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Monday, March 11, 2013

How not to be SFWA president II

John Scalzi doubles down, not only in terms of jacking up his levels of emotion, irrationality, and vulgarity, but by expanding his attack on Random House to include ALL publishers who utilize a no-advance model:
So why are so many eBook-only publishers attempting to run with the “no advances” business model? If I had to guess, I would say because many of these then-erstwhile publishers assumed that publishing electronically had a low financial threshold of entry (not true, if you’re serious about it) and they fancied being publishers, so they started their businesses undercapitalized, and are now currently in the process of passing the consequences of that undercapitalization unto the authors they would like to work with. Alternately, as appears to be the case with Random House, they’re looking for a way to pass as much of the initial cost of publishing onto the author as possible, and one of the best ways to bring down those initial costs is to avoid paying the author anything up front. Both of these are bad business models, although one is more maliciously so, and both are to be avoided. Just because someone has stupidly or maliciously planned their business, doesn’t mean you’re obliged to sign a contract with them.

But, these publishers and their defenders may say (and have said), the publisher takes all the risk in producing a book! Yeah? Hey, to publishers and their defenders who say that: Fuck you. Fuck you for asserting that the author has shouldered no risk, when she’s invested the time, opportunity cost and material outlay required to create a manuscript. Fuck you for asserting the the author sees no risk to her own career from the choices that the publisher imposes on the publishing process that the author has no control of: everything from cover art (which, if horrible and/or out of step with the market, can sink a book) to the size and distribution of the initial print run, to the marketing plan the publisher has for retail.

Fuck you for lightly passing over the risk that the author has if the book fails — that any additional books in the contract might be cancelled or put out with the bare minimum of contractual obligation, that the author might not be able to sell another book to the publisher or other publishers because of a track record of poor sales — and for lightly passing over the fact the a publisher mitigates its own risk of the failure of a single book by having an entire portfolio of releases. If one single book fails but the publisher’s line holds up generally, then the risk the publisher encounters to its livelihood is minimal. The risk to the author, on the other hand, is substantially greater. Yes, to all of that, “fuck you,” is probably the politest thing to say in response.
Now, I could certainly point out that this is an incredibly stupid, unprofessional, and irresponsible thing to do, especially in light of how the Guardian has already mistaken one of his previous posts on the subject for the SFWA's position.  So, given the dedicated journalistic commitment to calm and reasonable discourse, it would not be a surprise if we soon see headlines of this sort: SFWA To All Publishers: "FUCK YOU".

However, I think that's all readily apparent.  Being an Award-Winning Cruelty Artist, I happen to find it much more amusing to demonstrate that Scalzi simply doesn't know what he's talking about, and moreover, to show that his observed inability to understand the potential benefits of the no-advance, revenue-share system has already cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2012 alone.

Scalzi has publicly stated that Tor sold 35,667 eBook versions of Redshirts at $11.99, 17,008 audiobooks at $19.95 and 26,604 hardcovers at $24.95.  If we assume that he gets the standard 20% royalty on ebooks that Tor author Robert Sawyer says Tor is paying its authors, the customary 10(5K)-12.5(5K)-15% on hardcovers, and 8% on audio books, his royalty revenues under the traditional publishing model he is defending so vigorously are likely in the vicinity of the following:

Ebook: $59,870.62
Hardcover: $90,479.22
Audiobook: $27,144.77
Total royalties: $177,494.61

That's excellent performance by any measure, almost surely in excess of whatever advance he received for Redshirts.  One must congratulate Scalzi on his ability to write fiction that people want to buy, regardless of what one thinks of the man or the fiction.  However, one also has to seriously question his financial acumen, because if he had the very sort of publishing deal that he is claiming is so dreadful and indefensible, he would have done considerably better.

Let's be realistic and assume that in addition to the revenue-sharing model, his contract contains an amount of chargeable overhead as many of these 50/50 contracts do.  The largest of which I am aware permitted the publisher to charge the author up to a maximum of $10,000 from the author's royalties.  Based on the same channel discount structure as above, but this time splitting the resulting revenue equally between Tor and the author results in the following figures:

Ebook: $149,676.57
Hardcover: $165,942.45
Audiobook: $84,827.40
Total royalties: $400,446.42
(less overhead charge $10,000)
Net author revenue: $390,446.42.  

In other words, Scalzi has already thrown away $212,951.81 in additional royalty revenue due to his insistence on an advance and his inability to understand that the no-advance, 50/50 revenue-sharing model is not intrinsically unfair, disadvantageous to the writer, or predatory.  In fact, if he wasn't such an angry and short-sighted fool, he would go to Tor and very politely ask them to publish his future books under the very no-advance model he is so vigorously decrying.  As it stands, every dollar he henceforth collects from Tor on Redshirts represents $2.55 (and counting) that he would have received had he the courage and foresight to accept the risk of foregoing a pre-payment on his royalties.

No doubt some authors believe that it is a good idea to heed the advice of a successful author when it comes to book contracts.  And that is quite often true.  But is it really a good idea to avoid no-advance, 50/50 publishing deals on the advice of an author dumb enough to hand over 54.5 percent of his potential royalties to the publisher for nothing more than the privilege of collecting part of the income beforehand?

UPDATE:  John Scalzi demonstrates that he not only can't do math, he can't read either:
The fellow in question has no idea how my contract is structured, so he hasn’t the slightest idea what I’m making. I will say his estimates amuse me. His estimates about production and marketing costs likewise suggest a profound ignorance of the real world (that $10,000 would have covered this for a week, at most). Additionally, if the fellow is trying to use the example of an outlier (i.e., a bestselling author with a large and healthy following) in an overly-simplistic “all other things being equal” sort of comparison, grounded in bad numbers, to show why these sorts of contracts might be beneficial to other writers, particularly new writers, then he’s, at best, once again letting his need to get his mancrush on get in the way of clear and rational thinking, or useful advice to other authors.

Ignorant and mendacious is not a great combination, basically. And that’s all I will say about that. It’s nice he’s still making money for those various organizations, however.

As noted here, I have no problems with authors choosing not to take advances — or making any other sort of contractual maneuvers they choose — when the author has decided that it is in his or her own best interests to do so, based on several factors. This is manifestly different from the publisher having “no advances” as its default setting. Anyone who doesn’t recognize the difference between those two probably should not be dispensing career advice to anyone else.
First, Scalzi is attempting to have it both ways here.  I cited the standard royalty rates for ebooks, hardcovers, and audio books from Tor Books in doing my calculations.  It is entirely possible that as one of their leading authors, he gets better royalty rates from them, although I very much doubt he is getting the 50 percent royalties that Hydra is offering or that I get from my publishers.  The numbers are not bad, they are standard and other writers, particularly new writers, are not likely to get better royalty rates than those I cited.

