By: Celine | September 26, 2014 | (49) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.


Recently, HarperCollins put a bunch of galleys on Edelweiss. Because I have truly no self-control whatsoever, I dowloaded basically all a few of them. One of those coveted galleys, one I was actually really looking forward to, was Jodi Meadow’s The Orphan Queen. I started reading, I liked it, I became absorbed… And BAM. There was the strangest, most open ending ever. So of course I headed over to Goodreads, completely confused, and asked what in the world was going on. Then someone told me that the galley I’d downloaded was actually a sampler.

I might have pulled out a few hairs.

Samplers are one part of the bookish world that I just cannot handle. They’re not for me, I know they’re not for me, so I avoid them at all costs. In the meantime, Harper has added to the EW description that The Orphan Queen is actually a sampler, by the way. But yeah. Samplers. Why don’t I like them?

I don’t like samplers because to me they are completely useless. I know some people like them to check out the writing style or to “wet their appetites” for the actual book, but I just can’t do that. If I read something, I want to be able to read it in full. I either read a whole book or I don’t read at all. My problem with samplers is that they do make me want to read the book. But usually samplers are available a lot sooner than the actual book, so if I read the sampler two things happen:

1) I’m excited for the book and everything! Unfortunately, it’s not out yet. Meaning that this unfinished story keeps bugging me and I can’t do anything about it. I won’t be able to read anything for a week or so because my head is still with that other, unfinished story.

2) When the book is finally released, I’ve forgotten what exactly happened in the sampler. So now if I read the book, I’ll have to read that whole part once again, which feels like a waste of time and annoys me because I won’t have forgotten everything, but I don’t remember enough to skip the part that was in the sampler and get on with the story.

So, samplers. They’re just not for me, I’m afraid!


What about you? Do samplers work for you?

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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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49 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (44): Book Samplers

  1. I feel you, girl! I fell for the exact same trap…I avoid them whenever I can because they essentially do me no good. I’m low on time (as is with all of us) and I don’t want to have to go back and actually reread everything that I already have (especially when it’s a substantial sample, as TOQ was). It seems unproductive. And I just don’t understand how samplers can work for review purposes. How am I do judge anything, base anything, give a decent, honest review when I haven’t even read the entire thing? It seems false and it’s something I definitely do not advocate =___= Great discussion post, Celine! Definitely relevant to the hear and now.
    Jess @MyReadingDress recently posted…Blogger Confession: I Can’t Read a New Book Without Finishing my ReviewMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      This exactly! I just don’t have that much time to waste. And it does feel like wasting time. And it’s basically impossible to review it – you haven’t even read the whole story. What am I supposed to comment on? The writing style? That’s pretty much all you can mention in a sampler review. Nope, I just do not understand samplers.

      Thank you, Jess! <33

  2. Gotta love those HarperCollins galleydrops! 😀

    But no, I don’t like samplers either. I downloaded that one too but I knew something was wrong when I saw the number of pages it had. 😛 I don’t read samplers because I can’t do anything with them. It’s an incomplete novel. I can’t review that. XD
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Bookish Babble: My favorite TV-showsMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      *grabby hands*

      Haha, I wasn’t suspicious of the page numbers because my ereader has a habit of messing those up. Guess it was right this time 😛 Same here!

  3. I definitely agree with you, Celine! I never bother downloading/requesting samplers because a) I can’t review samplers and b) I won’t be able to take it when the book’s cut off. I will rage for a few days, and then when I’m calm, I won’t care about reading the rest of the book anymore. So yep, I avoid all samplers, thank you very much. I used to read them, actually, to get a feel of the book and to know if I’ll like the writing, but after a few of these, I stopped when I realized all the cons!
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I completely agree with both a and b. Reviewing samplers is just impossible – you can’t review an incomplete story! And the “ending” will definitely bother me for some time 🙁 I also know what you mean with that you’re not interested in the book anymore – my enthusiasm for The Orphan Queen is becoming less by the day 😐

  4. Melanie says:

    oh man I really hate samplers. The only ones I ever read are the sneak peaks of the upcoming Rick Riordan books because well…YOU KNOW WHY. I LOVE THOSE BOOKS TOO MUCH. Other than that, I really don’t like reading samplers because they get me too excited for the book then they stop at a really intense moment and I just become all frustrated.

