Monster Hunter Nation

Why I Publish With Baen too

So my buddy Brad Torgersen, who recently signed with my publisher wrote this: http://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/why-publish-with-baen/

I’m pretty sure Brad wrote that after a straw effigy of our publisher got burned for things she never actually said by a mob of butt hurt Social Justice Warriors. Basically Toni wrote a guest post on Sarah’s blog about her opinion on the recent butt hurt from the Anti-Puppy lobby, so of course the response was to make up a bunch of fabricated bullshit about “divisiveness” that Toni never actually said. And that crowd—the one which is “purging” sci-fi, chasing “badthink” from their ranks, all while threatening boycotts or actively character assassinating those who disagree—accusing somebody of being divisive is pretty hilarious.

But rather than take the time to Fisk the attention whores, I’ll be positive and chime in about my publisher too. I started with Baen in 2009. They picked up my original self-published novel and I’ve been with them ever since. During that time I’ve written ten books for them, and am currently under contract for, if I recall correctly, fifteen more. I’ve also written a bunch of short stories for them, and they’ve sent me all over the country for tours and events, so I’m fairly certain I’ve worked with just about everybody in the Baen office at one point or another.

Basically, I love my publishing house.

I know a lot of other writers, and I know somebody with just about every publishing house out there. Hang out with a bunch of writers long enough and you’ll get to hear them gripe about their publishers and their editors. And if they’re not a star or a golden boy with their publisher, then you’ll really get to hear them bitch and vent.  After five years of this stuff I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories, yet I’m unable to commiserate with them because luckily for me, my editors don’t suck, and I haven’t ever felt like my publisher is trying to screw me over.

Editing complaints are the best. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard stories, especially from the mid listers at one of the big houses about how they’ve turned in a book and waited 6 months, 9 months, or a YEAR to get any editorial feedback. Hell, at that point I’ve already written another novel and have forgotten the prior one. Then when the feedback comes back it is “Hey, throw away this half of the book and write something entirely different, oh, and I need that by Thursday.”

Sorry. Can’t commiserate with you, buddy. My editing advice, with three different Baen editors, has all been helpful, valuable, and useful. They don’t tell me how to do my job. They treat me like a professional. They just tell me when I’ve done something wrong and give me suggestions of how to make it better. I’ve had Toni circle a scene and write “Make this part not suck!” Yes, ma’am. And because we’re both professionals, I then go and make that scene not suck. I’ve had Jim Minz give me some great bits of advice to make parts better. Hell, one time he had me move up the appearance of a cupcake with a birthday candle in it to add some cognitive dissonance to a scene, and it make and okay scene awesome.

Baen editing is straight forward because their honest to goodness corporate goal is make the readers happy. If the writer is happy, then that will come through the work, and then the reader can by happy too. Yay! And that wasn’t just after I was successful enough that they could trust me, but they treated me with respect when I was a totally unproven newbie.

I’ve got friends with big houses where their relationship with their editor is so adversarial that they actually use their agent to contact their editor… holy shit. I can’t even imagine. But I don’t even have an agent. I don’t think I need one. Like I said, 10 books in 5 years, and enough under contract to assure my steady work for the next seven years, so apparently I’m doing okay without an agent. (I was a government contract accountant, so I wasn’t afraid of reading contracts) But I’ve got a sneaky feeling that if I was with certain other publishing houses, damned right I would have an agent to try and protect myself from their bullshit.

Let me give you an example of what doing business with Baen is like. When I first started out I had absolutely no idea what I was doing as far as business, and like I said, no agent to guide me (got rejected by pretty much all of them, which is funny because I’m betting they’d love to be getting 15% of this action now!) so when I signed my first contract, I gave over things like dramatic rights (movies and TV), audiobooks, and foreign rights to Baen. At that point in my career, I was just happy that anybody was reading my stuff at all, and I couldn’t imagine that people would want to listen to it or read it in other languages.

So then I got approached by my first movie producer. Wow. Didn’t see that coming. Uh oh, my contract turned all that over to my publishing house… The contract doesn’t specify percentage details for that kind of thing. Now, at this point many publishers would have just screwed me over. Nope. One phone call to Toni, she sticks Baen’s Hollywood agent onto it, we talk, and boom, no problem. I’m then getting an extremely large percent of any of that sort of thing. For the last three years I’ve been collecting option money.

Foreign rights? I believe I’m now in 7 languages with more in the works. I didn’t do anything to arrange that. Baen did. And my percentage that I’m getting for it is extremely fair. Audio? I’m doing awesome (seriously, if I could do in books what I do in audio I’d be on top). Also something they arranged. If I’d kept those rights for myself and an agent had tried to sell them for me, they’d be getting 15% of everything and they might not have gotten me into as many markets. All of this ancillary money for MHI is something that they could have hosed me on, but they didn’t, because Toni is an honest businesswoman.

You’d think this stuff would be a no brainer, and you’d run a business like a business. Keep your suppliers happy and keep your customers happy, that’s pretty basic right? Not in this industry. Oh heck no. There’s a reason most successful industries hire us heartless conservatives to run companies, but publishing is part of the entertainment industry, which means it can get goofy.

Meanwhile, while I’m hearing horror stories of other editors being a bunch of PC douchebags to their authors and being jerks to them over politics, Baen is happily publishing the likes of me, Tom Kratman, Mike Williamson, and Sarah Hoyt, while simultaneously publishing Eric Flint, Misty Lackey, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, and Stoney Compton. If you’re unaware, that is pretty much the entire political spectrum and then some, but because Baen is the only place to not actively muzzle people like me, Tom, Sarah, and Mike, then obviously we’re that Evil Right Wing Place. But right wing, left wing, republican or democrat, libertarian to communist, it doesn’t matter what an author is. Toni just wants our readers to be happy and keep buying books.

When I was writing Grimnoir, and I had the FDR vs. Francis bits, I asked Toni if she thought that was a good idea or if I was pushing it too far, having a beloved democrat icon be the total asshole he was in real life. Her basic response? I don’t care if my authors get political as long as it is entertaining, and if it is something they are honestly passionate about and that comes through, then it’ll make the readers happy.

