This is the kind of crap authors have to put up with

Warning. I’m going to rant, and there will be bad words. This post has a trigger warning for stupid people who put up stupid reviews on Amazon and the easily butt hurt.

So I was poking around Amazon reading my reviews. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. I wanted to see what the reviews were like for the fiction I’d done for Privateer Press. (normally I have really good reviews, and then a handful of haters who whine about my politics and try to punish me with bad reviews). I checked Instuments of War  35 five stars, 7 four stars, 2 three stars, and this little gem: of 1 people found the following review helpful

2.0 out of 5 stars i have not bought nor read this book, March 9, 2014
This review is from: Instruments of War (Warlock Sagas) (Kindle Edition)
come on people; you’re paying 5 bucks for a short story. So long as people continue to pay, then publishers, authors, and amazon will continue to gouge. The costs for an e-book are negligible; pennies per copy. On an $8.00 paperback the author, publisher, and seller split about $4.00, sometimes less, sometimes a lot less. On an e-book it except a flat fee (about $200.00) to convert it to the format there are no costs. Anytime you spend $8 to $10 to $16 for an e-book; you are being gouged and when I saw a short story being sold for $5.00 I had to speak up. I am a fan of larry correia and buy a lot of his books; but come on people don’t be chumps.
I know authors aren’t supposed to respond to reviews. That is supposed to lower us or something. Us artistic types are supposed to be all sorts of aloof, but this is so freaking stupid that I’ve got to comment on it. Here is my reply.
Damn this pisses me off. Where the hell does anybody named fucking Bork get off calling my readers chumps?
Holy shit. Are you kidding me? You left a 2 star review on a book you did not read so that you could get all preachy about the supposed costs of publication. Shut up, you cheap ass bastard.
First off, it isn’t a “short story”. It is a novella. It is 30,000 words. That is 1/2 to 1/3 of a novel in most genres. That is actually anywhere from 3 to 30 “short stories”.  Do you bitch about all YA books because they only average 80K but cost the same as my 150k-200k fantasy novels? No? Then shut up, hypocrite.
Is it more expensive than most of my books by the word? Yep. Since those ebooks are usually $8. Whoop de friggin’ do. I don’t set the prices on those either.
Second, the size doesn’t actually matter, because you admited that you DIDN’T ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK. You know, the thing that you are supposed to be rating the quality there of. For all you could know it could be the most mind blowing 80 pages ever written and in really tiny print to boot, but you couldn’t get off your cheap, self righteous ass long enough to find out.
(for the record, it isn’t the best thing ever, but it was fun enough that most people who aren’t whiny little bitches didn’t mind spending $5 for it!)
Next, the MASSIVE cost is $5. That’s FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS. That is the cost of a mediocre hamburger. Most of us who aren’t cheap ass bastards leave bigger tips than that for our mediocre hamburgers. I can’t even imagine what a shitty tipper Bork is.
And this isn’t a bash on poor people who struggle to come up with $5. Been there, done that, ate a whole lot of Ramen noodle. I’ve been dirt poor and a reader. That’s what libraries are for. Only if you get your books from a library you can’t really bitch about the cost in your pointless preachy reviews now, can you?
But that’s not the important thing about why this is such a shitty, pointless, obnoxious, annoying review. Oh no… The best part is how you are daring to lecture people about how they are enjoying themselves wrong. 
The majority of the people who bought this gave it good reviews. They seemed to think it was worth the $5 they threw at it. They felt they got their $5 worth…. In fact some of the 4 stars were because they liked the book but thought it was a bit expensive. Groovy. At least they read it! Most people will read this book over a couple of hours. Speed readers will read through it faster, so they are paying between $2 and $5 an hour to be entertained. Do you leave shitty reviews about every single movie shown in a movie theater because those work out to $7 an hour or more? Way more if you buy popcorn, but we know you’re too damned cheap to buy popcorn and you’d rather pick strays out of the other seats.
Heaven help us if Bork ever discovers golf…
Bork is like the annoying little shits who write complaint letters to Top Gear because they review awesome cars that most of us will never be able to afford. Shut up. Nobody likes you or your hand wringing. We want to see the Stig spin doughnuts in a car that cost more than our house.
Oh, but all the good reviews are wrong, because you spat out some gibberish about how much YOU THINK books should cost. Fanfuckingtastic. You should go write a bunch of books and make a successfull living at it pricing them however you want. Oh, but you don’t. Then here is a nice warm cup of shut the hell up. You should go Occupy Some Street while you tell people how much is FAIR for their labor.
Newsflash, dipshit. I’m not the one who set the cost. The publisher set the cost. In that whole little screed you put up you are comparing the costs of hack self publishing (which believe me, I’m not bashing, because that’s how I got started) to the publishing costs of an IP, with actual staff, and actual artists, and the fact that they had to pay me up front. I don’t know what you get paid per hour to ejaculate pigs or WTF ever it is you do for a living, but us NYT bestsellers like to GET PAID.
There’s a $200 fee to translate a book into ebook format, you say? Why, I didn’t know that was all there was to it! Never mind the fact that somebody with my resume doesn’t even show up for somebody else’s IP unless they throw a large pile of money at us, or in this case, bribe me with minis. 🙂  Only Bork is missing the point even harder on the econ side of things that he’s calling you all chumps for not understanding, since he’s talking about the costs of converting a book from hard to e publish… Only this was e publish only from the beginning so there wasn’t a hard cover or mass market to recoup any of the advance costs… But what do I know? I just do this writing thing for a living
I hate, hate, HATE reviews like this on Amazon, where it is some dipshit commenting on their woes as opposed to reviewing the actual product. “I didn’t like the color of the box the book was shipped in. ONE STAR!” “I bought this book that is clearly not in the genre I like, so it gets ONE STAR for not being in the genre I wanted because I’m too fucking stupid to read the back cover blurb!” On and on. Holy shit, there should be an IQ test before people are allowed to use the internet, because you are really pissing off the rest of us who don’t sleep in helmets.
Authors simply love having our average ranking pulled down for bullshit that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual book. “I do/don’t like sci-fi. This book has/doesn’t have sci-fi in it. ONE STAR!” “I don’t like whales. Whales are stupid and fat and so is Herman Melville! Moby Dick gets ONE STAR!”
But hey, he gave me TWO WHOLE STARS because he is a fan. (I bet he won’t be after he reads this). Well thank goodness, it wasn’t one star! That was mighty white of him to be so merciful. Also, he doesn’t read a lot of my books like he claims, because I’d be surprised if he could figure out how to operate one without injuring himself.
You know what would have been a fair one or two star review? Somebody who actually READ THE STORY but thought it wasn’t worth the price. That would at least make sense.
Us retired accountants love to have ignorant types lecture us on pricing and basic economics. Do I think $5 is the right price? Hell if I know. It isn’t my place to cost it. I’m not the publishing house. I don’t know their fixed costs, their projections, their marketing plan, and neither does some jackass on the internet. My job is to write the most entertaining story possible and let the market decide if the entertainment value is worth the money. Since they’ve not lowered the price, I’m assuming the market can bear it.
You know what else is too expensive? Everything that I’m too cheap to purchase, that’s what! ONE STAR!
The eARC for Monster Hunter Nemesis came out today. It is FIFTEEN DOLLARS! And it isn’t even proof read! But hundreds of people are super happy to download it three months early. Shit, Bork, you better hurry over to Baen’s Webscriptions and dazzle those people with your brilliance and let them all know that they are chumps. If you don’t they might enjoy themselves wrong or something.
A new short story from me
The eARC for Monster Hunter Nemesis is available now!

