I’ve almost posted this exact post about six times now, and today I’m actually going to take a deep breath and do it!

When I was a kid I had a friend whose family made a visit to Costco every Tuesday and Friday at 11:15 in the morning. Why? Because at 11 am all the demo ladies would go set out their sample tables and by 11:15 all the food was made and still hot. Then, either as a family or individually, they’d wander the store and “have lunch”.

Well, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple and just about any other store that sells eBooks offer samples, too. These samples may not be offered by a woman wearing an oversized apron, latex gloves and a hair net standing behind a table, holding out a little cup or napkin with something on it while calling out for anyone in that area of the store who’d like a sample to come on over and try this. But they do offer samples all the same.

Now, some may wonder, why read the sample when the book has a lot of good or not-so-good reviews? Aren’t those enough to tell me if I’ll like or not like the book? Well, here’s the thing about reviews, all they are is just personal opinions, nothing more. What one person loves, someone else hates and vice versa. One of my all-time favorite books has some very nasty reviews and one book I absolutely hated had more than 100 5-star reviews and an overall 4 1/2 star rating.

What does all of this mean?

It means that I, as both an author and a reader, strongly encourage people to read the 10% sample offered. That’s long enough to know if you’ll enjoy the characters, plot, where the story is going, the author’s writing style etc. Remember, what bothers some people may not bother you and what irritates you may not have been mentioned in a review,  so  by reading the sample first you’ll have a better idea if that book is or isn’t for you. Samples are free and take probably no more than an hour of your time. That’s a small sacrifice to make to avoid buying and reading a book you’ll hate.

Just my 2 cents.

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