They are certainly more relevant than the numbers that John is keeping to himself, which is certainly his right, but to which he cannot reasonably appeal.  And, insofar as his royalties depart from those that new writers will receive he is making the very outlier mistake that he erroneously accuses me of making.

Furthermore, I said absolutely nothing about "production and marketing costs", but rather, referred to a fixed amount that is expected to help cover the publisher's overhead costs involved in publishing the book.  In my various book contracts, that fixed amount ranges from zero to $10,000 and comes out of my 50 percent share.  Far from showing any "profound ignorance of the real world", it simply showed Scalzi's lack of reading ability and unfamiliarity with the revenue-sharing model.

Notice that he is backing down now that his argument has been exposed as ridiculous and materially self-defeating.  Suddenly the problem isn't "no advances",  but "no advances as its default setting".

UPDATE II: The little rabbits actually manage to make Scalzi's inept response look downright intelligent when they try to weigh in:

"Claiming that 10000 USD cover all the expenses involved in marketing and producing Redshirts (Posters. Book tours. Wil Wheaton. Cover designs. Typesetting. Editing. Proofreading.) is so fallacious that it renders every other point invalid."

Well, I suppose it might if anyone had ever made such a stupid and fallacious claim.  But no one did anything of the sort, least of all me.

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124 Comments:

Anonymous Stilicho March 11, 2013 6:26 AM  

It seems to me that the advent of self-publishing options as well as marketing avenues that do not require a publishing house have made this type of change inevitable if the publishing houses wish to survive. Promoting a book on Amazon (and other online venues) does not require a huge marketing dept. or budget and e-books are gaining ever more market share. Change is coming regardless.

Nice wedge issue, by the way. Drive it home.

Anonymous Rantor March 11, 2013 6:39 AM  

If only you can get the rabbits in SFWA to understand, no advances = more carrots! Of course Scalzi didn't do any math before going off on his lame rant.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 11, 2013 6:46 AM  

One must ask the most relevent question. Why does he give a FUCK what other writers do? It is none of his damn business if they even want to write for free. He knows he is fucked if this goes mainstream.

Anonymous realmatt March 11, 2013 7:01 AM  

I like how in his mangina mind the ' author' is a 'she'.

Anonymous Houston March 11, 2013 7:13 AM  

Somehow the Gamma Rabbit character becomes even more amusing/revolting when I imagine both raised hands flourishing the middle finger.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 11, 2013 7:15 AM  

Scalzi

If you are reading I don't hate you. But I want to ask why you care if I write a book which I won't, and do an ebook deal with no advance, how does that hurt you? I don't make fun of you and don't read fiction, this is a purely econmical question with bad spelling. You can reply in the comments here or pass it to Vox for me, because I really would like to know.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 11, 2013 7:36 AM  

I finally figured it out, I am a little slow sometimes. They are are offshoring the union jobs not from Americans but the union. The chineses certianly are not going to be any competition in English fiction. Ever read any instructions from a chinese made product or Japan for that matter? Their English sucks real bad, worse than mine. So I can now only conclude that you are either afraid of the non-Union folk in America or the Australians may take you pants off? After all don't forget Mel Gibson in cinema.

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 7:39 AM  

It's not too hard to see this backfiring on not just Scalzi but the SFWA and even non-member SFF authors. Does he have any freaking clue what acting like a professional means?

Blogger Aviator4 March 11, 2013 7:41 AM  

He reminds me of some of the sales guys who kick and scream when their employer offers them the option of going to a strictly paid commission plan only, instead of their current salary+commission plus expenses paid model. With the salary plus commission model, their overall upside is capped big time with pollyanna like sales markers in order to achieve bonuses. What is especially appalling to most sales people (on top of losing their base salary) is also having to pay their own local travel expenses, which average around 6-8k a year.

Thus, most of these guys stick with their nice security blanket, forgoing tens of thousands of additional income in the process. A particular rep might have a seasoned territory consistently doing 2 million or more a year, in which he's offered a commission only structure paying 8% commission (~160k) on that territory. His second option is to stick with the (as I call it) nanny plan, which typically is around 75k base plus bonus. If he has a great year, he might make an additional 30-40k in income. An average year, around 15-20k.

Even when you lay all this out in front of them, in which the decision seems like an insanely easy one to make, most choose to stick with the nanny plan. The mere thought of an occasional lean month, or having to pay for their own gas or hotel costs simply is too much for them to stomach, regardless of the tremendous upside otherwise (not to mention business write-offs and such). With that said, its obvious which camp Scalzi falls into.

Anonymous Agent Asper March 11, 2013 7:41 AM  

"Their English sucks real bad, worse than mine.

See www.engrish.com/

OT - I miss Vox's Monday WND column.

And Spacebunny.

Anonymous Koanic March 11, 2013 7:52 AM  

Math is hard.

Actually though, he doesn't care, he just wants to protect #1 his ingroup's status and #2 redistributive fairness.

Risk and reward is K. Getting into the club is r.

Anonymous RedJack March 11, 2013 8:10 AM  



Outlaw X March 11, 2013 6:46 AM One must ask the most relevent question. Why does he give a FUCK what other writers do? It is none of his damn business if they even want to write for free. He knows he is fucked if this goes mainstream.


I can think of a few reasons. The largest one is that if to many up and coming authors go indie, it will dillute the product pool. In other words, to many offerings in the market will lower the price (not saying it is true). The other is that for the majority of writers, the advance is all they make. Some of those terms quoted means that the author will make nothing.
Overall though, it looks like if you are a small time or new author, you would be better off direct publishing to an ebook. You get all the up front costs, but also get all the reward till you see if this so something you can do.

Anonymous Salt March 11, 2013 8:16 AM  

I'd bet McRapey doesn't play LOTTO, as they won't give him an advance on his winning.

Anonymous trk March 11, 2013 8:19 AM  

Scalzi is trying to defend the talented, uber smart female fantasy writer whos dreams of wereseal love w a mid level corporate vice president are dashed by those evil villans at the publishing house who only want her to stay barefoot/pregnant and cooking chilli for her man. But you know what, we ain't go no chilli

Anonymous JartStar March 11, 2013 8:20 AM  

Even if Scalzi is correct that sort of profanity laced rhetoric is unbecoming of a president of an organization and unprofessional particularly when he is writing about the industry, even on his personal blog.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan March 11, 2013 8:23 AM  

Hee hee. Even the dim witted Elmer Fudd could outsmart this wabbit.