113 thoughts on “This is the kind of crap authors have to put up with”

  1. The lower rating for shipping broke my 5 star rating streak on a book.

    Drives me up a damn tree.

    I also get driven nuts by star rating and review not meshing, but that’s just a pet peeve. “Oh my God, this book is the best thing ever and it transformed my life in ways I never could have hoped! I see the magic in life! I believe in the impossible now! All because of this book!…three stars.”

    1. Franks never does pretty. That is the kaon of Franks….

      And trying to keep the Baen Jones in check by waiting for the dead tree copies. Not working…. (steps away, Shaking. that book addiction is bad, man).

  2. I look forward to the replies on the review. I already put mine in. Excuse me while I go get popcorn to go with my single malt.

  3. I so enjoy it when someone who doesn’t even understand the difference between a short story, a novelette, and a novella lectures me on what I should spend my hard earned money on.

    Bork, here’s a basic economics lesson for you. The value of an object is basically somewhere between what a seller wants to get for an item and what a buy wants to pay for an item. The publisher would probably love to get $1000 per book, while I’d like to pay about .05 per. We find a reasonable point in between. If it’s $5, and plenty of people are alright with that, then it’s far from gouging.

    The truth is, you really can’t gouge for any item that’s not a necessity, since ridiculous prices simply mean customers won’t buy that product at a given price.

    So, tell you what? Why don’t you go write some 30,000 word novellas, price them at what you think is appropriate, and bask in the awesome.

    I’m going to stand over here and laugh at your ass.

    1. Tom mind if I ask what is the difference. I was cool with short story and novel and then people started talking novella’s and I sort of got that but the whole novelette thing gets me. Heck I am not even sure what its called most of the time.

      Main topic. I have left reviews for books I havent read all of but I did start reading the book with the intent to finish. Fact of the matter is if I finish a book, that book is probably going to get three stars or better from me. And I have left reviews saying the book or game was to expensive. But the only time I did both was for books I got free to sample with prime. But my gripe wasn’t that the book was to short but rather it was of to poor of quality to pay the list price. I have complained that books were to short but that is usually a 4 or 5 star review. I just devoured the book so fast I needed more now!

    2. Exactly, gouging is hoarding a fundamental item to survival then charging extra ordinary prices to buy them. Bjork, you won’t die if you. don’t buy this novella.

      Fuck off whiner

      1. Well, there is the fact that I don’t think I could live without Larry’s books. Maybe that’s what he’s talking about??? 😉

      2. “gouging is hoarding a fundamental item to survival then charging extra ordinary prices to buy them.”

