Friday, May 12, 2006

Debating Whether to Post Excerpt

I'm debating whether to post an excerpt. I sometimes visit the Borders Bookstore web site, and Barnes & Noble's, as they provide a nice selection of sample chapters for a variety of novels. It's fun to read just an excerpt like that and compare different authors' styles, diction, pacing, etc. So, commercially available novels exist that have sample chapters or shorter excerpts available online with the blessing of the publishing houses. If you want your novel to sell to a publisher, you obviously should not put the whole thing on the internet for free, but I can't see any reason not to put an excerpt online. Still, I'm not sure I'm ready to do that yet. My comfort level isn't quite there.

If I do decide to share an excerpt, I would probably post the first three scenes of the first chapter, which would be about as long as other writers' typical chapters (mine are long in the case of this novel). That's a good unit length-wise and also in terms of showing a progression from one scene to the next, introducing some key characters, and also raising some measure of suspsense.

I'll continue to mull it over and if I can no longer find a reason not to, then I'll go ahead and post an excerpt sometime soon. I think a visitor to the site would appreciate the chance to get some sense of what this mysterious novel actually looks like! I know I would.



Sue said...

Hello Adrian,

I too like browsing through the sample chapters for novels, it often helps me decide whether or not to buy the book. One thing to remember though is that those books are already published and from what I understand, the publishers themselves provide the excerpts to be used.

I will admit that I am curious about your book. However, if you don't mind a little unasked for advice... perhaps do a bit more research before posting an excerpt to see whether or not this might be something publishers frown on.

If you like I could post this as a hypothetic question on a couple of writing forums of which I'm a member and see what kind of responses I get.

Adrian Swift said...

Hello, Sue!

Thanks for your comment. I agree with you to give it more time before making that decision, and to investigate further. Thank you for offering to post that question elsewhere -- please do! I'd be very curious what you learn, whether others have any experiences to share about it one way or the other, or would happen to know more about the issue.

Let me know what you find out!

Sue said...

Hello Adrian,

I've posted the question in three different forums and have already gotten a few answers.

I'll let you know what the general consensus is, if there is a general consensus, once I get more answers.