While checking my latest book, the 'readers of this book also purchased' field showed a story specifically labeled as a "Preview Chapter", available free on Kindle Unlimited, but costing $2.99 if you purchase it outright (I guess that means there are Kindle Unlimited members paying me good money for my non-Unlimited book!).
$2.99 for a single measly chapter? And it's nothing more than a ploy to get readers hooked so they're now 'on the hook' for a $10.50 paperback! What a scam?
Still, it's a new way to troll for new customers. Rather than selling it, make the chapter preview available only to Amazon Unlimited readers (if that's even possible), or make the chapter free if it's not.
However, it's reassuring to see the unlucky author has only sold 2 copies. One for FREE on Kindle Unlimited and one for the full $10.50. That's a pretty poor endorsement for such a sales strategy!
Researching it further, this is actually a trend which is catching on (though only 11 books offered by nine different authors). They range in size from 2 to 9 chapters, and the majority are, so I suspected, FREE for Kindle Unlimited and $.99 for paying customers. Still, nine chapters for 99 cents is better than one for $2.99, but in neither case can I discover whether the author has the slightest idea on how to close a story. (Sorry, the 9-Chapter Preview is totally free, and the description clearly states "A Sneak Peak the first nine chapters" (sold by Macmillan Press, no less). It's actually a New York Times Bestseller, so clearly someone is onto something! The full story still costs $14.99, though.
What do you think? Would you purchase a single chapter—even for free—if you knew you'd have to pay over ten bucks to finish the story?