Anonymous Athor Pel March 11, 2013 8:25 AM  

He must not actually expect to sell any of the books he's written. That's sad.

Anonymous Orville March 11, 2013 8:27 AM  

What a sackless little turd. If I was a SFWA member I'd be embarrassed.

Anonymous Agent Asper March 11, 2013 8:37 AM  

Yet I dont't know what indie means other than a flood I suspect.

Slang for independent. Like the Indie Film Festival.

Anonymous Scalzi Imposter March 11, 2013 8:39 AM  

What a sackless little turd. If I was a SFWA member I'd be embarrassed.

Well, I am a memeber and I expect a 100,000 dollar advance for "Lesbians from Mars". It will be out in May.

Anonymous ChelmWiseman March 11, 2013 8:39 AM  

Ouch! Nicely done.

Anonymous bob k. mando March 11, 2013 8:39 AM  

posted by Vox @ 3/11/2013 06:10:00 AM
every dollar he henceforth collects from Tor on Redshirts represents $2.55 (and counting) that he would have received had he the courage and foresight to accept the risk of foregoing a pre-payment on his royalties.




it seems to me that what yer sayin is, "McRapey is McRaping himself."

Blogger IM2L844 March 11, 2013 8:40 AM  

The cost of burning bridges often exceeds expectations.

Anonymous DaveD March 11, 2013 8:44 AM  

Bunny needs a fainting couch.

DD

Anonymous Outlaw X March 11, 2013 8:47 AM  

The cost of burning bridges often exceeds expectations.

Depends on who needs the bridge? The Allies or Axis?

Blogger El Borak March 11, 2013 9:12 AM  

Bunny needs a fainting couch.

And a big bowl of chili.

Anonymous Salt March 11, 2013 9:14 AM  

What Scalzi hasn't realized is that he's becoming the best advocate for Vox's candidacy there is. Most amusing.

Anonymous RedJack March 11, 2013 9:17 AM  

Indie as in self publishing. With the ebook market now, it is very easy to do.

You can pay for editing and some marketing, and still come out ahead.

Anonymous Anonymous March 11, 2013 9:18 AM  

Self-publishing has put price pressure on publishers. And while publishers had a point early on that self-published novels aren't of the same quality as the gate-kept books put out by established publishers, people are beginning to realize that this isn't always the case. This means future returns based on the old contract model are going to look less and less attractive to new authors, who will choose instead the self-publishing model. The lower (one might say nonexistent) barrier to entry for self-publishing will mean less prestige for authors, simply because there are more people writing more books.

So, yes, Scalzi's position is primarily about defending an in-group that writers like Scalzi have worked very hard to get into (often by prostrating themselves and generally behaving submissively to the powers that be). Never mind that I've self-published two fantasy/SF novels that have sold well enough that I'm writing another--in their minds, I'm not an actual novelist. And they want to keep it that way.

It's a natural instinct to fight for something you've prostrated yourself for. You need to feel the humiliation has been worth it. Now that the publishing market is in crisis, so is their status. That's the issue here, not money. Scalzi is perfectly happy to take less money if it means he keeps his status and locks other potential authors out of it.

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 9:19 AM  

What Scalzi hasn't realized is that he's becoming the best advocate for Vox's candidacy there is.

Everything is falling into place....

Anonymous Anonymous March 11, 2013 9:21 AM  

>What Scalzi hasn't realized is that he's becoming the best advocate for Vox's candidacy there is. Most amusing.

Except we don't yet know what if anything Gould has to say on the issue. Anyone know?

My only caveat on this to date is that Scalzi won't get royalties until the advance has earned out but it would look from the numbers like it would have done that and I suspect that Vox's figures even then would pan out. I don't know what advance he would have got for Redshirts, obviously.

Anonymous Anonymous March 11, 2013 9:22 AM  

It's worth noting that other than the $10 or so that buys an ISBN (which is, in fact, optional) there are *no* required up-front costs for self-publishing an ebook other than the time you take to write it. You might want to pay for editing and cover/ebook design, but you don't *have* to. This is the reality that publishers haven't figured out yet--technology has made their services optional.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 11, 2013 9:22 AM  

"What Scalzi hasn't realized is that he's becoming the best advocate for Vox's candidacy there is.

Everything is falling into place...."

Which is great and VD's win must be celebrated.

Team VOx!

What concerns me is how freely ScaMcRaRaPE doesn't understand public comments will have public implications citing the unprofessionalism, lack of class, etc. Perhaps, the publishers don't appreciate the henhouse either or they like the free PR. We'll see.

Blogger TJIC March 11, 2013 9:23 AM  

> One must ask the most relevent question. Why does he give a FUCK what other writers do?

This is basically asking why he's a leftist - why do ANY of them care that other people might make their own choices and live free?

The two cores of the leftist pathology are (1) they can't distinguish between their own utility functions and everyone else's [ despite their oft-stated love of diversity ] (2) no methods are off the table for compelling others.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 11, 2013 9:23 AM  

Well, when the final votes are cast and counted I think V wins! V for victory.

Anonymous dh March 11, 2013 9:24 AM  

VD--

This is a fundamentally human question. And it's especially bad for liberals and leftists.

The "bird in the hand" theory of financial management is what it really amounts to, or rather, "pretend like you are going to die from cancer in a week" way of managing things.

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 9:28 AM  

So...let me get this straight...

Let's say a new author writes a scifi novel that becomes a huge, #1 on Amazon, best seller. Let's say that this new novel is praised as the best scifi novel since enders game. Let's further say that this novel becomes the first of an epic trilogy, and is optioned for a major motion picture. This novel brings in millions of new readers into the scifi genre, etc.

Now...given all the good this writer and novel have done for the community as a whole...if the author had gone with a publisher that doesn't offer advances, the author would be ineligible for SFWA membership?

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 9:40 AM  

Except we don't yet know what if anything Gould has to say on the issue. Anyone know?

He has explicitly defended Scalzi's position, admittedly prior to the latest FUCK YOU ALLLLL outburst.

Now...given all the good this writer and novel have done for the community as a whole...if the author had gone with a publisher that doesn't offer advances, the author would be ineligible for SFWA membership?

This is correct, yes. No minimum $2,000 advance, no SFWA membership.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein March 11, 2013 9:44 AM  

Vox: " Everything is falling into place..."
=
Montgomery Burns: "Excellent! "
=
George Peppard: "I love it when a plan comes together." *Chomps cigar*

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 9:47 AM  

This is correct, yes. No minimum $2,000 advance, no SFWA membership.

