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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Disqualify!

Jim Hines tries to play the usual progressive card:
So what about Vox Day making the ballot for Best Novelette? My opinion of the man isn’t exactly a secret. If he got on the ballot for writing an awesome story, great. But unlike Correia, I’ve seen very few people trying to defend Day as a good author. He did post his novelette online for potential voters, so I downloaded it and started reading. I can honestly say that even if I knew nothing about the author as a person, I would have tossed this into the rejection pile after the first couple of pages.
And perhaps he truly would have. Every editor is entitled to his own opinion. But would he have been wise to do so? After all, nearly 30 publishers passed on Harry Potter. Hines is doing little more than striking a pose here that assumes he is a legitimate SF/F writer and I am not. (It's a little amusing that he talks about a rejection pile when I am an editor and he is not.) In any case, perhaps we can consider the objective metrics available to the public and use them to compare two of my most recently published fantasy works to his two most recently published fantasy works:

(1) Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,054 Paid in Kindle Store
4.4 out of 5 stars (60)

(2) Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,509 Paid in Kindle Store
4.4 out of 5 stars (36)

(3) Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,425 Paid in Kindle Store
4.2 out of 5 stars (142)

(4) Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,358 Paid in Kindle Store
4.3 out of 5 stars (143)

One would assume that the more legitimate author would have higher ratings from the general public and sell more books, right? Two of these books were published by Jim Hines in 2013. Two of these books were published by me in December 2012 and 2013. Without checking Amazon, can you tell which two are my books and which two are McCreepy's? And since his work was of sufficient quality to win the 2012 Hugo for Best Fan Writer, how can he possibly pretend, given the objective evidence, that my work is of insufficient quality to win the 2014 Hugo for Best Novelette?

(Cue the usual suspects and their fake reviews. Of late, a few Scalzi fans have been posing as long-time Kratman fans, then giving BIG BOYS DON'T CRY fake one-star reviews. Which, by the way, was published in 2014, has 4.3 out of 5 stars (61), and ranks #18,001 Paid in Kindle Store.)

As for seeing very few people trying to defend me as a good author, it is obvious that Hines neither reads the Amazon reviews for my books nor Making Light, despite having Abi Sutherland's talking points down pat. I find it somewhat incredible to observe how the SF/F pinkshirts never cease their spin nor their attempts to control the narrative, no matter how often reality insists on surfacing to expose their pretensions.

ANSWER: VD (1) and (3), JH (2) and (4).

Labels: ,

105 Comments:

Blogger Joshua_D May 01, 2014 1:08 PM  

It's like all these guys were spawned from the same gamma gene pool.

Anonymous Not Nassem Taleb May 01, 2014 1:08 PM  

I can honestly say that even if I knew nothing about the author as a person,

Does he honestly believe this own bullshit? I will come out and honestly say that Jim Hines writes total shit. His goblin stories are D&D novel rip-offs. That's the level of this guy's talent. Now that I know his politics, I think his shit is even shittier. I can honestly say that.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2014 1:14 PM  

Amazon sales rankings are based on sales through Amazon. Were either of Mr. Hines' books also available through other channels?

Anonymous AmyJ May 01, 2014 1:14 PM  

You can't accurately review a work based on two pages. It's a short story, for crying out loud.

They say they "tried" to read it to give their disdain legitimacy. Two pages isn't legit. It's like they're scared that if they read more than that they might actually like it.

Anonymous John-GT May 01, 2014 1:16 PM  

A review like Jim's tells me more about his intellectual capacity and lack thereof than anything else. What a poser.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2014 1:18 PM  

Also, which of these were only available in eBook form? I would expect those to rank higher in the Kindle store generally.

Anonymous Greg Tingey May 01, 2014 1:20 PM  

As C. Stross has said - ( & I paraphrase) "READ the book / novel / story /etc & THEN judge & vote for Hugo".
I agree, & I'll be there - since it's only 10km in a stright line from home .....
Question - has Vox been to London before?
Remember that it is more like New York or pAris or Belrin than other British cities in that it is (probably) the largest city in all of Europe. Which has internal transport implications, too - like DON'T drive a car there, unless you have to ....

Note: I have re-joined these conversations, upon learning, from the aforementioned C.S. that Vox has a Hugo-nimination - I foresee interesting times - at least until the end of August.

Anonymous Greg Tingey May 01, 2014 1:22 PM  

Oh bum - fault between chair & keyboard again ...
That SHOULD be: ... Paris or Berlin or ....

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 1:23 PM  

Question - has Vox been to London before?

Many times. The Hippodrome was a favored stomping grounds back in the day.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2014 1:25 PM  

I'm not saying the rabbits are reading fairly.. but I do wonder if the story has the same impact on those who haven't read SE and ATOB as it does on those of us who have.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 May 01, 2014 1:27 PM  

Best Fan Writer

This would be incredibly sad if it weren't so undeniably hilarious.
And we thought @scalzi's prize was a Participation Hugo.

Anonymous LGrin May 01, 2014 1:31 PM  

I recall you dismissing the Amazon sales ranking when you were being compared to Stross. What gives?

Anonymous Salt May 01, 2014 1:33 PM  

SE, before or after... best thing is to read SE either way.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 01, 2014 1:39 PM  

hunh.

looks like they might be going to bag Jeremy Clarkson.

http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2014/04/30/the-lives-of-others/#more-36379

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 1:42 PM  

I recall you dismissing the Amazon sales ranking when you were being compared to Stross.