    Awesome post, Celine! <33

  5. Thanks for the warning about the sampler, it sounds like I may have downloaded the same thing as well. It would be so disappointing to be left hanging, so I can see why you would get to an open ending and be really annoyed!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Chatterbox: What Would We Do Without YA?My Profile

  6. I hate samplers, and serials because I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Heck, I sometimes have trouble with full length books when the cliffhangers are too brutal, and will often put off reading ’em until several installments have been released. I even go so far as to avoid excerpts because they can be such a tease too!
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Hunted by the Others by Jess HainesMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Samplers don’t work for me at all! I know what you mean – I just want the full story. This also applies to cliffhangers ( well, some of them). You have cliffhangers where the story is finished and then something new and exciting happens and it’s the cliffhanger, and you have books where the story just randomly stops and it’s the cliffhanger. The first kind I can handle, the second I can’t 😛

  7. Exactly!! Omg I totally agree with this. I also downloaded Orphan Queen, even scheduled a BR for it on GR, and luckily someone commented saying, you guys know this is a sampler right? *facepalm*
    Honestly, I was PISSED. I hate samplers. For precisely the reasons you outlined. It’s a LOSE- Lose situation! Either I read it, get excited to finish, have to wait months and then…Reread the entire part? 😐 lame.
    I don’t even get why they offer samplers on Edelweiss and Netgalley. It was certainly HArperCollins bad for not labeling it properly.
    Diamond Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Book Review: Egg & Spoon by Gregory MaguireMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yesss, samplers are definitely lose-lose. I just don’t get them! I always wonder when I see excerpts on EW/NG, especially when you have to request them! When they put up a sampler of Isla and the Happily Ever After, I could understand, because the fans had been waiting so long and it was read-now. But samplers you have to request? What are you even supposed to do with that? It’s not like you can review the sampler!
      But I digress 😛

  8. Penguin has started doing e-ARc samplers too and I just don’t get it. I know the issue with Harper is that Jodi Meadows requested it to be a sampler because Harper has so many issues with pirating. But, I guess that’s what happens when everyone and their mother is auto approved.
    What’s worse is when people review these. REALLY??? How are you gonna review part of a story?
    I think these need to go away. They either take better care about who gets them or only distribute print ARC’s. I’m scared that e-ARC’s will go away soon and that blows because I hate reading print books.
    Samplers aren’t for me either. I can’t even stand reading excerpts so samplers are an even bigger waste of time.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Review: Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson..My Profile

    • Celine says:

      Nooooooooo I really hope they won’t do away with the eARCs! That would mean I’d never get to read an ARC again since I’m an international blogger. But I think it’s doubtful that will happen – they have a huge amount of bloggers that only read eARCs and help with the publicity. So let’s hope that won’t happen *crosses fingers*

      I also don’t understand how you’re supposed to review a sampler. How are you going to do that? It’s impossible!

  9. I will download a sample only if it’s a book I’m on the fence about, and therefore don’t want to download/request the full ARC in fear of getting stuck with something I may or may not like. Samplers are great for that! But, they do suck because if you love it and for some reason can’t get the darn full version, you have to wait. I HATE WAITING. I did this with Atlantia a while back – I wasn’t a fan of Matched, so I downloaded the sampler. I actually liked it, but when I requested the full version I was denied (even though I stated in there that I’d had the sample)! Argh. Now I have to wait until it comes out…
    Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat recently posted…Review: Remember Me by Romily BernardMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I can understand that! Samplers are great if you want to check out a novel because you’re not sure about it yet. But the waiting does suck 🙁 And the Atlantia situation sucks! It’s quite weird that they wouldn’t approve you for the full novel after you read the sampler. Good luck with all the waiting *hugs* I know how it feels – patience isn’t a strength of mine, haha.

