Romance Writing Tip of the Day: #11
Contributor
Written by
Yuwanda Black
April 2014
Contributor
Written by
Yuwanda Black
April 2014

How Much of a Preview Should You Give Readers of Your New Romance Novel

In the last post, we discussed One Simple Way to Sell More Copies of Your Romance Novel. I just want wanted to expand upon this tip a bit, which was all about letting readers know what you're working on from one novel to the next.

My previews  are short (as little as 200 words) and long (over 1,500 words). Following are the actual word counts of previews of my romance novels.

Trapped by Desire: 231 words

The Courage to Love: 1,572 words

Return to Me: 1,339 words

Return to Me II: 220 words (my latest release)

Desperate for More: 1,212 (Coming This month!)

So, Do Longer or Shorter Previews Sell More Romance Novels?

Based on my own personal sales, the longer previews definitely sell more. And, this may be why distributors that target self publishers (eg, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) advise giving readers a generous read before asking them to purchase. Most recommend at least 20 to 30%.

So if it's a 100-page book, then you want to allow readers to access the first 20 or 30 pages for free.

Note: Read all parts of the "Romance Writing Tips" (see end of the post).

P.S.: Here's a preview of Desperate for More, my next release, which will be out this month ...

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

             

 

The Christmas lights glistening from the little bar beckoned Kingston. Even though it wasn't the holidays, she'd noticed that lots of the quaint little bars on this tiny little Caribbean island used them year-round, much to her delight.

 

 

 

She loved Christmas lights, and the clear ones in particular were perfect lighting against a setting Caribbean sun.

 

 

 

            "Why not?" she said to herself as she decided on a whim to have a drink. It'd been a long day and she was exhausted.

 

 

 

            As she looked up from securing her shoulder bag on the hook in front of her bar stool, her light-brown eyes collided with a pair of striking hazel ones.

 

 

 

            "Is this seat taken?" the owner of the remarkable orbs said.

 

 

 

            "No. No it's not," Kingston said.

 

 

 

            The rest of him was as arresting as his eyes. Kingston didn't think she'd ever seen a more overtly handsome man. He was almost too perfect. No, strike that. He was perfect. Human beings that looked like him were as rare as red diamonds.

 

 

 

            Kingston judged him to be a few inches above six feet. Short, wet, midnight-black hair was slicked back from a granite-hewn forehead. Modelesque cheekbones framed slightly full lips which were perfectly balanced by a flawless square chin.

 

 

 

Realizing that she was staring, Kingston dug into her shoulder bag for her wallet.

 

 

 

            Taking the bar stool beside her, the stranger held out his hand and said, "I'm Christian. Christian Grant."

 

 

 

Returning the gesture, she said, "Kingston. Kingston St. Claire."

 

. . .

 

 

 

            That initial meeting in the Caribbean four months previous seemed like a lifetime ago, Kingston thought. Now, she was Mrs. Christian Grant, wife of the heir to the Grant billions – and she couldn't have been more unhappy.

 

 

 

Where had it all started to go so wrong when it started out so right?

 

. . .

 

 

 

"Christian please, we don’t have to continue this charade," Kingston pleaded. "Neither one of us are happy. Just let me go."

 

 

 

"It's not that simple my darling Kingston," Christian said, looking at her through half-hooded eyes.

 

 

 

He could be so hard to read sometimes, she thought, especially when he shielded his eyes like he was doing right now.

 

 

 

"There's never been a divorce in my family. We are the Grants don't you know," he said sardonically. "I won't bring shame to my family's name. Not now. Not ever. How would it look if my wife – even an ex-wife – was out on the street, struggling to make ends meet?"

 

 

 

"My family has never been in the tabloids for anything but our good deeds. I plan to keep it that way."

 

 

 

"You don't care about scandal any more than I do," Kingston said. "I know you don't; it's not in your character to care about what tabloids say. If it's money, I've told you, I don't want anything from you. So why are you insisting on staying married?"

 

 

 

"While I appreciate your, shall we say, principles," he said slowly, "who's to say you'll hold onto them in three months, six months, a year when you're struggling to make ends meet? Do you know how much these rags pay for even a little bit of tiny gossip about a family like mine – even if it's not true?"

 

 

 

"Besides, my dear, there's no pre-nup between us, much to the shock of my family. That's a testament to your incredible beauty, by the way. You bewitched me on that island you know," he said, moving towards her. "And, why shouldn't I enjoy all the advantages of your wifely beauty."

 

 

 

Kingston backed away from him, until she felt the wood of the large, oak desk behind her.

 

 

 

Closing the few feet between them, Christian lightly lifted a lock of her chocolate brown curls. She could smell the cognac on his breath, which caused her to suck in hers. She loved the smell of cognac on him. It was masculine and sexy all at once.

 

 

 

"I've never desired a woman the way I do you Kingston. Your lips were made for kissing," he said, lowering his head and taking hers to prove his point.

 

 

 

"Your breasts fit perfectly my hands," he said, running his hands over the silk blouse she wore, where the peaks of her engorged mounds betrayed her by making their presence known.

 

 

 

"And this," he said, lifting her billowy skirt to ease his fingers inside her womanhood, "is where heaven is. I find heaven every time I bury myself in you," he said, crushing her lips as he swirled his fingers inside her.

 

 

 

Kingston groaned and gave in to the sensations overtaking her. "Christian, oh Christian."

 

 

 

"Yes my beauty," he said as he let out a slow breath and pulled away from her.

 

 

 

It took every ounce of his control not to lean her back and take her right there on the centuries-old desk in the library of their home.

 

 

 

"While we may not have the perfect marriage, mi cherie," he was saying, as she fought through the drug of passion he'd brought on, "there is one area in which we have always been perfect."

 

 

 

"But you can't build a marriage on sex!" Kingston said desperately, regaining a modicum of her faculties.

 

 

 

Grabbing her in a bone-crushing kiss, he said, "Tell yourself that when you scream my name every time we make love, when I plunge into you and you beg for more, when you blossom into desire beneath me."

 

 

 

"You're my wife Kingston. And come hell or high water, you'll stay my wife," he said as he lightly ran a finger across her kiss-bruised lips.

 

. . .

 

 

 

Kingston put a hand to her kiss-swollen lips and slumped into the leather swivel chair on the other side of the oak desk. Why did her body betray her every time with him? Why?

 

 

 

Christian was right, the passion between them was undeniable. But it wasn't enough – not for her, not when she wanted so much more from the man she'd married.

 

 

 

But how could she have it when he believed all she married him for was his money?

 

. . .

 

 

 

Christian felt like a bona fide ass for refusing to release Kingston from their marriage.

 

 

 

But he couldn't get past the fact that her words said one thing, yet her body said something else. She desired him, there was no doubt about that. And he desired her – so much more than in his bed. He'd never met a woman who he connected with on so many levels.

 

 

 

Their impromptu wedding on the small Caribbean island of Malikar had been the happiest day of his life. Even though they'd gotten married after only a week, he'd never felt that it was a mistake.

 

 

 

But being back in New York had changed everything.

 

 

 

He'd do anything to make her happy and if a divorce was what she truly wanted, he knew he'd eventually give it to her. But, first he wanted a chance to prove to her that their union could be so much if they gave their fledgling love a real chance.

 

. . .

 

 

 

She was strapped financially.

 

 

 

He was trapped socially.

 

 

 

They were entangled in a love where they were both … Desperate for More, but could they trust their feelings enough to fight for it?

 

 

 

P.S.: Series Finale – Don't forget -- Return to Me, Part III, the final part of this Amazon Top 100 multi-cultural romance series, will be out at the end of this month (April 2014).

 

 

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