It's not particularly important. I'm not saying I sell more books, I'm pointing out that he doesn't.

Blogger slarrow May 01, 2014 1:44 PM  

What's even more amusing is what they consider "good" work. When Gerrib was over here earlier, I saw that he'd compared Vox's work to the lady astronaut story. That story was horrific. Fawning adoration is all it can muster, since you have to turn off your brain to appreciate much about it. So all these folks are really doing is advertising their poor taste. Typical, really.

Blogger Leatherwing May 01, 2014 1:47 PM  

I assumed you were 3 and 4 based on the number of reviewers. Many pinks can't muster enough reviewers to fill out a football team roster.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 01, 2014 1:47 PM  

I don't know what this guy's religious persuasion is, but I would argue that if he is a progressive secularists, then he probably genuinely does not like Opera Vita Aeterna. Such people find anything Christian to be abhorrent.

Blogger Leatherwing May 01, 2014 1:51 PM  

I do wonder if the story has the same impact on those who haven't read SE and ATOB as it does on those of us who have.

I read VD's nominated story over Easter Weekend. I have not completed AToB (about 3 chapters into it) and I read SE several years ago, don't remember a lot of details). Essentially I came into the story without full background. I still think it's a hell of a story, even though I know I need to go back and read it again after completing AToB to get the full effect.

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2014 1:51 PM  

Most of the secularists can't get past their "elf meets Jesus" caricature of the plot.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 01, 2014 1:53 PM  

I still think it's a hell of a story, even though I know I need to go back and read it again after completing AToB to get the full effect.

Actually, Summa Elvetica has a bigger effect than A Throne of Bones with regards to this story.

Anonymous Daniel May 01, 2014 1:53 PM  

You are giving him too much credit, swiftfoxmark2. He admitted he didn't read the short story nominated for a prestigious award. He may be an atheist, but he's not that committed of one.

Keep in mind that Hines won the fan writer award as a professional writer, following in the footsteps of his mentor John Scalzi, who was the first pro writer to openly campaign for the amateur award for himself.

Blogger ScuzzaMan May 01, 2014 1:58 PM  

If the rule is supposed to be "Read First, Vote After" then he just disqualified himself, didnt he?

I'll tell you this, as a curious young man searching for the truth in all the wrong places, I read the entire Book of Mormon, the Baghavad Gita, the Koran, and many other obscure religious and philosophical texts.

Every damned word.

He's lying.

Anonymous Daniel May 01, 2014 1:59 PM  

If Opera really wasn't Hugo-worthy, the smart and best thing would be to politely ignore its flaws, and allow for the award process to correct the erroneous nomination.

Like they are doing with Wheel of Time. At least if that monstrosity wins, there won't be a rabbit on record saying WoT can't win.

I'm always up for buying confused rabbits at peak confusion...because there's a good chance it'll go perpetually up.

Might as well change the name to The Herp Derp Awards just for the effect they are having on rabbits worldwide.

Blogger Subversive Saint May 01, 2014 2:03 PM  

The entertainment factor just never goes away.

I for one am glad VD never puts aside the cape of his Cruelty Artist uniform and escape to the "Fortress of Solicitude"

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2014 2:07 PM  

How does a pro writer win a Hugo for fan writing? What exactly is fan writing?

Blogger Subversive Saint May 01, 2014 2:09 PM  

How does a pro writer win a Hugo for fan writing? What exactly is fan writing?

Lots of hot air I would guess.

Anonymous Harsh May 01, 2014 2:15 PM  

How does a pro writer win a Hugo for fan writing?

By having no shame.

Anonymous LGrin May 01, 2014 2:17 PM  

I'm pointing out that he doesn't.

Along the same lines as the Stross comparison, aren’t your books only sold through Amazon, Castalia House and B&N (barely)? Whereas Hines’ books (and Stross’) are sold through additional electronic and brick and mortar outlets? Plus, not sure what books you were comparing, but on B&N’s website, his latest book is ranked quite a bit higher than ATOBs.

So there’s that.

Anonymous CLK May 01, 2014 2:18 PM  

How does the amazon sales rank translate into real numbers ? if #50,000 sells 2 copies in a given time period, does that mean that # 100,000 sells 1 copy in the same period ? --- it might be that there is really no difference between #50k and #100k -- both are in the mud of the sales figures.

If its a linear --- lets say the #1 ranked sells 1,000,000 copies in a year, the # 50k rank would sell 20 and the # 100k ranked would have sold 10 ... so for a low cost book ($1), one could push the ranking for just a few hundred dollars -- not that bad of an investment. If you want to push the book to #100 it could be done for $10k..

Anyone have an idea how sales rank work on amazon ?

Blogger IM2L844 May 01, 2014 2:22 PM  

They never, EVER acknowledge their own confirmation bias filters, even when they are explicitly pointed out to them. Christian conservatives, on the other hand, will routinely confirm that their perspective is informed by their faith. In fact, for true Christians it's compulsory.

Blogger Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 2:35 PM  

CLK - Amazon's sales ranks are basically over a 48 hour period. Anything in the 100,000 range means you sold one copy over the 48 hour period. I personally got to the low 50s (IIRC) on ebook sales with about 30 copies - they were all the day my Big Idea came out on Whatever.

