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Old 10-13-2011, 03:45 PM   #1
ScalyFreak
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A humble request

This is a very minor thing, but it's something that has been nagging me for a while, and I thought I'd mention it and please ask the writers here to consider a (hopefully) minor request.

I get a lot of my books from Smashwords. My typical plan of attack is to get a free book, and if I like it, I go to that author's page, check out what else they offer, and if I like it enough and the price is reasonable then I buy some of their other books. Every now and then, I see books for sale with the price "You set the price!". I like this, and if I like the book I try to pay what I've seen other books of similar length sell for to make it fair. If it's a really good book, I throw in a tip for good measure.

What I don't like though, is when it's an author I am unfamiliar with, and I'm being asked to set a price on something I know nothing about. So here is my little request: If you decide to let the buyer set the price on one of your books, please give us the chance to download and read a sample first. A lot of writers do, but not everyone.

Even if it's a short 3,000-word story and the sample will be even shorter, I still want to be able to look at the book before I decide what to pay for it. That's all I'm asking, that I can read a sample of the book before buying it.

That's all.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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Doesn't seem like an unreasonable request.

Granted, I don't understand not offering some sort of sample, or if the story is short enough that sampling doesn't make much sense, then offering the entire story for free.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:09 PM   #3
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A humble request?

Well, you can't be an author.

In terms of samples, yes, I always offer a sample read.

I do the same thing when shopping for books in a store. I open up the book and read the first two pages. It's enough to tell me what I need to know.

Last edited by WPotocki; 10-13-2011 at 09:18 PM. Reason: I can't type
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:37 PM   #4
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A humble request?

Well, you can't be a author.
No? But mom always said I could be whatever I want!
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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Sounds fairly reasonable to me. What I don't understand is when the author has several books in a series and the 1st book has a price and the 2nd or 3rd is the free book. I mean isn't the idea to entice a potential buyer for the series to look it over? It would seem to me that it would make more sense to have the 1st as the free book since it does introduce the author's series of books in that world.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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No? But mom always said I could be whatever I want!
Oh, no! I would never disagree with your mother. It was that "humble" thing that gave you away.

Don't know an author alive that makes humble requests, no offense.

Whenever I use that word, it's because I know I'm a filthy witch about to make another egotistical, self-serving, unreasonable demand and am trying to appear as I'm not.

In my case, no one has ever bought the obvious pretense. At least people that know me anyway.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:42 PM   #7
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Oh, no! I would never disagree with your mother. It was that "humble" thing that gave you away.

Don't know an author alive that makes humble requests, no offense.

Whenever I use that word, it's because I know I'm a filthy witch about to make another egotistical, self-serving, unreasonable demand and am trying to appear as I'm not.
I think you got w and b confused there.

And by all means, feel free to disagree with my mother. She loves a good debate.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:11 PM   #8
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I think you got w and b confused there.

And by all means, feel free to disagree with my mother. She loves a good debate.
No, not confused. Didn't know if the "B" term was allowed on the forum.

And your mother sounds like my kind of gal!
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:57 AM   #9
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Sounds fairly reasonable to me. What I don't understand is when the author has several books in a series and the 1st book has a price and the 2nd or 3rd is the free book. I mean isn't the idea to entice a potential buyer for the series to look it over? It would seem to me that it would make more sense to have the 1st as the free book since it does introduce the author's series of books in that world.
When I see that, I often wonder if some sort of pricing glitch has occurred, cause that makes no sense at all.

But then again, humans never cease to amaze me with the levels of stupid they've managed to come up with.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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When I see that, I often wonder if some sort of pricing glitch has occurred, cause that makes no sense at all.

But then again, humans never cease to amaze me with the levels of stupid they've managed to come up with.
I wish I could disagree... I really do.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:15 AM   #11
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When I see that, I often wonder if some sort of pricing glitch has occurred, cause that makes no sense at all.

But then again, humans never cease to amaze me with the levels of stupid they've managed to come up with.
You can always fall back on Star Trek 4 as far as the quote in one scene, "Whoever said the human race was logical?"
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:26 AM   #12
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Don't know an author alive that makes humble requests, no offense.
I used to make humble requests. I gave it up after the 20th web beating.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:42 AM   #13
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Sounds fairly reasonable to me. What I don't understand is when the author has several books in a series and the 1st book has a price and the 2nd or 3rd is the free book. I mean isn't the idea to entice a potential buyer for the series to look it over? It would seem to me that it would make more sense to have the 1st as the free book since it does introduce the author's series of books in that world.
The best idea I have ever seen got me hooked on Robert Jordan.

I was essentially a kid, and I was at a "newsstand" and they were giving away a nice paperback book. Not a small one either. I asked what was the deal, and the man at the checkout said that the publisher was trying to generate interest. So anyway, I got the free book and was introduced to the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. It turns out that the free fairly large paperback was about the first half of the first volume of the series. He wrote very large books.

I was hooked, and regret very much Jordan's early death.

I have never seen that again.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:15 AM   #14
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You can always fall back on Star Trek 4 as far as the quote in one scene, "Whoever said the human race was logical?"
True, too true...

Still you've got to wonder what an author is thinking:

'My work is so earthshatteringly brilliant I'll stick a high price on the first one, and then give the rest away for free! That way, when people see the prices, they'll know I'm different and special, and they'll be more motivated to buy my expensive first book!'

I mean, I know some godawful dumb people, but I'm pretty sure none of them would consider that to be a good sales technique.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:09 AM   #15
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Still you've got to wonder what an author is thinking:

'My work is so earthshatteringly brilliant I'll stick a high price on the first one, and then give the rest away for free! That way, when people see the prices, they'll know I'm different and special, and they'll be more motivated to buy my expensive first book!'
Or maybe no one wanted to buy the first book because it wasn't brilliant after all, so in a effort to make the sequels more appealing the author made them free. And forgot to drop the price on the first one.
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