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Old 09-09-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
unaj41
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Worthless Book Previews

Kobo needs to do something about their free previews. In their current form they are in my experience almost absolutely useless.
How can be a book preview of any use when all you get is bunch of 'acknowledgments', 'dedication' and other similar type of pages that will tell you exactly zero about the book itself. And when you think you finally reached the actual content of the book the preview ends.
Maybe I am unlucky, but this happens to me with pretty much every book I would like to preview. Either give me a chapter or so or remove the preview option all together.
I wonder who's discretion is it to decide what the book preview can show (kobo or publisher), but either way in the current form I found it of no use.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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LOL... I've made this point numerous times to Kobo.

I do find some books are better now than they were, but will admit I have not looked at many previews of late.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
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Hm that does sound rather useless indeed. I've downloaded a bunch of previews in the past but never got round to looking at them yet... I just tried to look at a few on Kobo Desktop (Mac), but only one would load! The others just opened and showed a blank screen. Pfft. But anyway that's a different issue. The one that did open indeed didn't give me any real book content. So ridiculous.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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I'm glad someone else has experienced this. I just downloaded my first book preview, and was surprised and annoyed that it gave me only a page or two of the text, and lost of the frontmatter. I thought I was just having bad luck or that the whole file hadn't downloaded proper.

It's the sort of thing that makes me more likely to get it from the library than to spend the money on it, since I still don't know anything about the book ... so, it's not really helping Kobo's book sales.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:57 PM   #5
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I have looked at quit a number of previews. Sometimes it is nearly nothing. Other times you get a full chapter or more. I suspect that the amount in preview is not at Kobo's discretion but controlled by the publishers.

My solution - If I get nothing from the preview, the book drops in my deired to be read list, replaced by something with which I do get a meaningful preview. I reward the books that give me what I want and punish those that don't.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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@Nogle; I know though that I would see different previews for the same book from Kobo and Amazon; Amazon seemed to give me a far more useful preview.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:20 PM   #7
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Kobo needs to do something about their free previews. In their current form they are in my experience almost absolutely useless.
Yeah, big waste of time. The preview system is a non starter. They should abandon it and revert to some sort of "review" system.

Generally, I read the "blurb" on the book, then I read any comments. Then I use the internet to avail myself of any reviews of the book. (GoodReads is quite good). Then I decide to add it to my wishlist.

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Old 09-09-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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Better yet, it should be the author's or publisher's responsibility to create a preview version of the book. That will allow them to determine both the amount and portions to include. For something like fiction, it may be the first couple of chapters. For a book on history, it may be the introductory material plus the first chapter. Other types of non-fiction may choose representative chapters (e.g. teachers manuals may include a sample lesson, electronics projects books may include a sample project). A new author may include most of the book, leaving a cliffhanger to encourage the reader to buy the remaining few chapters. But samples as they stand today can be useless at times. Even a better automated approach that incorporates will likely fail because the nature of books varies from genre to genre and from author to author.
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