Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tell Me Something Tuesday [1]: To Read or Not to Read Excerpts?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings! It's a weekly meme that discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. I've seen this feature around the blogosphere, and I'm happy to finally be participating. 😁

Q: Do you really read excerpts when featured on blogs?

No, but I know that excerpts serve a purpose. They give readers a look at the writing style and provide more information on what the book will be about. However, I prefer not knowing anything about a story before I read it. A lot of blurbs have started giving away key information that I would like to discover on my own.

Honestly, I'd rather read reviews for a book! I follow blogs for a reason, and it's usually because I trust the person doing the reviewing. If you are raving over a book that looks interesting, I'll likely add it to my list! Book blogs really do play a large role in what I decide to read.

I've included excerpts for blog tours before, but I always place them at the end of the post. My review is at the top with information about the book, and then I add a page break. This gives readers the option of continuing on to the excerpt, or stopping right after the review. I might not read them, but someone else might appreciate the opportunity.

In the end, it really comes down to time, which I don't have an abundance of. If I manage to squeeze a little blogging into my day, I want to visit blogs and read reviews that are personal and unique to the blogger. Excerpts are normally distributed over various blogs during the course of a blog tour (or something similar), so they tend to pop up often. I also love commenting on other blogs, and reading excerpts takes time that I'm not willing to share!

42 comments:

  1. I am with you. I don't want to read part of a book. I want to read the whole thing. I know there are people out there, who enjoy samplers and excerpts, but not me. Though, I would be more likely to read an excerpt than a sampler, since it is a little bit like an extended synopsis.

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    1. Right? If I start reading something, I want to be able to finish it. Excerpts are just a giant cliffhanger!

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  2. I don't mind an excerpt if a blogger includes it as part of their review and really feels like they want to share a passage that worked for them, or meant a lot to them, but I don't need excerpts either- I'm with you, I'd much rather just read the review. So I don't need to see them very often! I've occasionally included a small excerpt in my reviews, but not very often.

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    1. Oh! I don't mind passages pulled from a book that are included in a review. I love seeing what stood out to people as they read through a story. I'm referring to entire chapters being shared to "hook" you into reading the rest of the book. It's a frustrating concept because a) you love it and want more but don't have it, or b) you hate it and feel like you've wasted your time.

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  3. I think I have read a few excerpts but no I really don't. I don't like excerpts they are a tease to me. I do read reviews though. A lot of them all the time.

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    1. Hard same! I love visiting blogs and finding new books to read, or reading reviews about books I already want to read. It gives me a good idea how the story is being perceived and maybe what to look out for. I'm a mood reader, so if someone says the characters can be annoying, I'll want to wait until I'm in the right headspace for that.

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  4. Sometimes I'll read an excerpt it isn't that long but usually, I'm like you, I don't want to read it if I'm going to read the book. I much prefer reading reviews on blogs. Although, I know people who LOVE excerpts and samplers and will often read them before choosing to pick up a book and it works great for them.

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    1. I tend to skip excerpts for a lot of reasons. If it's something I'm interested in, I don't want to spoil anything for myself. If I'm not interested in the book, I'm not going to spend time reading an excerpt for it. I've rarely seen short excerpts! They usually take up an entire page, lol.

      Some people do love reading excerpts, and that's why I include them on blog tours. I just format the post in a way that doesn't throw the excerpt in your face. I can understand the appeal behind them, but they're not for me. :)

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  5. Occasionally I'll read an excerpt, if I want to get an idea of the writing style like you said, but most often not. I feel like I don't get a lot out of them, because I'm not getting the full context.

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    1. If the excerpt follows a review and the blogger LOVED the book, I might skim the first few sentences of the excerpt. I don't think I've ever read one in its entirety.

      I agree! Excerpts make me feel like I've glimpsed the future, so if I do decide to read the book, I'm anticipating something that's going to happen. I'd rather not know!

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  6. I'm the same Linds, I love the passion and drama of a book review foremost. I have a group of trusted reviewers, including your lovely self, that I can tell just by the tone of their reviews and I know the book won't be for me. I read excerpts but usually of most anticipated read. Which then makes me only want them moooooore.

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    1. You've brought so many books to my attention! I almost always add them to my TBR. Most recently: Tin Man. I enjoy your reviews and how concise they are. They always convey your thoughts in a beautiful, poetic way. <3

      Okay, so maybe if it was for a book within a series... Like, if I've read the first two books and there is an excerpt for the third, I'd definitely read that! I would already know the writing style, the characters, the world--so no surprises.

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  7. not a lot but it depends on the book

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    1. How so? Would you read an excerpt for a book you were interested in, or one that you weren't? Do you like long excerpts? Short?

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  8. Yeah, I’m the same. I can see how the excerpt might be handy but I don’t want to know anything about the book if I decide to read it.

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    1. I love picking up books that have been on my TBR for awhile, because I've usually forgotten what they're about! I have a general idea, and I know I added it for a reason, but it allows me to go into it without any expectations.

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  9. I agree with you completely. I understand the use of excerpts, but overall I feel like the review from the blogger is much more useful. Also everyone is a different type of reader, so those personal reviews are more useful for me in terms of getting to know the book.

    Keep on Reading

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    1. Agreed! I really love reading multiple reviews for the same book. Like you said, everyone is a different type of reader, so we get to read reviews from different perspectives. One person might highlight the writing, while the other spoke more about the content. Also, if a lot of people seem to have the same issue with one book, I know what to look out for.