Boom. Done. Those made for some great scenes by the way. And I’m still getting hate mail about how FDR rounding up a hundred thousand people to throw them in prison camps is just ripping off X-Men… Thanks American education system!

Meanwhile, I know a bunch of authors who have been actively silenced by their editors (or worse, openly sabotaged) because their writing (or in some cases, their personal beliefs) go against the accepted groupthink of the Manhattan party set. I know of authors being hosed for their beliefs, mocked, shunned, attacked, maligned, you name it, until most of the ones who fall anywhere on the right half of the spectrum just keep their heads down. But the proper goodthinking side of the industry has its head so far up its own ass that it doesn’t even recognize that it is biased. They are simply doing what is proper. Heck, half the time when somebody like me mentions somebody like this the SJW crowd shows up demanding the names of these authors. Yeah, I can’t imagine why I shouldn’t just reveal the identity an author who has a problem with their vindictive, petty, spiteful editor so it can damage their career. Yes. They are demanding that we “out” people. That side isn’t super good at irony.

So you can see why I think it is funny that Toni, who’ll publish just about anything as long as it is entertaining, is labeled as “divisive” for not sucking up to the perpetually butt hurt crowd. Recently I discovered sci-fi author John C. Wright, who is openly staunch Catholic and a fantastic deep thinking political blogger, and I was absolutely stunned to discover he writes for Tor. Go John! All I know is that he must sell a freaking ton of books. 🙂

I’ve worked with just about everybody in the Baen offices. They aren’t a big operation. I think we’re like the 4th biggest publisher of sci-fi and fantasy, but most importantly, we’re headquartered somewhere OTHER THAN MANHATTAN. Those of you who’ve dealt with New York in your careers know that it is a very special place with a very special class of people who live in the city who think they are the absolute center of the universe. Most of America isn’t Manhattan. Hell, most of New York City isn’t like that. The last signing event I did in New York I had a ton of NYPD (all of the ones who actually know how to shoot!) show up, and the running joke was that they were only allowed across the bridge through the servant’s entrance.  Baen realizes that most of our target audience isn’t Ted Mosby.

Baen’s employees rock. They are always helpful, whether it is publicity stuff, or writing stuff, or tour things. On that note, our marketing director, Corinda, is a total badass who gets things done. Everybody in the office is on the ball. If I’ve got a question, they’ll get me an answer. If I need something taken care of, they’ll take care of it. Marla, Laura, Tony, Hank, Grey, all awesome (and I’m probably forgetting somebody, and I’ll kick myself later).

Then you’ve got the Baen fans. Brad mentioned this in his post. I think we’re about the only publisher with fans who are loyal to the entire brand as opposed to just individual authors. They loved Jim Baen for the work he did and the stuff he put out, and Toni has picked up the mantle and ran with it since he passed on. Baen fans are hard core. They know that if Baen put it out then it is going to be first and foremost, fun. Back when eBooks started, Jim Baen was a pioneer. When other publishers were charging hard cover prices and putting annoying DRM software on their books, Jim decided to be fair and not treat all his customers like thieves and pirates.

Brad mentioned the size of the advances. Yep, Baen advances for new authors aren’t that big. Toni takes the long view. She is taking a risk on a new author, so it is way easier for a book to become profitable with that smaller risk than a big one. On the bright side you are spared the massive whine fests like that recent blog post that went around with the chick who got a $200,000 advance for her first book that then sold a pathetic 8,000 copies. Holy shit. The publisher just took a massive loss. Then after several years of moping around and, I’m not making this up, forgetting how to write in the first person, some dumb ass gave her a $30,000 advance for another book.

Personally, my first few books got a smaller advance, and now that I’ve proven myself and have a solid fan baseI get a pretty good advance. But it doesn’t really matter since every single one of my books has earned out during the first royalty period so this hasn’t been an issue for me.

I’ve got friends who’ve gotten the big advances for their first book. Hey, no pressure, except if this book doesn’t blow up huge and you’re not the next Robert Jordan, you are now considered a total loser and your publishing house will hate you… Even though you as the author have zero control over how much that publishing house is going to push your work, advertise or promote you. And we’ve seen repeatedly that most of this industry can’t make a business decision for shit. Hey, we have this first time author’s book, and it sold pretty respectably, but since we threw a 50k advance at him, he’s a total financial loser. Oh well.

I know of one publishing house that gave a first timer a big advance, and she sold an extremely respectable 40,000 copies of her first book (the average midlist novel in America only sells a measly 15k) so she should be good right? Only they printed 200,000 copies. So she was a “loser”. Wow. Holy shit, publishing industry. Speaking as a retired auditor, somebody should get fired for that, but it sure as hell isn’t the author.

Is my publishing house perfect? Nope. It is an organization made up of human beings. Duh. However when you go to a convention and you’re listening to a bunch of authors who’ve had a few too many drinks whine about how much their publishers suck and how the publishing industry is screwing people over, you’ll begin to notice a theme of how the industry is such and such way “except for Baen”.

Sad Puppies Update: Time is almost up to nominate
New web address and fixing up the blog
crazdmadman
Guest

Funny, I am/was listening to a podcast from SFsignal (Episode 236) where your name and Baen (and several other Baen authors) were brought up…

It seems Myke Cole doesnt think you and Baen are “his Tribe” and He and the “lady editor” 😉 of what sounds like a lefty Military anthology seem to have a low opinion of Ringo…

I hope you guys are laughing all the way to the F’in Bank!!

Thomas Monaghan
Guest

You mean this panel? Karin Lowachee, Richard Dansky, Jaym Gates and Myke Cole
SuperStar Military Scifi Panel Discussion “SuperStars?”

Blume
Guest

Who are these people?

Thomas Monaghan
Guest

Listened to it. Mike Cole stuck writing Mil Fiction
Trying to get out of it writing Dark Fantasy with the main protagonist young gay female.

crazdmadman
Guest

Larry what he said about you was basically something along the lines of “When I was looking for a publisher, I looked at Baen…Larry Corriea, John Ringo, Eric Flint…they aint my Tribe man, they are not my tribe.” You know the type of comment that is made with a wink and a nod to signify he wouldnt lower himself to be associated with you guys. That he was better than Baen or something.

