Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature gives readers the chance to do just that. It’s a great way for online customers to see if they like a book before placing an order.
The “Look Inside” feature was activated on my debut novel this past Friday night. I happened to be on my book’s Amazon’s page at the very time they were uploading the file my publisher had sent them.
I learned that Amazon uploads the entire file and then deletes the pages that aren’t part of the preview. At first, almost every one of the 320 pages in my book were visible.
Once they completed the process, around 50 pages remained. Most are from the first three chapters. There’s a small section in the middle from one of my favorite scenes. Much to my surprise, most of the last chapter is visible, too, which struck me as being a big spoiler.
My first reaction was to freak out a bit. My second? OK. I’ll admit it. I emailed my agent. Rachelle got right back to me–on a Saturday, no less–and gave me great counsel. She said not to worry about it because those who read the last chapter want a spoiler.
Duh! I knew that. Really I did. After all, I’ve heard some readers say they flip to the end of a book to make sure it has a good ending before they buy it.
An even bigger “ah ha!” moment followed. Only fifty pages or so are included in Amazon’s preview, and yet all the pages will be visible when the book hits the shelves of Walmart and brick and mortar bookstores.
This experience got me wondering how many readers like to get a sneak peek. Bearing in mind that I’m simply curious and not out to judge anyone, do you look inside a book before buying it? If so, do you read the first page, the first chapter, and/or flip to the end?