        There is a school of thought that denies that definition. To steal an example one of my Economics professors used, suppose you’re stranded in the desert with nothing but an American Express Card. You wander around for a couple days, getting thirstier and thirstier, until you’re almost ready to keel over. And then you find a little shop – call it a gas station or something. Doesn’t matter. That shop sells…gallon jugs of water. You go up to the owner, and he wants $50,000 for a jug. With no option, you swipe the AMEX (no limit – it’s AMEX) and walk away with water.

        Did you get gouged?

        The shop owner got $50,000. You got your life. Which is more valuable to you?

    3. Here’s a considerably more advanced economics lesson. on the subject.

      It is a difficult concept to understand, but once you wrap your brain around it, it’s a very useful tool. It helps to explain why theaters can charge so much for popcorn. The vendor has no competition inside, so it’s monopolistic pricing. You don’t have to buy their popcorn, you can go without, but you can’t bring your own.

      It should be no surprise that there are formulas for measuring how much folks will pay for something, and profitability as related to pricing.
      Some prices (like gasoline in the US and rice in Japan) have almost no affect on purchaing at all in the short term. Longer term, people buy more fuel efficient cars, or walk, or bus, or move, or get a different job.

      Inelastic = price makes no difference. Value of water to person dying of thirst (E=-infinity)

      Relatively elastic = price and demand are closely linked. (E=1)

      Totally elastic= price in us dollars of five dollar bill. Nobody will pay $5.01. Pretty much everyone will buy at $4.99. (E=0)

      I was a proofreader of a very niche book. $4500. It sold 18 copies, so far. One guy bought 2 copies.

      The covers are CNC machined aluminum 30 hours of CNC time at $125/hr, and the paper is special color stock costing well over $100 per book. It can be downloaded for free.

      The value of anything is what folks are willing to pay.

      1. The value of anything is what folks are willing to pay.

        This is it right there.

        For example, I’m not willing to pay $4500 for a book. Someone else bought two copies. For him, the price wasn’t an issue.

        However, as someone who understands the costs involved in producing such a book, I’m going to point out to someone like Bork that it ain’t gouging.

        Hell, it could be a flimsy, OfficeMax bound book that they’re asking $4500 for, and I wouldn’t call it gouging. I’d call it ridiculous in that case, but it ain’t gouging.

        Price isn’t all that difficult to understand. It’s far more difficult if you’re a moron who thinks you entitled to something at the price you want it despite plenty of other people who are quite content to pay the going rate.

  4. I got a 3 star review on one of my books by someone who wanted me to give them a free copy.
    You’d think that if you were going to beg the author for a FREE copy you’d at least leave a FIVE star review!
    Amazon won’t remove it either, even though they say they didn’t buy the book (they couldn’t afford 2.99!!)

    1. Man… I think admitting you didn’t read/buy/use a product should not only result in the deletion of your review, but a permanent ban on that account leaving reviews.

      I’m a huge advocate of free speech but being stupid should cost you something. Leaving bad reviews for something you ADMIT IN SAID REVIEW you have no knowledge of is an abuse of the system.

      So far my bitty bibliography hasn’t attracted many reviews; my least favorite is the guy who was mad one was part of a series… it says in the description it’s book one, dude…

  5. I also think ebooks are a rip off. Given the incredibly low cost of distribution, the author should be getting a much bigger cut.

    1. Simple solution: Build an e-book distribution company that gives authors a larger cut. If authors are indeed underpriced they’ll start beating a path to your door.

      I said it was simple, not easy.

    2. Hell, most of the books I buy are either indie or Baen. The indie ones tend to be about $3-$4 and Baen is cheaper than most and usually worth the premium. Plus I know they give authors a fairly good chunk.

    3. I used to hate ebooks because:
      hard drive crashes possibly wiping out my library
      hardware lock in (reader type)
      vendor lock in (amazon vs B&N, vs…)
      subscription vendors can change purchased books retroactively.

      I also despised when somebody sued Amazon, and they retroactively deleted purchased books from readers.

      It’s like someone at Baen read my emails detailing everything I hated with the concept and said,
      “OK we’ll fix everything. You’re out of excuses now. And we just signed Larry Correia”

      So I started getting lots of Baen ebooks.

      But I’m still getting Correia’s stuff on paper, so I can eBay the signed copies in 20 years, after the zombie apocalypse.

      1. Hard Drive Crashes – Only happens if you’re using a PC to read your e-books.

        DRM – Heh…don’t DO DRM.

        Hardware lock-in? Hardly. In fact, I nuke-n-paved a Nook to turn it into a better e-book reader (I made it a full Android device… >:-D)

        Vendor lock-in? Hardly. There’s more un-DRMed stuff than with just Baen.

        Did I say I don’t do DRM? Well, I just said it again.

        E-Books, if done right allow me to cart a crapload of technical and pleasure reading into a satchel and go. I can’t cart even a third of what all I can in the Nexus 10 I have onto a plane in paper.

        Having said that…your plan to eBay the signed paper copies…that’s a capital idea indeed.

    1. There is no call to be insulting to douches this way (They beg to be insulted…just not this way…)

  6. This is what is wrong with Amazon reviews. They control a significant amount of advertising power, yet anyone can jack them up for no reason at all.

