- Category Books Saffina Desforges writing
- Writen by Saffina Desforges
Yup. The ol' faithful Sugar & Spice is FREE for the next five days.
This baby has been downloaded FREE before, in fact, we have now GIVEN AWAY over 65,000 copies of this, our best-selling title EVER, alongside the quarter of a million PLUS copies sold.
So what are you waiting for? Grab it. Tell your friends. Read it to the dog. Enjoy.
"Brrrrap-brrrap!" Yo, w'sap, homies?Yeah, I know. I have no idea what I just said either... ;-) So, welcome back. It's been a while. A lot has happened since we last spoke: The sun finally came out here in the good old Kingdom of the United, in fact, rumour has it, that this is the longest period of temperatures above 25 degrees for more than three days since 2006. Who knew eh? There was a time when we would call that Summer and not a heat wave, or a 'sustained period of consistently high temperatures and sunshine'. *shrugs* A Brit finally won Wimbledon (yay) and a new Prince has been born. Yep, it's all going on here in our fair isle. In fact, the UK seems a pretty cool place to be at the moment. Welcome Prince George Alexander Louis - you have no idea what you're in for! :-) Yep, it seems that contrary to popular opinion, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We just stop noticing that they've changed. We're good at that, kids are good at that. They are pliable and easy to mold. They will alter their thinking and their shape (and size!) in the blink of an eye and take it all in their stride. Remember when you used to be like that? But, as much as we resist it, change is inevitable and change we must. There comes a time when despite our best efforts, things move on. A new job, a new house, a change of scenery to recharge the batteries. Time to sell the old rust bucket in the drive and upgrade to a newer model? Everyone does it. It might happen without us really thinking about it, but sure as eggs are eggs (except when they're chickens) it will happen. The good thing is, when you realise that it's time for a change and you can control how it comes about. That's what happened to me. I have been at this writing lark (officially) now almost three years. I have seen the publishing industry change and evolve, I have seen new writers burst onto the scene and sadly, I've seen one or two of them depart; some shuffling off this mortal coil forever, but leaving a million words behind them in their wake - a legacy to inspire the next generation. Yes, things have certainly moved on. The literary landscape is very different today than it was back then and I suspect, will be a different animal altogether in another few years and if we want to still be seen on that horizon, then we have to be prepared to alter with it. A few weeks ago, Mark and I did a bit of shape-shifting and made the decision to put ourselves in the hands of the mighty 'Zon for a year. Sure, we were doing quite well on other platforms here in the UK and around the world, but we're still not sure how great the competition is from the other digital contenders and we figured that it was the right time to take a punt with the big boys whilst the others sorted out how they were going to compete in the future. We put all of our crime titles in an exclusive program with Amazon and pulled them from all other retail channels. We're sworn to secrecy about this program (but I am sure that you all know what we're talking about) and we wouldn't want to have to hunt you down and terminate you, so for the purpose of this blog, we will refer to the program as Operation Dust Check. or ODC. ODC is an agented-books-only program that allows UK authors some extra visibility across the waters by way of specialist listing on certain Amazon pages and increased promotional activity, in return for you selling your soul to the devil for an agreed period of time. We have heard good things about ODC from a handful of authors, whilst others remain unconvinced. I guess it's like everything you get with Amazon - you just don't know. So we will wait and see what happens. Our promotions start next month and it remains to be seen whether they will have a huge impact or not, but either way, it was a chance we decided to take. Move with the times or get left behind... Personally, I also decided that now was the right time to move in a different direction as a writer. You may have read in some of my other blogs from waaaay back that my first love as a writer was fantasy/paranormal. That hasn't changed. In fact, the Dark Halo series that Mark and I will be releasing at some point, fits nicely into that box - if you're gonna label it. So when Mark and I started discussing our future plans and life after the ODC deal, I decided that it was time for me to veer off in a different direction. Let me just make this clear: Saffina Desforges (as in Mark Williams and myself) is still very much alive and kicking (or writing). We have NOT parted company. Sure, he drives me insane sometimes (more insane?) and we have our cyber-spats now and again, but we are still 100% team Saffi and will remain so for many years to come. We will still be releasing titles in the Rose Red Series and as I said, Dark Halo will appear at some point in the near future, but we have agreed to work separately on other projects. That's where the new kids on the block come in. No, not the eighties group - the INDIGO KIDS. Here, meet them. Come and say hello... As you can see from the cover, I am now writing as STEVIE JORDAN. You can find out more about the kids and the other books in the series here. This project is another (but very different) collaboration for me. My crazy-but-lovely friend Karen Osborne would rather spend her time horse whispering and talking to the stars. What better person to write a sci-fi/paranormal fantasy trilogy with? Jax - Book One of INDIGO KIDS was released yesterday and this morning, it charted both here and in France. Happysmiley face. Needless to say, we are very happy and we hope that you'll check out the kids and the series if you get chance. Moving in this direction is a leap of faith for me. I am following my heart (and my characters) and going where my pen takes me. As a writer, we learn and grow all the time and STEVIE JORDAN is just another one of many paths that have to be explored. For more information on STEVIE JORDAN and the new CRIMES IN WONDERLAND series featuring DI Andi Lincoln (set in my home town) too, check out the blog. So it's onwards and upwards. Another journey into the unknown, another new chapter. After all, that's what writing is about, right? Hell, that's what life is about... Saffi
