File 770 is mad at me again, so I explain how authors Get Paid

I got a track back in the comments on this: 

Glyver has had this weird hate boner for me ever since I meddled in the sainted Hugo process. I can’t imagine why a guy with 28 Hugo nominations would be upset when somebody starts a campaign to get outsiders nominated. Of course, he gets just about everything wrong in his summation of what Sad Puppies is about, but we’re used to that sort of hit and run tactic. At least he didn’t say it was about promoting racism.

I don’t have time to do a proper fisking, but the article is about the latest Vox vs. Scalzi thing, and somehow I got drug into it. Apparently Scalzi got angry on Twitter because people kept telling him I make more money than he does. A. I have no idea if I do or not. B. I don’t really care.

Somehow I got appointed to be the right wing’s “gold standard” so Glyver then goes about to prove how I’m really not and later the commenters helpfully explain how my career is in “free fall.” Hoo boy, here we go. They really shouldn’t say stuff like that to a retired accountant.

First off, let’s go through how the New York Times list actually works. It is confusing, biased, and not particularly accurate. Yes, I’ve been happy every time I’ve made the list. I’m also happy to use the NYT Bestselling bit in bios for one big reason. Most regular people, even those who don’t pay attention to the writing world think it is a big deal. So the title has some prestige to it, but it really shouldn’t, and I’ll explain why.

The NYT bestseller list is based upon the reported numbers from a select, supposedly secret group of reporting bookstores. It is also based on the sales for one week, so it isn’t looking at overall sales as much as sales velocity. For example, if a book sells a thousand copies a week for the whole year, it probably won’t make the list, but if a book sells 10k copies in one week and never sells another copy again, it will be a bestseller. This is how the Snookis and various Real House Wives end up on the list, yet they’re the most bargain binned and remaindered type of book there is.

Because the supposedly secret reporting stores aren’t really secret to any publicist, if a publisher wants to spend enough marketing money they can game the system and shove a book onto the list for a bit.  You just need to sell a bunch of books through the reporting stores (of course it depends on who else has something new you are competing against that week too). Some publishers have been more dishonest about this than others. I skimmed the linked Vox article. That’s what he’s talking about. How I got roped into this, I have no clue.

As for Vox’s article, a couple of things, I’ve got no clue if Tor’s marketing games the system and even if they did, to be fair Scalzi would have zero input over what the marketing department at his publisher does. Most publicists are going to send you to those reporting stores to do signings. Sometimes they’ll do co-op advertising (yeah, the big displays of books at the front of the store? Publishers pay for those).

As for making the list one week, sci-fi and fantasy are such comparatively small genres that unless they’ve got something else going for them they will usually only be on there for a week. Keep in mind that the NYT isn’t breaking it out by genre, which is why the list is usually dominated by thrillers and romances. If a fantasy has a media tie in, like Game of Thrones, Outlander, or True Blood, then that gets it out of the sci-fi/fantasy sales ghetto and keeps those books on the list for long periods of time. The only other fantasy novels that hang on for long times are the A lister stars like Brandon Sanderson or Scott Card. The rest of us show up for a week or not at all.

Making the list is really nice for an author, because then you get a little bit of extra attention you might not have otherwise got, but remember aspiring authors, the important thing is that you GET PAID. It doesn’t take into account most bookstores. It doesn’t take into account eBooks. It doesn’t take into account foreign sales, ancillary rights, audiobooks, etc. All of those things enable you to GET PAID.  And the most important thing in the world for getting paid is that your older backlist of books are still on shelves, and still slowly selling, so you’re still getting paid for work you did years ago.

The most accurate measure of book sales is Nielsen Bookscan, because about 70% of bookstores report their sales to it. It is a way better measure than the NYT, but since most regular people have never heard of it, that’s why you never see authors putting Nielsen Bookscan bestseller on their bios. Keep in mind however that saying something is more accurate than the NYT is damning with faint praise, most of that sweet paying stuff I listed in the previous paragraphs isn’t in there either, so it is only a partial picture of how an author is actually doing.

Here is an article from Forbes about the problems with Bookscan.   So basically they account for 70% of 50%, but that’s still more accurate than the NYT.

My last release was Monster Hunter Nemesis. It was the biggest release I ever had. According to Nielsen I was #2 in fantasy (lost to Outlander). I hit #1 on all of Audible and hung out in the top 10 for the month. On Amazon, I had the #1 urban fantasy eBook, and hung out in the top 10 for the month. I’m pretty damned happy about that. It didn’t make the NYT list at all.

Glyver called me Garth Brooks… Well, 2 seconds of Google and Forbes says Garth Brooks’ net worth is 150 million, so I wish.  Sick burn, dude.

Then there was this winner in the comments:

Well, according to Bookscan Larry’s sales are in freefall. His first mm pb book sold some 51,000 copies, but that was back in 2009, which was an entire different publishing world, then. His latest book in mass market? 3500 copies, at best. He seems to be trading on past success,but honestly most of his books (and his compatriots) are selling poorly. Hoyt’s latest? 200 copies. Freer’s? 600 copies. If anything a lot of this is just knee-jerking on their part, and suggestive that perhaps they should figure out why their sales are plummeting, instead of picking on others for their misfortunes.