    Still, there’s no way you could enforce something like an intelligence test on people who want to use the internet. I’m afraid there’s no easy way to fix this near-universal problem.

    1. FWIW, this particular Amazon buyer never looks at the aggregate review stars before purchasing. I only read the “most useful” positive and negative reviews, evaluate what was said by each side, and make a decision. So if my purchasing behavior is typical (questionable), stupid negative reviews don’t do anything interesting because they get ignored.

  7. I’m surprised he didn’t go the whole “Go Pirate it instead” bull. I hate that. 100% behind you on this. If you read the book, and don’t think it was worth the money you paid, that’s legit. But in my opinion any review that starts off, “I have not bought or read this book…” I can safely ignore every damn word after that. Because that’s crap. Everyone looking at that review even KNOWS it’s crap.

    You know what I do when I think something is too expensive to buy? I don’t buy it. Does it sometimes suck for me, that the neat thing I want/book, etc, is out of my price range? Sure. But if you have a budget, you stick with the budget. I don’t have an absolute right to have it just because I want it. If I’m lucky, a friend has a copy they can loan me, or I can see if the library has a copy. (Can even suggest they purchase a copy if they don’t have one, it’s as easy as finding it in their system and clicking on the “Recommend to buy” button.)

  8. Excuse me. I’m too busy going to Baen and paying $15 for my new Monster Hunter book to give a rat’s whatsit about what some goof on Amazon has to say.

    More important, when can I pay money for the hard cover? Because paying money for good books is what I like to do. Screw the library.

      1. Sorry, not as interested in that ever since they retroactively removed stuff from the Kindles that people legitimately paid for. It’s simpler to let them keep it like Piers Anthony did with the Infamous Orange and Grey bound “Ameron Publishing” pirate editions of Pornucopia. Oh, wait, he’d have been *RUINED* as an author if he let the publisher go try to collect back all of them- especially in the intrinsic manner that Amazon did (Which is to break into each purchaser’s house and take it…)

        NO, THANKS. I’ll buy from Baen directly if possible on e-copies and buy hardcopies instead.

  9. I should probably say first… great rant, loved it. Feel sort of bad for the guy. Remind me never ever to piss you off. $5 for 30K is not outrageous. Not at all.

    That said…

    I only get annoyed by buying a short story for full price when I didn’t realize how long it was when I bought it. Sort of like… 50 cents is a good price for half a loaf of bread, but if you thought you were getting a whole loaf for a great price, you still feel grouchy afterward.

    It also makes a difference when reading a story if you have an idea how much of it is left. With a paper book you know how long the author has to wrap it up because you can feel it in your hands. With a paper anthology you can fan through to find the beginning of the next story. When you’re a third of the way through a door-stop and it seems to be wrapping up you can feel the weight of the rest of the novel saying… don’t get too comfortable because *boom*, this is all going to go sideways, any moment now.

    So… if I could have my way, I really want to know the length of an ebook… if it’s a short story, or a longish short story, or a novella, or a novel, or all three volumes of Lord of the Rings. Both because I don’t want to be disappointed at not getting the “deal” I thought I was getting, and because it makes a difference on how I read it.

    Don’t eat me.

    1. Synova, Smashwords always gives a word count, if Amazon doesn’t have a word or page count on a book pop over there and check it out before buying at Amazon. Or download the free sample first, if the sample is only a page or two, you know its a short story.

  10. Shit, Bork, you better hurry over to Baen’s Webscriptions and dazzle those people with your brilliance and let them all know that they are chumps. If you don’t they might enjoy themselves wrong or something.

    I don’t know, having read some of the reviews over at BaenEbooks, I think Borkie might be over there from time to time.

  11. Hey… it seems that guy also doesn’t know that Amazon charges a rate for *each download* of said ebook based on its size in MB *and* royalties on a flat rate…

    So yeah… I’m not a math major (obviously, because I stupidly *pay* for things) but I think Amazon is making more off that $5 book than the publisher, IP owner and author combined.

  12. I priced my novellas at 2.99, mainly because I’m a total unknown. I haven’t gotten any stupid reviews on Amazon, but I got two 1 star reviews (no text) on Goodreads. Stupid.

  13. I follow one reviewer who reviews books like mine on her blog. Glad she does that. Not so happy about (fairly typical) — “I really liked the characters, the plot, the setting, it was so emotionally real. But I thought the info dump in chapter 4 which went on for four paragraphs was way too long though.” And dings the book. Everything in the novel was good but then there were these 4 paragraphs…

    That one wasn’t mine, but I got the “Loved X, Y, and Z, but I’m used to having internal speech represented in italics.” Ding.

    What exactly is the point of reviews like that? What about the actual book?

    1. The point is for her to exercise her power as a reviewer, and possibly to avoid accusations that she’s just a shill who likes everything. The actual book is more or less irrelevant.

    2. I think that Jeff is right.

      On the other hand, there is a single paragraph right in the middle of the Hobbit that is in present tense. I point this out as someone who is not *normally* OCD….

    3. That one wasn’t mine, but I got the “Loved X, Y, and Z, but I’m used to having internal speech represented in italics.” Ding.