  10. Zoe N. says:

    *sighs* I heard about this from other bloggers, and it is just so disappointing. If you’re posting a sampler, you should at least mark it as such, right? 😐 I’m glad they fixed it though! Like you said, samplers stink because you don’t want to have to wait for the rest of the story after you’re already so invested in it! Thanks for sharing Celine, and, as always, BRILLIANT post! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…Salt & StormMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yes, it was so annoying tehy didn’t mark it as a sampler! But I guess they got complaints, since they added that to it now. Samplers just don’t work for me!

      Thanks Zoe <33

  11. I don’t think I’ve really ever read a sampler, because they aren’t for me either. If I read something from a book, I want the whole book! Excerpts are okay, but even then, if they are too long, I just want the book. haha
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Graphic Review: MIND MGMT by Matt KindtMy Profile

  12. Jillyn says:

    I feel the same way. I have no interest in samplers. I’d rather just take a chance and read the book. I don’t even read them in already published books when they’re sneak peeks at the next in the series or something like that. Like “Here’s a chapter from the next book!”. I never read them.

  13. I AM SO WITH YOU ON THIS. I actually have been thinking this exact thing because there was a sampler of Ensnared on Netgalley and I’m rather dying for it (buuuut I got denied anyway, sucks) but usually? I really hate samples. I don’t WANT to read half a book. Like when Epic Reads has samples of new Harper Teen books? I avoid them. I either read the book or I don’t…none of this half read business. No. Plus, usually the actual book doesn’t come out for months later and…I can’t be expected to remember all the details of half a book, right?! I WILL FORGET! Which means I have to reread the beginning, and bah. Time is limited.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Mini Reviews || Noggin and Belzhar || Off With Your Head!My Profile

    • Celine says:

      I saw that sampler!! It made me excited for Morpheus the book all over again. But alas, samplers and I just do not get along. And YES YES YES to the Epic Reads sampler things! And when they did the whole “Unlock x chapters of x book by tweetinng about it” I was pretty annoyed, because I was like I JUST WANT THE WHOLE BOOK OKAY? Or does this make me sound greedy? 😛

      And YES. My time is precious. I do not like to waste it. therefore, samplers are not my thing, I’m afraid.

  14. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves #61 & Weekly Recap | Istyria book blog

  15. I completely agree with you, Celine. I think what frustrates me the most is that you can’t review a sampler. You may be enjoying a book but the ending might change your opinion or vice versa. If you’re going to have samplers, I think they should be aimed at people who are deciding if they want to buy the book or not but want to check out what the writing is like when the book is released. I downloaded the Orphan Queen sampler too not knowing it was a sampler, because no where was it mentioned that it was a sampler, but I was so annoyed because this was a book I’ve been waiting for for a long time now even though that makes me sound super petty. I will definitely not be reading the sampler because I’ll forget the story when the book comes out.
    Great post!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Blog Tour Stop : Made for You by Melissa MarrMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Reviewing samplers is simple IMPOSSIBLE, so it always puzzles me that samplers are up for request on Netgalley and Edelweiss. How do they expect us to review that?

      And that does not make you sound petty! Or at least we’ll be petty together, because I feel the same way. I felt so cheated when I found out it was just a sampler 🙁

      Thanks, Nick <33

  16. Nice topic! I think this one can go either way for me. I guess I would get too curious if the actual book had mixed arc reviews or all negative reviews and I would just want to test it out… but then again I could still want to know what happens despite how bad the book may be. But then , it would be an awesome book (like what you were saying about TOQ), and I would basically do what you did and get really annoyed because it’s a sampler. OK, I think now that I’ve written them down that I would have to go with no, I don’t like them, even though they may be helpful if deciding whether to buy and read the whole book or not.
    Love this post!!
    Gina @ Behind the Pages recently posted…Book Tags Pt 1: Get to Know Me & Top 5 Books That Have Stayed With MeMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I definitely agree that samplers can be very useful when you want to check out the book or the writing style! Definitely cheaper than having to buy the whole thing and then discovering you don’t like it, haha.

      But in this case, with The Orphan Queen, I’m just really frustrated! I was just enjoying the story and then BAM it ended.

