I recently learned–much to my surprise–that a lot of readers get quite angry when an author includes bonus material at the end of an ebook. I always thought it was a good idea, so I put full chapter-one excerpts to two or three of my other ebooks at the end of all my ebooks. I’ve never received a single complaint. Apparently, other authors have. Some readers feel cheated when they’re reading along, thinking they have a lot more story to go, only to turn a page and realize the last percentage of the ebook is excerpts or other material.
The only time I received complaints was when I released my Pearl Island trilogy with an extra chapter that wasn’t in the original print books at the end of each story. Existing fans of the trilogy wanted the bonus chapters without having to re-buy books they already owned. I didn’t blame them, so I put all three bonus chapters into one free ebook as a gift to fans of the trilogy.
I want to hear from readers and authors, though, about how you feel on the issue.
Here are my questions:
1) If you read ebooks a lot, have you come to expect excerpts or other material at the end, so it doesn’t surprise or bother you? Or do you get annoyed when you turn a page and realize the story is over when you thought you had 5% to 10% more story left?
2) What type of bonus material do you enjoy?
• Full, first-chapter excerpts? Or do you prefer short snippets? Or just a blurb?
• A bio or maybe a letter from the author?
• How about a short “story behind the story” piece? Similar to a DVD that has “The making of this movie.” (Note: I wrote one of these for my Pearl Island trilogy, but I have it on the Website specifically dedicated to fans of the trilogy: PearlIslandBooks.com)
• How much is too much? Or do you not care, since space doesn’t matter with an ebook?
• Have you run across any particular bonus material you especially enjoyed? If so, what was it and why did you enjoy it?
3) Would you rather have the excerpts and bonus material on the author’s Website with a link in the back of the ebook? Would you actually go to the site to read the bonus material? Or would you be irritated that you couldn’t read it on your ereader?
Thank you so much for your input on this! Please use the share buttons below to invite other readers to offer their input. The information will be shared with many authors, so your voice matters.