Is the organization aware how fantastically stupid that is?

Blogger JartStar March 11, 2013 9:51 AM  

=
George Peppard: "I love it when a plan comes together." *Chomps cigar*

=

Emperor Darth Sidious: "Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen..." *cackles maniacally*

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 11, 2013 9:56 AM  

OT: recall the readability calculator? I seemed to have forgotten or lost some sort of a template that analyzes a man and females writing.

I rec'ed a few emails, my vibes are waving red flags. The emails were ok just odd. Are there any templates or places like the readability calculator that would reveal analysis or more insight?

Anonymous Jim Hodge March 11, 2013 10:01 AM  

"Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"

Anonymous NateM March 11, 2013 10:06 AM  

If random house et al were smart, theyd offer a choice of the two models, that would make scalzi haopy and they could count on the short sighted to choose the advance, saving them money. They'd make more and rhey couldn't be blamed for it. It's just like the foolish lottery winners who give up half their winnings by taking the lump sum cash option.

Anonymous realmatt March 11, 2013 10:07 AM  

The people demand more Spacebunny.

Blogger Dukemandarin March 11, 2013 10:10 AM  

>Is the organization aware how fantastically stupid that is?

> No, it does not appear that is the consensus opinion.

It will have to change though, because publishing is changing so much. If you get the hypothetical example above, which is not so hypothetical, it is fantastically stupid and they couldn't make an exception for it without making exceptions all over the place. I gather jury awards are facing a similar issue, ditto with e-books.

Anonymous Agent Asper March 11, 2013 10:15 AM  

The people demand more Spacebunny.

Yes. We do.

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 10:17 AM  

Is the organization aware how fantastically stupid that is?

In a word, no.

If random house et al were smart, theyd offer a choice of the two models, that would make scalzi happy and they could count on the short sighted to choose the advance, saving them money.

I have no doubt that Random House will be quite happy to pay a piddling advance in return for paying a much smaller royalty. And obviously, there will be authors like Scalzi dumb enough to prefer it.

Blogger IM2L844 March 11, 2013 10:18 AM  

What Scalzi hasn't realized is that he's becoming the best advocate for Vox's candidacy there is.

I'm guessing Scalzi thinks he is outing Vox as someone who is not to be trusted as an advocate for the writers. I wonder what the overlap is with SFWA membership and NWU membership. It looks like Scalzi is just conveniently regurgitating the National Writers Union's official position on publisher contracts.

Anonymous Taco Dave March 11, 2013 10:22 AM  

They already are. Scalzi is simply too dim-witted to realize it. RH will pay an advance, so long as you take a lower royalty.
 
John Scalzi is perfectly aware of this, he’s referring to Hydra, a Random House imprint that doesn’t pay advances.  You’ll also note he’s fine with authors not taking advances (he says he’s happily accepted a contract with no advance), his problem is with Publishers that don’t offer them at all.  Did you read his posts or did you just scan them looking for bits to strawman?

Anonymous Daniel March 11, 2013 10:22 AM  

Holy smoke. I'd forgotten how bad the trad model is on e-book and audio royalties. 8% accounts for a lot of overhead. 50% is as low as I go for normal channels - there's plenty of revenue to go around. You have to actively seek abuse to accept 8%. Might as well give them e-books for free and hope they give you a pat on the head.

That contract is a sucker bet. For everyone complaining that RH took too much copyright, the dirty secret is: so does Tor's traditional one. So that is not a distinction even worth discussing.

Anonymous Zartan March 11, 2013 10:23 AM  

I think this all boils down to the Labor Theory of Value.

McRabbity sees the advance as payment for "work".

Discuss.

Anonymous NateM March 11, 2013 10:24 AM  

I did not realize that. Makes your incredulity make more sense now. Scalzi, can you even Math?

Anonymous Daniel March 11, 2013 10:24 AM  

Jeez, Taco Dave. You contradicted your own thesis in a single sentence. Neat trick.

Hint: an imprint is not the same thing as a separate publisher.

Blogger Dukemandarin March 11, 2013 10:44 AM  

>his problem is with Publishers that don’t offer them at all.

Actually more with publishers who take money from the author to cover the initial costs *as well as* giving no advance.

Does anyone know what distribution deals RH are offering? For me that would be the main selling point of the Hydra contract as opposed to just self-publishing.

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 10:51 AM  

Obviously time preferences play a big role in this. I would wager that advance vs increased royalties would break along partisan lines, with democrats/left liberals preferring the former and republicans/conservatives/libertarians preferring the latter.

Anonymous sprach von Teufelshunden March 11, 2013 10:57 AM  

I say more and more authors need to start embracing self-publishing. And, if desire is to truly communicate a truth, then not to only forgo an advance, but to seriously consider compensation via donation, until such time an economy is righted, that ALL person's have equal access to prosperity. [1]

Vox, [hypothetically] if you were to become the new SFWA president, what say you about Childhood's End, in light of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and his most prominent living acolyte, the recently deposed Pope Benedict XVI?

As promised, five decades after their arrival the Overlords appear for the first time; they resemble the traditional human folk images of demons—large bipeds with leathery wings, horns and tails.

I would say it is a little late to read the novel (expecting surprised senses), unless you are an aspiring screenwriter/game developer. The bigger question is, Who [or what] put that thought in the [pantheistic] mind of Arthur C. Clarke? The aspect of predictive programming is going beyond the sublime now...




---------
[1] I could not resist. Especially for Vox. A duel between Italians. Between Draghi and Grillo.

Anonymous dh March 11, 2013 11:06 AM  

Obviously time preferences play a big role in this. I would wager that advance vs increased royalties would break along partisan lines, with democrats/left liberals preferring the former and republicans/conservatives/libertarians preferring the latter.


The only real problem with the 2nd option is that the publisher risks becoming a service provider for authors, and not a publisher. It is very possible that there could be more profit being a vanity author than a traditional publisher.

Anonymous Lemmenkainen March 11, 2013 11:09 AM  

The only advantage the traditional advance model has for authors is they still get a guaranteed minimum if they produce a crappy product. Mr. Scalzi must not be very confident in his output.

Blogger Dukemandarin March 11, 2013 11:10 AM  

> It is very possible that there could be more profit being a vanity author than a traditional publisher.

That's why I'm wondering what their distribution options are. I ought to go over and look.

Anonymous Anonymous March 11, 2013 11:12 AM  

What are your views of the way that the contract treats copyright?