My thought was “successful money making authors arent your tribe…then what does that say about you…”

boballab
Guest

Let’s see, Baen has Flint on left part of the divide politically and Ringo is on the Right and there is people everywhere in between, so what tribe is he?

Expendable Henchman
Guest

Apparently he’s of the tribe that self selects away from successful authors and publishers.

Good. I love it when my competition acts in ways I think is stupid.

Larry Mitchell
Guest
Matt
Guest

Cole is a decent author, but let’s face it, most of his financial success comes from his willingness to kiss Pat Rothfuss’s ass on twittter thus guaranteeing that the hippy Rothfuss monkeys buy his books.

Brad R. Torgersen
Guest

If Myke actually said those words, “[Baen] ‘aint my tribe,” I must conclude that Myke simply does not know that many Baen authors in person. He has probably only ever heard bad stuff about us from the usual suspect sources. He knows not of what he speaks.

Sean Patrick Hazlett
Guest
I just listened to the whole thing. At first, Myke tried to couch his comments against Baen in a very respectful manner. But as the interview went on, his commentary became increasingly more hostile. He even called Orson Scott Card a “vile human being.” I’m not sure what Card did to deserve the label, but I wouldn’t call someone “vile” unless they put babies in microwaves or something worse. The man’s certainly entitled to his opinion, but one shouldn’t take shots at a group of people without having them there to defend themselves. Also, how is it that many of… Read more »
Tom
Guest

OSC is considered “vile” simply because he opposes gay marriage. That’s it.

What’s funny is, from what I understand, he’s generally fairly liberal.

And, as an former enlisted man (Navy), I’m not sure that it was even 30 percent that could be called liberal…but it also depends on where they’re from.

Of course, I got out in Clinton was still in office.

Sean Patrick Hazlett
Guest

Tom,

I led a tank platoon, a support platoon, and then was an executive officer of a cavalry troop. In combat arms (infantry, armor, artillery, etc.), conservatives outnumbered liberals by about 9 to 1. But in the support functions, that ratio was much lower. In my support platoon, I’d estimate it was about 1 to 1. Again, the data is obviously anecdotal, but that’s my opinion based on my experience.

Expendable Henchman
Guest
OSC tried to talk the LDS (Mormon) Church, with many extremely homophobic members, into perhaps not hating gay people so much. I have met many LDS men who are certain that *all* gay men are constantly raping very underage boys to ‘convert’ them; therefore, all gay men need to be shot upon discovery. I didn’t say ‘every lds man’ or even ‘a majority’. (And certainly not Larry who only divides humanity into ‘current’ and ‘future’ CorreiaTech customers.) At the same time, working on acceptance from the other end, he tried to point out to gays that they were breaking the… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Sean,

That’s possible. I was a Navy Corpsman, so we were a bit of both. We could be support or front line troops.

The Navy’s kind of odd that way. Even our support troops might find themselves in harms way during a naval conflict.

I wonder if that somehow colors my observations compared to yours? Either way, mine’s only anecdotal as well.

junior
Guest
Card’s a liberal, but not an orthodox one. He doesn’t take any positions that are contrary to his LDS beliefs (i.e. which largely means no abortion, and his already mentioned stances on same sex relationships). And he supported the War on Terror during Bush’s term (including the invasion of Iraq). I know he strongly disliked Edwards, but he based that on having had the guy as a politician in the region (Card lives in North Carolina). I’ve no clue what his position was on any of the other Democratic nominees since the start of the current century. My read is… Read more »
pavepusher
Guest

Henchman wrote: “But you can’t bring up any of the above at a gay meeting without getting shouted down and thrown out.”

Yeah, because those “reasons” are completely idiotic. I’d make sure you bounced. Twice.

pavepusher
Guest

@ Henchman: Or… sigh… did I completely miss a spot of satire?

brianniemeier
Guest

Well said, Brad. Congratulations on your first novel sale, by the way.

Expendable Henchman
Guest
@Pavepusher, I’m hetro, so I haven’t been to that many LGBT meetings, though I have close friends who are out and flaming. Where gay marriage exists, gay divorce will inevitably follow. People grow and change, and divorce just means ‘it was great, but we’re done now’. Of late, the huge discussion among straight guys is how marriage has become an arrangement on the order of Lando Calrissian and Darth Vader’s deal. In other words, a total con and ripoff for men. Marriage was originally a contract with obligations on both sides. Now, it is common for a woman to adulter,… Read more »
Jordan Bassior
Guest

@Pavepusher

You should take the Muslim threat to gays a bit more seriously, unless you are

(1) – Really sure that where you live is never going to go the way of Dearborn, Michigan, and

(2) – Really sure that you’re never going to travel to a Muslim-dominated country.

trackback

[…] After Brad wrote his piece, Larry Correia offered his two cents on the people at Baen Books as well. I think Brad’s piece was a little more powerful, but […]

M. Kupari
Guest
So I cheated, as we all know. I didn’t have to struggle through the slush pile like most aspiring authors. I didn’t even think the online story we wrote back in 2006 was worthy of actual publication. I owe you that one, dragging me into being an actual author even though I doubted it would work. I know you mainly did it because you wanted to get another book out there that you’d already pretty much written, but it worked out for both of us. I wouldn’t want to write for anyone else but Baen, and as Larry can attest,… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Thanks for reminding me that I’m now forced to hate you.

Nothing personal, just pure jealousy 🙂

M. Kupari
Guest

Aww. I hate you too, Tom. HUG (I’m a hugger. Don’t make it weird.)

Tom
Guest

The sad thing is, I’m not that far from you. WAAAY too close for a hug 😛

salgak
Guest

Both Larry and Brad have alluded to something, and it’s this: The entire Baen “family” **IS** pretty much an extended family. We’ll occasionally bicker and fight, especially over important stuff like preferred drink and preferred caliber (7.62x54R, thank you very much. . . ), but we’re still FAMILY. ..

