Okay, okay, I know what I'm about to say is going to make some people upset but I've noticed a trend and I have to say something about it. If you are a writer or an author you will be especially annoyed especially if you have done this foolishness.
The writer has a book cover for their display picture. They also have the title of their book as the name of their page. You click on their name especially if either one or both interest you, you go look at the blog to see an excerpt of the book but there is none. You scroll down the page looking for some information about the book but see nothing more than a pretty cover. If you are lucky, they have left a video about their book on their page but if you are anything like me you have no desire to look at a video that is probably laced with bad video editing. You sigh to yourself and say, "Oh well, won't be buying that one!"
Most writer's use social networks like Myspace to do book marketing. If used correctly this is a great idea. The problem is that so many writer's don't use this correctly. It's nice to have a pretty book cover, but darn it, I want to read an excerpt as well. You've just spent the last two seconds gaining my attention by your book cover, keep my attention by giving me something great to read. Reading your excerpt is going to go much faster than me waiting for your youtube video to download, that might not download, might skip or if I am lucky enough to view it, I might not understand the message or I may think it isn't a good enough book for me to want to read.
Now, don't get me wrong having a book trailer because that is the correct term for it, can be cool but what good is a book trailer without a book excerpt? You can't have one without the other. Even movies have written excerpts about them. Let's act like we want our book to sell and use any and all correct methods of marketing possible. Now, if you can't write a good excerpt then you may want to look into paying your editor (granted you have one as some do not) or paying a service to write your excerpt for you.
Now let us say you don't have a video on your page. There is nothing more irritating than to look for an excerpt of your book and find nothing. I don't care how pretty you think your book is IF I CAN'T READ WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT I AM NOT GOING TO BUY IT! LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN: IF I CAN'T READ WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT I AM NOT GOING TO BUY IT! I also don't care if you have pictures on your page with people holding your book and some of them are famous. I can pay anybody to hold my book, that still doesn't tell me what your book is about.
If you are famous, have a few books under your belt, I've followed your writing, you may be able to get away with this foolishness, but for the most part most of you are not famous, I don't know who you are (neither do my friends) and so because of this ridiculous oversight, you have just lost a customer. Not just one customer, but me, my friends, their friends, etc. Every lost customer is a lost sale. A lost sale is less money in your pocket because let's be realistic here: Every dollar counts. You can say all day that you wrote just to get published but that is foolishness, you wrote to sell your book, to make money, to quit your day job, pay for your kids education, get out from under debt. You wrote to sell!
So let me say this one more time-WRITE A DAMN EXCERPT! LEAVE AN EXCERPT! LET THE READER READ WHAT YOUR BOOK IS ABOUT. I DON'T CARE HOW PRETTY YOUR BOOK COVER IS IF I CAN'T READ WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT-I AM NOT BUYING IT!
Are we clear? I hope so! I'm done venting for the day!