Blogger Desert Cat March 11, 2013 11:18 AM  

Speaking of rabbits, rabbit hunting and AWCA, I think we ought to study the techniques of this guy, linked here at Doom's place, who hunts rabbits.

Bare-handed.

With snakes.

You will not regret seeing this. Truly LOL-worth.

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 11:21 AM  

Actually more with publishers who take money from the author to cover the initial costs *as well as* giving no advance.

That's incorrect. He is attacking both.

"In writing the pieces about Random House and its egregious, non-advance paying eBook imprints and how no writer ever should submit to them, or indeed work with any publisher that does not offer an advance"

John Scalzi is perfectly aware of this, he’s referring to Hydra, a Random House imprint that doesn’t pay advances.

No, he's not. That's what "and" means. He is referring to Random House AND its ebook imprints AND "any publisher that does not offer an advance". Furthermore, why does Scalzi say Hydra doesn't pay advances? Are you absolutely sure his information is correct in that regard?

Did you read his posts or did you just scan them looking for bits to strawman?

Yes, I read them. Unlike you, I also paid attention to what he actually wrote. And I did the math.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 11, 2013 11:22 AM  

This is one of the best threads I have ever seen and how much smarter the readers of this blog are than me on this subject. Wish you all could vote.I like smart folks

Android reply

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 11:27 AM  

What are your views of the way that the contract treats copyright?

I haven't gone over the details of the contract. But based on what I've heard, it appears to be problematic, if not necessarily all that different from what the major publishers are doing already.

Note that I'm not defending the Hydra contracts or Random House. I am simply defending the no-advance, revenue-sharing models that were foolishly attacked by the SFWA president and asserting that it is stupid to attempt to work these things out by attacking people in public.

Anonymous dh March 11, 2013 11:29 AM  

VD--

How are you at detecting sock puppetry? Does blogspot have any decent tools? I would not be surprised if Taco Dave was Scalzi, or a close associate.

Blogger Positive Dennis March 11, 2013 11:33 AM  

Lets say he sold 30,000 ebooks without a publisher for $10 each with no paper or audio version. The author keeps 70%. That is $210,000. Math be hard.

Anonymous Tractor Dan March 11, 2013 11:47 AM  

Scalzi would be Churro Dave or Pear-shaped Dave or Pie Belly John.

Glad I'm not a member of SFWA as self-pubbers are not allowed in, last time I checked.

With librotards like Churro Dave representing you guys, I give SFWA a few more years before imploding.

Vox, I wish you luck for the Presidency. It would be a good start. If I could vote, I would.

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 11:50 AM  

I would not be surprised if Taco Dave was Scalzi, or a close associate.

It's not McRapey. He hasn't read the post because it's clear he's making the same mistake he did before and relying upon how others have attempted to characterize the post. He's not a rocket scientist, but even he isn't dumb enough to make the mistake about the maximum 10k referring to all the marketing and production costs I pointed out in the update.

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 11:50 AM  

Think how much money Scalzi would have made by self serializing whatever his new book is, at $.99 a chapter.

Anonymous Tractor Dan March 11, 2013 11:56 AM  

Vox, perhaps you cannot answer this, but why are other SFWA members not speaking out on behalf of their treasured traditional publishers?

I'd be mad as hell if some asshat told my gravy train to fuck off on a very public site.

In the realm of professionalism, 'fuck off' is not an applicable term to use when addressing a corporate paymaster.

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 11:58 AM  

In the realm of professionalism, 'fuck off' is not an applicable term to use when addressing a corporate paymaster.

Yeah, pretty sure anyone at my company who used such language towards a client would be immediately canned.

Anonymous Porky March 11, 2013 12:00 PM  

Never seen a rabbit run backwards.

Anonymous jack March 11, 2013 12:06 PM  

Josh March 11, 2013 11:50 AM

Think how much money Scalzi would have made by self serializing whatever his new book is, at $.99 a chapter.

Depending on length of each chapter. I would cap out at .25 per. It seems more and more fiction novels are using the model of short chapters and a lot of them. I suppose to keep interest of some readers? I would like to hear the Vox opinion on this.

Maybe I've read too much Clancy?

Anonymous Daniel March 11, 2013 12:09 PM  

Not only that, Positive Dennis, but McRapey would not be relying on his distributors (Amazon, B&N, Ingram, and anyone else who distributes ebooks to paying customers or wholesalers) reporting accurate info to his Publisher (Tor) to accurately report those figures to his agent who then takes the money and (hopefully) accurately reports those numbers to him.

Think I'm kidding? Look at some of the problems with the royalty statement system of "safe" advance-paying traditional publishers.

If McRapey had simply gone his own route on e-books, not only would he make the $210,000 for the 30,000 he currently knows about, he'd also make 70% on the X,000 that he currently does not know about!

And we wonder what makes the rabbits twitch.

Anonymous Salt March 11, 2013 12:12 PM  

The fellow in question

What fellow would that be McRapey? Be specific. Show some balls.

(do rabbits have balls?)

Anonymous James May March 11, 2013 12:14 PM  

Any publicity is good publicity. The downside is manageable. The upside is spendable. Manufacture the occasional controversy amidst all the pix of cats and you get attention beyond the genre fans. This is it's own contract. It is particularly helpful in an era of a perfect genre storm where the writer is re-doing Edmond Hamilton stories from the '30s and the audience is so dumbed down or heedless they enjoy that re-invention of the wheel.

Smiles all around.

For some years now, SF has been influenced more by SF TV and film than by its own literary history. The fact "Redshirts" is vintage Star Trek inspired should surprise no one.

If the fact someone on this very thread mentioned the "best scifi novel since enders game" doesn't give one a clue to how sadly the genre has fallen nothing will, since any average good SF novel is the best "scifi novel since enders game."

The fact Scalzi's serialized potboiler is a TV standard 13 weeks/episodes is an exclamation point and a stake in the heart. Need I belabor the obvious any more?

The fans are having fun, and not everything need be Shakespeare, may have been the Edgar R. Burroughs of his day anyway. The fact the fans are having fun dancing on the grave of the genre is a sad byproduct, but fun is fun.

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 12:15 PM  

Depending on length of each chapter. I would cap out at .25 per. It seems more and more fiction novels are using the model of short chapters and a lot of them. I suppose to keep interest of some readers?

Well, this particular novel is 13 chapters, currently on Amazon for 99c

Anonymous Anonymous March 11, 2013 12:18 PM  

Vox: can you post a link to the quote by Scalzi in update II? At least according to google, it exists nowhere on the iternet but at Vox Populi.

Anonymous Daniel March 11, 2013 12:20 PM  

(do rabbits have balls?)