Brad R. Torgersen
Guest

I think Baen authors and staff and fans generally remember that this is supposed to be a big tent operation. Petty little personality bitch fests and political knife fights are not what Baen is about. It really is a company centered around the idea that books ought to be fun. People who can’t grasp that . . . well, they won’t grasp the idea of the big tent, either.

John Carlton
Guest

I’ve always felt that way. I think that the Bar went a long way to create that feeling. It’s a shame that none of the other publishers ever picked up on what the Bar was doing for Jim. It gave him immediate feedback on stuff and made it easier for him to take chances on things like open ebooks, the free library and the handout infection CDs. Baen became a community rather than a publisher with readers who the publisher never talked to.

Nathan
Guest

I think Tor tried to create something like the Bar with their website, but it quickly became a place where the opinions were dictated to the community by the editors. Often with swings of the banhammer. An anti-Bar, now home of those who want to impose orthodoxy on SF&F.

It was good for a few things, though. When an author spent most of her time talking about the Doctor Who cameos hidden in her books instead of her books, I knew I could skip them.

Beaumont Vitali
Guest

That is perhaps the best capsule definition of the problem. I read Baen because the writers can TELL A FRICKIN STORY that I WANT TO READ. Sorry about the caps, but it’s amazing how rare that talent has become. And another Baen bonus is that I frequently learn something of value in areas of expertise outside my own. I don’t often find that in “mainstream” lit.

Wesley Nichols
Guest

You really (price not considered) prefer a rimmed cartridge?

Beaumont Vitali
Guest

Depends on the application. It can make headspacing easy on some platforms. If, for example, you’re rebuilding a military and an industrial complex after a serious collapse or disaster, it would be simpler to build Degyartevs or Brens for rimmed cartridges than modern MGs.

Joel Salomon
Guest
I’m aghast at the divisiveness in this post. After the righteous take-down of Toni’s post, the We Don’t Care About that Big Ol’ Meanie Anyway Ha Ha Ha Ha Sob Club are doubling down! Not only are they demanding for themselves the mantle of the One True Fandom, not only are they insisting that all bow before the altar of R.A.H., now they have the temerity to claim that their publisher is the only worthwhile one. The idea that a publisher shouldn’t care about politics is just a dog-whistle for the idea that your horrid, horrid, right-wingish whitemale (OK, trans-white,… Read more »
Brad R. Torgersen
Guest

We are, I confess, the ultimate literary evil. Somewhere, every minute, a Baen author is making somebody wet his bed. 😉

Quirel
Guest

I thought that the “Ultimate Literary Evil” was to actually make a profit?

Beaumont Vitali
Guest

But is it normative?

Faceh
Guest
Its very true about people being devoted to the Baen brand. When it comes to other SF publishers, its been hit or miss whenever I pick up a new book from them. Even if I do my research beforehand, there have been times I’ve just had to put a book down because its a struggle to read. I can’t think of a single Baen book that I haven’t been able to finish. And its precisely why you said. They’re fun. Even if I dislike the characters, find the themes pretentious, or the dialogue atrocious, I always enjoy the read because… Read more »
Sean Patrick Hazlett
Guest

Thanks for posting this Larry. I more I learn about Baen, the more I want to work with them once I finally finishing polishing my manuscript.

Tom
Guest

Why do I suspect you’ll hear from them quicker than either of us have heard back from a certain magazine?

Sean Patrick Hazlett
Guest

Tom,

Are you trying to get both of us in trouble? 😉

But you’re probably right. That said, I’m more than happy to wait that long if that unnamed magazine ultimately decides to buy my work.

Tom
Guest

Me? Get us in trouble? Moi?? 😀

Oh, of course.

I somehow doubt they’re going to buy mine. It’s really not a particularly good fit for them in hindsight.

Sean Patrick Hazlett
Guest

Mine’s a decent fit, but it also has a lot of twists and plot elements that would require the editor to take too many risks if he published it.

We’ll see. With my luck, it’s probably lost.

Tom
Guest

I’m still waiting on a response to my query. With my luck, mine’s lost too.

Brad R. Torgersen
Guest

Rumor has it that certain magazine (which also publishes me, ahem) is picking up the pieces in the slush department. I truly am sorry it’s been such a rough ride the last two years. Hang tough. I think brighter days are ahead.

And if I am totally off the beam about this certain magazine — having displayed myself as clueless — well, nevermind. 😉

Tom
Guest

You know, I think this particular might have published a thing or two you’ve written. Surely nothing anyone’s read or anything 😉

Seriously, I hope they do get it straightened out. I don’t mind waiting…to a point.

Oh yeah, you weren’t supposed to read this!!!! 😉

Sean Patrick Hazlett
Guest

Tom,

I told you so. There are spies everywhere…;-)

Brad,

If I wrote as well as you do, I wouldn’t be sniveling in the slush pile. 😉

But I get it. I’m not mad…yet.

Tom
Guest

Yep. We are soooooo busted. 😉

Tom
Guest

Having now read both Brad’s post and this one, I have to say I’m glad to see it. While I love a good fisking as much as the next member of the Monster Hunter Nation, sometimes it’s great to hear about the awesome.

Larry, is it possible for you to share some the types of stories your author friends at other publishers have shared? Obviously, nothing that would peg it as being a particular author. I’m not asking for anyone to be outted by any means. I’m just wanting more information in general.

Rich
Guest

As a LONG term reader of sci-fi etc., when bored and looking for books that I’m pretty sure I’m going to like, I go to the Baen catalog and start ordering. I can’t say that for any other publisher.

Expendable Henchman
Guest
I used to find books online, read, and if I liked, buy. But then I met Baen, where the first several chapters are free. I figure that at 1/3 through the book, if I can stop then fine. Of course, by the time the free chapters have run out, I’m usually well and truly hooked, and out comes the credit card. The Baen free library was an astounding idea. That, too, hooked me on many a Baen author. Like the partial book deal, the BFL generally offers only the first book of the series for free. Talk about setting a… Read more »
C.S.Gilmore
Guest

They know what their doing. You want loyal fans and a strong costumer base, give a little and it pays in dividends.

pavepusher
Guest

Just like any enterprising Crack or Heroin dealer: The first taste is free…..

