Since Christmas is tomorrow I know some of you have been tempted to take a sneak peek at what you are getting. Or perhaps you have done that long since. Being as decade enhanced as I am I know everything I am getting. Not through any abundance of higher intellect but simply as the head female of this tiny household I had my hand in the conception of every present. Heading back to the point of this post I wanted to chat a bit about sneak peeks or extras in the book world.
As I see it there are:
Synopsis - Time was when just being able to read these small paragraphs was enough to entice you. Then the covers got more fancy. Which in turn led to cover reveals.
Extracts - I am not sure I have read an extract that gets me too excited. They are just such a random view into the book. There is a huge possibility of being misled.
First Chapter of Next Book - Only once or twice have I bothered to read the first chapter of the sequel included at the end of a book. Usually this is because there is just too much time left until the sequel is published. Instead of helping tide me through the wait I get really unsatisfied at knowing a smidgen of what will happen next. I guess it is a bit like a sentence of a song stuck in my head. I just want to finish singing the whole song and move on. But instead I am stuck with the same line. The other reason I don't read the extra chapter at the end I that the sequel is already published. Might as well get the next book and read straight through.
Sample Reads - I really do like to charge head first into what I am reading. Once I sat down with ten books and read the first chapter of each before moving on. I finished the books in order of how exciting the first chapters were to read. Surprisingly the overall rating didn't differ much from my opinion of the first chapter. So I can see the wisdom in releasing sample reads. We can taste it before buying the whole cake. It may actually help increase profits when people feel there is some sort of warranty. If you don't like the first five chapters then don't bother buying. Thank you for your time and hopefully one of these other books will catch your fancy. I haven't bothered to read any of these samples yet. Largely I am just to swamped with books already I don't have time to spend on just a few chapters. The time it would take me to read five chapters of five different books would equal a sizable amount of reading in my TBR pile. Maybe someday I will get caught up and will have the time to check out these sample reads.
Novellas - While there have been one or two novellas that I have enjoyed I wouldn't say I found any of them necessary. Which I suppose is the point since otherwise they would have been in the main book. But more to the point I didn't feel they were all that necessary to me. I think it turns out I am not much of a short story lover. There just isn't as much development of character or story in the scant pages. So I usually pass on novellas unless I come across them free.
Extras - I feel there are two main categories to extras.
- Deleted Scenes - I have favored much of the deleted scenes I have read. It is so nice to get a little more insight into a moment. Sometimes a deleted scene can give us some appreciation for editors and the revision process. To better understand just what is important to the story and pace and what doesn't best reflect the true characters. I recently read a deleted scene for Edenbrooke. I very much enjoyed reading the scene. It was nice to understand why the scene was deleted but to have a extra few minutes inside that world.
- New POV's - The male POV's are probably my favorite extra. It is so fascinating to be able to see inside their mind. Sometimes it clarifies a suspicion. Hands down I have enjoyed every one of these I have read. My latest favorite was from Sweet Evil. I had some suspicions about the state of his feelings but not any concrete evidence. Being able to read his POV for that scene made a huge difference. It helped me better understand him and get all the more attached to knowing how his future works out.
I feel much like Christmas purists on this. Bit by bit all of this hype feels more like brainwashing to get us to buy the product. So very commercial. Almost like the meaning of books is being lost. The magic of the unknown and the beauty of discovery are slipping. Ever noticed that all these sneak peeks give the impression that if the book didn't warrant these little early reveals it isn't a book worth picking up. Instead of simply using word of mouth to discover a great book we trust the big publishers to tell us what to read. Since when should we trust those who are in the business of selling books? Just because they have published a great one before does not guarantee they will again. Plus it is impossible for any one publisher to get access to every great book being written. I think those who read books and don't stand to benefit by praising a good book that should carry a heavier weight. Anyway this is a topic for another day.What brought me back to reading wasn't some fancy reveal or sneak peek. It was some very high praise for a book by a close friend.
So I guess my questions are these:
Do you feel all these sneak peeks ruin some of the magic of the book?
Do you like to read the sneak peek chapters?
Do you crave extras like little side stories or male POV's?
Do you like any of these extra perks?