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Frequent Contributor
Frank_BCT
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-28-2009
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Sample??

[ Edited ]

This is funny.


I heard a few good things about Michael Pollan's Food Rules, so I decided to download the sample.  The sample is 6 pages:

 

Page 1: Book cover

Page 2: Table of Contents

Page 3: Book cover (again)

Page 4: Publisher info page

Page 5: Copyright warning page

Page 6: Dedication to Mom (awww, that's sweet)

End of sample...

 

Doesn't give me much to whet my appetite (pardon the pun).  Food Rules is a short book (112 pages).  Based on other samples I've downloaded, it appears that the samples are approximately the first 5% of the book.  Oh well, it's only $5, I may splurge and pick it up anyway.

 

On the other hand, I also downloaded David Baldacci's True Blue, which was a 26 page sample - over 5 whole chapters! (There are 114 chapters in the book!)

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AmyK67
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎11-26-2009
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Re: Sample??

LOL...sorry, I have to laugh because the same thing happened to me. I don't even recall the book. I think it was a Nora Roberts book right when I got my Nook on Christmas Eve. I got about a page and a half to read. Some samples do their intended job and some don't!

Frequent Contributor
eserafina42
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎12-19-2009
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Re: Sample??

I mainly have the problem with non-fiction and the B&N Classics. Even if they provide 20-30 pages in the sample, a lot of times that doesn't get you past the introduction. I won't buy a book based on the sample unless I actually am able to read part of the BOOK itself.

Inspired Contributor
MrBanballow
Posts: 294
Registered: ‎08-03-2010
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Re: Sample??

Reminds me of the "sample" I downloaded for Misery.

 

Page 1 - Cover

Page 2 - Table of Contents

Page 4 - Title

Page 5 - America Loves

Page 8 - More books by Stephen King

Page 11 - Inaccessible, [End of Sample]

 

... it's not exact, but pretty close. Terrible, terrible "sample".

Currently reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol 1, Grimm's Fairy Tales
Distinguished Wordsmith
aditya
Posts: 368
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
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Re: Sample??

If you're interesting in getting a look at the actual contents (not just - "does this ebook work for me?" as many people who buy technical ebooks are forced to ask before buying), I would suggest google books - a very broad page selection of content from the book. Same with Amazon.

The cake is a lie.
Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Re: Sample??

 


aditya wrote:

If you're interesting in getting a look at the actual contents (not just - "does this ebook work for me?" as many people who buy technical ebooks are forced to ask before buying), I would suggest google books - a very broad page selection of content from the book. Same with Amazon.


 

While these are both valid and good work-arounds, it doesn't change the fact that B&N needs to make sampling on the nook more effective. So many books I've sampled have contained little information beyond the copyright page and table of contents. Needless to say, I've purchased very few of them.

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
aditya
Posts: 368
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
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Re: Sample??

 


RHWright wrote:

 

While these are both valid and good work-arounds, it doesn't change the fact that B&N needs to make sampling on the nook more effective. So many books I've sampled have contained little information beyond the copyright page and table of contents. Needless to say, I've purchased very few of them.


 

Oh, I absolutely agree! In fact, with google books and Amazon already doing this, B&N needs to catch up or end up losing sales (like it did with you).

 

The cake is a lie.
Wordsmith
Michael-V
Posts: 2,466
Registered: ‎03-01-2010
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Re: Sample??

The sample size (which can be as low as 5%) is set by the publisher and not by B&N.

FYI.

Distinguished Wordsmith
aditya
Posts: 368
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
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Re: Sample??

Huh. Did not know that. I guess I jumped the gun there. Statement withdrawn.

 

Michael, does the publisher also set which pages are included in the sample? Perhaps if there's some wiggle room there, a judicious selection of sample content might make all the difference.

The cake is a lie.
Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Re: Sample??

@Michael-

 

I figured, much like the Lend Me feature and in-store read, it had something to do with publishers setting the sample size.

 

I do hope that B&N is making publishers, in general, aware of this issue being raised by nook customers. I hope this includes data for them that shows specifically how their conversion rate from downloaded samples to actual purchase.

 

It's my guess that those who are at the lower end (5% samples) will experience a lower conversion rate than those with more reasonable ones. I, for one, have specifically not bought several titles due to the meagre sampling. It may be too early in the program to provide this type of data on nook owner behavior yet, but over time...

 

I am much more likely to get hooked if I get a full first chapter.

 

A thought for the future: Is there maybe a more technical solution that would start the publisher-selected percentage at the TOC page, rather than pg. 1? Or a way to have them select specific pages, so if they want to hook us with the really cool part on pgs. 50 – 62, they don't have to let us see everything from pg. 1 to pg. 62?

