It was quite a shock when I noticed last night that I couldn't download any free samples of my books on Barnes & Noble anymore. I'd wanted to download a sample of one of my books because I'd just done an update on the formatting and wanted to make sure it looked alright. Imagine my shock when I realized that none of my books could be sampled.
In the morning, I checked the website again and spoke to several other authors only to find out that I wasn't the only one this happened to. I started a topic on Kindleboards to discuss it with others, and a pattern soon emerged.
It appears that Barnes and Noble has removed all "Download Free Sample" functionality from self-published authors who write in the erotic romance or erotica category.
I've already seen a sharp drop-off in sales today. And I can't really blame readers. I wouldn't buy a book if I couldn't sample it.
I have therefore done the following: my blog now has samples of four of my most popular books online (see the legend above), and I'm referring to these samples on the product pages of my books on Barnes & Noble. I've also pasted short excerpts onto the product pages themselves, but I'm restricted as to the number of works I'm allowed to paste, so those excerpts are short.
I don't know whether this will help revive my sales on Barnes & Noble, but it's the best I can do right now. In the meantime, some of us are trying to get answers from Barnes & Noble about this obvious discrimination.
Needless to say, I didn't get any writing done today.