SirBrass
Guest
Larry, I forgot which one of your fisks (it was an epic one, though), brought up John C. Wright, but thanks to that, I picked up his “Golden Age” trilogy (iirc, it’s his first 3 books). I can see why he must sell a ton of books. They’re incredibly esoteric like “Hyperion”, but unlike Dan Simmons, Wright’s stories make cohesive sense and tell a human story that is really really good, while all the while maintaining that sense of “holy crap this is fantastic” that writers like Heinlein must have done with readers back when space travel still seemed wild… Read more »
VD
Guest

You may be interested to know that Castalia House will be publishing AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND by John C. Wright next week. It is excellent. We will also be publishing a collection of his nonfiction essays entitled TRANSHUMAN AND SUBHUMAN in April, followed by more of his fiction works.

And, to return to the topic at hand, we aspire to be as well-loved by our authors as Baen is. We consider them to be a model publisher.

AndrewV
Guest

Castalia House looks very interesting. It would be great to submit a story and know it would be accepted or rejected on its merit and not whether or not my twitter account or blog are sufficiently left of center.

dyingearth
Guest

I read his Chronicles of Chaos trilogy, 3 times back to back. It requires re-reading. Also fun.

brianniemeier
Guest
I’ve read all three “Eschaton” books (just finished Judge of Ages recently). Wright has replaced Frank Herbert as my go-to sciffy author. I can’t wait for the next book. Unfortunately, some kind of software glitch at B&N led them to massively over-order book 2, and now Tor is having second thoughts about buying books 5 & 6. If folks could find time to write Tor asking them to buy the rest of the series, it would be a mitzvah. Here’s Tor’s address: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC 175 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10010 Thanks everybody, especially our doting landlord (bought… Read more »
Beaumont Vitali
Guest

I agree. I happened upon his Chaos trilogy, and it caused a reaction I have come to cherish on the few occasions I encounter it: it hurt my head, but in a good way

Dan Lane
Guest

Still getting hate mail over FDR in Grimnoir?

That’s the best laugh I’ve had in days. Though at some point, you have to stop blaming the education system and blame the person. Some of us survived public school and managed to educate ourselves in spite of bullshit attempts to create a zombie army of leftist idiots.

mekadave5
Guest

Best laugh for me as well. You can almost hear the sputtering through the web browser when you remind them that their lefty hero FDR ordered the Japanese internment camps. Never gets old.

SirBrass
Guest
The trashing of FDR in Grimnoir was a particular favorite of mine. Dan, I sort of agree. I had to rise above what I was taught in public education, however. Hell, these days I could write a book called, “Everything I learned, I learned in Kindergarten, Marching Band, and post High School.” The folksiest wisdom I ever got was from my kindergarten teacher, my parents (despite their liberalism), my marching band teacher, and folks I met and talked to on my own during my college years and beyond. I’ve spent years deprogramming the stuff I learned in k-12. True, I… Read more »
Dan Lane
Guest
Sounds like you did alright for yourself, sir. If you’re the writing sort, you could sneak some of that knowledge into a story. I’m sure there’s young ‘uns out there (maybe yet to be born) that could use those lessons. They don’t get taught often enough. If I tried to give credit to all the folks that made the parts of me I’m proud of, I’d bore you to tears. I’ve had some damn good role models and teachers of the practical sort in life, very few of them in school. Also, good books. That’s why I’m glad Larry, Brad,… Read more »
Matt
Guest

I’m not sure how any science fiction fan can ignore Baen. For Christ’s sake, they publish David fucking Weber.

Also, I never realized what a giant d-bag Scalzi was until I starting following your blog. It’s a shame too, because the guy can write a solid novel.

Tom
Guest

I guess I’m ahead of the curve. I quit reading Scalzi when I read something he said fairly insulting libertarians in general. As a card carrying libertarian, I decided that he didn’t want any more of my money.

Steve Poling
Guest

Let’s get one thing clear about Scalzi. He can put words on paper and he can tell a decent story. But he makes politically-motivated errors. When he rewrote H. Beam Piper’s fuzzy novel, he pulled out all the nuclear stuff. Instead of mining precious stones with nukes the protagonist is mining anthracite coal. Yup, anthracite coal. This starfaring civilization is going to cross hundreds of light years to fetch anthracite coal… sure.

Tom
Guest

But, like, it’s totally almost a diamond…or something.

Beaumont Vitali
Guest

Scalzi represents a widespread and peculiar American phenomenon: talented people who have chosen to be idiots.

junior
Guest
Funny how FDR doesn’t get mentioned in relation to the internment camps. Or Earl Warren, for that matter… Can’t imagine why… At a signing I attended, Orson Scott Card once briefly mentioned when he learned why he needed an agent. One of his books (Treason, I think) got published, sold some copies, and then got sat on by the publisher. I think Card switched to a different publisher after that mess, but he quickly realized how important reversion rights were (i.e. in the event that the publisher doesn’t keep printing the book at a reasonable rate, the rights revert to… Read more »
SirBrass
Guest

Sounds like Card should try to hop on board with Baen ;).

junior
Guest

Heh.

Not likely to happen, though. I don’t know who Card’s publisher is these days off the top of my head, but I suspect that he has a pretty stable relationship with them. And iirc, the Treason rights issue resolved itself when his post-Treason publisher ended up buying his original publisher.

Though it’s not as if Card would get much *additional* hate mail for switching to Baen. He’s already managed to get that particular crowd angry at him for other things (he’s a lib, but not the flavor of lib they like).

Joel Salomon
Guest

I think it’s a good thing that Card and John Wright are published by Tor. If Tor ever drops them it’d be for political reasons and everyone would know it; until & unless that happens, Tor still has credibility as SF/F publishers.

SirBrass
Guest

Tor is also publishing some of Weber, too, you know.