Not hardly. Sexing the little critters prior to maturity is a pain in the neck. I've messed it up once or twice when I check on a hutch with a couple of females in it to discover one of them was a male taking advantage of a reverse downlow, as evidenced by the unexpected squirming batch of naked kits.

Rabbit pros know what they are doing, but to the rest of us, yes - Gamma Rabbit appears to be anatomically correct.

Blogger Desert Cat March 11, 2013 12:20 PM  

Anonymous...really?!

Try the link at the top of this post.

Geez...

Anonymous Daniel March 11, 2013 12:23 PM  

You can't sell stuff for less than .99 in most places. You can do free or .99. Nothing for a quarter anymore. If you want to do a quarter/chapter, you need to sell 4 chapters at $1.00.

Also, under $2.99 or something like that, your royalty usually drops out to 35% or so.

Anonymous ? March 11, 2013 12:24 PM  

It is very possible that there could be more profit being a vanity author than a traditional publisher.

Good news for authors, bad news for publishers. Why should authors care about this?

Anonymous dh March 11, 2013 12:32 PM  

Good news for authors, bad news for publishers. Why should authors care about this?

They shouldn't! This is why traditional publishers are making new imprints to try to figure out ebooks, I would imagine.

The new imprints can deal with the vast explosion of material out there. If an author isn't willing to front some actual cash, they probably aren't cut out for the business.

I sort of like the logic in a way. Because the logic is that from the imprint's point of view, an author must have more "skin" in the game than simply their free, unpaid, unrequested, potentially worthless time. There are an endless supply of people who think they can be authors. There are an endless supply of people pitching manuscripts that they think will be the next big thing.

The endless parade of monkey is greatly reduced when you get them to put up $2k.

It probably deeply offends McRapey / Scalzi because it flys in the face of their poor struggling artist concept. It means that first-time authors will have to have a proven proficiency in another money making enterprise before they get to be professional authors.

In a way advances for first time authors is a form of social welfare. The publisher is giving unearned income to someone on the promise of future delivery of work.

Anonymous Tractor Dan March 11, 2013 12:43 PM  

Rather crudely put, an advance allows a publisher to fuck the author on the back end by offering a ridiculously low royalty.

What Scalzi, doesn't know or does know and refuses to accredit, is that for a few thousand an author can hire an ace editor and ace cover artist and reap 70% royalty if priced between $2.99-$9.99. Right now good editors are a dime a dozen as many have discovered that they can moonlight to self-pubbers for extra lunch money. Same with cover artists.

That's a fucking no-brainer!

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 12:44 PM  

In a way advances for first time authors is a form of social welfare. The publisher is giving unearned income to someone on the promise of future delivery of work.

And the rabbits will shriek, "but the work has already been done! The advance is payment for the work!"

Of course, if you asked them why royalties should be paid if the work has already been done, I'm sure their precious little heads would explode.

Anonymous James May March 11, 2013 12:47 PM  

For those of you who wish to think of this TV/film analogy and how you can tell when an author is fishing for TV/film money in their literary work, I give you James Rollins, "Subterranean," "Amazonia."

Rollins' novels read almost like a film treatment or script, with any layering or nuance stripped out. Not exactly unprecedented, but ask yourself if you'd rather read a literary version of the movies "King Kong" or "Journey To the Center of the Earth, but with token gay and black characters, or whether you'd prefer to read Simak's The Big Front Yard or Anderson's No Truce With Kings of Dickson's Soldier Ask Not. Of course I mean stories that would be written today as innovative and lively as those were, not the same thing.

In fact I love the films "King Kong" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth," and I've read tons of sad and stupid expressions of SF pop culture I've really enjoyed. However at no time was I confused as to whether a novelization of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" needed a Nebula nor did I think Capt. Crane as a Hispanic would equal art.

As good as the film "Serenity," is, and it is top-notch, I don't need literary versions of it, and using modern writing techniques to give me the Lensmen isn't all that compelling either, especially when identity politics gets involved.

This contract story is pure BS, a means to an end. It's a name in lights on a marquee.

Anonymous dh March 11, 2013 12:48 PM  

And the rabbits will shriek, "but the work has already been done! The advance is payment for the work!"

Of course, if you asked them why royalties should be paid if the work has already been done, I'm sure their precious little heads would explode.


Yeah, I guess, I don't understand publishing. At what point does a publisher pay an author for work yet to be turned in?

I don't really get it. In some cases the advance is I guess an "advance on royalties"? And at some point an advance is "an advance before it's written".

Blogger Dukemandarin March 11, 2013 1:03 PM  

>At what point does a publisher pay an author for work yet to be turned in?

dh, this is secondhand as I don't have anything published myself though I'm working on something (I'll probably end up putting it out myself) but from the couple of pro authors I know, trad publishers would want to see a full manuscript before they took a chance on it (why would you pay a newbie if they've got no track record, I guess, and might not come up with the goods). After that I gather you submit three chapters and an outline of the novel, and they pay you a partial sum of money on that, all of it once you've actually given them the whole book.

But I defer to those who have more knowledge than I do.

Anonymous dh March 11, 2013 1:22 PM  

Duke--

It's even more stupid then, Scalzi's position. In this case the author is asking for payment for work he's done that's already done. Spec work.

I am surprised the publishing industry has lasted this long without other disruptions upsetting the apple cart. It's a buyers market until you have a following. Then it becomes a sellers market.

I.E. Steven King can bend a publisher to his will, or else go elsewhere, or else, do it himself. Steven Kingman the unpublished author wannabe needs to convince a publisher to select his work from thousands of unsolicited ones just like it.

Blogger Dukemandarin March 11, 2013 1:30 PM  

>Steven Kingman the unpublished author wannabe needs to convince a publisher to select his work from thousands of unsolicited ones just like it.

Yeah and I'm definitely Steven Kingman. Tbh conversations with friends who write have made me decide to do it myself because otherwise it just seems like a long and bloody road. I write for fun and I do want to get stuff out there but - yeah, there's a limit to how much grief I want to put myself through. I'm not going to be telling the story from the point of view of a lesbian feminist vampire hunting werecat, either, so there goes that as it seems that's all that's being published these days.

Might as well do it yourself.

Anonymous dh March 11, 2013 1:35 PM  

> Might as well do it yourself.

Being signed by an imprint like Hydra is probably not the worst thing for someone like you, I suppose though.

Because you will likely have a decent array of services available to you at a negotiated price, and then you'll have instant availability to the cartel-controlled distribution systems (aka, Amazon and a few other channels).

