Here are some sweet words:
“Icing on the cake…”
Whether it’s a free sample or free shipping, a parting gift bag or promotional swag, we do like our extras, don’t we? Maybe it’s the fun factor, like a special surprise treat in school. Or maybe it’s that satisfying feeling of receiving more bang for your buck. Whatever the allure, it’s apparently good marketing too.
I wonder if that’s why so many books in recent years include bonus material? You’ll find this mostly in cozy mysteries, especially the ones with cooking themes. At this point, I’m almost surprised if the cover on a culinary cozy doesn’t boast: “Recipes included!” But, many other cozy series contain extras too. Here are a few back-flap excerpts I noticed in Barnes & Noble just this week:
“Includes tips and a glossary of terms for the modern scrapbooker!”
“Includes quilting tips!”
“Snow globe-making projects and tips included!”
"Bonus: More than 25 natural remedies!"
I’ve seen this phenomenon outside the cozy genre too. Sarah Addison Alan’s Garden Spells comes to mind, with its charming herbal lore in the back pages.
So, here’s a question for readers: Does the promise of bonus content influence your decision to check out or purchase a book? Please let me know in the comments below!
Bonus question (see what I did there): Have you ever actually tried any such back-of-the-book recipes or projects?
As for me, I don’t think bonus recipes have ever swayed my decision to read a book or not. But I do think such little extras are a nice touch. And if I really enjoyed a book and don’t want to leave the characters behind just yet, the post-story extras offer a sort of continuing connection to the story world.
Another way to look at these little bonuses? How about viewing them as some of life’s small delights? When you’re feeling news-addled, over-stressed, tired, bored, or disillusioned, I think it’s important to look for tiny delights.
~ The colorful Christmas ties my coworker wears
this time every year.
~ The rich scent of fresh coffee from a fellow commuter’s to-go cup;
~ The sorbet-like citrus smoothie I concocted over the weekend;
~ My new favorite addiction--frozen grapes.
Also: Unexpected compliments, happy coincidences, cute pet videos, and inspiring nature photos in my Facebook feed.
I say, celebrate those little extras! Who's with me?
P.S. We upgraded to Windows 10 this week, so now we have "Cortana," the Siri-like virtual assistant from Microsoft. The other evening, my ever goofy and curious daughter, Sage, said to Cortana “Tell me a joke.” And, Cortana did. It was so silly and unexpected, a delightful little "extra."
P.P.S. And yet another small but delectable delight: the Ninja cookie cutters my sister gave to Sage last Christmas. Bonus: This healthy chocolate sugar cookie recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.
A nature-loving, mystery-reading, magic-seeking, daydreaming kinda gal, Jennifer is the author of the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries.