Microcerpt Exploits Power of the Excerpt

Microcerpt_homeA website has emerged with the goal of introducing readers to books through the power of excerpt.

Microcerpt, which is free to authors and readers, allows authors to post short excerpts (Microcerpts) from their books onto the site. Readers can browse the excerpts, and if they’re tantalized by one, buy the book.

As Lynne Cantwell reminded us in her post on effective frequency, it’s important to be seen in multiple places, so I joined Microcerpt in March of this year. I was going to write about it earlier, but they revamped their platform in mid-July, so I wanted to wait until that passed to see if there were any new features to discuss.

I found it fairly easy to set up a Microcerpt excerpt. To do so, you just need to create a free account. Then, you’ll need to have the excerpt you want in a place that’s easy for you to copy and paste from. You may also want to include an image with your Microcerpt — generally the book cover, but you can use something different if you want.

Microcerpts are limited to 1,000 words, so pick a section of text that is intriguing and exciting within that word count. (The Evil Mastermind wrote a post about choosing an effective excerpt here.) A new feature that was added in the site revamp is the ability to put a link at the bottom of your Microcerpt to your book on Amazon. When I first signed up, that was not a choice, but it was there when I added my latest Microcerpt.

microcerpt_page_bottom_with_kindle_link_arrowYou can add as many Microcerpts as you want, but they have to have different titles. So, if you wanted multiple Microcerpts from one book, you’d need to differentiate them. This can be done with a simple word or two. For example, you can use Book Name – Excerpt 1, and then title the next one Book Name – Excerpt 2. However, since this is a marketing tool, you may want to have a little more fun with it. I titled one of my excerpts Life First – Deadly Virus and the other Life First – Marked.

my_microcerptsOnce you’ve finished filling out the info form to create the Microcerpt, including keywords so searchers can find your work, you’ll click “Submit Post.” When you do this, all your information disappears so you see a blank version of every field you just filled out. This is initially disconcerting, but don’t worry. Your post did not disappear into the ether. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see a little green box with the words, “You can check your post here.” Click the hyperlinked “here” and you’ll see your Microcerpt. You can also see it from the navigation menu on the right side of the page (under my Microcerpts).

Microcerpt posts excerpts to its social networks, but free accounts get a maximum of one posting per week (though it’s not guaranteed), no matter how often/many Microcerpts the account user posts. You can pay a fee to get additional social networking posts, prominent positioning on the home page, or other services. The site has roughly 11,000 Facebook fans and 10,000 Twitter followers.

In addition to the exposure to potential readers, Microcerpt also has interactive forums, such as “Authors Helping Authors,” “Book Reviews & Authors” and “Book Marketing Support Group.” While I uploaded my first Microcerpt a few months back and receive a digest of the forum posts, I haven’t gotten a good sense of how many readers actively participate on the site or view the excerpts. However, because it’s free exposure, I don’t see any downside to posting an excerpt on the site.

Author: RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist turned novelist. By day, she writes thrillers with a touch of romance. By night, she practices the art of ninja mom. To learn more about her or her books, visit her website or her Author Central page.

31 thoughts on “Microcerpt Exploits Power of the Excerpt”

  1. It is always good to hear about ways to expose our work. Thank you for taking the time to share. Does Microcerpt have a breakdown of genres, or are the keywords you enter basically the map to your book(s)? It sounds worth a try, and one never knows what will happen.

    1. Aron, my understanding of the site is that it maps your keywords to the preset categories it has. So I used the category I wanted to be included in as a key word. Hope that helps.

    1. Well, have fun playing. The structure of the site has some unanimity, but you can definitely have fun playing with images to go with it and titles of your excerpts.

    1. Wonderful! It’s nice to see some folks out there who are using the site chime in. And definitely update your Microcerpt with a buy link. It’s a nice feature.

  2. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this, RJ. I agree with the others; you can never be in too many places, or sell too many books. 😉

    I’ve never heard an author complain that too many books were bought! LOL

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