I’m personally not a fan of teaser chapters–once I start reading a book, I want to be able to choose whether I keep reading it–but they can be very useful for those who want to try before they buy. Now you can try 25 of them at once:
OPENING ACTS [is] a sampler of 25 first chapters from 25 of SFNovelists’ members. And best of all (from your perspective): it’s free! And available in a multitude of formats! And you can read it, pass it on, share it with your friends!
The author list includes a lot of well-known names: Laura Anne Gilman, T.A. Pratt, Martha Wells, Marie Brennan, Jim C. Hines, C.E. Murphy, Janni Lee Simner, Louise Marley. Even the most hardened e-book skeptic might be tempted.
Since publishers are shoving the burden of publicity onto authors, it makes sense for those authors to pool their resources, reduce their individual burdens, and ride one another’s coat-tails–that’s a sufficiently disparate group of authors that every download means some of them will get to reach a fan they might not have reached otherwise–while individually spending less time on promotion, which means having more time for things like writing. I hope SFNovelists posts a follow-up telling us how many people have downloaded the book. If it’s popular, other groups could follow this example. For instance, I’d love to see a SFWA free online library where readers can download anthologies of sample chapters and short works by SFWA authors. No need for editing, unless some up-and-coming anthologist wants to work for free to show off their own skills; make ‘em grab bags, selected at random from among the available works. Sure, there will be some duds, but it’s free. And you never know what gems you’ll find.