Huh? I’m not sure which misfortunes I’m picking on, and since I keep making more money, I’m not really sure how I can plummet upwards.

For my stats I’m not really sure what he’s looking at there, since my last mass market to come out was Warbound in May, which sold about that many, except it came out in hard cover first and had already done pretty good there (not to mention I earned back most of my advance off of eARC sales on that one!).  I can’t speak for Dave or Sarah, but I’ll go through how those numbers can be extremely misleading.

I want to concentrate on the “trading on past success” bit. This irks my inner-auditor to no end, and I really want to crush it, but at the same time I don’t want to start throwing out my personal finances on the internet. So I’m trying to think about how to phrase this without my publisher or my wife yelling at me.

Every single royalty check I’ve had has been larger than the previous one. If I was trading on past successes, wouldn’t that be going the other way? On the contrary, my last royalty was 11% higher than the prior one. That one was 28% higher than the one before it. That one was up 15%, which was good since it was up a massive 43% from the one before it. (all the accountants are laughing now because they realize I’ve gotten back into the statistical trickery of how it looks way more impressive to go to 3 from 2, rather than 7 books to 8).  One reason my royalties have continued to grow is that my earlier books are still consistently selling and being reordered, so it makes for a nice continual income stream.

The more stuff you get out there, the more backlist you’ve got to sell, the more money you make. Like I said earlier, I don’t know which one of us makes more money, but I’ve only been doing this since 2009, and Scalzi’s got like a 5 year head start on me, so just by sellable backlist growth he should be making more money.

To give those of you who want to be professional full time authors here is an example of how a D List author’s stuff breaks down. My last royalty check was for the 6 month period ending December 31st, 2013. Because there is a delay in how royalties are calculated, my last 3 books aren’t on there yet. This is just royalties, not advances. To be vague but give you a ballpark, my royalties for those 6 months was about four times the median per capita yearly income for my state (thanks Wikipedia!).

Of that, only 1% was from Dead Six. My military thrillers don’t get shelved in the Larry Correia section of your local B&N, so after their release they have fallen off. It was a higher % last statement. Swords isn’t on there yet. Keep in mind that number is only half of what the book made because I’m splitting it 50/50 with my co-author. So you might ask, why bother with the thrillers? Why finish the trilogy? These certainly aren’t the most economically efficient use of my writing time, but I enjoy writing them, and my 50% has still made enough off D6 to pay about 10 mortgage payments over the last couple years.

Hard Magic and Spellbound both made a consistent 21%, for 42% of my royalties for the 6 month period. Warbound will be on the next one. None of the Grimnoir trilogy made the NYT list, but now this is where it gets interesting and we have some fun with statistics. So far in total I’ve made almost as much money off of each Grimnoir novel as I have off of the MH novels. Spellbound and Warbound both had bigger selling release weeks than MHA or MHV (which both made the NYT), so what’s the deal? These must be indicators of my “freefall” right?

Nope. Let’s take Hard Magic for example. Keeping things vague, so far Hard Magic has earned money sufficient to make about 50 of my mortgage payments (for perspective, I live in the mountains by a ski resort in a 4,500 square foot house I built 3 years ago, so it ain’t too shabby), or to put it another way, about 1/3 of that Aston Martin I really want (damn you, Clarkson, for showing me the car that haunts my dreams).  But here’s where it gets interesting. 44%(!) of that money is from subrights.

Subrights include things like audio books and foreign translations. None of the Grimnoir novels made the NYT, but they’ve been some of the bestselling audio books on Audible for a few years now. If I could sell regular books proportionate to how I’ve done in audio, I’d already have that DB9. Foreign isn’t anything to sneeze at either. Of the translations, Grimnoir is doing surprisingly well in France. I’ve got a Chinese translation coming out too that I’m really excited for (Asia loves noir-pulp).

Another interesting stat to be gleaned from looking at Hard Magic’s details, and I can’t say anything more specific about this one because I know Toni would kill me, but the percentage from Baen’s Webscriptions (eBooks direct from Baen) is surprisingly large. These aren’t recorded on any bestseller list, but man, it is like having a second Amazon sized amount of money coming in. There’s a lot of loyal customers on there, and eARCs are awesome.

So now let’s get into the books that pay my bills. 57% of my royalties for that period were for MHI, MHV, MHA, and MHL. Nemesis just came out a few months ago, so I won’t see it for a bit. How these have broken down is that I always get a spike from the most recent, and then it tapers off on later statements. MHV has been out for 4 years, but it still earned enough in this 6 month period to pay 7 mortgage payments (or enough to make sure that DB9 has the nice interior and cup holders!).

