Friday, December 18, 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway: "Take a Look Inside"


Take a Look Inside
By Dawn Carrington, Editor-in-Chief of Vinspire Publishing

When I was looking to buy a house a few years ago, I spent a lot of time online perusing the houses, and I drove through neighborhoods during the day and at night to see if it was a place I could picture myself living.

There were many areas where the houses would languish for months without being sold, and once I ventured into the neighborhood, I knew the reason why. I didn’t need to look inside the house to know it wasn’t a place I’d want to live. 

In areas where the houses were snapped up quickly, I did want to see what the houses were like, why people bought them, and what made them sell so quickly. Obviously, some people had done some things right to make those houses such a hot commodity.

Sometimes, the outside of the houses were beautiful, but once I got inside, I noticed the problems. Water spots on the ceiling, cracks in the kitchen counters, and crumbling back porches. These weren’t faults that could be seen from just standing on the curb admiring the house from a distance or looking at pictures. And if I hadn’t looked inside, I might have bought a house that would cost more to repair than it did to buy it. Even though I passed on several houses, I knew someone would buy those older houses because they enjoyed tackling those problems and creating their own dream house.

In some ways, I look at books the same. I start out by being captured by the cover art and the book description. If I’m awed enough, I’ll read the excerpt because I want to see what the inside is like before I make a purchase. I want to see how other writers entice readers, how they tell their story, and how they keep people coming back for more.

Occasionally, the inside of the book is just like a faulty house, and I end up passing on the purchase. I got inside and took a look around, but the book wasn’t for me. If I like the first excerpt but I’m still not quite sure, I might visit a few other places with different excerpts. Just like visiting rooms of a house, I want to see beyond the initial face that is presented to the world. Occasionally, though, I’m bowled away by the initial read, and I’ll instantly buy the book.

While a cover and a great book description can really catch a reader’s eye, I encourage you to read the excerpts. If the first one doesn’t connect with you immediately, but you still like how the story sounds, search out more excerpts. Most authors will post different parts of their story at various place like their website, Wattpad, Booksie, Facebook, and more.

If, however, that first excerpt ignites your desire to read the story, listen to your instincts even if it’s not your usual type of story. Excerpts can bring you into a new world of reading, connect you with an author you’ve never read, and draw you into a story you just have to read.


Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing for five YA books of their choice and a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card.


  1. Thank you Dawn, Not only great advice about choosing a good book, but good advice about buying a house. A little research goes a long way.

  2. I've picked up books before only to put them back down because they weren't my "thing." Then a friend would recommend it and I'd begrudgingly read it—and love, love, love it! Great advice, Dawn, to read the excerpts. And I love the analogy of book hunting to house hunting!!

    1. I agree. I've even been put off by a cover that didn't move me, but I connected with the excerpt and took a chance on the book. A book designer working in tune with the author can produce an irresistible package!

  3. I love the comparison. Living in the world of a book can be similar to living in your house each day.

  4. I agree completely! Reading an excerpt tells me about the quality of the writing, and I take it from there!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This is a very accurate depiction of what opening up a book can do for you. It's extremely essential to find that initial connection with the look outside of the book but even more important to have the excerpt catch your mind and force you to take a step across the threshold of the book.

    1. Very good way of putting it, Brianna! Thanks for commenting!

  6. Such good advice. The outside gives merely a hint of what one might find inside which could be a treasure.

  7. nice comparison

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. Love this article Dawn and the analogy of house shopping! Great advice on choosing a book, too.

  9. I love how books can be such great analogies for many things. I recently used books as an analogy for falling in love and the pitfalls of falling in love based on incomplete assumptions. I love books as analogies. This was apt.


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