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  10. Completely agree! I don't mind excerpts and like when bloggers feature them, but I don't usually take the time to read them. Firstly, because there already is so little time and like you I'd rather read the review, and secondly because I generally don't really like excerpts and prefer to read the book as a whole anyway.

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    1. If it comes down to reading a review or an excerpt, I'll pick the review every time. It's personal and speaks more to the book as a whole. An excerpt is usually a random passage from the story, and it's almost always taken out of context.

      Like you, I don't mind that they're there, but I just skip them in favor of the review. Also, I always feel a little weird going into a book when I've already read something from it. It's like my mind is constantly trying to place the information I already have stored away.

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  11. This is a great question, actually. Honestly? I skimmed through excerpts but most of the time, I bypass them altogether.

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    1. Me too! I follow a lot of blogs that I really enjoy reading, and excerpts take time away from that.

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  12. Thanks for being part of TMST this week, Lindsi. Looks like we have the same opinion on excerpts. I honestly don’t think that most people read them. We don’t have the time to wade through those excerpts, especially if we aren’t interested in the book. I read blogs for reviews and discussions, not cut and paste posts.

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    1. I'm happy to participate! I've always loved this feature. <3

      Based on the comments... I don't think too many people actually read excerpts! Everyone seems to prefer reading reviews and I agree. Yes! Time! Excerpts are so lengthy, and I really don't want to commit to reading them.

      This: "I read blogs for reviews and discussions, not cut and paste posts." 100% agree. :)

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  13. Ha! So Karen and me had you cornered! (Just kidding - you probably visit a lot of blogs that participate in this meme 😉. Anyway, I'm on a TMST hiatus this week and the next...).

    I'm fiercely interested in excerpts of books that have already stricken my fancy - I actually go out of my way to see if they have been posted on Amazon, until they do. They can make or break a book for me - even if the book sounds up my alley, I need a taste of it before I decide. But I agree - excerpts on blog tours doesn't look all that interesting (though I have posted them a couple of times, for books I did want to read or indie authors I trusted). I mean, if the blurb doesn't appeal to me, no amount of well-crafted words will convince me to read the book.

    It's a nice idea, to format your posts in a way that lets the reader decide if tackling the excerpt or not!

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    1. Haha! It was probably you, Karen, and a few others. ;)

      Ohhh, I think you're the first person to mention being curious about excerpts! Definitely the first one to mention searching for them. I love that you enjoy reading them to determine if a book will work for you. How does that work? Are you judging the writing style or something else? I ask because I feel like excerpts leave me feeling more frustrated than curious. What is it you look for in an excerpt? I'm genuinely curious! <3

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    2. Boy, am I late for this.

      Yes, the writing style is my main focus of course - sometimes I get curious about a certain book, and it might even end up being a great book as far as the story/message is concerned, but if me and the style don't click right off the bat, I pass. Also, I don't know...I try to figure what the general atmosphere will be, maybe? I'm not completely sure - what I do know is, excerpts can make or break a book for me.

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  14. I really should say no to blog tours that feature them, I mean I do not read them, and as I have seen, none do lol

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    1. I don't mind including them! A few people mentioned enjoying them (or at least skimming the information) if it's for a book they're interested in. It just depends on the reader!

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  15. I very rarely read excerpts in blog posts. Even if it's a book I'm interested in, and know I'm going to read, I still don't want the sneak peak. :) You also brought up a good point about time. Especially if I know I'm not going to read the book, I'm not going to spend the time reading the excerpt.
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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    1. Yes! I dislike the sneak peaks! It's also why I've stopped watching as many movie trailers. They're starting to reveal too much. I want to experience the story for myself (and as a whole).

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  16. I agree! I would way rather read a review. I'm not a fan of reading something that happens in the middle of a book. I want to start a book from the beginning and then continue reading it to the end. I even feel this way about sequels that I'm looking forward to - I won't even read excerpts from them! Or you know how sometimes there's the beginning excerpt of a sequel in back ofthe preceding book? I don't even read those. I just want to read a book from start to finish and when I'm ready to read it. Lol.

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    1. Oh! I didn't even think of that! Yes, there are those little excerpts in the back of the book, and I always skip them! Either I already have the second book, or I don't just want to read the first few pages. It's like taking one bite of pie and putting the rest back in the refrigerator. You JUST DON'T DO THAT.

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  17. I only rarely read any part of an excerpt. If I do, it is usually just a small part of what is posted. Like you, I am more interested in reading reviews.

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    1. Reviews give you a better idea about the book as a whole, and are not as likely to spoil something!

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  18. I almost never read an excerpt, but I think they can be good for self-pubbed books to get a feel for if the writing's decent

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. This is true, too... I didn't think about it from a self-published angle. I can see how excerpts could be relevant/helpful in those scenarios.

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  19. Replies
    1. *blows kisses*
      *pets Indy and Fonzi*
      *throws toy for Figment*

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  20. I get the idea behind excerpts but I don't really read them unless it's a quick scene or something. I just don't have the time, and like you said, I'd rather spend the time reading a review and commenting. :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Even if it's a quick scene... it feels wrong to read something out of order! Lol! My OCD requires me to start from the beginning. :)

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  21. Same about the time thing. Also it's hard for me to focus/concentrate because of constant brain fog, so I'm really not interested in reading excerpts. Usually the only time I do read excerpts is sometimes when I'm deciding on a book, and I usually will read the preview on Amazon if it's available. If not, I might look for an excerpt. I haven't been doing this as much lately... but I need to start again, for review copies at least, because seeing the writing style helps me weed out the ones I don't/wouldn't enjoy.

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