VD I'm not saying I sell more books, I'm pointing out that he doesn't. So you're not saying "heads I win," you're saying "tails you lose." Got it. Massive difference there.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 01, 2014 2:37 PM  

for those who still trouble themselves that the concern trolls and PC manipulators may have a point or be operating from a stance of goodwill, read this story:

http://grantland.com/features/a-mysterious-physicist-golf-club-dr-v/

notice all the various tactics. the bullying, the shouting down, the fake concern for the validity of the action of the reporter, the numerous false assertions, the piling ridiculous assertions on top of ridiculous assertions, etc, etc.

most of these people are simply less egregious examples of "Dr. V".

and look how much digging it took to force the golfing community to look at "Dr. V" for what he was.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 01, 2014 2:41 PM  

Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 2:35 PM
So you're not saying "heads I win," you're saying "tails you lose."



no, dumbass.

he's STIPULATING TO YOUR METRIC for purposes of debate.

and proving, purely 'coincidentally', that it doesn't matter whether he uses his own or Hines' metric, Hines is still a loser.

guess you'll have to change your standards.

again.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 2:41 PM  

Along the same lines as the Stross comparison, aren’t your books only sold through Amazon, Castalia House and B&N (barely)? Whereas Hines’ books (and Stross’) are sold through additional electronic and brick and mortar outlets?

Yes. But those additional outlets are increasingly irrelevant. I mean, you understand the reason we don't bother with them is because the marginal revenue isn't worth it, right? I very much doubt any of his books have ever sold the 35,000 copies that The War in Heaven did, let alone sold-through.

In fact, I have far more readers than Hines because I have my publisher's permission to give my books away. For example, over 2,000 people downloaded WITCHKING when I gave it away last week. I give away more books in a day than most SF/F writers can sell in a month.

How does the amazon sales rank translate into real numbers?

They don't, other than hourly. You need to sell about 1,000 copies in a day to crack the top 100.

Anonymous Harsh May 01, 2014 2:46 PM  

So you're not saying "heads I win," you're saying "tails you lose." Got it. Massive difference there.

Actually Hines accused him of not being able to flip the coin at all.

OpenID newrebeluniv May 01, 2014 2:46 PM  

Well, Vox is no Heinlein, Herbert, or Asimov, but I thought his work was good enough to finish reading. The stories were engaging. Character development was sufficient to the needs of the story without being smothering in detail. The central plots were creative and believable.

Blogger Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 2:50 PM  

I give away more books in a day than most SF/F writers can sell in a month. This proves what, exactly, other than people will take free stuff?

Latest figures I've seen say Amazon has about a 30% share of the book market. Significant, but that's 70% of the book market Hines is exposed to and you're not.

Blogger JartStar May 01, 2014 2:52 PM  

They don't recognize their confirmation bias since they pick secularism as "neutral" thanks to modernism, but then head right to post-modernism when criticizing, so that Scalzi and Vox write from a position of white cis-male privilege. (Even though Vox is a person of color). Then some tumble all of the way down the postmodern rabbit hole and view everything written from the point of oppressor (Vox and Scalzi) and the oppressed (them) with the oppressors using symbols (or what we like to call words on a page) which make them feel bad. It's why they refuse to read things which make themselves feel bad, as how they feel about the work validates its truth, and there is no meaning behind anything written except to make people feel or act in a certain way.

The philosophy inevitably ends in nihilism which is why postmodern sci-fi and fantasy is so incredibly boring and the villains are either caricature oppressors (white supremacists, bigots, etc., with no depth) or they have to be shown bad by acting out the most heinous crimes imaginable like torturing children.

Anonymous Daniel May 01, 2014 2:56 PM  

Don't be daft. You can get Vox's books at many more places than Amazon. Besides, Hines has been very helpful in years past: he posts his annual income for books. Amazon is merely a convenient and level field in which to evaluate certain things.

Castalia House has the same distribution channels as any other publisher. You simply don't know what you are writing about.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 2:56 PM  

So you're not saying "heads I win," you're saying "tails you lose." Got it. Massive difference there.

There is. I'm not trying to dismiss Hines the way he is trying to dismiss me. I consider him to be a legitimate midlist SF/F writer who will probably have to go independent soon, based on his sales numbers. One thing you can say for Scalzi is that he has always understood that there is a readership outside his own. Hines appears to have an attitude more akin to the woman who didn't think I had 600 visitors per day. Which is amusing, considering that the Castalia blog already gets twice that, never mind VP or AG.

I don't know why you guys keep trying to belittle my readership. People have been doing it as long as I can remember. But since 2009, the monthly pageviews have grown from 241,026 to 1,220,594. Do you really think it is impossible that my book sales will increase over the next five years?

OpenID pancakeloach May 01, 2014 2:58 PM  

Without checking Amazon, can you tell which two are my books and which two are McCreepy's? And since his work was of sufficient quality to win the 2012 Hugo for Best Fan Writer, how can he possibly pretend, given the objective evidence, that my work is of insufficient quality to win the 2014 Hugo for Best Novelette?

Here's what I got outta that: the point of the Amazon ranking numbers is not to say who wins or loses, but to point out that Hines' and Vox's work is being judged by the reading public as roughly equivalent in quality. So if Vox's work is really that bad, what does that imply about Hines's? LOL

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 3:01 PM  

This proves what, exactly, other than people will take free stuff?

