Free Reading Samples at Smashwords

Try before you buy, goes the catchphrase, and Smashwords allows you to do just that. Any self-respecting online book site should have this feature but I'll be using Smashwords as my example because that's the first place I uploaded my books for sale.

When you're trying to decide whether to invest time in a book or not, often an editorial review just isn’t enough. We need to know if the content really matches the hype surrounding the book. We need to read the blurb and randomly open the book here and there to read a few paragraphs. But how do we do this on a website selling eBooks?

The answer is a reading sample. A sample gives you the feeling of paging through a book in a bookstore.You can read the whole thing or just hop around in it at random to get a feeling for the story.

At Smashwords, for example, there is an option to download 20 percent of any book as a sample. These samples are formatted and ready to go on pretty much all reading devices and platforms so curious visitors to the Samshwords site can easily click and enjoy a good portion of each title before deciding to actually buy it or not. Readers can work out if the book is right for them, without having to pay any money.

An eBook sample will show up in a reader's bookshelf and look just like a regular download. To try Smashwords' eBook samples, visit the Smashwords website.