Making the first chapter of your book (or books) available on your website is a smart idea for two reasons:
1) It gives potential readers who visit your website the opportunity to check out your work at no cost
2) It gives you a tool for driving potential readers to your website
I now have seven published novels, and the first chapters to all of them are available here on my website. One way I use those links is via social media. Four of my books make up a series starring the same protagonist, so I created a Facebook profile for her. Every day I log in to her account to see if any of her “friends” have a birthday. For those who do, I post the link to the first chapter of her latest book on their walls as a little “birthday gift.” It’s fun for me, and my fans really enjoy it too! (The personal interaction with my readers is another benefit of this approach.)
I also include a link to the first chapter in my monthly newsletter anytime I announce that I have a new book coming out. This allows my loyal readers to get an early glimpse. The same goes for Twitter. If you read my post on using Twitter you’ll know I don’t recommend tweeting too much about your book (or only about your book), but an occasional link to a first chapter is perfectly acceptable. And smart.
Remember that you’re competing with literally millions of other books, so anything you can do to get potential readers to look at your book is worth trying. Why not put your first chapter out there? It’s free, and people like free.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.