Merry Kindle (*or insert the name of any other generic e-reader here) Christmas!

Wow! What a year 2011 has been for digital publishing and the growth of the digital/ebook!

I am not going to start sprouting stats and figures and predicting 2012/2013 growth (Mark does that here), we all know what possibilities 2012 will bring and can pretty much put money on the continued upward trend of digital outpacing paper. No, what I want to talk about is a bit more fun than that.

As a writer, you often have little visions/images/scenes/films running in your head; you all know what I am talking about. We’ve all had that character sashaying their way into your imagination whilst in the middle of Tesco.  My co-writer, Mark, takes it one step further and has full-blown night visits (but that’s a story for another day). Anyway, you get my drift.

If you’re a reader visiting this blog, then you may not know what I mean, but any fiction writer will tell you it’s true. Stories kinda write themselves, characters have a way of introducing themselves to you when you least expect it and taking your book off in a completely different direction, that is why we never plan our novels. It’s also why I LOVE writing. I have never had to sit down and think about a story, cool huh?

But, I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Kindle Christmas.

Now, it is no secret that most of our 125,000 plus ebook sales in our first year have been through Amazon (and mostly UK), approximately 85% at a rough guess, although we have started to sell very well on Waterstones UK ebook site and currently have two books in the Top 20, but let’s face it, for us, this year, it’s all about the ‘zon. So we are very excited to see what happens over Christmas this year (it is really our first festive period of selling given that we only uploaded ‘Sugar & Spice’ at the end of November 2010 and didn’t do any promotion) when an anticipated 12 million Kindles will find their way to new homes.

 Awww, isn’t she purdy? (of course it’s a girl, she can do more than one thing at once!) 😉

I have contributed to those sales, I currently have one in my cupboard for my mum for Christmas and when I racked my brains to remember where I had put it the other day, that is when I had my funny little vision.

All over the world, in drawers, attics, under beds, hidden in wardrobes, under trees and even in obscure places like behind the fridge, there are millions upon millions of baby Kindles just waiting to be set free! I can see them squealing and squirming in their little brown boxes, jigging about with excitement, counting down the days until some lucky wife, mother, father, brother, sister or the next door neighbours’ cats’ vet opens that package on Christmas morning!

It’ll be like a scene from Gremlins! As if they multiply when one person plugs them in, another one appears!

Tee hee. Made me laugh. It also frightens the hell out of me!

Will Amazon be prepared for the surge? Will their servers cope? What will happen to sales and the charts? Will there be a boom on other e-reader sites like Kobo etc?

Who knows… I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, the ‘zon elves are hard at work as we speak and I hope Ole St Nic had the foresight to tie Amazon into a ‘parts delivered’ deal, cos when most people open their pressies on the 25th, you can bet your life there’ll be a Kindle in there somewhere!

Happy ‘Kindle’ Christmas to all of our readers and fellow writers and publishers. I wonder what we’ll be saying this time next year! 😉


Saffina Desforges presents…


Yes, it’s live!

A cool collection of shorts from Tracy Marchini, Anne R Allen, Miriam Joy, Peter Salisbury, Misti Wolanski, Michael Yarwood, Debbie Bennett, Katrina Parker Williams, Pam Howes and of course, us! Er, actually, nope! We haven’t got a story in this one, but watch out for Vol 2, where “Grime & punishment’ will be making an appearance!

Short story sex on a stick! (and no, there’s no sex!)

Amazon UK

Remember, remember the fifth of November: Guy Fawkes, fireworks and the day I became two people

Ok, so strictly speaking, it was the SIXTH of November – so sue me!

A year ago this weekend, I was preparing to go to a bonfire party  and celebrate the famous Gun Powder plot and Guido Fawkes‘ failed attempt at  blowing up the Houses of Parliament (as is our strange British tradition) with friends and family, armed with fireworks. Ok, nothing out of the ordinary there eh?

Dead right. Another ordinary Bonfire night weekend.

What I did the next day however, changed my life.

You all know the story, so I won’t bore you with the details, but 12 months ago this weekend, we released ‘Sugar & Spice‘.

It’s fair to say that the first three months of it being live on Amazon were about as exciting as a dud Catherine Wheel, a wet sparkler or a rocket with no fuse (you get the picture , right?), but what happened after that, lit a fire up under our asses!