The subrights percentage for the MHI books varies, but is a bit lower overall that Grimnoir. It has done better in print, done pretty darn good in audio, but hasn’t had nearly as many foreign translations. (A German one just came out this year, so I’m curious how that will do). However, that subrights percent has been higher on previous statements when I’ve been paid for the TV options (MH has been optioned for TV, Grimnoir hasn’t). Now TV option money isn’t huge, but it is nice. Production on the other hand, that’s huge money.

The way TV and movies work is that a production company “options” your book. That basically means they’re paying you money so they can hold onto the rights to keep you from selling it to somebody else. Then in the contract, if they actually go into production you get paid a whole lot more. You’ll see authors refer to something as being “in development” and that usually means that their book has been optioned. That sounds great and all but you need to realize the vast majority of the things Hollywood options never get made. MH has been optioned for 3 years and they’ve finally brought in screen writers and moved it out of development limbo, but since this is Hollywood, I’m not holding my breath. I’ll believe it when the production check clears. Then it is super car time.

I’ve only talked about royalties and subrights, not advances. Now every publisher is different but normally an author will be paid an “advance against royalties” that you’ve got to earn back first before you start collecting royalties. However, every single one of my books has earned out during the first royalty period so it hasn’t mattered much. I’m not exactly living paycheck to paycheck here, and my paychecks are 6 months apart.

When you are starting out, big advances are nice, because that means the publisher is probably going to spend some marketing energy on you. Maybe. But if it doesn’t earn out in a timely manner, that publisher may now look at you as a financial loser. My advances now are pretty decent, but when I was just starting out they were small. The way my advances are structured I get a third on signing, a third on turn in, and a third on release. I’ll have two turn ins this year. None of the money I’ve talked about so far has included the advances. The way it has worked out for me, advances are nice, but I’ve made the real money long term.

In 2011 my writing income increased 65% over 2010’s total. 2012 I only had an 11% increase. 2013 made up for it with a 56% increase. 2014 is on track to handily beat last year. I’ve already paid more in withholding taxes than I made in all of 2010. So my “plummet” is kind of backwards, since it goes up, but I’m guessing Glyver’s posters aren’t accountants.

The lesson to be taken from this, those of you who want to make a living at it, is that you need to keep producing books. Some will do better than others. But the more you produce, the more likely somebody is to read your stuff and tell their friends. Eventually you’ll end up with a chunk of shelf at the local bookstores devoted to you, which they’ll keep restocking as your backlist sells. The big flashy hit is nice and all, but a steady, reliable, and growing audience is pretty damned sweet.

For example, I don’t think Lee Modesitt has ever made the NYT bestseller list. Except Lee has 50 something books still in print, continuously selling, all over the world. The man has done extremely well for himself.  I’d rather be Lee than a NYT bestseller nobody ever hears of again.

Do you get now why looking at one number in a vacuum can be really misleading? Yes, in 2009 I sold a lot of MHI paperbacks, except I sold almost nothing in eBook, had zero hardcover sales, and zero subright’s money.  Or another way to look at it, I made more money off of writing short stories and game tie in fiction last year than I made in all of 2010. In 2013 I sold $108,000 worth of MHI merchandise.

Apparently Garth Brooks and I both have friends in low places. 🙂

EDIT, months later, because I am an accountant, and therefore have to complete whatever I start, the last royalty check of 2014 was 37% bigger than the big one I talked about above. And total 2014 closed out 36% bigger than 2013.

Never, fight an accountant when math is on the line. 🙂

Into the Storm review from Bell of Lost Souls
The Winning Story from the Baen Fantasy Contest: The Golden Knight

236 thoughts on “File 770 is mad at me again, so I explain how authors Get Paid”

  1. I’m trying to figure out why any writer gives a crap what some intertard thinks about sales, and why it matters. They can cool story, bro, all they want. It doesn’t affect sales or story quality.

    Basically, they hate you for being successful, and call it “privilege” to pretend it’s not a sign of awesomeness.

    And then they die, and nothing of value is lost.

    1. Michael, it’s that accountant spirit in him that just will not let a financial slur stand. It’s against the very numerical fiber of his being to let inaccurate booking statement fly by. You can take a man out of the accountant’s office, you cannot take the accountant out of a man.

    2. Michael, I picked up your novel FREEHOLD for the bargain sum of free on Kindle. I thought “hmmm… that’s worth a try”.

      I liked it so much I stayed up to the wee hours finishing it and then immediately bought the second instalment. I’m up to book four now.

      So, please stop writing Freehold books, they’re more addictive than crack. If you insist on continuing to write excellent novels set in the fascinating Freehold universe, my wife will hire some rogue Operatives and a trained leopard to find you. And you know those kitties have claws.

  2. Hm. Well, Garth has a following in country music (No, I am not going to be dragged into any debate about what “real” country music is) and he helped make that genre (ooh! That word) gain popularity in the 90s. I guess he thought that comparing you to him was the musical equivalent of calling you a copy of Robert E. Howard and doing so was going to leave you bleeding on the floor.

    1. He was asserting that LC had faded and was asking if he, like G. Brooks, could make a comeback. Anyway, Howard’s not the Brooks of writing. That would be someone like Dan Brown.

