Tasty Tease or Cheesy Gimmick?

Should chapters have titles or remain the namelessly enumerated subsections of a complete work? One reader explained how a look at the table of contents amongst the teaser content online convinced her to buy the book based on the tantalizing titles for each of the chapters. So a single preview page led the way to a reader’s interest.

So I ask myself; will readers be more inclined to pick up my book online if I offer the same long range peek?

While I toy with this decision a lesson from my past comes to mind. So many folks, myself included, seek their time in the spotlight; either to garner a promotion deserved or gain attention and approval from a someone whose friendship or love they desire.

But it’s a gamble with higher stakes. As much as being the center of attention can win all these prizes, the obverse also holds true; failure under such scrutiny threatens to set us back. The tiniest mistakes become magnified and invite criticism and ridicule from an otherwise unaware audience.

A good gambler knows the odds and while I don’t know the odds on my chapter title dilemma I do know how to improve them; study the successes of others, put forth my best effort, and seek the advice of trusted critics. I almost said trusted friends, but some friends cannot bring themselves to offer criticism, even if it’s asked for.

So in the end I find myself still unsure. I’ve got some homework to do and some critics to consult. I’m eager to hear opinions or experiences about this topic, so please leave a comment that can help me narrow my search for the right direction to take.

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