      Thank you!! <33

  17. Could not agree more. As a reviewer, I certainly do not feel entitled to any book, part or full. But I avoid samplers for all the reasons you state. I have very limited time to read, and if I’m devoting an hour or two to a review book, I want to be able to finish and review that book. I can’t review a sampler:

    “Well, those first 50 pages looked promising. Maybe you should read this. Or not. I can’t really say. If I ever finish that book, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

    I think it’s a great idea for authors to use samplers as giveaways for their fans, or to promote excitement about a book. But I don’t think they should be put up on review sites like Goodreads and Edelweiss.
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…TBR TagMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Haha, this exactly! It’s just completely impossible to review a sampler. That would make for one weird post 😛 “Hey guess what. I read this thing. It might be good. It might be bad. I don’t know.” I think you would get lots of confused readers, haha!

      Samplers as giveaway stuff is completely fine by me! But like you said, I’m just not really sure why they are on review sites…

  18. Hannah says:

    Samplers drive me insane!

    I read The Orphan Queen too thinking it was a full length novel. The problem was, there was a lot of content included in that sampler, so I ended up being so fully immersed, when I came to the end of the sampler, it was like someone had woken me up from a really deep sleep and I was like “Waaaa? What’s going on?” I wasn’t so much as mad as disappointed, but I can totally understand the reasoning and justification behind publishers releasing a sampler (as Jodi Meadows mentioned on her blog it was because of piracy).

    However, I agree that samplers don’t have a place in the blogging world. They don’t really give bloggers much in the way of reviewing – how can you review something that you’ve only read half of? They serve no purpose. The ending could be completely different from what you’ve read, and I don’t want that on my conscious that I’m telling people to read an uber awesome book that I’ve only read “x” amount of pages.

    If it’s a problem of combating piracy…then publishers need to be more efficient in monitoring who they are giving e-galleys away to. Either that, or not do egalleys at all (which would suck majorly!)

    • Celine says:

      Oh noooo, I’m sorry for you! *hugs* At least we’re together in being tricked into thinking it was a full-length novel. I know what you mean: I was just beginning to enjoy the story, possibly establish a ship etc. and then it just stopped. ARGH! I completely understand why they would do this, but I still don’t like it. I know they’re just not for me.

      And yes – it’s impossible to review a sampler. Simply impossible. I can’t exactly judge a book by its first 50 pages, now can I? 😛

      Completely agree – especially HarperCollins has basically everyone on auto approval. I’m not complaining, since I’m one of those people, but if they’re so afraid of piracy maybe they should just start monitoring this better 🙂

  19. Amber Elise says:

    Ensnared is on NG as a sampler as well. I have The Orphan Queen sampler but I probably won’t read it, because I don’t want to be teased for four months (or more). ALSO. What do you do with sampler? ARCs are provided with the sole purpose of creating hype, how can I get excited about a book in only 50-75 pages? That’s barely a THIRD of a book. I have no idea what crazy twists and turns it will take. I can’t give a proper review of world building and character development. It’s an extended teaser, and if that were the case, it should be on GR or something.

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  20. Omg yes! I know exactly what I mean. I’m gonna avoid samplers at all costs. I find it really silly that they’d have samplers instead of ARCs. I mean, I might go out and buy the book later but the thing is, I’d feel like it’s a waste of time if I’ve already read part of it. I know some people might like them but they’re not for me either. 😛
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Guest Post: The Alternative to Traditional Publishing by Hipso MediaMy Profile

  21. I can’t stand them, especially not when you are surprised by it. There should be a warning (I believe they edited it with a ‘SAMPLER’ text) I don’t like to read something, get enthusiastic and then have to realize I have to wait before I can read more. Waiting for sequels is bad enough :p
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Monthly recap. September.My Profile

  22. Chris says:

    i vote for the flower printed pair. i have been pining after them for ages as well. i like the other pair (the print is amazing) but a big block of lavender right on the rump seems less fletnaritg to me.

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  25. Thanks for contributing. It’s helped me understand the issues.

  26. Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

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