The numbers game

Good morning!

Phew! I had a pretty busy day yesterday (after work! My ‘day’ as a writer starts at 1700!) and didn’t get any writing done!

After seeing my accountant and spending some time on the phone to New York (get me and my rock and roll lifestyle)  I didn’t even get time to check and respond to emails, log in to KDP (Amazon’s Kindle Publishing stats) or look at our chart position.

So what a nice surprise it was this morning to find this:

What’s that I hear you cry? Saffina Desforges has 2 books in the Top 50 Police Procedurals? #1 and #44?? Never!

It’s true I tell you! 😉

By the end of this month, the book that agents described as ‘the last taboo’ will have sold 75,000 copies.

Yup, you heard right and no, I didn’t hit the ‘0’ key one too many times. 75,000 copies.

In 6 months.

I visit Kindleboards regularly and I follow some inspirational indie writers’ blogs. I read J. A. Konrath Crouch’s exploits and follow with interest what is happening with Barry Eisler and their recent deals with Amazon imprints; I follow Amanda Hocking’s continued rise to stardom and salivate in wonder at Victorine Lieske’s staggering sales figures for her first book. They are all pretty awesome.

Then I look at the numbers.

Now some of these may not be exact (and don’t shoot me if I have got these wrong) and most, if not all, are for more than one book; some are across 5 or 6 (or more) titles.

The guys mentioned above (with the exception of Victorine, who’s sales for her first book are in excess of 100,000 I believe and obviously AH is even further out ahead) are talking of sales in the region of 35,000 ish for their titles on Amazon.

I read constantly that writers on are making the Top 100 with total sales of well below what we sell in a month.

OK, now I realise that we might not be making anywhere near the money that these guys are making and that their titles are selling for a lot more than ours, but I still find it hard to believe that we are uttering the numbers that we are for Sugar & Spice in the UK.

75,000 people paid for our book. Wow!

When Mark and I first started discussing the volumes we would need to sell to start us on the road to writing full-time, we worked it out that it would take roughly 4 -5 years on our then sales. We initially celebrated a month where we hit 150 (waaaaay back in January when we first started promoting and talking about Sugar & Spice) copies sold and said that if we could somehow make it 500 a month, we would be ecstatic! Hell, we used to drool at the mouth at the prospect of one day breaking into the Top 100 on Amazon UK!

6 short months on and we worry if we’re not hitting 400 sales a DAY with Sugar & Spice! Some time last week we had an issue with our book availability on Amazon for a short period and we fell out of the Top 20 for 24 hours. Man! What a day that was! Fortunately, it was quickly rectified and we shot back into the top 10 quite quickly.

It is amazing how things change and how quickly your goals change with it.

By August, barring something catastrophic happening, we should have sold 100,000 copies of Sugar & Spice. We will also have a new book out (you might have heard me mention Snow White and The Rose Red Crime Series) and who knows how that will do and what it will do for sales of our existing book.

We now have Sugar & Spice live on Waterstones, Tesco and Apple. (awaiting direct links)

Hell, we’ve even started to sell in Germany on!

Yesterday, we were contacted by an agency in Turkey, asking about the book on behalf of a publisher there.

You could even say, we are now International!

So what does it all mean?

Who knows? I don’t have a crystal ball and if I could see into the future, I would never have predicted this! But what I do know is this:

I now kinda feel like a writer.

All the money in the world, the highest rankings and the largest number of sales I can imagine don’t come anywhere close to beating that.


Konrath & Crouch, who?

Well, the last thing I expected this morning was to wake up and find Sugar & Spice number 1 in English speaking Police procedurals on Amazon Germany, above the great and vociferous Konrath!

But hey, it’s been a crazy few months, I guess anything can happen! 😉

Fighting it out with the big boys: Saffina Desforges v Joe Konrath

In the annals of e-publishing history the likes of Amanda Hocking and Joe Konrath have their place assured.

And while Amanda has recently signed up with the dead-tree guys (legacy publishers as they call them over there) to straddle both the old and new worlds, Joe remains his usual self, quietly trying to convince us paper has no future, even while his paperbacks and audio editions continue to sell on Amazon.

Last week his blog Are You Dense? (  laid out his position in his usual bashful way.

“What the hell is wrong with you?

I’m talking to you. The writers who are still thoughtlessly defending legacy publishing.

Unless you’re making over a million dollars a year with the Big 6, continuing down the legacy path is a crazy bad idea.”

A few days before that another big-hitter, Bob Mayer ( had a guest spot on Joe’s blog and said much the same thing, but not with Joe’s charm, tact and diplomacy.

So just how well is Joe Konrath doing? His latest blog, 276,112 ( says it all.

“Two hundred and seventy-six thousand, one hundred and eleven.

That’s how many self-pubbed books I’ve sold.”

Over a quarter million e-books sold. Impressive! Well done, Joe!

Inspiring stuff, but totally unrealistic for any of us mere mortals, of course.

And as Joes says,

“It’s important to note that the very first month my ebooks were for sale on Kindle, I sold 1095 ebooks, and that was with 8 ebooks available.

It took two years for my sales to reach where they’re at, and now I have 30 ebooks available.

Success doesn’t happen overnight.”

Er, Joe… Yes it does! 

Joes says, So far, in April, I’ve sold over 30,000 books. I’ll easily break 35,000 this month.”

Say that other bit again, Joe. “It took two years for my sales to reach where they’re at, and now I have 30 ebooks available.”

Sugar & Spice has been on Kindle for just five months. We are already selling 20,000 a month, and we have only ONE title… and no paperbacks!

Ding, ding – round one, Ms Desforges 😉

Get Sugar & Spice now:

US Edition:



  • Buy Sugar & Spice from Amazon

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  • Buy Snow White from Amazon

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  • Buy London’s Burning from Amazon

  • Buy Ring A-Ring O’Roses from Amazon

  • Buy The Night Before Christmas from Amazon

  • Buy Anca’s Story from Amazon

  • Buy Anca’s Story in PRINT from Amazon

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