BornLib
Guest

Tor also publishes F. Paul Wilson.

The Childlike Author
Guest

The more I hear about Baen, the more I like them. And Toni sounds like one smart woman…

cspschofield
Guest

There was a time, decades ago, when I felt loyalty to the Del Rey imprint. That began to erode in the early ’90’s, and now if they publish a good book, I tend to assume that it was an accident. Pity, really.

Brad R. Torgersen
Guest
Del Rey was absolutely rock-solid in the 70s and 80s. But this was because Judy-Lynn del Rey (Lester named the company after her) was an editorial and marketing genius. She practically invented the bestselling SF/F novel, where none had ever existed before. Drove a bunch of SF/F books to the very tops of the chart. And then . . . Judy-Lynn died. Dwarfism. And the light at Del Rey slowly flickered, and failed. Now Del Rey is just another corporate house. You takes your chances and you gets what you gets. Ask Eric Flint about them some time.
CombatMissionary
Guest

Didn’t they start slipping once Louis L’amour died?

Brendan
Guest

All right, this is like the 5th time I’ve heard you trumpet the awesomeness of your audio book sales. Are the book sreally that much better to listen to? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got all your books and I’m waiting for the next, but what’s so special about the audio version? You get Michael Dorn and Clancy Brown to do all the voices or something?

Pete
Guest
The actors who read the audio books do contribute a LOT to the quality and success of the book. That said, I’ve listened to Larry’s books being read by several different readers (actors? narrators? what is the correct title?), and I can say that Larry’s style of writing does tend to translate well to audiobooks. Bronson Pinchot, who reads the majority of Larry’s books, does a magnificent job of polishing them up to a high finish. On the other end of the spectrum, some author’s styles do not do well in audible format at all. David Weber’s style is certainly… Read more »
boballab
Guest

Weber does a lot of info dumping/background information in his writing and that will not translate well into audio. Now Larry has a lot more action and lot less background info that translates well.

Also they are called voice actors and probably some of them are the same ones you find doing Anime dubbing and other voice over work.

gingeroni
Guest

It’s heresy, but I put the Grimnoir books at a 3. I almost didn’t finish Warbound. I got Hard Magic as an audio book as an experiment because radio is dead in this town. On the usual scale of 1 to 5, the audio book is an elevenTY!!1!!! Yes, it’s that much better. Correia’s audio books make me look forward to rush hour.

dyingearth
Guest

Even though it was mentioned repeatedly how slow and deliberate Jake Sullivan speaks in the books, it wasn’t until the audio book how he was supposed to sound like. He IS supposed to sound like an uneducated hick from Detroit. The fact his physical appearance and speech pattern fits the average stereotype of Heavy belay his actual ability and intelligence.

Yeah, the audiobook for Grimnoir is really good.

SirBrass
Guest
He’s got better. He’s got Olivery freakin’ Wyman and Bronson Pinchot doing the reading. Wyman is, hands down, one of the best damn readers I’ve heard on audible.com. He does voices incredibly well. To see how broad he can get, listen to both MHI and then Weber’s “Off Armageddon Reef”. Wyman narrarates both, but they have entirely different-sounding characters. Wyman pulls off both without trouble. He even differentiates with gender well enough that you never get the sense of the guys sounding effeminate or the girls sounding butch. Pinchot has a less broad voice-range (he has about 2 different sounding… Read more »
Book
Guest
Oh yea. The audios are definitely worth the listen, even if you’ve already read them. (I own almost all of LC’s books on audible. Just missing the Dead Six series.) TBH, I’m not a huge fan of the MHI narrator- but that’s just my taste. I would listen to the sample before getting those; but the Grimnoir guy (Bronson Pinchot) is OUTSTANDING. There were a few times while listening to the books that I remember thinking that I might have missed an amusing passage or a meaningful sentence were I reading instead of listening. That may just be me, but… Read more »
Paul B
Guest

I agree with the sentiment about Bronson Pinchot’s work. Excellent. I never listened to audiobooks, but one of the seamen on my boat brought his collection, and we’ve been listening on the bridge during the midwatch when we’re underway.
I’m now hesitant to buy MHI, for audiobook, though.

Insectress
Guest

I know of at least one law school that studied Baen’s approach to digital rights, and how it was an example of a successful digital business approach.

Blume
Guest

It certainly works on me. I just finished the free With the Lightning by David Drake yesterday and as soon as I get pay again I plan on buying a bunch more books in the series. With eleven books in the series, that one free book is easily going to turn into 5 to 9 purchases from me.

Fail Burton
Guest

You forgot to add a trigger warning for fear and privileged mischief, because there are some very delicate shell-like feminist ears listening.

By the way, has anyone who hates SJWs and likes guns used “Trigger Warning” as a title?

bluesun
Guest

If I had any complaints about Baen it would be that sometimes when you get into the end of a long popular series it seems like the editors take a break and let the authors get away with too much, but I’ve never sat down to read one of their books and walked away truly disappointed. Not once, ever. The other publishers have gotten to the point where if I’m walking through the bookstore I don’t even bother to look at anything that isn’t Baen.

SirBrass
Guest

You mean like Weber and the Honor Harrington series? If so, I agree whole heartedly. I think his editors need to say, “This section repeats in your books too much. Take it out. Make this part not suck.” Or something.

His Safehold series is great, but the Honorverse needs some help otherwise an amazing series is going to come to a crashingly bad end. Kind of like what happened with the Mass Effect universe in ME3: great build up and story and anticipation till the end, then “WTF?!?”

junior
Guest

There is no ending to Mass Effect 3. The game was released incomplete. Whatever is supposed to happen after you launch the second missile during the fighting on Earth never occured.

*cough*

SirBrass
Guest

I wish I could agree, but “De nile” is not just a river in Egypt you know 😉 :P.

Patrick Chester
Guest

There’s a “Happy Ending Mod” over on the Bioware forums that is decent, at least from the videos posted on YouTube.

