Has anyone encountered this questionable sales method when buying Kindle anthologies?


Feb 13, 2011
In your bedroom wardrobe...
Whilst my Kindle (Paperwhite) was being repaired, I thought I'd buy a horror anthology as I cannot read for long on my iPad or phone screen and thought it'd be a good way to keep on top of my reading.

I'm a huge fan of short stories in the weird fic/horror genre and had been recommended the The Box Under the Bed Anthology based on my buying habits. It was only £3.87 for four books each with over twenty stories in.

At first I was satisfied - certainly the quality of writing was professional (even if there was a lot of the kind of horror I dislike - torture, murder, gore etc) - but after the first six or seven stories, I noticed a pattern. Many stories seemed like extracts from a longer work. I thought it must be me, that I wasn't 'getting' the story. Shorts can be nebulous ersatz things but these weren't even prose equivalents of a tone poem.

The more I read, the more I felt I was getting excerpts from longer works so I checked the product description and saw no mention of this. After making my way through most of the first book I'd had enough - it was happening too much. I saw from the reviews on the Amazon page many had said similar things.

I wrote a review but I felt conflicted because the technical stuff - the writing itself - is perfectly acceptable, and these authors seem new so I'd like to support them, and £3.87 is not really a bank-breaking amount, but I felt hoodwinked; a sprat to catch a mackerel. Every story has a link to its author's webpage under the title and it all seems a bit suspect when taking in consideration altogether.

Before I make a complaint to Amazon, I wanted to check on Chrons if this is common practice and I'm just being a prawn, or if it's indeed a con.


I haven't come across this before, but I have been conned into buying a novel on Audible that was severely and incompetently abridged with no warning given in the description. I should have read the reviews first, but it was by one of my favourite writers, and I'd read the physical book numerous times, so didn't feel it was necessary.

I don't think what you describe can be common practice, surely; and if it is, then it's a disgrace. It does no one any favours.
I've just looked up the Amazon listing for "New Writing vol 8", a very respectable antho from 1999, which I know for a fact contained at least one chapter from the middle of a novel, but doesn't say this anywhere on the page. So your example isn't unprecedented, but I certainly think you're justified in feeling annoyed.
Definitely the publisher—though ebooks make this method of advertising the books in their lineup easier.

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