It just seems bizarre that Scalzi and other established authors would rather have a new author not published than published on terms that put the publisher and author on equal terms.

Blogger Dukemandarin March 11, 2013 1:44 PM  

>Because you will likely have a decent array of services available to you at a negotiated price, and then you'll have instant availability to the cartel-controlled distribution systems (aka, Amazon and a few other channels).

I'm thinking that. It's the distribution that interests me most about this deal but I think you can sign up with packagers who will also do that, so you'd need to cost it out. I'm only just starting to look into this properly though - one of my resolutions this year is to spend a bit more time on writing blogs like this one and learn from people who know more than I do.

But the gatekeeper theory holds water. There's a lot of territory marking out there, it seems to me, and I guess people who've shut the gate behind them don't like it when something blows it open again.

Anonymous David Of One March 11, 2013 1:52 PM  

Is there some law prohibiting an author from publishing their own EBook?

Yes, there is cover design and editing including any graphics inside the book.

I can also imagine the likelyhood of really good freelancing editors coming into more demand.

Then there is the issue of marketing ... certainly Amazon might have a vested interest in advertising & marketing EBooks independent of a publishing house. Or would they?

There would seem to be a growing market for something like EBooks R Us.

Anonymous David Of One March 11, 2013 1:54 PM  

may be EBooks & Tree Huggers R Us

Anonymous Orville March 11, 2013 2:01 PM  

This is correct, yes. No minimum $2,000 advance, no SFWA membership.

So what is the benefit of SFWA membership?

Anonymous Alexander March 11, 2013 2:06 PM  

Being part of a guild that lobbies to prevent others from joining the industry, apparently. It follows the 'better to be part of the boot than part of the face' principle.

Anonymous Orville March 11, 2013 2:10 PM  

Hmmm...I'm a member of a large international professional group that also has local chapters. I have to pay money and take continuing education to stay in, but along with networking opportunities I also get access to a ton of journal and research articles that I can use in my area of work.

If I were a writer, I just wouldn't see the cost/benefit of the SFWA.

Anonymous Josh March 11, 2013 2:22 PM  

So what is the benefit of SFWA membership?R

Entertainment value from the forums?

Anonymous Daniel March 11, 2013 2:31 PM  

If I were a writer, I just wouldn't see the cost/benefit of the SFWA.

If you were a writer, you wouldn't believe in cost/benefit.

Anonymous Alexander March 11, 2013 2:36 PM  

And... Daniel wins the thread.

I don't think Scalzi is totally 'wrong' though in terms of the politics of what he's doing. Aspiring writers do not get to vote in SFWA. People (and only people, apparently) who have previously received advances from publishers do. I suspect he believes that this is a winning issue for him and his, and Vox comes out as the bad man trying to take away their moneyz...

And when you look around, can you really fault the logic?

On the other hand, it seems really, really stupid to piss off and so childishly and publicly insult the hand that feeds you, especially for the "prize" of the presidency of SFWA.

Anonymous Gen. Kong March 11, 2013 2:43 PM  

Daniel:
Think I'm kidding? Look at some of the problems with the royalty statement system of "safe" advance-paying traditional publishers.

This is pretty amazing. If I read the linked blog post correctly, it would appear that a number of 'traditional' publishers aren't reporting the actual number of e-books (or printed books) sold, but some sort of statistical concoction of what they think the sales might be. Looks like the bankstas are running the publishing biz!

Anonymous Thales March 11, 2013 2:47 PM  

This reminds me of an apocryphal tale about Don King: when King would need to pay his fighters, he’d take a suitcase full of cash, maybe 10% of what he owed them. He’d offer them a check for the full amount, which of course he didn't have on him and would take a few days to get, or to settle-up with the suitcase full of cash. Invariably, they settled in King’s favor.

Anonymous Jack Amok March 11, 2013 3:04 PM  

It follows the 'better to be part of the boot than part of the face' principle.

Depends on what the boot and face are doing. The boot might be stepping on the face, or the face might be smiling grimly as the boot falls off the foot when the body stops with a jerk at the end of the rope.

The first is usually eventually followed by the second. Rallying to a dying business model seems like a good way to hang your career.

Blogger tz March 11, 2013 4:25 PM  

I would not be surprised if Taco Dave was Scalzi, or a close associate.

It's not McRapey. He hasn't read the post because it's clear he's making the same mistake he did before and relying upon how others have attempted to characterize the post. He's not a rocket scientist, but even he isn't dumb enough to make the mistake about the maximum 10k referring to all the marketing and production costs I pointed out in the update.


But he is either dumb or foolish (which is wisdom, not intelligence) not to read the post yet respond to it as if he had. Not that it is unexpected, it is the essence of the rabbit warren talking point mentality. Thinking is so hard - and can get you in trouble - as to be avoided.

Blogger tz March 11, 2013 4:26 PM  

The difference between a rocket scientist and a SciFi/Fantasy writer is that the former has to deal with the mathematics and physics of the real world. The latter can alter his reality when things wouldn't work in this one.

Anonymous kh123 March 11, 2013 5:35 PM  

"...it would appear that a number of 'traditional' publishers aren't reporting the actual number of e-books (or printed books) sold, but some sort of statistical concoction of what they think the sales might be."

Is very similar, if not the same, to write-downs in the film industry. Which is why you'll see a release having grossed multi-millions more than it took to produce, but still being used as the reason why a studio has laid off hundreds of employees after the fact once their financial statement and actual value (as opposed to "mark-to-fantasy") becomes apparent.

Anonymous Anonymous March 11, 2013 5:59 PM  

*laugh* I am continually amused by VD's lack of math acumen.

As to reading prowess, the Alibi and Hydra contracts read specified no maximum cost for "chargeable overhead" and in fact blatantly stated that the Author was the one with that burden.

Anonymous Daniel March 11, 2013 6:12 PM  

Annie, it's a hard knock life for you kids, I know. I'm sure your next Daddy Warbucks won't make you show your work.

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 6:17 PM  

*laugh* I am continually amused by VD's lack of math acumen.

That's nice. Where is the error? Or are you simply posing. I'm happy to correct it, so please point it out. Also, please choose a name if you're going to comment here; Anonymous comments are not permitted.

As to reading prowess, the Alibi and Hydra contracts read specified no maximum cost for "chargeable overhead" and in fact blatantly stated that the Author was the one with that burden.

That's irrelevant. Most revenue-sharing contracts have them. All four of mine do and McRapey was specifically attacking all no-advance contracts, not merely the Alibi and Hydra contracts.

