e-Book? Beware!

Discounted books. Who can resist? Certainly not this reader. Although my Kindle is full of titles, a lot I haven’t had time to read, the email from Amazon, advertising its Kindle deal of the day, pulled me in. It advertised books by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) for $1.99.Nora+Roberts

Nora Roberts, under any name, is one of my favorite authors, so the prospect of buying her books at a discount had me hurrying to the site. I found so many choices that I stopped reading the synopses and chose two. About to check out, I found another one that sounded better than all the others. This time I went right to the sample, read a few chapters and was hooked. Unfortunately, when I went to purchase that book, I realized that it was $4.99.

Wow! With my mind set still on $1.99, I started to remove the book from my cart until I realized that $4.99 was actually an excellent deal for a top author, especially one I love to read. I clicked on Buy.

That night, I found the spot where I’d finished reading on the sample and dove in. I looked forward to a few nights with a good story. Imagine my surprise when I finished it in a few hours.


Surprise was followed by disappointment. I’d purchased a book with four short stories. What?

I went back to the Amazon site and looked at the tiny book cover. Suite 606, the name of the book, appeared in large print, followed by J.D. Robb in large letters. But, under her name in much smaller type were three other names. Because I’d had trouble reading them on that little book cover, I’d ignored them. My first mistake.

The name of the book and the prominent name of J.D. Robb gave no indication that it was a tome of short stories. When I’d opened the sample chapters, I’d hurried through the first few pages to get to the story. Second mistake.

Because the sample gave only the first chapters, the only story I read was Robb’s. I never looked at the book description that mentioned the word anthology or at the customer reviews. Third and final mistake.

In so many ways, I’m guilty of blind assumption. When it comes to books and authors, especially in a series, I expect to find the same type of material as that I’ve previously read. Heaven forbid that the author change things around.

With a physical book, those assumptions are moot. Holding a book in my hand, I can see at a glance the contents of that book. I can read a few pages to see if I like it. I can look at the size of the text and gauge how much time it will take to read. Not so, online.

Online, I have to rely on the information provided: the summary, the reviews and the reading sample. This time, the excitement of the deal got the best of me. In my hurry to purchase Robb’s books at a great price, I completely ignored all of these aids.


The take-away? Although I think we all love the immediacy of purchasing an e-book, it makes sense to do a little research before we push that BUY button. Take the few minute s to read the description as well as the sample. Know what you’re buying. Otherwise, my disappointment could be yours.

p.s., I enjoyed all the stories.

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3 thoughts on “e-Book? Beware!

  1. Great point, Margo. I, too, have bought things online and discovered they were not what I thought. I wiser but sometimes disappointed person am I.

  2. Same here – in the age of everything being so quick and immediate – its a great reminder to slow down a bit. But I love the instant ability to have a book at my fingertips when I hear about something I want to read. And I love that I dont have to lug large books on planes anymore – its a great convenience. I’ve been caught too where I didnt pay enough attention up front.

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