Lots of writers put their stuff out for free. Not everyone cracks the top 200 free every time they do it. Do you not understand that the game now involves eyeballs, not wallets? I love giving my books away, because every time I do, I know someone is reading that instead of a mainstream published book.

Sure, it would be nice to have a sale every time. But word of mouth from a freebie is as valuable as word of mouth from a sale, and more than a few freebie readers eventually buy something. We haven't pushed the translations yet, as a matter of fact, because we need some freebies to advertise the for-sale books.

Anonymous jk May 01, 2014 3:01 PM  

but Vox, do your books have the story told from a D&D goblin's perspective? Not even Hemmingway came up with that!!!

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2014 3:04 PM  

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I've downloaded Vox's free books and purchased the ones that weren't free. I doubt I'm the only one.

Blogger Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 3:07 PM  

Daniel - VD said in his reply that his books were not available places other than Amazon, and said " we don't bother with them."

VD - Hines didn't belittle your readership. He said much the same thing I did - it started way too slowly for a modern commercial work of short fiction. That's his personal opinion, and arguing with him (or any reviewer) on the Internet is a no-win proposition.

Anonymous jk May 01, 2014 3:08 PM  

Brutal truth: Vox, until you win a L. Ron Hubbard Award, you are never going to be as popular as Jim Hines (among Scientologists)

Blogger Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 3:11 PM  

Do you not understand that the game now involves eyeballs, not wallets? As a veteran of the dot-com implosion, what matters from a business perspective is revenue.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2014 3:11 PM  

"but Vox, do your books have the story told from a D&D goblin's perspective? Not even Hemmingway came up with that!!!"

...

actually yes... they do.

Anonymous Bwahaha May 01, 2014 3:11 PM  

From wiki:

"Hines was a volunteer crisis counselor in East Lansing and worked as the Male Outreach Coordinator for the MSU Safe Place... He is the author of one non-fantasy novel, Goldfish Dreams, described on the author's website as a "mainstream rape-awareness novel".

Pathetic.

"He was a first-place winner of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award in 1998 with his story "Blade of the Bunny""

LMAO, strong rabbit credentials, indeed!

I definitely take his weighty credentials seriously!

Anonymous Heh May 01, 2014 3:12 PM  

but Vox, do your books have the story told from a D&D goblin's perspective?

Personally I was rooting for the Orcish SS in that story.

Anonymous AuthorMeme May 01, 2014 3:23 PM  

I see that we are setting up the conditions to claim that your loss is nothing more than a matter of people not liking you, rather than an honest assessment of your work.

Setting the groundwork to be a soar looser I see.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2014 3:24 PM  

Vox: "Sure, it would be nice to have a sale every time. But word of mouth from a freebie is as valuable as word of mouth from a sale, and more than a few freebie readers eventually buy something."

Question: Are the freebie downloads counted in the overall sales rankings (assuming they are based on quantities sold, not gross revenue)? I ask because every single free download I've gotten through Amazon still had to go through the exact same purchase process as every normally priced book -- it just had a sales price of $0.00.

If so, this should also be factored in to the relative rankings if the other works being compared are not similarly given away.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 01, 2014 3:28 PM  

Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 3:11 PM
As a veteran of the dot-com implosion, what matters from a business perspective is revenue.



so, BY YOUR OWN METRIC, Vox is kicking Hines' ass.

#50,054 *Paid* in Kindle Store
#40,425 *Paid* in Kindle Store

Blogger Joshua Dyal May 01, 2014 3:42 PM  

actually yes... they do.

I got more of a Warhammer vibe than a D&D vibe from them, personally. But maybe that makes me look really geeky.

Anonymous Scintan May 01, 2014 3:45 PM  

I wanted to get this in before reading the comments in the thread.

You cannot possibly read a work objectively if you take your biases in to the read with you.

With exceptions for truly execrable works, you cannot possibly give a fair evaluation of a work that's dozens, or hundreds, of pages long if you only read 1-2 pages.

You cannot possibly be looked at as an honest broker if you are publicly against something before reviewing it.

These are simple and obvious truths. People who try claiming that they can do those things should be immediately disqualified on the subject.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 3:47 PM  

He said much the same thing I did - it started way too slowly for a modern commercial work of short fiction. That's his personal opinion, and arguing with him (or any reviewer) on the Internet is a no-win proposition.

No doubt he's right. I start everything very slowly. That's not unconnected to the fact that I write large, sprawling, 850-page books with a wide scope.

I see that we are setting up the conditions to claim that your loss is nothing more than a matter of people not liking you, rather than an honest assessment of your work.

I'm not doing anything at all. If I win, great. If I finish 5th, well and good. If I finish below No Award, well, some have already said they were going to vote that way without reading it. It makes no difference to me.

Blogger Russell May 01, 2014 3:47 PM  

First couple of pages? Sheesh, sometimes it takes me around 100 pages before I start liking a book. "The Mayor of Casterbridge," for example, took me a while to get into it, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I noticed all my reviews on Amazon for Vox's books have been marked as unhelpful by one person, except AMD (so far). I'm amused by the antics; the behavior was predicted by Vox, watching it unfold as predicted is it's own reward.

Anonymous GreyS May 01, 2014 3:50 PM  

At what point do you realize that it might be more than a coincidence that the work you dislike and belittle just happens to be from an person you hate? At what point does it dawn on you that you constantly have to change metrics in order to somehow, someway, place that author beneath you in your own mind?

