the story was starting to unfold and as the character was gaining more confidence. This sample did something unexpected and something which I loved and that was how it made me feel some emotion so early on in the book. This sample gives you a very generous three chapters to read and again I read the entire thing, which considering it’s a genre I don’t usually read, fantasy, must say a lot. It made me want to know what happens next, who this big bad is and how does Shanna fit in with it all. It has my attention. I now want to explore Rezta more.
A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven (I received this sampler in exchange for an honest and unbiased review from NetGalley) Yes! Yes! Yes! From the moment I started reading this I knew I was going to love this author. I couldn’t stop laughing with how this was written, it’s so gooood and so cleverly put together. It’s rare for me to fine a book that genuinely makes me laugh out loud because of how funny it is, but this book did that!. While reading, just from the opening two words alone, I knew that this book reads as a sequel and so once I finished reading it, I did do some research and found out that this is in fact book two in the Izzy O’Neill series. Good instincts. The first couple of pages did do a complete recap of book one, of Izzy O’Neill life, where spoilers were included and read by me! But given that, I am very much considering purchasing and reading these books, starting of course with book 1 (The Exact Opposite of Okay) then following with this book, because you’ve got to read them in order, right?
A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones) – George R.R. Martin This has been one I’ve been thinking about trying for a while, with all the hype with the new series coming out. I’m so glad I tried this sample because it’s finally made up my mind for me. It’s a hell NO! I couldn’t even make it through the Prologue without drifting of. Maybe I went into it predetermined with thoughts and with biased intentions already in my head, I just couldn’t do it. These books have been on my book shelves for a while as my partner has read them all, so I can give them ago a different time, or just try the audiobooks. But for now, this series is not for me!
This was interesting to do and I’m so glad that I did. I might do more posts like this and make it a more regular thing on my blog, let me know what you think and what books or authors you’d like me to try. I do need to read before I buy as this is something I rarely do, primarily because I work in a Bookshop and just don’t have the time to do so, so I go off of people’s recommendations. I’ve enjoyed doing this and I’ve found some books I’ve enjoyed that I didn’t think I would and didn’t enjoy books I thought I would, because of their popularity.