  3. I am so tired of this crap. Why does it matter? I just don’t understand the vitriol people are throwing out there. READ the book or don’t read it, but base it on whether it is good or not, not the author’s political leanings. You do that and you won’t miss out on good stories. I guess that is the problem with open comment sections; everyone thinks they have something of import to say. Which they don’t. First time a read a series of comments I came to several conclusions:

    1) A lot of people have a lot of time on their hands
    2) Spelling is no longer a priority or a concern
    3) People swear a lot
    4) People make stuff up and call it fact
    5) Most people are idiots
    6) Now I seem to be one of them (except for the swearing)

      1. Arithmetic is a tool of the patriarchy! So is civilization!

        Hmm. Given all the benefits of civilization, including but not limited to hot running water and electricity, I’m going to be a “gender traitor” and throw in with this here patriarchy thing, then.

      2. Even scarier, it has been determined that the patriarchy has access to things like cold beer, hot tasty barbecued ribs, the freedom to discuss non-leftist issues openly, chocolate, Monster Hunter books, and awesome firearms that make liberals and Marxists shit themselves. 😀

        Oh, and Science Fiction/Fantasy conventions where people can have a lot of fun……

      3. Arwen, on September 18, 2014 at 1:26 am said:

        “The patriarchy has cookies. :D”


        The patriarchy has barbeque.
        It’s the matriarchy that does baked good.

        (nobody can whup me in the knuckledragger neanderthal arena!)

        1. “The patriarchy has barbeque.
          It’s the matriarchy that does baked good.”

          We, the Patriarchy, have cookies…

          …but who do you think we have making them? It sure as hell ain’t us. 🙂

    1. There’s nothing funnier than seeing guys like Scalzi and Hines parrot the most insane radical black gay feminist theory from 1980, with the patriarchy and the white privilege and the whole nine yards.

      Funny of course unless you’ve essentially had the right to work stolen from you, which our social justice warriors would do and have tried to do in a heartbeat without blinking. And look at the witchhunt that’s stolen the NFL’s Ray Rice’s livelihood from him because regular law is not enough. It’s not enough with rape culture either. And both Heinlein and Asimov have been tried in absentia and convicted of crimes that puts their books on a not-to-read list alongside Card, Corriea and who knows how many others. The other funny thing is our “progressive” social justice warriors are just like the people who burned Beatles records.

      The only reason Orson Scott Card is a star at Tor is because he came in long before radical feminism took over core SFF 5 years ago. Had Card come in 5 years ago the SJWs would’ve cut short his career any way possible and have tried anyway. It’s now easy to understand why we have no Heinlein’s and Asimov’s in core SF. The ironic way to success in SFF is to stay as far from the core WorldCon, ReaderCon, WisCon, SFWA community as possible. When the initial DetCon opening ceremony makes a big deal about its sexual harassment policy rather than SF while stupidly calling itself the North America SF Convention, you just know more trouble is on the way.

      Our social justice warriors see themselves as an adjunct to law enforcement more than genre writers and the new court system is on Twitter.

      1. I named my last three handguns Civility, Discourse and Comity. I bought Civility, an Uberti Cattleman in .44 Mag, right after the social justice warriors tried to pin the Giffords’ shooting on Sarah Palin’s “incivility” in a campaign flyer. Discourse is my First Model Dragoon black powder revolver, named because used properly it can quickly resolve a dispute but improperly it simply clouds the issue beyond all resolution, and Comity because it’s my Tokarev and it’s the closest I’ll come to admitting I have a Commie Fun Gun.

        Guess I’ll have to name the next one “Privilege.” “Check your privilege!” “Yep, round chambered and safe…where ya goin’?”

      2. And both Heinlein and Asimov have been tried in absentia and convicted of crimes that puts their books on a not-to-read list alongside Card, Corriea and who knows how many others.

        Heinlein’s been ‘tried’ because people found/find his books to be dated (Starship Troopers and its notions of citizenship, Farnham’s Freehold due to its racism [, & ); as for Asimov, he’s taking a beating because women don’t like being touched inappropriately at conventions, and Asimov had been doing this for years ( [plus’s a serious thing to do and be accused of, which would dampen the reputation of anybody who did that.

  4. Larry, you can type really fricking fast. 🙂

    Seems a shame to waste it on the likes of Scalzi and whoever this File770 wanker is… but then the internet head explosions are -so- enjoyable.

    I figure if you’re getting called out by these doofi, you’ve got to be doing something right.

    Evil looms. Kill it. Get paid.

    1. The doofi worship doof in a very cult like fashion.

      I tend to refer to them in their collective group-think as doofinarians.

  5. “Apparently Garth Brooks and I both have friends in low places.”

    You say that like it’s a *bad* thing, Larry…. 😉

    1. In his place, I’d have only three words to say about that: “Dodge Challenger Hellcat.” Less expensive, lots more horsepower and a dealer that’s lots closer to home than the nearest Aston franchise.