That "positional good" post below pegged it exactly.

Same old story: Pride. Stubborn pride.

Blogger Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 3:53 PM  

bob k. mando - 40K on Amazon ranks means that one copy "sold" (and free copies count as "sold") in the past 15 or so hours. 50K means one copy sold in the past 18 or so hours. It's statistical noise.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2014 4:16 PM  

I stated in the previous thread, and I'll restate it here: the Amazon sales rankings are essentially meaningless for comparative purposes. The algorithm for calculating the sales ranking appears to be quite heavily weighted toward hourly sales, the most recent hour counting the most. A single sale of book A right now could leapfrog it far in front of book B in the lower rankings, despite having lower overall sales; a book selling 1,000 copies this morning would be ranked far higher than a book selling 10,000 copies last year.

And when you factor in sales outside Amazon, it becomes totally meaningless.

Anonymous Sun Xhu May 01, 2014 4:18 PM  

So many of these "authors", and the trolls here, just cannot fathom the fact that VD doesn't wait with "bated breath" on the hopes that he'll win this award that they value so much for its validation purposes.

Here's some hints for the wabbits: There is zero downside in this fiasco for VD.

If he doesn't win the award, he doesn't care.
If he gets placed below "No award" it proves his point about the hypocrisy and warren-shaming attempts by "Pink-SF".
If he wins the award, it will stick in the craw of all of these rabbits and they will go into mad spasms of angst and squealing.

In all of these situations he wins, as it provides many, upon many, humorous anecdotes to blog about, and amuse himself and his readers. :D

Anonymous Pseudo-Nate May 01, 2014 4:21 PM  

Setting the groundwork to be a soar looser I see."

Soar, looser, sore like an Eagle!

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2014 4:37 PM  

Somewhat related: Amazon author rank

Clicking on the first one (currently Veronica Roth) brings one to that author's page, which shows an Amazon Author Rank section toward the bottom of the page.

But Vox Day's Author Page shows no such ranking section.

Is this something that is toggled in one's Author settings to display or not display?

Blogger Tom Kratman May 01, 2014 4:43 PM  

There are a few funny - and I do mean haha funny - things about those. First is the timing: on 26 April Eric Ashley posts, on the Nielsen-Hayden site, to paraphrase: "Probable Kratman Hugo nom next year." Then, the next day, someone named Ewan (I think he may be Catsmate on Amazon. Think, not sure) waxes lyrical about how much more painful he would find that even than Vox's nom. I am then informed by a couple of different people of Ewan's psychic agony and, go figure, go pour a little moral salt in his mental wounds. (Why? Well...because I have a mean streak. You guys had no clue about that, did you?) That's all by the 27th. Then, that afternoon, someone realizes BBDC exists, and I go and rub some more salt into those wounds. Then, within not more than 72 hours, three reviews are posted, 2 one stars and a two star, all within 24 hours or so of each other. One's just kind of out there, except that the timing is so close. The other two, apparently, are my biggest fans, but BBDC is just so doubleplusungood...

But, ya know, the commonality between my fans and, say, Scalzis and Stoss' is of a very low order (yes, there are some; I believe I can identify both of them). One would think that a couple of people who just ordinarily love my work would have posted other reviews of my work. Much to my surprise, though, they didn't. They did, however, rather glowingly review some of Scalzi's and Stoss' stuff. And then, after taking a potshot at each one, they, all drive by like, never returned to the scene.

Now the only real question is, was this conspiracy or consensus? I suspect consensus.

I am highly amused.

Blogger GK Chesterton May 01, 2014 4:44 PM  

"Hines didn't belittle your readership. He said much the same thing I did - it started way too slowly for a modern commercial work of short fiction. That's his personal opinion, and arguing with him (or any reviewer) on the Internet is a no-win proposition. "

Except he sells at a rate equivalent to Hines and therefore by the established metric he is commercially viable. Hines' comment is non-sensical unless Hines is arguing that Hines is not commercially viable.

Anonymous Jeanne May 01, 2014 5:02 PM  

I would be truly curious if we could take 10 SF/F readers and give them the stories to read and review with author information completely left off the works. No one knows who wrote each individual piece. Nothing known about the author at all. Then have them review and vote on the various works.

Yes, I would truly be curious indeed regarding the results of such an experiment....

Anonymous Eric Ashley May 01, 2014 5:25 PM  

1. Soar looser.....if you love something, let it fly free??

2. Programmed Mind > Gravity Kills > A Man Disrupted. If this progression continues, I think you don't have to worry about doing better in five years in sales as the books keep getting better.

3. Col. Kratman, ah, I did enjoy that sequence of events you describe. Chaos, panic, and fear, my work here is done.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 01, 2014 5:27 PM  

Chris Gerrib May 01, 2014 3:53 PM
means that one copy "sold" (and free copies count as "sold") in the past 15 or so hours.



then the entire ranking system is noise.

if one sale in the previous 15 hours is sufficient to push you into the top 50k in sales rank, there is not anywhere near the granularity necessary to rank books into the hundreds of thousands, as they are purporting to do.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 5:30 PM  

He said much the same thing I did - it started way too slowly for a modern commercial work of short fiction.

