Study First Chapters with Samplers


We all know the importance of the first chapter. It must hook the editor and ultimately, the reader, or all is lost. If you don’t pull the reader in with a stunning first chapter, you are sunk.

You can, of course, get thee to a library, where you can sit for lovely hours and read first chapter after first chapter, studying intently as you go. Or, at a retreat in St. Louis this weekend, a writer suggested using samplers.

First you need a Kindle or a FREE Kindle app for the Cloud, iPhone, android phone, iPad, desktop or almost any format you can think of.

Next, search the Kindle store for “sampler,” and you’ll find a host of FREE ebooks that have sample first chapters on a variety of topics. Here are four samplers to start you off.

Be warned! You may find that you simply MUST buy a few of these novels once you read the opening chapters. This could be dangerous to your pocketbook!

Free Ebook Samplers

  • Hunger for Dystopian Teen Sampler
  • Awesome Adventures for Kids Middle Grade Sampler
  • Teen Summer Reading Sampler 2012
  • Class Acts Kids’ Ebook Sampler

    • Kristin wolden Nitz
      September 17, 2012

      Oooh. Thanks for the links and the suggestion, Darcy. I always like studying how other authors manage to pull readers into their world. This won’t replace library browsing, but it will help me find projects that aren’t at my local branch

    • Darcy Pattison
      September 17, 2012

      Kristin–Can’t wait to read some of these previews myself.

    • Loriee Evans
      September 20, 2012

      This is EXACTLY the exercise I need to do for my current work in progress. I also use the library a lot–but any sample of library books will contain older books. The Sampler suggestion focuses on books coming out now, which is of course, what I want my first chapter to sound like, as I get ready to submit. You have a unique knack for very practical, usable advice, Darcy.

    • Darcy Pattison
      September 20, 2012

      Thanks, Loriee!
      I just hope I don’t wind up buying TOO many books!