Welcome to my #FridayFiveChallenge

(Original idea from Rosie Amber at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/)

Author mug

This is my travel mug bought for me by my lovely son – I haven’t dared use it outside the house yet…

Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes for this #FridayFiveChallenge.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

So here goes…

This week I chose Young Adult, Historical Fiction in a roundabout route as I started by typing ‘horses’ into the search bar as I wanted to see what came up, I scanned through and was attracted by this book cover – so I guess that’s the first box ticked!

 The Winter Horses

 Amazon UK

Amazon US

As a horse mad child my bookshelves were packed with books which all had horses on the front of them. I rarely bought the books myself as I had so many given to me as gifts from family members who must have been delighted to have someone in the family who was so easy to buy for. Whilst I haven’t lost my love of horses my book covers do now have more variety to them so I wanted to see what was available to today’s horse mad young person which was why I chose The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr.

The price – £5.31 (ebook price) for me is quite pricey though now the cover is larger I can see that Philip Kerr is a New York Times Bestselling Author so presumably has quite a following for whom this perhaps would not be an issue.

Book Description

It will soon be another cold winter in the Ukraine. Max, the devoted caretaker of a wildlife reserve, must learn to live with the Nazis who have overrun his land. He must also learn to keep secrets – for there is a girl, Kalinka, who is hiding in the park. Kalinka has lost her home, her family, her belongings – everything but her life. Still, she has gained one small, precious gift: a relationship with the rare wild and wily Przewalski’s horses that wander the reservation. Apart from Max, these endangered animals are her only friends – until a Nazi campaign of extermination nearly wipes them out for good. Now Kalinka must set out on a treacherous journey through the frozen Ukrainian forest to save the only two surviving horses – and herself. This sensitive, inspiring tale captures the power of sacrifice, the endurance of the human spirit and the astonishing loyalty of animals.

290 pages

Recommended in the US for ages 12 and up.

There are 19 reviews in the UK, 102 in the US, covering the whole range of opinion and as one who generally doesn’t look at reviews when buying something it’s difficult to know what to think when you read such differences in opinion or how it helps me in my choice. I appreciate we all like different things but how am I to know which of these reviewers I am like and therefore whose opinion I should listen to. Suffice to say the waters of my thoughts have been muddied.

Would I BUY or PASS? Whilst I find the cover appealing and I’m sure Philip Kerr is a fine author I think I’ll pass. The price is too rich for my blood though it’s a shame I don’t still have all those aunts and uncles sending me presents, they would have been all over this. Several reviews put me off as well, particularly the US ones, but it would take too long to go into all the reasons why here.


I think the cover depicts the story well and the blurb draws you in. It’s obviously quite a harsh, gripping read with plenty of action and adventure and one US review felt a parental warning would not have gone amiss though others felt it was childish…so what am I to believe!

Would you agree with my decision or not?

I’ll be back next week with another Friday Five Challenge, do feel free to join in.


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10 Responses to #FridayFiveChallenge – The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr
  1. What amazed me about doing this challenge is the price of some Kindle books. A hard copy is cheaper in some cases.

    • I know Cathy! It is quite an eye-opener isn’t it. I have always had the opinion that ebooks are that much cheaper but there’s no reason why they should be really and I guess if you have the following you don’t need to discount them.

  2. Ouch! The price for a YA e-book puts me off, I wonder if the price affects the YA market readers or if the New York Best Selling label helps glide their eyes away from the price?

    • It does make you wonder doesn’t it? It is selling so I guess it’s an indication of how good the author and his books are and things that are popular gain in popularity regardless of price I find.

  3. I think I would agree with your decision. (At least until I have a horse-mad child to buy for!)

    • Thanks Barb – I think with this one I would have lived in fear through every page thinking something ghastly was going to happen to them – I never got over Black Beauty for that very reason 🙂

  4. I think the Osmunds might have sung, Crazy Prices, wah wah. Sorry, I couldn’t resist a bit of Friday jollity. 🙂

  5. Fact is that if you’re a successful writer like Philip Kerr, price doesn’t matter. But if you are a relatively unknown Indie author, then people are reluctant to pay too much.


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