      Wait…what?! Just how many books had this person previously read? Because that’s an extremely common method of representing internal speech. Like, I’d be a little wierded out if it wasn’t done that way (though not enough to change my rating of the book).

      Couple of years back I picked up a used copy of a book I already owned because the one I had was falling apart. Unbeknowngst to me, the used copy had been printed in Britain; how it made its way over the US is a mystery. But whoever printed the book used single quotes instead of double quotes for all the dialogue (I guess that’s a thing in Britain?). I wonder if this person would have downgraded that book if they had picked it up instead of me, and hadn’t read it before?

      1. Yes, in Britain they do the single/double quotes thing the reverse of the way Americans do it. It’s never bothered me any more than British spellings or terms. I do find their penchant for using plural pronouns for singular groups a little disconcerting, but I’m used to it. There are technical things beyond flat-out grammar/spelling/punctuation errors that I’ll ding a book for, like switching scenes or POV without a hiatus, but those are mostly personal preferences. I also won’t even read stuff written in present tense (hence, not being a doofus like Bork, I wouldn’t review it).

  14. Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Completely encapsulates my frustrations, especially the overwhelming frustration that occurs when I can’t respond to someone that obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. Thanks.

  15. Larry don’t worry we still love ya

    Oh and Melvin/Bork crack open a redbull unwrap a ho-ho and cram it.

  16. The eARC for Monster Hunter Nemesis came out today. It is FIFTEEN DOLLARS! And it isn’t even proof read!

    Hey! I totally proof read that book for you! It’s not my fault if you or Toni are too lazy to go through my notes afterwards… 😛

    1. Also, I may have “reviewed” your story now, too. *cough*

      I sure do hope you think it’s as funny as I do. 😀

  17. I’ve seen bad reviews for all kinds of crazy things. I don’t like it when people review and rate a book they haven’t read but I appreciate it if they say so up front so I can disregard their opinion and move on.

    I’m adult enough to see a review for what it is. If I see the same reviewer doing the rating/reviewing without reading the book move, I make sure to down-rate their review if I can and never pay attention to anything they’ve got to say again.

  18. “0 of 76 people found the following review helpful”. Heh.

    Me, I discount any review on Amazon that isn’t from a verified purchaser. I think more and more savvy people are starting to do the same.

    That won’t eliminate trolls entirely, but at least they’ll have to pay the author for the privilege.

  19. The only meaningful point is “Is it good”? I don”t read e-books but it is the same content as print. Why be unhappy? I just wish Larry would write a novel a month–I would happily pay. Already bought MHN at Amazon but must wait for happiness

    1. There are writers on Amazon that goes volume approach. Yes, they do write fast and there’s enough reader to support their output. I only wish Larry would write slightly faster. Now that I’m 1/3 done with Nemesis, I also need to buy the audio book version and the actual version when it’s published.

  20. I can’t stand when people leave reviews on books they didn’t read.If you didn’t read the book don’t review it. Not happy with the price? Move on and don’t buy it. Don’t like the author’s politics? So what? Don’t assume that just because someone doesn’t agree with a writer’s politics that they won’t like the book. Hell, I don’t agree with Larry’s politics for the most part (I’m Denver liberal, so I’ll hang on to my guns, thank you very much) but I’m still a big fan.

    Reviews should be about the quality of the book. Period.

  21. My last barely-a-novella of 18k words/60 pages was on Amazon for $0.99. I got all five stars and then one three star review because while the reviewer liked the book, she thought it was too expensive. I give up.

    1. Apparently, someone either doesn’t know that Amazon won’t let you price it for less than .99 (unless you give it away), or doesn’t believe writers deserve compensation for their hard work.

      It’s also possible that this moron is in both camps at the same time.

  22. Damn you Larry!

    You (well Bean actually I guess, but not gonna let facts interrupt my rant!) released this on a FRIDAY!?!
    Not only can’t I get to the “Overpriced” E-arc til Monday (Got range time, family and church this entire weekend) but I have to reread the first FOUR books ( the first three I have in paperback AND e-format! Huh, Audio available you say!?!?) in the series before I can read Nemesis.
    Stop sleeping in the pile of money I send you long enough to give a guy a warning about your next release, please!

  23. “(T)here should be an IQ test before people are allowed to use the internet, because you are really pissing off the rest of us who don’t sleep in helmets.”

    Quote of the day, right there.

  24. I have only ever read (or given up read) 1 book by a top seller (stephen King) that I hated, but I’m not going to negative review it because far to many people like it!
    People like Bork should be put down at birth!

    1. If you didn’t like it or gave up because it wasn’t for you then i say you should still leave a review.

      Bear with me and hopefully you’ll see why. I am a big guy, with a fairly sizeable melon. This means that when i shop online for some headphones for my PC i read all the reviews I can looking for similar big headed people. The reason why is a lot of them will leave a review about how a product is amazing until their own big headedness snapped one of the joints or squezess them hard enough to leave bruises. I will dig for these even on products that have 4 or 5 stars.

      The point is that with books i look for certain types of people who enjoy things in a similar way to me. Then I “trust” them to be honest in their reviews to either try or not try the product. Be it books or headphones.

      The review should always be about your experience with the product. let everyone else decide if what you say is relevant or not.