He said a bit more than that: "I’ve seen very few people trying to defend Day as a good author.... I would have tossed this into the rejection pile"

You're a writer. You know perfectly well what he is trying to communicate. Which is fine, but let's not pretend otherwise.

Anonymous AuthorMeme May 01, 2014 6:05 PM  

"I'm not doing anything at all. If I win, great. If I finish 5th, well and good. If I finish below No Award, well, some have already said they were going to vote that way without reading it. It makes no difference to me."

Nooooo....Makes no difference to you .... as you set up your defense of why you lost: "They just all voted for against me cause they don't like that I judge individuals based on the color of their skinnnnn!! Booooo Hoooooo"

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 6:13 PM  

Nooooo....Makes no difference to you .... as you set up your defense of why you lost.

If you think I can arrange to put myself on the ballot, then why do you think I can't simply arrange to win the vote? Alternatively, if I didn't arrange to put myself on the ballot, how can you be certain I won't legitimately win?

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2014 6:16 PM  

AuthorMeme: " "They just all voted for[sic] against me cause they don't like that I judge individuals based on the color of their skinnnnn!! "

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

You might find that a wash cloth works better to clean your feet than your tongue does.

Anonymous AuthorMeme May 01, 2014 6:19 PM  

"If you think I can arrange to put myself on the ballot, then why do you think I can't simply arrange to win the vote?"

I never suggested you did. I suggested you are a soar loser. However, if you can't see how it would be far easier to get on the ballot than to win, I suggest you revisit mathematics.

As for being certain you won't win? Jesus Christ. Just re-read those things you publish.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2014 6:26 PM  

"As for being certain you won't win? Jesus Christ. Just re-read those things you publish."

As for being certain you won't be nominated? Jesus Christ. Just re-reread those things you publish.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2014 6:53 PM  

I never suggested you did. I suggested you are a soar loser. However, if you can't see how it would be far easier to get on the ballot than to win, I suggest you revisit mathematics.

I am a sore loser? But I haven't lost anything. And while it is easier to get on the ballot than to win, what makes you think I can't just as easily arrange to win?

Anonymous Androsynth May 01, 2014 6:57 PM  

as you set up your defense of why you lost.

It's true, nobody has been campaigning against Vox's nomination based solely on his politics. Vox clearly just pulled this out of thin air as a pre-emptive excuse.

I suggested you are a soar loser

Is that a person who's bad a competitive hang gliding?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza May 01, 2014 7:39 PM  

Vox Day has proven himself as more than just a great author via print and online.

Perhaps its that others are jealous of Castalia.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 01, 2014 7:55 PM  

AuthorMeme May 01, 2014 6:19 PM
I never suggested you did. I suggested you are a soar loser.



jeeez. even after it's been pointed out multiple times you STILL can't figure out how to spell the word?

either you're trolling us or you're dumb as a box of rocks.

either way, time to get out the Steve Miller:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnlTrq6wLf0

Anonymous kh123 May 01, 2014 8:56 PM  

"That's his personal opinion, and arguing with him (or any reviewer) on the Internet is a no-win proposition. "

I take it this is another version of "All these arguments that "but X did Y" are illogical." While attempting to do so one's self. On the internets.

You need to tie it in to how Vox is racist hatemonger by the way, Mr. Gerrib. His fault for other people's potshots. Caucasians in general, really; slavery and all. Don't forget.

Blogger Brad Andrews May 01, 2014 9:13 PM  

It is kind of funny that their rants against VD make me want to buy the membership and vote to poke a stick in their eye. Maybe they are really involved with Worldcon and want more revenue there....

I haven't read the War in Heaven books yet. I think I got them when they were free in the past, but I forget. I have more to read (fiction and not) than I have any chance of ever getting to, but little tantrums like this are ridiculous.

I enjoyed the short story and will easily vote for it if I pay my fee for that. I will likely follow Tor's advice to not read the stuff from authors who are idiots, though they fail to realize they are the idiots.

I can't see voting for WoT as I do not believe it is really a "novel", but I bet it has a good chance of winning as its fan base is likely larger. I wonder how many of that fan base will not know they shouldn't read and vote for things like VD's story?

Blogger Beau May 01, 2014 9:29 PM  

I haven't read the War in Heaven books yet.

I greatly enjoyed the War in Heaven series. The book covers - not so much.

Anonymous AussieTom May 01, 2014 9:48 PM  

@Kratman and VD

The information about the timing of the 26 April stuff is illuminating about your negative reviewer on the Amazon.com.au site. The 1 (of 2) negative review that is there is the same date as that (26th Aus = 27th US).

Clearly the r selected are developing an immunity to Myxomatosis here.

All of it means I should pull my finger out and write some reviews. Because I do want to support both your work.

Anonymous Daniel May 01, 2014 11:09 PM  

If his publisher is being honest with him about sales (and I very much doubt the publisher is, especially if he is under the typical strange formula [instead of unit sales] metric most publishers use for ebook sales) Jim Hines' writing income alone demonstrates how small his readership is: http://www.jimchines.com/2014/01/2013-writing-income/

$60,800 before taxes and expenses...this long into a pro career, is not great, and Hines is honest enough to admit that. Now, he still keeps his day job, so as a supplement, I'm sure it is a nice bonus. But from a readership perspective?

Assuming a standard true 5% royalty on all unit sales it translates to a whopping total of $300,000 in revenues generated. Let's say average unit price is $11 ($9.99 kindle/$18 hardcover)...well then, you are looking at just north of 27,000 units sold in 2013, or an average of 1500 units sold per title (I see he has 18 titles at Amazon).