Otherwise, yeah, I actually haven’t completed one game of ME3 singleplayer. Paused before Rannoch, actually.

rasquirelaskar
Guest

Even with all its missteps, Mass Effect 3 was one hell of a ride up until the last five minutes.

Still, whenever Larry talks about leftists stroking their egos (Funny name for it) instead of entertaining the audience, my mind always flashes back to the Starchild and his three choices.

Patrick Chester
Guest

It’s possible to negotiate peace between the quarians and geth, but it depends on some things you did in ME2 and some missions in ME3.

kamas716
Guest

Reblogged this on westfargomusings and commented:
Man, I love Baen and it’s authors. Reading Larry’s (or Sarah’s, or Mike’s for that matter) is always entertaining, just like their books.

trackback

[…] Why I Publish With Baen. Personally, I like being a lone wolf, but if I were to sign up for a publisher… Also, the ridiculous response from Scalzi and his acolytes is just… making Vox’s point all over again. […]

Thomas Monaghan
Guest

Myke Cole has written 3 Mil. fiction novels. Jaym Gates works on the new SFWA bulletin and seems to be editing a SF Military anthology and Richard Dansky horror writer, game designer and writer, and works at Ubisoft as the Central Clancy Writer, helping to create games like Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

Blume
Guest

Thomas. I meant name something they wrote that people should know them from. Like John Ringo wrote March Upcountry with David Weber. Or David Drake who wrote Hammer’s Slammers. Just saying this is a dude who wrote some books doesn’t answer the question of who they are if you don’t identify the books. If I said Machiavelli wrote a book on politics that wouldn’t tell you anything about him. And if I told you he wrote a play you would totally get the wrong idea about him but he did.

Thomas Monaghan
Guest

Blume I’m not defending them. For one thing Jaym is working on the restarted SFWA Bulletin which last year fired Resnik and another author for being nonPC. Now the Bulletin has to be approved by board of SFWA members before it gets published.

junior
Guest
I have heard of Splinter Cell. However, Blacklist is the second game in the Splinter Cell series that’s ignored the original mold (the first game to really do so was the previous game in the series, Conviction; you could argue that the game before that, Double Agent, did similar things, but at least *that* game was knowingly sold as a game in which you did morally ambiguous things). Part of the original idea for that game involved sneaking around and not leaving any trace that you’d ever been there (for the most part – there were exceptions). The demo that… Read more »
Larry Mitchell
Guest
I never heard of any of them before and I have been reading science fiction since I was 8 and I am in my early 50s. To me that would put them as somewhat marginal. From reading Weber, I got hooked on Ringo (the March series), and somewhat by accident I got onto Larry C’s books. I have been buying a lot of Baen books primarily because they seem so innovative and have a great stable of writers. Myke’s description of himself turned me off and his subsequent thrashing of authors I liked has made sure I will ignore him.… Read more »
Will Spencer
Guest

Hiring liberals to write military fiction makes about as much sense as hiring Amish to write science fiction.

Andrew
Guest

I can think of lots of leftist governments with strong and active armed forces. National Socialists, Soviet Socialists, Cuba, China…then again, whenever I bring up these places I’m told they’re not “real socialists.”

Will Spencer
Guest

That differentiation is why I used the term “liberal” instead of the term “leftist”.

me
Guest
As an outside observer who reads some skiffy, though not as much as I used to (I think seeing the year 2000 come and go without getting my flying car and silver jumpsuit kind of soured me on The Amazing World of Tomorrow–I speak tongue in cheek here, of course), it saddens me to see the SFWA do this to itself. Not so long ago, there was a clear need for skiffy writers to have some sort of association or guild to give them some semblance of collective bargaining power. We all know the story of H. Beam Piper, who… Read more »
Brad R. Torgersen
Guest
You can tell a lot about people, based on who they choose to attack. Bob Silverberg is one of the last of an original breed of true gentlemen to inhabit the field — to have seen it since the original days, one might say. That anyone could target the man . . . . well, I notice that the link no longer works? Perhaps someone older and wiser than Ms. Luhrs pulled her aside and talked some sense into her. Not everything that’s old or white or male deserves to have verbal monkey poo flunk at it. Despite Ms. Luhr’s… Read more »
Wayne Blackburn
Guest

I tried the link and it didn’t work, but when I searched, I found it. Checked the address bar after clicking the link, and it seems to have some extra (though invisible) characters at the end. Try this one:

http://radishreviews.com/2014/02/10/oh-dear-sfwa-bulletin-petition/

Brad R. Torgersen
Guest
Examining a bit closer, I see that Ms. Luhrs fancies herself a cultural gadfly, with an emphasis on SF/F. As if we don’t already have 1,001 of those running around the field. It’s easy to be a complainer. It’s not so easy to make something that can stand the test of time, provide a worthwhile experience for others, or show the world to itself in an interesting or exciting way. Thus Ms. Luhrs i like the grumpy cat: forever frowning on the people and the products that she herself can’t hope to match, because she has made herself into a… Read more »
Quatermain
Guest

I read through the comments appended to that blog post and I couldn’t help but notice the blatant and obnoxious lack of respect for Mr. Silverberg. Regardless of whether or not you agree with him on a subject, the man is a giant in the field of Science Fiction and deserves better than to be scorned by Poo Flinging Monkeys.

Jordan Bassior
Guest

Natalie Luhrs appears to have pulled her hate piece on Silverberg from her blog — perhaps because some friends of hers gently informed her just who it was she was attacking? I just LOVE idiots whose knowledge of science fiction history seems to have started around the time of ST:TNG and gone no deeper.

TRX
Guest
> Baen editing is straight forward because their honest to > goodness corporate goal is make the readers happy. The number of publishers who have folded in the last couple of decades are a shining example of businesses that didn’t connect the dots between “paying customers” and “profits.” Somewhere in corporate-land, tiny details like that tended to be obscured. A lot of publishers kept on printing the things they felt people *ought* to read, instead of things they might actually buy. And too many of those turgid, socially-significant novels got their covers stripped for the books to balance, and it… Read more »
Rat SEAL
Guest

A quick check of the SFSignal podcast panelists suggests that 1 had military experience, and the bulk of that as a contractor. Cole identifies as other than combat arms. How that qualifies as a “SuperStar Military Scifi Panel Discussion” is curious.