      (And likely two more words after those – “Oh, s**t!” – as me and my new Hellcat find ourselves heading toward a telephone pole; my driving skills being wholly inadequate to properly controlling 707 hemified horsepower on public roads. OTOH, wrecking a Vanquish would hurt even worse, no?)


      1. I was actually looking at the Audi A5 and S5 the other day, and that’s saying something, because regardless of how well I’m doing, I’m the kind of guy who drives a 2005 Ford Expedition with 120,000 miles on it.

        I talk a big game about buying a super car, but I’m just such an accountant at heart. My lifestyle really hasn’t changed that much. I’ve just been making double or triple house payments every month. Knocking off half your 30 year mortgage in 3 years is pretty sweet. 🙂

      2. Do Astons have those highly bolstered super car seats so you can tear around corners at 1g? Clarkson complains about those from time to time and it seems to me like you wouldn’t like them either.

      3. William:

        Fiat bought them. Actually, they bought the intellectual property, tooling, and all other physical assets, and then created a new company called Chrysler.

        Then they moved damned near everything out of Detroit, and laughed their asses off at the NLRB, and told them to go talk to the board of the old Chrysler corp.

      4. Dodge Challenger….

        Sounds great. Except they went begging to the Feds for bailout money in ’08. I will never again buy a GM or Chrysler automobile. Ford? Sure. They man’d up and made it work on their own. The others? Jackasses who decided to leach off the rest of us instead of standing on their own two legs. To hell with them.

      5. In his place, I’d have only three words to say about that: “Dodge Challenger Hellcat.” Less expensive, lots more horsepower and a dealer that’s lots closer to home than the nearest Aston franchise.

        OTOH, wrecking a Vanquish would hurt even worse, no?)

        Mentioning both of those cars (in particular the Vanquish [aka the Vanish from Die Another Day]) reminds me of an idea I’ve always had about James Bond having access to a Dodge Challenger (or Charger) if he ever was in the United States on a mission in a movie, and what said Charger/Challenger would be equipped with. It would shock any long time James Bond movie fan that he’s driving in an American car, but of course, that shock would wear off once it did what most of these cars do when shown on screen in a movie.

    2. Larry, look at the Mini, it’s economical enough for your accountant’s heart, with the seats folded you can carry anything, it corners on rails, and from the stop light to the speed limit you can play F-1 driver all day. And my kid is about your size. both of us fit.

      1. Penn Jillette, at least at one time, drove a Mini Cooper because it was roomy enough for him. I assume that the back seat passenger would have to do without legs, but if Larry is using it as an ersatz super car, that shouldn’t be a problem.

    1. Been asking for that book for a few years now. I’d be willing to pay some good money for that collection.
      It would make a awesome popcorn read!

        1. Nope. I have a terrible voice. I suck at doing readings.

          Now John Brown could narrate his own books. Dude has perfect radio announcer voice.

  6. Isn’t the proprietor of this blog currently contracted for over a dozen projects, both on his own and in collaboration with other authors?

    How is that evidence of “plummeting popularity?”

        1. Next one out is a new series. Epic fantasy. But I figured I earned a new one because I actually wrapped up a trilogy. 🙂

      1. Nope, it means I have no access to excuses. I must only blame myself, which I don’t mind. Really, I don’t. I’m going to look at myself in the mirror now and demonstrate my disapproval with severely raised eyebrows and a firmly set mouth. Seeing myself being so disappointed in, me, it’ll make me feel bad and ashamed of my failure. And then I’ll resolve to fix the situation. The hell with privilege.

      2. I resemble that remark 🙂
        I have found so far that every new novel I throw into the mix does increase all my sales across the board, although the initial numbers are orders of magnitude lower, I’m sure. Still, I’m hoping that by the time I’ve got half a dozen novels in the can (hopefully next year) I will be able to afford an Aston-Martin (the battery-powered kind you can remote control, that is).

      3. Tell me.

        Larry, thanks for the interesting breakdown. I appreciate seeing it. I’m still new at all this and am decidedly not known. But the name of the game seems to be persistence, and in this case, persistence equals _backlist_.

        I’d love to have L.E. Modesitt, Jr.’s career, personally. He’s written funny novels; he’s written serious novels; he’s written hard SF, soft SF, all sorts of fantasy . . . anything he wants, he writes, and it all sells.

        Who wouldn’t want that?

        Anyway, keep going as you are . . . or as the late Jim Valvano said to his 1983 Wolfpack team, “Survive and advance.”

      4. Barb: The big problem these days is that thanks to changes in the tax laws a couple decades ago (iirc) publishers no longer maintain warehouses of back catalog. They can no longer deduct the cost of inventory or not count it as an asset or something like that. If it doesn’t sell right away, it gets destroyed.

        Gone are the days of the catalog pages in the back of your paperback offering up other books by the author or related authors.

        That’s one of the greatest boons of the eBook revolution, in that your back catalog can EXIST again and readers can buy it.

        Of course, Book CONTRACTS are still written as if the publishers actually had inventory for years after publication, as if they intended to keep your book in print for a decade….

        1. I believe this is the decision to which you are referring:

          As I recall, Thor Power Tool kept an inventory of spares which they sold to owners of their old tool models and they wrote them off as sales declined because the tools which the parts fit slowly dropped out of service.

          I think the IRS told them that they actually had to scrap the parts to establish their market value and write off the difference.

          This may have had an effect on publishers, but as I understand it, it is not generally considered to be as significant as the expense of warehousing unsold books.

          Some non-electronic books do stay in print for a long time. If they sell enough, it’s worth paying to store an inventory. Heinlein is usually in print. I assume the contracts have to be written without knowledge of whose book will still sell in 20 years.

          1. It wouldn’t be significant, IF the publishing industry believed in such things as fair and honest accounting.

            But the reality is, they pulp a lot of books and you can’t get any backstock from them, especially as a mid-lister.

        2. I’m having trouble getting all the comments to load, but I saw your answer and agree with you. The e-book revolution has been enormously helpful, especially to people who already have names and reputations (or were in the process of making them when e-books started coming to the fore.)

          And “creative accounting” has been around for at least the past fifty years in publishing, from what I can tell.

          Anyway, I’m all for e-books. 🙂 And I’m also for accurate information, which is why I found Larry’s post both enlightening and beneficial.

  7. Thanks for the lesson in book financial accounting (or whatever you call it).

    Got to say though, while the Aston is nice, my heart yearns for street legal a Ford GT40. But, if we all liked the same things, think of what a huge pumpernickel shortage there’d be. 😉

    1. @Writer in Black:
      Ever sat in a GT40? The rear window is significantly smaller than a European license plate, and the fastback lines block vision down to ‘tunnel’ and backing up is an act of faith and desperation. I think I still have a crick in my neck.

      You can’t see over the top of…. pretty much anything. Ford stopped production because it was too short for the new NHTSA regs, and they declined to redesign.

      1. Ford stopped production because it was too short for the new NHTSA regs, and they declined to redesign.

        Further proof the government ruins everything they touch.

        1. David, just so you know Expendable Henchman really knows his cars. I mean, like REALLY KNOWS CARS. 🙂 I don’t know if he wants me to out what he does for a living, but when I do get around to finally buying a super car (which I will, just because I want to post pictures to rub my success in the SJW’s faces) I’m calling him for advice first.

          1. Not really questioning that Larry, but there are two (actually more than two since the original went through several iterations as the governing body of the 24 hours of LeMans kept changing the rules–largely in response to Ford’s cars winning) different cars. There was the original race car (which also had a “street legal” version that sold some) and there was a more or less replica car Ford did as showroom bait (and selling a few) a few years ago. The stopped producing because of the NHTSB rules and Ford’s refusal to change the design suggests the latter. I was just curious as to which.

            BTW, the “40” in GT-40 refers to the height of the roof above the pavement. It is a _tiny_ car (as most purpose built race cars are wont to be), lower than even my Miata (at 48.6″, well, make that 47-ish with the competition suspension). So I am well aware of the GT-40’s ergonomic limitations. Don’t care. Still consider it just about the most beautiful car ever built, never mind the performance and handling one would expect out of a winning LeMans race car.

            I am not a big man, nowhere near your category, but I have odd proportions (I’m going somewhere with this). I have a really long upper body and short legs and shorter arms. I usually have a problem fitting most cars. I lower/lean the seat back to fit my upper body, then cram forward with my knees bumping the dash to be able to reach the steering wheel without question. So any “end game” car I figure I’ll need custom work on the interior, at the least a custom seat and a “deep dish” steering wheel.

          2. Truth is, particularly considering the rather limited supply of “real” GT-40’s, I’ll probably end up going with one of the replica “kit cars” which will allow me to tweak the construction to make sure that I fit–always a problem with a real “sports car” type performance car. (Muscle cars and the like are a different matter, but they face different challenges.) So, anything I get will have to have some custom work done, if only in an aftermarket seat, steering wheel, and shifter.

      2. @TWIB: I was referring to the newer “Ford GT”. I have no first hand driving experience with originals.

        I once took a vintage original sporty car for a very thorough drive, only to discover much later that the car had a cracked rear upright. Had it let go while I was enjoying it, I’d have been a million dollar aluminum speckled red and black smear on a public road.

        With an original GT-40 not only are you worrying about all your mechanicals being 50+ years old, but also you’re driving around a multi-million dollar car, with all the additional headaches that involves. Nor can you modify them without killing resale value.

        Build a new car exactly how you want it.

        For your body proportions, I’d use:
        1. floor mods to lower the seat
        2. Telescoping steering column
        3. Removable pedal extensions or sliding pedal box mount.

        If you rent closet space from Larry, you can legally title your replica car, no matter how un-streetable it is, in the make and model year of the original.

      3. WIB: you may want to consider building an exotic out of one of your miatas. (You are almost certainly a Miata spec racer, so you have spare Miatas around).