It is possible that he has a better deal from his publisher than the typical one, but merely based on his income, I'd be shocked. I know traditionally published authors who do much better and who are better recognized who are still trying to figure their way out of a 5 or 6% shell game.

The moral of the story? If you insist on being traditionally published, kids...get an IP lawyer, not an agent, and be prepared to walk away at the first whiff of funny numbers.

Do not mistake this for a knock on Hines in the least. 1500 units a year per book is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, one of the reasons he posts his figures faithfully is because he knows that the only way for the traditionally published to start figuring out how badly their publisher is screwing them is to start talking openly about the finances. And as I said, if he actually has some sort of deal that is quite a bit better than average, his publisher may be crediting him with as many as 3000 average unit sales (obviously with his girl books beating the average and the old goblin books trailing far behind.)

Anonymous Daniel May 01, 2014 11:26 PM  

Correction: first royalty should be 20%, not 5%. The 5-6% is what is typical.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 01, 2014 11:36 PM  

Daniel:

Nah, doesn't really work that way. Right now, with ebooks rising, it's hard to say how it _does_ work. Buuuttt....

If you look at what Hines wrote - "I expect I’ll probably make less in 2014 than I did last year, in part because I’ll be busy writing those novels I sold last year" - that's an advance, or a series of advances, on 4 projects, none of them apparently written yet. That could represent anything from 10 to about 48 thousand of that 60k. I've never heard that DAW gives remarkable large advances, so I'd venture a guess that it's around 40k. That means 20 k of sales. Forget the average per book. Most of the money a book makes is going to weighted _way_ early, and paid over a year to a year and a half later. So look at the books he put out in 2011/12. That appears to be only The Snow Queen's Shadow, which came out in Kindle, Paper, and Audio. Audio I haven't been able to figure out yet, but Kindle would probable be about 1.8 to 1 paperback and about 2.5 times the revenue from kindle as from PB (which is not impressive, generally, anyway). Sof if 3/4th's of revenue was from that, or about 15k, it's probably about 5k papers, which is, I gather, about the industry average, and 9k kindle. Nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing great either,

Note: He might have gotten paid for Libriomancer, too, in which case his sales are not good. Don't think so though. One reason I'd suspect he wasn't is that he wouldn't have gotten a decent advance on his next four if his sales had been that bad. Another is that, given the number of reviews for Libromancer, a huge jump, I suspect it sold a lot better than The Snow Queen's Shadow, that he got paid for it or will be paid for it, this year, and that he's actually doing okay.

All figures above subject to someone calling "bullshit," but it's the best I have available.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 01, 2014 11:45 PM  

Hadn't seen that one, yet, Tom. Now that you mention it, though, a suspicious man, which of course, I am not. might be...well...suspicious.

If you feel ambitious, by all means comment with this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novella, while noting the work is 21204 words long, and asking him if he really wants to come across to the world as a cheapskate, whining about paying for something he knew the length of before he bought it.

I've had occasion to say it before, whether its books or breadmakers, one star reviews tend to say a lot more about the reviewer than the thing being reviewed.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 01, 2014 11:47 PM  

Oh, addendum:

Dan, conversely, if he's on the half on signing, half on deliery model, roughly double his sale figures which are still in the range of "not great, but okay."

Anonymous Daniel May 02, 2014 12:18 AM  

That is a better way of looking at it, Tom. It is easy to forget how heavily weighted the economy for traditional midlist is toward the advance. My object was to relate it back to a very rough translator to the simpler model of unit sales (including ebooks. I don't know about DAW, but I do know that Random House - at least for quite some time not so long ago, was still not even auditing unit sales of ebooks for their authors. They just used a percentage of paper books sold.) But you are right, he's just talking straight income, including advances, so my projection is probably worthless.

My guess is that The Snow Queen's Shadow sold better than the number of reviews might indicate relative to Libromancer. I don't know how many little girls spend much time reviewing books on Amazon (they'd need their own account, and a desire to do social media there instead of some place cooler), but I suspect it is much fewer as a percentage than non-niche adult books. I assume Libromancer (knowing nothing about it) is more in line with what one thinks of as adult fantasy/science fiction.

Truth be told, I was trying to be generous with Hines' figures anyhow, because I didn't want to appear to be stacking the deck against his unit sales.

Also, I'm very spoiled. I sell a book, I get the money in a month or two (or three if it has to go through two channels first). It is hard for me to fathom waiting up to a year to start figuring out empirically how my book was doing. It was those long waiting periods that helped push me into independent publishing in the first place.

Anonymous Daniel May 02, 2014 12:21 AM  

...Then again, I'm at least half-savage. Long time preferences may just not be my thing.

Anonymous Daniel May 02, 2014 12:28 AM  

...oh, and I get the sales figure immediately in most channels, except for Smashwords wonky "sometimes quarterly" system. That's gotten better since I started there, but after having done direct work with Amazon, B&N, Scribd, etc. It was eye-opening to realize that most trad authors were working off a quarterly statement that had closed a month or more before receipt. I'm sure it works fine for those who are used to it, but it was alien to me.

Blogger Tommy Hass May 02, 2014 12:48 AM  

Words can't describe how wretched these people are.

