Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen me tweet over the weekend about ebooks being too short. I was not happy.
I recently downloaded some freebies from Amazon for my Kindle. It's a damn good thing both were freebies or I'd have been demanding a refund from Amazon. Both books were new releases, and both were clearly indicated as being short stories. Neither book blurb mentioned that there were excerpts. One was from a Big Six publisher and one was self-pubbed.
So, I'm reading the first one, not loving it but enjoying. It was part of a series I stopped reading a few years ago and picked it up to see if I should give the series another try. As I said, I enjoyed it but didn't love it, I doubt I'll go back to the series. The story concluded (and it was REALLY short) and I looked at the percentage; it was only at 48%. Yes, the story was less than half the book! The remainder of the book was two excerpts, and some info about the author. W. T. F? The book blurb made no mention of excerpts so I was completely unprepared. And annoyed. And pissed. And upset. I ranted on both twitter and facebook.
Yesterday I decided to read the self-pubbed short story. This one was longer at 74% but again, it ended without warning and there were excerpts from two books by the author. Again, the book blurb failed to indicate that there would be excerpts.
I don't mind excerpts; often I enjoy them. I know some folks consider them advertising. Normally I don't but these two books, especially the 48% one? Yeah, I feel gypped. If the blurbs had said "contains excerpts from other books" I wouldn't be so upset. I'd have known, I'd have been prepared and neither story would have felt like it ended so abruptly. Okay, I'd probably still have been annoyed at the 48% because that's just wrong. That "book" was basically one extended advertisement. I really hope this isn't a new trend, super short stories and surprise excerpts, cuz it absolutely sucks. Basically, we the readers are being cheated. The only good thing is that they were free.
Contrast these ebooks with ones from Samhain and Loveswept. Their books contain excerpts but the blurbs say that so you're forewarned. My complaint with those books is that you don't know when or where they end so sometimes when the story ends it feels abrupt. I've learned to anticipate one of those books ending somewhere between 70 and 80%; sometimes they're a little longer.
So, authors and publishers, please, PLEASE, if you have any respect, or heck, love, for your readers, always note when an ebook contains excerpts. Also, if a short story is particularly short, note that too.
What do you think? Should blurbs mentions that the book contains excerpts? Has this happened with full length books? Have you ever bought an ebook where the story, the reason you bought the book, was less than half of the material in the book? Am I just freaking nuts?
ETA: Author Krista D Ball, whom I often chat with on twitter and whose books often appear on here, sent me a link on twitter and asked how I felt about that book blurb. It's freaking perfect, is what it is!
Also contains a sneak preview of Ball's new novel, Road to Hell.
*Spirits Rising is a novella approximately 80 pages long, or about 25,000 words. The chapter sample at the end is approximately an additional 8 pages.
Here's the link, if you want to see for yourself - http://www.amazon.com/Spirits-Rising-Spirit-Caller-ebook/dp/B006T88RNE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349216801&sr=8-1&keywords=spirits+rising Now, that wasn't difficult, why can't all authors and publishers do this?