‘Tell it Like it is’ Tuesday ~ February 2013

Ahoy there!

Did someone say it was Tuesday? The first Tuesday of the month by any chance? Hmm, well, in that case – it’s time for a bit of TiLiiT!


Like the new logo? 😉

Don’t worry, it won’t be that large every month! I just fancied showing off a bit in February…

So, er, brrrrrrrrrr, it’s been a bit cold, right? The weather here in the UK, as always, has been very peculiar. We went from two foot of snow and -12 to 13 degrees, sunshine and howling winds – all within ten days!

As you lot are busy reading this, I will be sunning myself in the Italian mountains and indulging in rather a lot of apres and probably-not-so-much ski! 😉

No, I jest. I love my snowboarding and hopefully, by the time you read this, I will have mastered some of the more scary runs and honed my technique a little…

THIS is my baby:

Meet Bertha!

Meet Bertha!

And THIS is me trying my gear on again after two seasons of it languishing in a suitcase!

Yes, I know. GEEK!

Yes, I know. GEEK!

Note to self: make sure you don’t actually snowboard in your pj’s, Saffi! 😉

Anyho’, must crack on, lots to do before I head off to the slopes…

So, what’s on the agenda for this month then?

Well, I wanted to talk about something specific today. Something that affects readers and writers alike.

I happened to be perusing the charts the other day (as you do) on Amazon and I came across a book that caught my eye. Here it is:


OK, now personally, I have never heard of this guy and consequently, haven’t read any of his books, so take note: this post is NOT about him or his books. Right? We got that? Good.

No, the reason behind my post isn’t about any of the above, it is about what I found on the reviews for the book on Amazon and what your opinions are as readers and writers.

Take a look (you may have to click on each pic to read them properly or go here to see them online)



Don’t pull any punches do they? And hey, why should they?

If you part with your hard-earned cash and buy something, anything and you don’t end up getting what you bargained for, you’re gonna moan right? It’s human nature.

I am a paying reader as well as a writer, so I can see things from both perspectives.

In this particular instance it is clear that this ‘book’ certainly isn’t a book and there are questions as to whether it even qualifies as a short story. It seems that it is basically a very short (and from one or two reviews, not even a very good one) story, followed by page after page of excerpts for other Chris Carter books, that most readers have already read.

No. That is just not cricket.

I can’t condone this from any angle.


Now, I have no doubt that Chris himself had very little, if no, contol over this; I am presuming his publisher made the decision to put it out there in a bid to generate a buzz for a forthcoming release, but the paying public are not happy that they did.

This book has a 2.9/5 star rating now. NOTHING to do with the content or writing it seems. Just a bunch of angry readers who were excited at reading a little snippet from an obviously-rated fictional character and instead, were well and truly ripped off.

There are a gazillion blog posts and articles around the web that cover ebook pricing and how fair it is to fill the percentage/page count of an ebook with promotional stuff, I read tons of them a week, but what I want to know from you guys, is what YOU think is fair as the buying public. How happy are you to see other books advertised at the end of one you have just read? What price difference do you think is reasonable between a full-length novel and a novella/short story?

I don’t want to get into the indie vs traditionally published debate, I don’t care and nor do I think it should make any difference. What I want to know is, if you buy a book and it consists of only 60% story and 40% hey-buy-my-next-book! marketing, are you gonna be enraged?

Don’t get me wrong, I know as well as anyone how important marketing and social network sharing are for books on e-readers etc but here at the SD camp, we limit ours to a link or two at the end of the book and keep the boring stuff at the beginning to a bare minimum.

When I am sat, relaxed on Saffi Island (as Mark calls my imaginary sanctuary) in my beach chair, being fanned with hand-picked palms and shadowed by a dazzlingly white-suited servant, holding aloft a tray of chilled champers and I power up my Kindle (other e-reading devices are available from many other high street and on-line retailers. Saffina Desforges neither represents or receives any monies from…nah, only kidding) to start a new book, the last thing I want is page after page of crap. NOR do I want a rushed, half-assed effort at a story, brought to a bitter and untimely end just to make way for twenty other pages of books that I have already bought. Sure, tell me that if I enjoyed what I have just read, then I can go wherever to look at some more, and even put the cover and first couple of pages of a forthcoming release in as a teaser, but don’t and I mean DO NOT waste 35 pence of the 99 I have just spent, showing me your previous three offerings.

‘Cos guess what? If you do, I will probably not buy any more of them. I might also head straight over to the product review page and leave a scathing one star tirade, even though I kinda enjoyed what I have just read.

And whilst I am on the subject: £16.99 for an ebook????!!!!! Really? Nah.

We always try to price our books reasonably and in relation to the word count, content and length of time it has been published. You will see that our main novels are mostly under £2.00.

One of the Rose Red Rhymes is 99p and the other 77p. That is because one is slightly longer than the other. Oh and note to Simon & Schuster (Chris Carter’s publisher), out of the 63 pages in the higher priced book, 60 of them are actual book, not advertising. *sigh*

We promise to always keep our book prices reasonable. They may vary slightly from time to time and on different platforms or genres, but we will never knowingly or willingly over-price a book. We want to provide our readers with the best quality covers and content and as much value for money as they deserve. That comes from being readers first and foremost.

So what do you lot think? What say you on this much-discussed subject? Go on, the floor’s yours…


UPDATED ~ FEB 2013. Check this out! Even worse than the above! A short story, already released under a different name and then regurgitated and sold for £7.99 on Kindle as a novel! SHOCKING!

Writer, dreamer, pantser.

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Posted in books, writing
2 comments on “‘Tell it Like it is’ Tuesday ~ February 2013
  1. Okay, so I epxect there might be a page or two of advertising at the end – after all that’s what happens in paper back isn’t it? You get to the end and there are, probably never more than, 4 pages of add for other books – often not just fromt heat author, but other books in that genre by that publisher. – I could take that in an e-book, just as easy to skip them there as it was in the paper version.

    BUT to have more than 4 pages, I don’t care how long the story is, (though I could probably formulate some sort of tolerence, just cause I like to play with math that way) is more than needed.

    Not like it’s hard to find a book by an author you love these days. Wasn’t that hard in the old days if you knew who and how to ask. :}

    And on a side note – how do you page number an e-book, when won’t the number of pages be dictated by the screen size and font size the user prefers? *scratches head*

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