He literally admits that he didn't even bother to read Vox's story that wasn't even all that long. How can you be thrown off by the beginning of OVA? I mean an elf entering a monastery. Wow. So offensive.

Anonymous wEz May 02, 2014 1:16 AM  

Good God do you leftist PC SF/F haters seem pathetic. Why cant you accept the fact that Vox doesnt share the same worldview as you? Besides, its f*ckin SF! "SCIENCE F'N FICTION". I cant get over how irrational it sounds to be PC in that genre.
Question trolls: Why do you and the SFWA give a fuck about differing viewpoints/worldviews? Wouldnt that be fresh air, diverse, and welcome in your field? Honestly, I want to understand the motivation behind the madness.

Anonymous Snowflake May 02, 2014 2:12 AM  

**But would he have been wise to do so? After all, nearly 30 publishers passed on Harry Potter. Hines is doing little more than striking a pose here that assumes he is a legitimate SF/F writer and I am not.**

Crap argument. Simply because 30 publishers passed on Harry Potter, and it became a best selling novel, does not mean that any and every novel that publishers pass on, including yours, has the potential to do as well. And, btw, the Harry Potter novels are not really written very well, regardless of how well they might sell, they are classic examples of numerous literary errors including multiple uses of Deus Ex Machina, and the novels in toto are classic examples of the dreaded idiot plot of the second order, in which the entire society proposed can only exist if 100% of everyone in the society is an idiot.

Anonymous lurker above May 02, 2014 2:46 AM  

"In which the entire society proposed can only exist if 100% of everyone in the society is an idiot."

What for it....

Anonymous lurker above May 02, 2014 2:49 AM  

"Wait for it...."

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 02, 2014 3:36 AM  

And, btw, the Harry Potter novels are not really written very well, regardless of how well they might sell, they are classic examples of numerous literary errors including multiple uses of Deus Ex Machina, and the novels in toto are classic examples of the dreaded idiot plot of the second order, in which the entire society proposed can only exist if 100% of everyone in the society is an idiot.

The author of the preceding sentence is, demonstrably, not in any position to pass judgment on either the elegance or brute serviceability of ANYone's prose.

Good grief!

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 02, 2014 3:42 AM  

Question trolls: Why do you and the SFWA give a fuck about differing viewpoints/worldviews? Wouldnt that be fresh air, diverse, and welcome in your field?

They yip and yawp tiresomely about how absolutely fascinated by (and devoted to) the very concept of "The Alien" or "The Other" they are... but recoil, invariably, like so many hissing handmaidens of Dracula from a crucifix proffered, whenever genuinely encountering same.

Anonymous AmyJ May 02, 2014 3:53 AM  

"And, btw, the Harry Potter novels are not really written very well, regardless of how well they might sell, they are classic examples of numerous literary errors including multiple uses of Deus Ex Machina, and the novels in toto are classic examples of the dreaded idiot plot of the second order, in which the entire society proposed can only exist if 100% of everyone in the society is an idiot."

I think this deserves a wow just wow.

Blogger G. Tingey May 02, 2014 4:39 AM  

There seems to be one of the usual confusions going on here...
A "secularist" can easily be a religious believer - in fact, some sects of christianity, because of previous history (Think of the persecution of the Quakers) it's almost compulsory! Incidentally some of the quietist sects in islam (where they take "jihad" to be purely spiritual - Sufi come to mind) are similar.
All atheists are secularists, but not the other way around.

In the US context, of course, the whole, federal state is secularist, isn't it?
[ "No establishment of religion" being the phrase, IIRC ]

Anonymous sn*wfl*ke May 02, 2014 8:00 AM  

*Ann Morgan smells like rotted tuna*

Anonymous dh May 02, 2014 8:53 AM  

As a veteran of the dot-com implosion, what matters from a business perspective is revenue.

People write books for different reasons. VD is a self-confessed hobbyist, like yourself.

Anonymous Feh May 02, 2014 9:45 AM  

the Harry Potter novels are not really written very well,

Have to agree. I have found them unreadable.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 02, 2014 11:03 AM  

Snowflake May 02, 2014 2:12 AM
in which the entire society proposed can only exist if 100% of everyone in the society is an idiot.




well, given that you've provided us with a data point demonstrating that YOU are indeed an idiot ...

i think we're well on our way.

and, of course, history demonstrates your complete cluelessness.

many societies HAVE been run by idiots. and some of them, primarily aboriginal Australian and sub-Saharan Africa have lasted quite a long time.

there have been many others that haven't existed long. but that was because they were the end stage of a great empire.

the elites socialize the populace to idiocy and dependency because it makes them easier to control ...

and are shocked every time when the whole thing blows up in their face.

Anonymous Bob Sacamano May 02, 2014 8:34 PM  

“many societies HAVE been run by idiots. and some of them, primarily aboriginal Australian and sub-Saharan Africa have lasted quite a long time.”

First, define “idiot”. What are the data points and metrics involved? How are you able to definitively argue that the two societies you listed are indeed run by idiots?
 
Second, clarify how societies can last a long time if its leaders are idiots, especially if that society is able to at the very least maintain itself in a functional fashion.


“the elites socialize the populace to idiocy and dependency because it makes them easier to control.”

Right, because MPAI. It’s a vicious cycle. But, of course, you’re not an idiot, and most definitely not a member of the elite. Hmmm, so what are you?

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