      1. The main reason why I don’t want to reply is because I have never read any other book by him so have nothing to base it on and 2 (don’t shoot me) I prefer Herbert!

        After I brought it, I read in the book that its was bad by his standards and I hoped that because he had said it had been rewritten that it would be better.

    1. That was the difference between a critic and a reviewer, according to Robert Heinlein.

      Critics never actually read the text. In his last book, the main characters invited reviewers and critics to a lounge set up for them. The reviewers all escaped by reading the simple directions printed on the exit.

      The critics had to resort to cannibalism.

  25. Thanks Larry– I am still spitting on a review of one of my short stories that was “fun” but he gave it a two star because he thought it was overpriced. I wanted to go to war over it and I am still unhappy– So thank you for the rant and ditto. especially when you said that he should write his own books and try to make money from it. I mean these folks will fork over five dollars for Starbucks.

  26. I despise ignorant snivelling whiners as well. If you’re going to bash a book you’ve never read with a review that displays your rampant ignorance of economics then you deserve to have a wrathful author summon an unholy shitstorm of vengance upon your ignorant hat rack. I’m one of those people who got the e-arc of MHI, MHV, MHA, MHL, and MHN. And the first four on kindle again so I could get the audiobooks cheaper version cheaper. And The Grimnoir Chronicles. What did it cost? More than the genius who never bothered to actually read Larry’s work ever spent on economics textbooks. Was it worth it? Every. Single. Penny. If you’re waffling on the MHN e-arc then stop. Satan’s G-Man is worth the $15 just like every other MH character Larry has written so far.

    1. Oh, please please….. Am I sensing an MHI-Atticus crossover/special/team-up?? With Oberon?? I just had a geek-gasm. Multiple.

      Just imagine the possibilities! The Earl-Oberon dialogues alone would be priceless.

      Need to go smoke now.

  27. Hey, Larry…relax. People love your work, your books are selling like the proverbial hotcakes, you’ve got a terrific family, you’re (hopefully) making a shitload of money because your product (entertainment) is so popular! Relax, man. Don’t blow a gasket. There are always going to be people who are uninformed and who make missteps. Now…breeeaaaath in, annnd…breeeeaaaath out, man….

    1. You have missed the checklist. I never do stuff like this for the person I’m talking to, but rather for my readers. Believe me, I’m fine. 🙂

  28. Mr Correia, while I am complete agreement on every point you make in this blog, it’s not your content that I’m going to comment on. It’s the very fact that you are making comments like these. I hope you realize how relatable being open like this makes you to us followers, fans and aspiring writers! After first reading the first Monster Hunter novel, I was an instant fan, so of course I looked you up to find out more about you. I was happily surprised to find that you did not appear to be some elitist who lorded over his fans. You seem like a regular guy who just happens to have all the necessary skills to tell wonderful stories. I like that. Makes me feel like I’m reading the work of a talented friend. This particular post only reinforces my early perception. I’m glad you feel open enough to share your honest thoughts with us. Thanks for making me feel like I’m in your inner circle. That’s a cool thing to be able to do!

  29. As a person who spent time sleeping in a helmet as a child (post-op from skull surgery), I admit I feel insulted by you lumping that moron in with me. Weak, man, weak.

  30. “Only if you get your books from a library you can’t really bitch about the cost in your pointless preachy reviews now, can you?”

    I can. My public library charges a one time fee of $10 for a card- for residents.

  31. Larry, making fun of trigger warnings is making fun of people with PTSD. There is nothing funny about that. Your temper tantrum is interesting, and you make some compelling points, but your profanity and the way you come down on “Bork” cost a few sympathy points with me. Hugh Howey blogged about a sneering agent at a literary event and later publicly apologized for calling her a bimbo. Amazon needs to hear that “I didn’t read the book” should disqualify those 1- and 2-star reviews. But you got personal with Bork. I don’t side with those who applaud you as “a toreador against the vicious bull of stupidity” — not that my opinion matters. Just sayin’.

    1. Oh horse shit. Concern trolling noted and dismissed.

      Considering my background, who I’ve worked with over my career, and my typical fan base, which one of us do you think knows more people with actual PTSD? Only most of my readers have a sense of humor to go with their nightmares, so they laugh at the easily butt hurt whiners looking for special victim status in everything.

      Or, I could just be making fun of the rash of whiny libprogs lately bitching about how everything they disagree with needs to come with a warning label to protect their feelings.

      No. Making fun of “trigger warnings” is not making fun of people with PTSD, no more than talking about somebody sleeping in a helmet is making fun of children with head injuries. I make my living using words. I paint pictures with words and convey meanings with words. If you search hard enough you can find that any word is potentially offensive to somebody, somewhere. And I can either write what I want, or I can tip toe around on egg shells worried about offending the perpetually offended, who are going to be offended anyway.

      So if I say something that can be construed to offend your personal whatever, oh well. You can either realize what manner it was intended in, or you can fill out your butt hurt form… Oh no! By saying butt hurt I have offended the millions who suffer from hemroids, polyps, and anal cancer! How insensitive!

    2. I don’t side with those who applaud you as “a toreador against the vicious bull of stupidity” — not that my opinion matters.