        Take the Iso Griefo, or Pantera, or Cobra. Those were all european cars with strong american engines transplanted in.

        You already know your Miatas inside and out, why not go the Monster Miata route, and make your own exotic? I know there are 5.0 liter kits available, and those motors can be pumped to 4-500 hp.

        Then you can improve the brakes and make a beautiful leather interior.

        You aren’t going to be happy with any of the GT-40 replica kits available today, and this project can make you a blazingly fun car while you wait for a decent GT-40 replica to hit the market, which can’t happen for at least 2 more years.

        1. Autocrosser, actually. Just have the one Miata at this time. Probably going to use it as a donor for a Lotus 7 build at some point since the previous owner apparently allowed some rust to get into the rocker panels and just painted over it (meaning that it’s just a matter of time before either I make some “not cheap” repairs or these major structural components let go).

          On the other car, there do exist kit car replicas of the Ford GT40. The replicas are body on tube frame construction where the original was a unibody.

          OTOH, there’s a guy in Indiana making replica Batmobiles (60’s TV show version) that has its own appeal. The only problem really is that it never rained in Gotham City and the Batmobile’s passenger compartment reflects that. 😉

        2. Missed that part about not being happy with the current replicas. Could you expand on the particular problems?

          Also, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be more than 2 years before I reach a point where I can afford them anyway.

    2. Thanks, Larry. I vastly prefer keeping my personas separated.

      Your supercar needs are easy to fill. You are not a car nut. Period. You want a car to make a statement, just through ownership, and that’s both easy and cheap.

      Nothing, but nothing, says “I’ve made it and you suck” like driving up in a Rolls. But you don’t drive up anywhere. Those who despise you never, ever see your wheels, it’s always a rental from the airport to your appearances.

      To keep at CorreiaTech HQ in Moose Volcano, a $10K rolls:

      The wonderful part about the old Rolls Royces is that they make you look like you’re loaded with old, old money. The older (and cheaper) the Rolls, the older your apparent money.

      That way, you can have pictures, and say truthfully “yes, that really is one of my cars. It’s reliable, comfortable and easy to find in the B&N parking lot.”

      And since you’ve read this far, the best car accessory ever:

  8. The 770 pre-crime unit proves L Correia would have lied had he actually said anything. That’s how you win 28 Hugos.

    Plus writing that women make awesome warriors and Heinlein was actually a pig in human form and, oh, sure yeah, we coulda had more diversity in Amazing Stories in 1927 and why didn’t we, (prolly racists) and no white men won an award and Yaaaay!! Afrofuturism and I wrote an entire book without the words “retard” or “lame” in them and imagine a world without men and la, la, la, how great that would be and white cis-scum too.

  9. Garth Brooks is bad? For the concerts he had planned this past May (which were sabotaged by the city Council) Garth Brooks sold 400,000 tickets worth over 37 million dollars in about one hour and 40 minutes.
    May Larry be as successful as Garth, that is my wish. 🙂 (He’ll settle for half that)

    1. Garth Brooks does country, and Those Lowbrow People out there in non-cosmo America listen to country (probably while sitting on the tailgates of their Gaia-destroying pickup trucks and polishing their Bambi-killer rifles); country music is therefore bad and evil and comparing LC to an artist who makes more money in two hours than they will their whole lives is therefore an insult.
      God forbid they ever got ahold of some David Allan Coe… they’d probably implode on the spot.

      1. Uh, yeah. N#$%^& F@#$#% is actually too much for me, and I’m hardly a SJW. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll sing along to You Never Even Called Me By My Name or My Long Hair Just Can’t Cover Up My Redneck after a few, but The Underground Album was some pretty messed up shit.

      2. Justin- DAC did an album with everyone from Pantera (sans Phil) backing him up. It’s called Rebel to Rebel… you might like it.

  10. You’re the kind of author people like me need. You’re good for one, two, maybe more a year, and they just keep coming. I have never read one of your books and gone, gee, I wish I had my money back.. I tell my friends to read your stuff, it’s good. Just keep going, and we’ll have a long and happy relationship. WB

    1. The best part is Correia books are the perfect present. One size fits all english speakers, and it will sit on their shelf forever as a continual reminder of your goodness and generosity.

  11. “(MH has been optioned for TV, Grimnoir hasn’t)”

    Grimnoir is about the perfect IP for an MMO. It has classes, abilities, factions, etc., already defined. Game developers, are you paying attention???

    I would SO play an MMO based on Grimnoir…

    (BTW Larry, I recently finished Hard Magic and have begun Spellbound. Awesome work!)

    1. I like MMOs, and play them all too much. That said… I am paid up for Elder Scrolls Online through October, yet it isn’t installed right now and I am instead playing the single player Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. It came out several years back and is still better than the MMO.

      Grimnoir needs a RPG made of it, both pen and paper and single player video game versions. I would throw so much money at that.

  12. Based on what’s here and what Scalzi has said in previous (a couple of years ago) posts, I would be surprised if you aren’t pretty close in overall earnings. He may beat you in paper, but Audible is your pal.