We went on to hit the #2 spot on the UK Amazon Kindle Paid chart 3 times and spent just under 200 days in the top 100, selling almost 75,000 copies in the space of 5 months. To this day, we’ll never know what would have happened if we hadn’t made the mistake of messing with categories and therefore the unfathomable algorithms of ‘Zon (a nod to Shea there) and if KDP hadn’t stuck our book in the invisible e-wilderness for two days, but hey, we live and learn.

I have done radio and newspaper interviews; locally and nationally, spoken to reporters from Sunday magazines, had photo shoots, worked with the local college, given hundreds of blog interviews, answered questions, written guest posts and spent 99% of my life glued to a computer.

We have created a web-site, six blogs,  three twitter accounts, four Facebook pages and joined hundreds, yes, hundreds of writer/author/readers groups online.

We have re-written ‘Sugar & Spice‘ for the American market, published the first of the Rose Red crime seriesSnow White‘ and are working on the second, ‘Rapunzel‘. We have started a young adult boarding school project called ‘St. Mallory’s Forever’, begun work on the first book in a chick-lit mystery series ‘The ChinaTown Mysteries‘, resurrected the first book of the dark urban fantasy series, ‘Equilibrium: First blood‘ and completed half of that, and have sketched out books 3, 4 and 5 of Rose Red. Oh, and we turned down representation from two of the biggest literary agencies in New York.

When we weren’t doing that or sleeping, we founded a Digital press for the 21st Century to help other authors and writers from across the pond to get their books noticed called MWiDP (markwiliamsinternationaldigitalpublishing). In the first month of it going live, we now have 65 titles live on Amazon from 30 odd authors.

Within the next few weeks before Christmas, we will be launching our new digital bookstore, MWiebooks (more on that soon), releasing the first anthology of short stories under the ‘Saffina Desforges presents…’ banner and publishing the second in the Rose Red series.

2012 will see the launch of many other projects (and books!) but most notably, SDTW2R.

Saffina Desforges teaches the world 2 read is a fabulous concept. Mark will be explaining more about that in the coming months.

So, as you can see, it’s been a busy year.

As is stands today, 12 months after dipping our virginal toes in the shark-infested waters of ‘indie publishing’ we can state this:

  • It’s been hard
  • It isn’t easy
  • You’d be mad to attempt it
  • We need a brain transplant – each
  • Our lives have changed forever
  • We’ve loved every minute of it!
We can also tell you this:
  • Sugar & Spice has sold over 100,000 copies and is STILL in the top 400 books on Amazon UK and #3 in Waterstones and selling thousands a month
  • Snow White has only been out 10 weeks and is also selling thousands (and is currently number 9 in Waterstones)
  • We did it all without an agent
  • We can’t believe any of the above has actually happened!
It’s been the most exciting year of my life (and the greatest and hardest in some respects, personally) and I cannot believe what we have achieved in such a short space of time. Who knows what the next twelve months will bring? One thing is for sure though, life will never be the same again! 😉
Happy Bonfire night/fireworks night/Guy Fawkes night/Friday/Weekend/birthday/Bar mitzvah/anniversary whatever day, stay safe and remember, remember: Guy Fawkes may not have succeeded in his plot, but there were still fireworks!
Light that fuse… 😉

Saffina Desforges presents…

…coming soon to a Kindle and many other generic e-readers near you.




Covers designed by the wonderfully talented Athanasios at Mad Gods.

Packed with quick reads from brilliant, talented authors.

Check back here soon for a release date and list of authors.


Second #1 for ‘Snow White’

Well, we made #1 in the Amazon top 100 Hard-boiled category today!

And to our great surprise, we checked the Waterstones chart yesterday and found this:

And this!

This morning, I was interviewed for BBC Radio Humberside.

The interview will air between 11.00 – 12.00 on Saturday @ 95.9FM/485AM or you can listen here online:  Radio Humberside

Thanks to James Piekos for the interview!

In case you didn’t see the mention in the Mail on Sunday Live mag, here’s the link: Mail on Sunday article

It’s all going down! 😉



  • Buy Sugar & Spice from Amazon

  • Buy the French edition of Sugar & Spice (Paraphilia)

  • Buy Snow White from Amazon

  • Buy Snow White in PRINT from Amazon

  • Buy Rapunzel from Amazon

  • 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

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Buy ‘Awakenings’ – Book ONE of INDIGO KIDS from Amazon

%d bloggers like this: