Friday, January 15, 2010

Do you read excerpts?

TGIF!! I can't wait for the week-end. My week wasn't bad, but I'm not going to complain about the week-end being around the corner :D

I don't have much to say today... I've spent the whole week reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I have a few pages left from The Last Olympian which is the last book of the series. If my muse helps me, I'll spend the week-end writing one or many posts about the books :D

In the meantime, I don't want to neglect my blog... So I thought I'd start a discussion :D

The question is simple: Do you read excerpts or not? And why or when?
(I'm talking about both online excerpts and the ones you can find at the end of books.)

Surprisingly, I'm not usually an excerpt reader. Strange no, for a girl who can't help herself from reading the ending of a book? :P My main reason for not reading excerpt is because reading a few pages of a book that is going to come in 6 months or a year... that's pure torture!! LOL. I know that once I'll read the excerpt, I'll want to know more... and more... and it'll be eating at me :P Also, reading excerpts can sometime hike up the expectations that I have with a book... and too high expectations, that's never good - you're only setting yourself up for even bigger disappointments.

With the internet, I know that a lot of authors and publishers are posting many chapters excerpts. For example, starting from this month I believe, Ms Kelley Armstrong is posting one chapter/month of The Reckoning, the last book in her YA Darkest Powers trilogy, till the release date. That means 4 or 5 chapters will be circulating on the internet. For some reasons though, I'm not tempted. Having so much of the book out already, I guess I'm afraid that it will ruin my experience when I'll get the actual book.

I know that many read excerpts before making a decision when they decide to try a new author. They want to find out about the writing style before embarking... and that's really wise. However, it doesn't work that way for me. Enjoying the back blurb, recommendations from blogland or even the cover are enough criteria for me :)

Of course, I'll cave from time to time and will read an excerpt. When that happens, it's usually the excerpt at the end of the book that will give an insight about the author's future work. The latest excerpt I've read was Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews at the end of Magic Strikes. Although, if my memory is correct, I've read the excerpt on my re-read of the book LOL. Do I regret it? No. The excerpt was great... but it's made waiting for the book really difficult... I mean, I was already looking forward for it, but now even more ^_^; It made me want to look for spoilers and any tidbits I could find about it... And it's especially hard since Magic Bleeds will only come out end of May/beginning of June and usually, this series has a release date of March ^_^;;

Also, I found out that excerpts at the end of books are not set in stone... For example, I remember reading the excerpt for Broken by Kelley Armstrong and the story was actually changed! :D

As for online excerpt. It's funny, because I do visit authors' websites to find out more about blurbs, next releases and all the possible information... but I'll rarely click on excerpt. Weird no?

All right, your turn now :) Are you an excerpt reader?


  1. I don't. I end up getting confused, thinking that I have read the book.

    Sorry, I will qualify that, with a very rarely.

  2. I very rarely read excerpts. Only a few times a year and then it's these certain very special books, usually series, when I really want to know what's going to happen in the next book. E.g. Fever-series by KMM.

  3. I almost always read the ones at the end of print books. I'll read an excerpt online if it's something I've been looking for, or if it's a new-to-me author and I want to ensure I like their voice. Other than that, meh.

  4. Hell yes. First, to decide if it goes on my TBB list and calendar.
    Second, to see if I like the author's voice & if its first person or third person POV. Thta's why I only buy keepers LOL.

  5. Good question. My answer is 'no'.
    I can only think of one time that I have ever read one.

  6. Generally? No. Like you I find the exercise pure torture, especially when it's a book I know I'll WANT to read. So I read an excerpt and BOOM! I want book now. Not in 6 months.

    That being said, I'll occasionally read excerpts for books I'm on the fence about - or authors that are totally new-to-me to see if their "style" appeals.

  7. With Wendy on this - yes if it's a new-to-me author to get a feel for their writing style, no if I know I'm oh so definitely going to get their book.

    Though I totally caved and read Ilona Andrews' snippet of Kate 5 that she posted on her blog. Aaaarrgghhhh...


    PS Did you change your comments to disallow anonymous comments?

  8. I'm very much like you but I can't stop reading if there is a blurb of the author's next book at the end of the keeper story I just read. Nalini Singh, Anne Stuart, Kresley Cole - I tend to read their excerpts and go bat-poo crazy ;)

    I don't like to read a chapter of a book online because it feels like when I go to buy the book I'm paying for less of a story - isn't that ridiculous?

    That said, I did go and read the excerpt of Valdez's possible release in May. While reading it I wondered if the excerpt from the back of Passion was now void because I didn't see where the scene would come into play. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

    So, yes, I read them at back of books. I read them online if I want to see what's coming but if I think it's too much of an excerpt - a chapter or more then I will willingly stop reading.


  9. So how do you like the percy jackson books?

  10. Great discussion topic, nath.

    I used to read online excerpts all the time, but honestly, I don't so much any more. I think I'd rather just wait to read a book from start to finish when I'm ready to. The only time I will read an online excerpt these days is if it is short--like a few short paragraphs.

    If I'm reading a paper books that's part of a series and there's an excerpt for the next book in the back? Then I definitely read it to whet my appetite.

    Have a great weekend.

  11. I read them sometimes. If it's a book that has gotten a lot of good reviews, I'll usually read the blurb on the authors website.

    Books at the library that catch my eye but I haven't heard anything about them, I'll read the blurb.

    As for reading blurbs, snippets etc months ahead of time - I do but usually don't remember them when the book comes out. :)

    Interesting question nath. I'm surprised at the number of readers that don't read the blurbs, I just assumed everyone did.

  12. Leslie, I think nath is referring to chapter excerpts from the book or other similar length passages. Those I don't generally read as I'd rather wait for the whole book.

    Book blurbs, which are more along the lines of one or two short paragraphs describing the story, I definitely read!

    nath, I'm next on queue at my library for the first Percy Jackson novel. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  13. Ohhh... okay. :) Yeah, I still read them and still forget them months later. :D

  14. I (usually) don't read excerpts of books from authors I already read. Reason: I read them and then I want to continue and can't. And when I finally get the book, I find myself skipping the first few pages because I know I've already read them. Not a good way to get into the book! So no excerpts there for me.

    I'll sometimes make an exception for a new-to-me author to see if I like the voice and writing style.

  15. I often read them at the end of a book but rarely read them online. I don't know why that is

  16. I read the ones at the end of the book but not usually the online ones. If the excerpt is from the next book in the series... I'm usually chomping at the bit to see what's going to happen next, so I read the excerpt LOL...

  17. For new-to-me authors or for those books I'm on the fence about reading (i.e. didn't sound interesting, etc), I try to always read the excerpt before adding to my TBB list, to gauge the author's writing style and/or to see if the book was something that wouldn't bore me.

    For favorite authors, sometimes I read the excerpts depending on my mood. Most times though, I don't want to torture myself.

  18. I rarely read an on-line excerpt, especially if it's a book I'm looking forward to. Note I said rarely, because I've done so in the past.

    If they're at the end of the book, I'll read them sometimes, depending on the book. For example, if I'm not sure weather I'll continue with a series or not, I'll read the excerpt to see if I'm really interested in the upcoming installment. If I'm positive I want to continue with the series, I won't read it. :) Hope that's clear! LOL!

  19. I often read first chapter excerpts at the end of books. I just can't seem to stop myself..I finish the last page of the book and the excerpt is right there....

    I rarely read online excerpts, though. The only time I do is if it's a new-to-me author and I need to see if their writing-style will work for me.

  20. Wow!! Thank you for all the comments! I didn't expect so many of you to respond :D

    Personally, I thought I was an exception - not reading excerpts... but from the response, it seems the opposite!!

    Oh and I'd like to add... You know how there's no excerpt in hardcover books? However, when they are re-released in mass market, usually a few weeks before the next book by the author comes out in HC? Well sometimes, I'll look for the mass market and read the excerpt at the end of the book LOL :) But in those case, I don't have to wait for months b4 the release :P

    Natasha - Good point about confusion.

    Maija - LOL, I know what you mean!! I do that sometimes and I always kind of end up regretting it.

    Lori - Do you read excerpts of books you've already read? :P

    Mary - LOL, sometimes enjoying the voice of an author doesn't insure that it's a keeper... but it helps :D

    Seneca - What was the excerpt you read?

    Wendy - I know!! Pure torture, right? :)

    Me, for books I'm on the fence - I go to the bookstore, find a copy and read the ending ^_^;

    Li - Kate 5?!?! That's after Magic Bleeds or are you counting the novella as Kate 4?

    I love the snippets on Ilona Andrews's blog, but yeah, it's torture... Sigh.

    By the way, yes, I did disallow anonymous comments... Does that cause a problem for you? The reason is, I was getting way too many spam comments lately. However, if it's a problem for you, let me know and I'll put back the old setting.

    Cindy - It's not that ridiculous, Cindy. It's true, if an author post so many of her chapters online... I don't know, you ended up paying more for less.

    Isabel - I enjoyed them a lot, Isabel :D Thanks for your review!! :D I'm going to try to write a post soon :D

    Christine - Thanks Christine :D It's a question I wanted to ask for a while now :D

    Yeah, a few paragraphs to a few pages is good... LOL, I guess we like excerpts in moderation :P

    By the way, Christine, I hope you enjoy the Percy Jackson series :D I liked it a lot :D

    Leslie - Like Christine pointed out, yes, I meant excerpts, not blurb. I read all the blurbs as well... cos otherwise, it's really hard to make a decision :D

    I have a good memory, so usually, I do remember them :P

    Taja - I actually do the same as you, skipping the first few pages because I've read them already. I mean, I want new material!! :D

    Kristie - Laziness? Going to an author website and looking for it...

    Justpeachy - LOL, I know what you mean... but then, it's usually not really relevant. Sometimes, I'll read excerpts to know who's the next H/H :)

    Tabitha - I definitively should start doing that, reading excerpts for new authors... but I usually buy new authors on impulse... so it's hard to plan ^_^;

    Hilcia - Yep, it was clear... That's a good reason too, not knowing whether you'll continue or not... Hmmm.

    Holly - Hi Holly :D Seems like many think like you...

    I wonder about reading excerpts online if it's because people don't visit author's website as much... Hmmm.

  21. Nope, not me..
    I don't watch film trailers either..just like to jump right in with both feet :)

  22. crackberrybooks - Oh, that's interesting about trailers :D What do you do when you go to movies theater?

  23. I don't read them. I would want to continue reading, especially for upcoming books of series I'm in, and would get mad that I couldn't. LOL

  24. Ames - I know. Pure torture, that's what I say :D