Doug_Pardee
Posts: 5,521
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Sample percentages

I have to wonder about a novel that only has 5% available as a sample. If a novel is good, the more that you read the more that you're going to want to finish it, which means you'll have to buy it. A low sample percentage makes me suspicious that the novel is so poorly written that the publisher thinks I won't really want to read it if I get a good look at it.

 

Over at Smashwords, it's common to give away 50% as a sample. If someone makes it halfway through a novel, they're almost certainly going to want to finish it.

 

Non-fiction books are a different story (little play on words, there).

 

Inspired Wordsmith
Ozman69
Posts: 682
Registered: ‎04-24-2010
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Re: Sample percentages

 


Doug_Pardee wrote:

I have to wonder about a novel that only has 5% available as a sample. If a novel is good, the more that you read the more that you're going to want to finish it, which means you'll have to buy it. A low sample percentage makes me suspicious that the novel is so poorly written that the publisher thinks I won't really want to read it if I get a good look at it.

 

Over at Smashwords, it's common to give away 50% as a sample. If someone makes it halfway through a novel, they're almost certainly going to want to finish it.

 

Non-fiction books are a different story (little play on words, there).

 


 

 

I agree 100%.  To be honest, they could give away 75% of a book and if I put that much time into reading it, I'm going to pay for the last 25%.  So many "samples" I've downloaded from B&N (yes I know it isn't their fault) were completely useless.  

 

I recently downloaded the sample for Mistborn and was shocked that it had a pretty decent sized sample to base my purchase decision on.  I read about half of the sample (I think it had 40 pages in the sample) and had already decided that I liked the book so I went and purchased it.  Had they only given me enough pages to know who the author had dedicated the book too, I probably wouldn't have bought it.  So, in this case, I didn't even need but 20 pages to decide to give them my money.  

 

At the least, I think publishers should give you a chapter or two as a sample.  As you said, if the book is well written they will more than likely make a sale.

The above is based upon my opinion... yours may vary!
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xamier
Posts: 145
Registered: ‎06-19-2010
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Re: Sample percentages

 I have purchased several book in which I read the first couple of chapters and promptly purchased the book when I hit the end of the sample. The books with poor samples seldom end up in my library.

I have also purchased several complete series after reading the first of the series as a free book.

 

Hopefully the editors will realize the best way to sell books is to get people interested

.

Xamier
Beware shiny objects that are free, for in this world there are no shiny objects that are free...Darkkin

Contributor
kd-did47
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-19-2010
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Re: Sample??

Just (tried) to finish my sample of Malcolm Gladwell's What the Dog Saw - it came in at a hefty 61 pages!  At last, I thought, a sample to dig my teeth into!

 

HOWEVER, the sample essay backtracked, jumped forward and then backwards again in a non-sequential manner. Out of 61 pages, probably 20 were new content.

 

Not a very good selling tool.  How do I know if the ebook would be any better?  I glanced through the reviews trying to see if this is a problem with the ebook or just in the sample, but ebook reviews aren't identified.

 

BTW, do you realize your spell checker program hits on "ebook" as a spelling error??  Come on B&N, these are READERS you're dealing with!!!  LOL!:smileyvery-happy:

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliophile
bklvr896
Posts: 4,807
Registered: ‎12-31-2009
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Re: Sample??

 


kd-did47 wrote:

Just (tried) to finish my sample of Malcolm Gladwell's What the Dog Saw - it came in at a hefty 61 pages!  At last, I thought, a sample to dig my teeth into!

 

HOWEVER, the sample essay backtracked, jumped forward and then backwards again in a non-sequential manner. Out of 61 pages, probably 20 were new content.

 

Not a very good selling tool.  How do I know if the ebook would be any better?  I glanced through the reviews trying to see if this is a problem with the ebook or just in the sample, but ebook reviews aren't identified.

 

BTW, do you realize your spell checker program hits on "ebook" as a spelling error??  Come on B&N, these are READERS you're dealing with!!!  LOL!:smileyvery-happy:

 

 

 That's because it wants eBook as opposed to ebook.  I looked at 3 dictionary sites, and they refer you to e-book.  I suppose is kind of like how do you spell email. (e-mail, eMail, e-Mail)

:smileywink:

 


 

Wordsmith
Michael-V
Posts: 2,466
Registered: ‎03-01-2010
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Re: Sample??

@kd-did47,

When you state that the sample essay backtracked, jumped forward and then backwards can you be a bit more specific?  For instance, were you tapping the buttons, using the swiping method, and what pages did this occur....?  Is the issue able to be replicated on the same pages...?


Contributor
kd-did47
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-19-2010
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Re: Sample??

The 61 pages had the usual forward, chapters, etc.   Then, when reading - it wasn't that I would swipe and the machine jumped ahead; the pages themselves were duplicated...IE, I'd be reading along and then I would come to a section of the sample that I'd already read.  Don't believe it was a machine malfunction.

 

I have since deleted the sample so i can't tell if this continues.  Thanks for reading my rant....