Blogger Doom March 11, 2013 6:17 PM  

I don't know Vox. The stupid will never get ahead. I am pretty sure if you sold radioactive material as healthy, someone would buy it, so I am not putting stock in his book sales, more credit goes to those who package and sell it. If credit isn't always what it seems. A fool and his money are quickly parted, even potential income, it is the way of things.

However, I think his point is, he wants more authors, regardless of their economic viability, to be included in the publishing game.* He believes (although falsely even here), that this would bring more writers to the big published table. The truth is, this makes publishers even more squeamish about taking on authors. The only way to increase published authors is to make publishing more purely lucrative, not for the author but for the publishing houses (although your plan seems to be good for both, which should tell him something?). Again, you are still right, if I think you are missing his point.

(*Just my theory, but I'm writing as if I got it from Rabbit's very own... mouth... nibbler... thing.)

Anonymous James May March 11, 2013 7:00 PM  

Well, one can say that people entering the field by self-publishing are not a direct competitor for Scalzi. People who enter by way of an imprint are. That's because there is at least some modicum of institutional promotion, networking and distribution, certainly more than the average person putting their stuff up on Amazon and hoping someone stumbles across it will have.

Scalzi and his friends have every reason to be worried. Have you read Human Division chapters? If left to stand on their own merits, without a well-known blog, political correctness, publisher and SFWA as platforms to promote them, it's average SF not even as compelling as Capt. Future or a forgotten Ace Double.

There is no sense of wonder, no marvelously visual descriptions, no clever turn of phrase, nothing - it's pretty empty as SF and as art. It's basically a version of what was going on outside "The Trouble With Tribbles." Although I realize it is mostly adults reading it, it reads as if it were written for children, and is certainly written for a mainstream audience steeped in a TV vocabulary of SF, not a literary one.

When push comes to shove, promotion is everything in a field like this, and like "Ender's Game," a person like Scalzi becomes famous for being famous.

And then there is reverse promotion, such as shooting down a type of contract that would enable nobodies to compete with writers such as Scalzi. Because, in the end, taking away all the bells and whistles, Scalzi is nobody as an artist in his genre and he should very well fear a level playing field.

Anonymous realmatt March 11, 2013 7:01 PM  

Vox, There was mention of "Hollywood Contracts" in the other thread.

Have you ever heard of someone experiencing "hollywood accounting" in the literary world?

For those who don't know, it's when the contract stipulates you'll get profit share but the studio then finds mysterious ways to never turn a profit, leaving you with nothing.

Anonymous VD March 11, 2013 8:36 PM  

For those who don't know, it's when the contract stipulates you'll get profit share but the studio then finds mysterious ways to never turn a profit, leaving you with nothing.

It doesn't apply here. Revenue-sharing is not profit-sharing and it is much harder to hide revenue than profit. The RH imprint games do permit some funny business with the uncapped overhead charges, and that's a problem, but these are not reasonably characterized as profit-sharing contracts.

Anonymous RedJack March 11, 2013 10:21 PM  

Gen. Kong March 11, 2013 2:43 PM Daniel:
Think I'm kidding? Look at some of the problems with the royalty statement system of "safe" advance-paying traditional publishers.

This is pretty amazing. If I read the linked blog post correctly, it would appear that a number of 'traditional' publishers aren't reporting the actual number of e-books (or printed books) sold, but some sort of statistical concoction of what they think the sales might be. Looks like the bankstas are running the publishing biz!


DH, on another thread, argued that regulation is to level the playing field. There are various accounting laws and pratices to combat this type of thing, but it is so common that anyone who trust a publishing house to be honest is naive at best.

I used to date a women who worked in the movie business as a script writer for a while. She stopped because not only was contract law not followed, it was openly mocked. She also predicted that the internet would put a damper on the big movie (and publishing) houses once the barriers to entry fell. Haven't talked to her in over 12 years, but I can see she was right.

Blogger Dukemandarin March 12, 2013 4:44 AM  

> I am pretty sure if you sold radioactive material as healthy, someone would buy it,

50 Shades of Gray? Never read it as I'd like to keep my eyesight but I saw an extract and.....man.

Anonymous AnalogMan March 12, 2013 8:51 AM  

I used to be a Science Fiction fan back in the golden age. I've never read John Scalzi or Vox Day (sorry, not into fantasy). But from the few paragraphs that you've quoted, I certainly won't be starting to read Scalzi now..

There are few things more irritating than reading an illiterate author, particularly when the illiteracy takes the form of PC, "non-sexist" language. I refer to the practices, several examples of which are in that quote, of using "his or her", or "his" and "her", alternately or at random, or "their", when the correct English word is "his". You know what I mean. The common gender pronoun.

The man is an ignoramus.

Anonymous joe doakes March 12, 2013 4:12 PM  

In commercials, the dupe admits "I could have had a V-8." McRapey must feel like that.

Anonymous dabnett March 12, 2013 4:18 PM  

And yet it appears Scalzi has "won". Still claim this is "how not to be SFWA president"?

Anonymous VD March 12, 2013 5:46 PM  

And yet it appears Scalzi has "won". Still claim this is "how not to be SFWA president"?

Absolutely. None of these changes were "new", they were already in the works... even I knew what they were last week. Do you really think a large multinational corporation could have made all of those changes in such a short period of time?

Scalzi's behavior had nothing to do with it. If anything, he made the position of the reasonable people in the organization more difficult.

Anonymous dabnett March 12, 2013 7:08 PM  

Do you really think a large multinational corporation could have made all of those changes in such a short period of time?

Yes. In fact I know they can.

Anonymous Anonymous March 29, 2013 2:56 AM  

Scaliwag is becoming that Sterotype Jew Banker who tricks people into thinking he has their back, But he's going to increase that interest rate whenever he settles down and thinks nobody is looking.

What a DillyDo!


Anonymous Anonymous March 29, 2013 3:04 AM  

Scalzi just plain sucks farts thru a straw.
Nothing worse then Crybabies stating "Thats my blanky and you can't have it" even though it's got Poop and throw up all over it. Then he tries to trade it for your Birthday cake and cries like a bitch when he doesn't get a extra piece.

He also blames everything on his brothers and sisters and pretends he never gets anything. WAAAAAAAAAaa.

He will dig poop out of your shorts and try to blame you for it when caught.

His dogs lick there balls and so does he.

Nothing good comes out of Chicago these days. Its been perverted into a Buddha made of Excrement.

Anonymous Anonymous March 29, 2013 3:06 AM  

Scalzi will definitely move when his Neighborhood becomes black.
That Racist Hypocrite. Though I bet he does dream of being in Prison.

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