      You’re right. It doesn’t particularly.

      Still didn’t stop you from sharing it, now did it?

  32. When I finished Instruments of War, I wanted there to be more book. I found this disappointing. However, if I read a book and want more, that’s usually an indication I at least got my money’s worth.

  33. I heard a story maybe 20 years ago from a guy who had a nationally syndicated talk show. I forget his name, but he spoke about one of the ways he made his money when he was younger. I’m not sure if it’s still true but in the backs of comic books there used to always be a page or two of advertising for things like x-ray glasses, decoder rings, whatever. Well this guy ran an ad that as best as I can remember went along the lines of…

    “Own your own copy of a famous work of art! Based on an internationally renowned portrait of President Lincoln! Stamped out of copper to last a life time! Send $5 now to own your own copy of this beloved President!”

    People would send in their five dollars and a week or so latter receive an envelope with an index card in it with a copper penny taped to it. Stamping of Lincoln? Based on a famous work of art? Made of copper? Yep.

    Your reply to Bork56 reminded me of this story. While large chunks of it just seem to be you venting, the argument itself appears to boil down to two main points. One, he can’t comment on whether it is overpriced unless he bought and then read the story. Two, if he isn’t in the publishing business he isn’t qualified to say if it’s overpriced.

    While not a perfect match, I think the above helps explain why I disagree. You don’t need to have bought something, nor do you need to be intimate with the industry that produced it, in order to have a valid opinion on whether the price is too much.

    P.S. Do I agree with Bork56 that $5 is too much for a novella? No, not it it’s the right one. Of course for some, I wouldn’t download it if they were free.

    1. No, Larry’s point was that you shouldn’t post a review of a book/novella/whatever piece of fiction unless you’ve actually read said piece of fiction. Then, maybe you can say it’s overpriced or not.

      However, I would also argue that to determine if something is overpriced as a rule as opposed to costing more than you wish to pay, one does actually need to understand some facts about the publishing industry. For example, understanding the factors that come into play in determining the price of an item.

      Bork simply popped off that it was too high because it wasn’t a full book. He didn’t read it, he knew nothing about the publisher’s expenses, nothing. He popped off without understanding what he was talking about.

      Too bad there seems to be a lot of that going around.

    2. “No, Larry’s point was that you shouldn’t post a review of a book/novella/whatever piece of fiction unless you’ve actually read said piece of fiction. Then, maybe you can say it’s overpriced or not.”

      I’m pretty sure that what I wrote was essentially similar to this.
      The only way I can see where someone would think it wasn’t, is if I’m missing the point entirely. Are you perhaps saying that the publishing industry is an exception? That yes, while I could state an opinion on whether the bungalow down the street, or some used Ford Taurus is overpriced, without actually first buying the house or car, that with a work of fiction, no such comment may be made unless it is purchased first – no matter the price?

      In reading your comment again, maybe you are instead saying that yes, he is allowed to have an opinion on its price, but he is not allowed to post it anywhere unless he first purchases the story? I’m trying to figure out why you think what we wrote is different in some essential way.

      Or, are you truly saying, not that fiction is an exception, but that there is no object in the world where anyone can form a valid opinion on its price, unless they first purchase it, and maybe not even then, unless they have more than a passing familiarity with the industry that produced it?

      If you meant one of the things above, I guess we just have a different opinion, but perhaps your meaning was something else?

      1. Don, are you trying to be obtuse? Seriously? I ask because what you said wasn’t even in the same ballpark as what I said. I’m not entirely sure it was on the same planet.

        You said: “Your reply to Bork56 reminded me of this story. While large chunks of it just seem to be you venting, the argument itself appears to boil down to two main points. One, he can’t comment on whether it is overpriced unless he bought and then read the story. Two, if he isn’t in the publishing business he isn’t qualified to say if it’s overpriced.

        While not a perfect match, I think the above helps explain why I disagree. You don’t need to have bought something, nor do you need to be intimate with the industry that produced it, in order to have a valid opinion on whether the price is too much. “

        An opinion is fine. Larry never said crap about having an opinion. But Bork posted a review of the item without having read said item.

        Everyone’s got a right to say, “$5 buck for something that isn’t even a full book? No way in hell.”

        However, when they post a review on Amazon and say they didn’t even read the book, we’re in different territory. Those reviews impact the overall rating of a book, which does affect where it shows up rankings. That in turn can hurt a story’s sales numbers, and ultimately an author’s livelihood. Larry’s story will now be ranked below another story that has the same reviews except for Bork’s.

        Bork didn’t hop on a blog and voice his opinion, which I think few would argue is out of line. No, he did it somewhere that can impact the sale of the story to people who don’t even see his review..

        Had he bought the story, and then said he thought $5 was a bit much for what he got, hey, that’s part of the review. At that point, Larry has the choice to either discount a dissatisfied customer (which he’s had to do, I’m sure), or work harder to make sure that customer isn’t dissatisfied.

        What you said, however, was that Larry’s wrong to take issue with a review from someone who’s never bothered to read the piece. Opinions and reviews aren’t necessarily the same thing, and Bork didn’t just express an opinion, he did it somewhere that it didn’t belong.