Now a panel consisting of Kratman, Ringo and Drake? That fits the description better.

Tom
Guest

Might as well throw Mad Mike into the mix as well.

Rat SEAL
Guest

Another comment – I am interested in Cole’s use of a label which he applies to himself ‘Operator’, but then he hastens to add that he isn’t a ‘door kicking operator’. When did this differentiation become canon?

Either you are an operator or you’re not. If you have to modify the term, odds are that you are trying ‘too hard’.

Tom
Guest

Maybe he was an “operator” in the sense that he ran a switchboard?

Might explain a few other things as well. 🙂

Seriously, I haven’t read his stuff, and it looks kind of interesting. However, I do tend to worry about someone who calls themselves an operator without having been a door kicker. I mean, in my mind at least, the two things kind of go hand in hand. Not all door kickers are operators, but all operators are door kickers.

Am I really that far out of it?

Rat SEAL
Guest
I have been off AD since the late nineties, but I hit the reunions and keep up with the guys. We commiserate over yet another SEAL book apearing on the bookstands (in the fall of last year I was flying through Chattanooga and stopped at the bookstore at the entrance to concourse B. There were 7 (!) books with the word SEAL or a trident on the cover.). The definition of an operator was someone on the sharp end. Running a HSB, manning a door gun on a Pavehawk, playing SIGINT games with johnyjackass in the Med – all critical… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Pretty much what I thought.

BTW, which coast were you on?

Rat SEAL
Guest

Tom – left coast mostly – odd numbers, plus some time in SOUTHCOM.

Tom
Guest

Cool. I was stationed in Portsmouth from 93-96. Didn’t know if we knew some of the same folks.

Of course, since I did know a SEAL or two during my time, we may still know some of the same folks. It’s not like there are a million of you guys…

…unless we’re talking about ex-SEALs. In which case, you and I really need to talk. 😀

Rat SEAL
Guest
I think that there have been about 50k SEALs, if you start from the days of Ft. Pierce in FLA circa1943. At any given time, there are perhaps a max of 3k guys wearing Tridents on active duty. Figure… 8 SEAL teams, plus SEAL Team Shhhh, plus 2 SEAL Delivery Vehicle teams (which have a sprinkling of frogs), 4 (I think it is 4) Special Boat Squadrons (which have a light dusting of frogs) and assorted staffs at the group, service HQ (Coronado), joint HQ (Tampa), JSOC and dissassociated staff tours – and then the school house (upper and lower… Read more »
crazdmadman
Guest
Ive listened to the SFsignal podcast since it began, and Cole is a pretty regular guest, I will say he writes/describes his bio in way to make those not paying attention think that he is/was a long serving military guy… “As a security contractor, government civilian and military officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Counterterrorism to Cyber Warfare to Federal Law Enforcement. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All that conflict can wear a guy out. Thank goodness for fantasy novels, comic books, late night games… Read more »
Rat SEAL
Guest
That’s my sense as well. If this analysis is accurate, it reflects a smart strategy of being the best informed milspec-ish person in a group that is proudly ignorant of things military. The notion that a Coast Guard officer reservist can claim even indirectly to be an operator and remain unchallenged is a sign of the understanding gap in the SFWA. Still, hat’s off to him for his marketing chops – it works, it gets him looks, it helps him make money and costs nothing. I did get a giggle from him linking himself to ADM McRaven and Geronimo –… Read more »
Brad R. Torgersen
Guest
If Larry is a “cake eating civilian” I am right there on the couch with him, chowing down on boxes full of Lil Debbies. I’m a civilian most of my time, and only serve as a Reservist. 12 years, 3 different units, no deployments. Paper pusher by MOS. Chief Warrant Officer Paper Pusher, to be exact. But I do know a little bit about soldiering. I definitely agree with the idea that if you have to wear your “operator” status on your sleeve, you’re probably trying a little too hard. Speaking from my own personal interactions with people who’ve been… Read more »
Larry Mitchell
Guest

Yep, my feeling also. He really plays it up without outright lying and to the uneducated, they would get the feeling that he was the same as a delta operator. In a sense that is somewhat dishonest.

However, does being the “hardest operator in the world” make you the best mil sci fi author around. Unlikely, first you would have to be a good writer. People like John Ringo and Larry Correia has legions of technical experts they can call on to tell them what makes sense and rings true.

Tony Daniel
Guest

And I might add that Baen will pick a good writer off the floor after a blindside knock down, get the cut man on him, then send him back into the ring again. (He said, speaking from personal experience.)

Brad R. Torgersen
Guest

Love the analogy, Tony! 🙂

trackback

[…] This particular blog post has its roots in a comments discussion over at Larry Correia’s web page. And it’s something Mike Kupari and I were discussing on Facebook with some of his readers. […]

Fruitbat44
Guest

“Her basic response? I don’t care if my authors get political as long as it is entertaining, and if it is something they are honestly passionate about and that comes through, then it’ll make the readers happy.”

Strange that for a publisher this attitude is considered, well, strange.

James
Guest

Could we get the names of the two publishers that ponied up $230k for the idiot? I suspect I, and several of your other followers would like to buy an M16, an STI and 8 bricks of .22lr

🙂

trackback

[…] I read Hoyt’s piece and another one on the same subject by Larry Correia. Before reading them, I’d basically considered traditional publishing an honorable profession […]

carbonel
Guest

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your post inspired me to visit Baen’s site directly and I discovered that P.C. Hodgell finally has a new novel out. Hot damn. I’ll buy one of your books, too 🙂

trackback

[…] Manhattan editors.” This sentiment is reflected by Baen author Brad Torgersen along with Larry Correia himself. Meanwhile Baen editor Toni Weisskopf (guest-posting at Baen author and conservative Sarah […]

Joe
Guest

I’m an aspiring fantasy author, and your blog convinced me to choose baen as my first choice. Thanks.

wpDiscuz