Who needs hindsight when you have the internet?These days, I am very careful about what I write. Always. I know several authors/bloggers that have quickly come to regret comments on facebook or twitter or had to backtrack on statements made six months ago on the barely-still industry we have the pleasure of being involved in. Abraham Lincoln was a wise man indeed when he warned us:
No, nowadays, it really is best to listen and learn. What was true yesterday might be ridiculed a week on Friday. Publishing changes quicker than Ussain Bolt running a bend and what you really need is a crystal ball. But panic not! After Summer comes Autumn, which means Halloween. Halloween gives way to Bonfire/Guy Fawkes night and no sooner have the sparklers fizzled out and the embers died on the bonfires, then the countdown to Christmas begins... And so we do it all again. We find ourselves another year older (you have no idea how much dread the thought of my next birthday celebration fills me with! I cannot be forty, I CANNOT be forty) and hopefully, wiser and the seasons continue to change. It's been that way always. What you do with it is another matter. Since I last posted on this official blog (for a weekly dose of my hugely popular Banning the Bullsh*t blog, go here) quite a few things have happened, not least, in the publishing industry. The already-mighty 'zon joined forces with the weedy-by-comparison (in the digital publishing stakes) Waterstones in a huge one-eighty that left lots of people frantically stuffing their ill-thought words back in their mouths and going back on previously professed declarations of abhorrence for the Kindle (see earlier statement about thinking before you speak/type/tweet) and with more than a smidge of egg on their faces. Still, it will no doubt have a huge impact on digital publishing in the year to come. Enter the only other (but slightly battle-worn) worthy opponent into the digi-arena to have one last crack at the 'zon with its patched-up sling-shot. Barnes & Noble have just announced that the Nook will be gracing our shores come October and not only has it got software giant Microsoft in its corner, but it's had a make-over too and the new-look-Nook has a trick up its sleeve. A secret move that may just catch Amazon square on the jaw and leave the ref pounding the canvas in a ten-count. It glows. Yes. Not only does it have up-to-date eInk technology, but it allows you to do the one thing that the Kindle can't without performance enhancing asssitance. You can read it in the dark. B&N aren't stupid. Rumour has it that they have hand-picked three MONSTER retailers in the UK to help them in the war against Amazon, John Lewis and Argos being their best-equipped allies. You can read all about it here. So what does that mean for us mere minions? Well, as writers, it can only be good news, right? What with Kobo allowing us to directly upload to their sites and these two beasts fighting it out for supremecy it only provides more ways for us to get our books in front of readers, wherever they decide to download them from and whatever device they select to read them on. So everything's groovy and being a writer now is the best time ever to earn your millions? No. Not unless you wrote 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and didn't tell anybody. Why? Precisely because of the above. There are more books than ever before digitally available and more places to get them from, so unless you are already very well-known and have the rights to a massive backlist and want to stick them out there for twenty pence a pop or have a huge publisher with an even bigger marketing budget behind you, you're gonna have to work harder than ever to get your books noticed. And then some. So how do we do it? Sorry, I don't have a draft ready to stick on (insert your preferred digital platform here but discount others at your peril) entitled 'A guaranteed best-seller in forty eight hours without paying for reviews or writing mummy-porn or your money back'...all I can tell you is what Saffina Desforges is doing next. The rest, you'll need the aforementioned crystal ball for... and a big dose of luck! A few days ago we clinched our very first Amazon.COM category #1 with a book that is totally out of our comfort zone. Soooo un-Saffi'fied that unless you looked closely, you wouldn't even know it was one of ours. Anca's Story is no-holds-barred, Young Adult, Historical, literary fiction. If you're gonna stick a label on it. Some time back, we were told by an uber-respected agent (not our current agent, I might add) that we couldn't release anything that 'wasn't a crime thriller' and we were 'risking literary suicide' if we did so. Anca's Story has only been out a couple of months and is selling very well thank you, on both sides of the pond and will soon be available on all digital platforms and in paperback on Amazon. For the next five days in the UK/Europe, you can get Anca's Story FREE here (UK). And here for France And for Germany here. Just a little thank you to our loyal Brit'/European readers and a final hoorah before we take it out of KDP Select. That is one for another day... Within the next fortnight, the second book in our Rose Red crime thriller series, 'Rapunzel' will be available on Amazon and within the next month, Kobo, Waterstones and iTunes, plus a handful of other retailers. Book One, 'Snow White', plus 'Sugar & Spice' will also be available in paperback from Amazon in time for Christmas. Look out on Amazon for the first in our new short story series, Rose Red Rhymes too. 'Ring-a-ring o'roses' will be out in October! See? There is no magic formula. We just keep writing and writing what we think readers want to read. And we make sure they are in as many places at possible. Oh, and a couple of other things we have learned along the way and we might have mentioned before:
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.