I thought it an appropriate time to talk about the free sample option Amazon has with the Kindle program. Consider it like going to the bookstore (well, that is if there are many of them still open these days) and turning a few pages before buying it. You can get a free sample of a book – usually a few chapters – to try out and see if the book is something you are interested in prior to buying. I use the feature quite a bit, as I get extremely annoyed in shelling out money for a book and realizing about 10% of the way through it I think it’s not for me.
From time-to-time, Amazon will make available a book that has an introduction and a chapter or two of a book for free: I guess you could call it the “super sampler” in that you get to try out more of a book for free. On the other hand, James Patterson books often release 30 chapter for free but there is a catch – his chapters sometimes are just a paragraph or two so who knows if it is really longer than the free sample of a book? I really think of those as a marketing gimmick, listing a few chapters as a “free book.”
I don’t really care too much either way – if I am interested in the book, I will do one of two things:
- If it is a free book and I am even remotely interested in it, I will download the whole thing. What do I have to lose? Nothing (e.g., it’s free!). Should I complain because I don’t like the genre? No. Again, it’s free – why the sense of entitlement? Over the past year there has been a lot of religious-genre fiction offered for free on the Amazon website, and a lot of folks have been complaining loudly about it on the Amazon discussion boards every time an item like this becomes available. Why? I don’t know – a publisher is making it available for free. Maybe the complaint should be directed at other publishers who are choosing to not offer their items for free. Like I said before, you don’t have anything to lose! Maybe these folks should try out this blog as I try to inform you of other free items available from third-party sites in addition to Amazon.
- If it is not a free book (gasp!), I usually will download the sample in order to see if I like the first couple of pages, then make my buying decision. Why waste $9.99 (or more) sight unseen when I can have a sample downloaded to my Kindle for free?
I bring this up as I don’t want any of you to forget about the free sample option. Since I counted them up a little while ago, I actually have 63 samples to check out on my Kindle. I select 3-4 samples at a time when I see something after trolling through the Amazon store, but I may not check the sample out until later. Why wait so long? Usually, it is because I am in the middle of another book – I’m not one of those people who can multitask between three and four books at the same time. When I’m reading a book, I’m usually pretty absorbed and get deep into the story, characters, etc. and can look up at the clock and realize three hours have quickly passed.
With the free samples, plus the 150+ books on my Kindle now, I should be set for a long time…
Hope that helps!