Get Adobe Flash player


Search this site for:

Related Links

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Valid CSS!

"Designing the PDF Sampler"

After recently signing a six ebook deal with Atlantic
Bridge Publishing (, I quickly
realized promotion would be a whole different ball game.
I was used to promoting my Lance Howard print westerns to
certain areas, and, indeed, I would be able to adapt a
number of techniques to ebooks: bookmarks, promocards,
postcards, etc. Having a bit of experience with ebooks
previously, however, I soon realized I would need a
somewhat different mindset for the novels, which spanned
the range from horror to ripper/western and YA series
horror. Many avenues used for print wouldn't work as well
and would have to be modified, with many new ideas

The first of these new ides was the PDF Sampler.
After a little thought, I decided why not take a print
technique I'd used, that of printing out a number of
pages and binding them together with a color copy of the
cover as a give away, and transpose it for online

To make your PDF Sampler, you will need either your
word processor or Powerpoint, or some program that allows
you to use text and graphics together. The sampler will
be nothing too complicated or fancy so MS Word will do,
if you are comfortable using that.

The Sampler should be short, to the point and snappy
enough to attract attention to your new ebook release. My
short story horror anthology DARK HARBORS had what I
considered the most eye-catching cover, so I chose that
book. I used the cover for the first page.(In Word use
insert picture from file) On the second page I wanted a
teaser, something short and mysterious to go along with
the tone of the book, something that would encourage a
reader to keep going. I came up with the phrase: "Where
the sins of the past are never buried..." and gave it a
page of its own. On the next page I listed the publisher
url, then on the next the title and author.

The meat of the Sampler came next. I used a excerpt
from one of the stories in the book, just a short few-
page passage to whet the appetite of potential horror
readers. By that point, I was hoping the reader would be
hooked, but for good measure added a page of review
excerpts and a listing of the other five books I had
available. I capped it off with another placement of the
ordering url and a brief author bio, then hit the PDF
button. (If your don't have the adobe software, Adobe
offers five free conversions on their site:

I would suggest trying to keep the file as small as
possible, so you can send it a number of places and not
ask too much of the receiver's time for downloading. Big
files can be intimidating, especially on machines using
lower BPS modems. Once finished, offer your Sampler free
to anyone interested. Uploaded it to your webpage, and
offer it in press releases.

Anyone interested in taking a peak at mine and using
it as a blueprint can download it straight from my
homepage in the ebook section
( or request
it from me at

About the Author
Howard Hopkins is the author of six horror and western
ebooks from Atlantic Bridge Publishing
( under his own name
and more than twenty print westerns under
the penname Lance Howard.
His novels can be purchased at, and and he lives in Maine.