        I’m sorry, but I don’t see how someone can argue otherwise.

    3. Ahhh… I think I’m beginning to see now. Part of the issue might be that I think we are using two different meanings of the word ‘review’.

      So, it seems the main issue isn’t that the guy thought it was overpriced without first purchasing it, or even necessarily that he wrote somewhere that he thought it was overpriced without first reading it, but rather that he posted that opinion somewhere that needed a star rating assigned to it, and by giving it two stars on Amazon, Bork56 lowered the average rating some amount, which might of negatively effected a third parties decision to buy, and therefore his post at least potentially lowered the author’s income?

      Phew! Long sentence. Anyways, hopefully I’m closer this time. If so, that of course then begs the question, would anyone of cared so much what Bork56 wrote if he had instead assigned his comment a rating of five stars?

      1. Yeah, it looks like we’re on the same page now.

        And, had Bork assigned five stars for his “review”, it would have been just as idiotic since he still posts a critique of a business practice as a review. However, it wouldn’t have also had the added problem of dropping the average review in Amazon’s algorithms. So, it’s possible there would be less outrage, but the stupidity of it would be the same.

  34. That rant was worth $5.95 where do i pay?… a tall order that should at least shut some haters up… or make some people think before writing… not riding your d.I.c.k…. but right on L.C…. got my order for Nemisis… been dying for it be easy!

  35. Loved reading you as always, then I saw the Nemesis eARC is out. For the life of me I can’t find where on Baen’s site I go to get it. I remember doing it for Legion, but it seems like they changed it. There should be a shorter path from my money to you so I can be reading it sooner.

      1. Aaaand I just noticed the blog post announcing it’s release. With a link. Gotta stop reading this thing on my phone, I miss stuff.

  36. The guy writing the price for short story is an idiot. However, 5 bucks for 83 pages means I love you as much as my wife (which I don’t btw). Your good but your not that good if you get my meaning. As for the fans, which includes me, they really are the only ones who will pay this price so you have to ask yourself is you story worth stripping 5 bucks out of your fans pocket? Its worth a buck fifie.

    If it meant paying more for a short story so you could sit your ass down and finish a novel for us then I’ll pay you 10 bucks, even 20 for christs sake, but one again, come on Larry, the only reason I stick around is because your novels are great and I would really like to see you completing pages then spending a lot of good effort and thought in writing a response about idiots.

    I understand who you are and just so were clear, I am a person that wants you to COMPLETE A DAMN BOOK!

    Thanks for listening!



  37. As with all the things I buy, I try to find the best price, and then the decision is simple, is the cost of the product less than the benefits I get from purchasing it. If so, I buy it. Each decision is a little different as there are more options when buying ebooks than with say, Apple Computers.

    Sometimes I just plain like an Author and I buy everything they do without additional analysis so as to encourage them to write more and for beginning authors, help them survive the starting out process.

    Frankly I don’t care if it’s the publishers price or the authors price as I don’t know the terms of their contracts. Most publishers I have no brand awareness of, but I do like Baen and try to buy their books directly so they get all the margin.

    I may mention in my review I think the price is high, but don’t take stars away for that, although I may add a star for a 99 cent book that I really enjoyed. Go figure I suppose that’s helping a new author with promise more than anything else.

    Thanks for the thoughtful blog comments and exciting books and stories you’ve published.

  38. Amazon has encouraged the ebook nazis to go after authors who dont lower prices of ebooks or dont release on ebook. Go read the reviews of A Memory of Light. Go to 1 star. You will see that most of the 1 star reviews are ‘you didn’t release this in ebook format from the start, I am going to just download it when you do and will never buy it so take that

    John Scalzi has made a similiar post about negative reivews that is pretty good. Just cause you don’t like his politics doesn’t mean he can’t have similiar opinions about his profession.

    Alot of what I like and dislike is about personal taste. It doesn’t mean its an awful book because I didn’t like it. So when I think about whether I liked a book or not, I usually go ‘do I dislike because its just not my thing, or is it someone trying to do something I would like, but just did a really bad job at it’.

    This is art. You will never please anyone. Think of your favorite anything and go to Amazon, you will see negative reviews. I do find it funny that people often can’t separate person taste from quality. For example, I don’t like young adult literature. This doesn’t mean Harry Potter sucks. I prefer more sophisticated writing. The light stuff bores me. I like historical fiction, but I generally prefer history books that take place a long time ago than one that took place in the 19th or 20th century. The farther back in time you go , the more it peaks my interest. . I have a George Carlin view on history ‘its hard to feel nostalgic about something that happened a little while ago’. I am not even sure why. It just does. I think its because most of the history we got in school was recent and for a while I thought ‘ok what the hell happened before that?’ I had to go figure that out by myself.

    Don’t like graphic novels. I don’t have a reason for this. They just don’t interest me. I can’t even tell you why. Good reviewers can tell the difference.

    This is why I like the Elitist Book Review site so much. Larry pushed it to get nominated for a Hugo. They do a GREAT job reviewing books. I have found books there that they did NOT like, but the review explained it well enough for me to think, ‘maybe Ill like this’. I did. I have seen books they loved and read the review and decided ‘not my thing.’

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