    1. I think that’s about to change radically. If I understand correctly, Scalzi’s Old Man’s War is out of the development hell and will premiere on the SciFi– excuse me “SyFy” channel within a year or so. As mentioned in the post that sort of publicity ratchets up book sales across the board as the writer’s name recognition breaks out into the general market.

      1. Yeah, and with any luck, OMW will end up in the same place as the TV version of Dresden Files (sorry, Mr. Butcher).

        1. He’ll still make a ton of money. That’s a basic fact of getting a TV show. No matter how good or bad the show is, it will still drive a large number of new readers to the books. Keep in mind that genre fiction sales numbers are tiny compared to even crappy network viewer numbers.

      2. Why should I consider it good luck for OMW to fail to thrive? I liked OMW, and if it gets made, I hope it’s a good show.

        If we want Sad Puppies to be about not letting the politics of the author be a litmus test for whether a book gets nominated, then I suggest we not make the author’s politics be a litmus test for whether a book gets nominated, or show gets watched, etc.

        When the SJWs came unglued about the Sad Puppies, Scalzi wrote a post announcing that he planned to read the nominees and vote.

        1. After that he tried to portray me as a rape apologist on Twitter. 🙂

          But I am truly all in favor of just reading books and enjoying them regardless of the author’s personal beliefs.

      3. Khazlek, I agree. But are we talking about politics here? What is Scalzi noted for in his non-fiction writings: his positions on the environment, foreign policy, funding schools?

        Or, his he noted for being the mouthpiece of an ideology obsessed with heterosexual white males as being the world’s and history’s bad neighborhood?

        In other words, what’s political about defaming people based on what they were the day they were born? I don’t care about a writer’s politics. I draw the line at this redistricting the KKK and calling it “social justice.”

  13. I long for the post-grad school days when it’s possible I can earn some money and throw said money at you and Mike Kupari.

  14. I’m one of those guys. I still can’t bring myself to kindle a Baen book and I hope the extra minute it takes me to buy them is of benefit to your bottom line. You and all the other trashy pulp novel authors they employ, and I proudly read, deserve it.

    1. I think I’ve bought a dead tree version of every “free” Baen book I’ve gotten that was in print at the time. . .

      Kindle is nice for when I’m on the go (I have a phone with a ginormus screen), but I much prefer real books. In fact, my favorit format is Mass market Paperback — nice size for the hands, shelves efficiently, not too clumsy to read while waiting in line at McFoodPellets..

    2. I buy the ebooks on the baen website and upload them via usb to my kindle or just read them through the kindle for pc app. My dead tree bookshelves are overflowing and as the eyes get older it’s getting easier to view the ebooks as I can bump up the font if needed. Plus every month baen is nice enough to bundle up a group of books for my easy purchase.

    1. If nothing else…. anyone with basic awareness of the field would expect a measure that ignores ebooks to undervalue Baen authors, because Baen sells their ebooks at a significant discount from the PB, and other publishers often don’t (and indeed often sell the ebook for more than the PB even while the PB is in print). And that’s even ignoring the discount of the Baen monthly bundle.

      In Canada Lock in is $18 HC/$13 eB. Redshirts$13/$11. Last colony $9.50/$9. MHN is $19/$10; Hard magic $9.50/$7.

      If price matters to you, you can buy the baen ebook of a new HC for the same reduced price of a new paperback; and the ebook of a paperback for even less (again, even ignoring the monthly package).

      To think that this wouldn’t affect the distribution of “percentage of readers of X that buy ebooks” requires you to think that people don’t consider price when buying things, which is… odd.

  15. Have to admit I’d never heard of Mike Glyer before, but I my first thought was: “wow! 28 Hugo nominations! He must be a pretty good author!”

    Imagine my chagrin when I googled him and found his noms were for running a fanzine. That’s good too, I suppose. I didn’t know fanzines were still a thing.

    And to be fair to the guy, he does look a lot like Santa. That beard deserves a Hugo of its own.

    Why do you hate Santa Claus, Larry? Is it because you’re the International Lord of Hate?

  16. You’re my next goal, Larry. I’m making three times the per capita yearly income of Florida, which isn’t bad, but not in your class. I learned at Dragon Con that some people who have sold a few short stories still think that self-publishing is crap, as one guy told me I hadn’t had anything legitimately published (which is changing in the near future). Until I told him how much I sold and what I’ve made the last two years. You write a good book, ones I enjoy reading and am willing to pay my hard earned money for. Not what I would write, even if I knew I would make more doing it. But you have a good gig going, and I am happy to support you. I am learning about that backlist thing too. I have a friend who got out of traditional publisher because her backlist was no longer in print. I figured out the other day that if I didn’t work at all the next couple of years, my backlist would earn at least $20,000 each year. Not really what I want, but it will grow with more books, and my retirement (which I really don’t want to pursue) is assured.

    1. I have a friend who got out of traditional publisher because her backlist was no longer in print.

      I will never understand why publishers haven’t put every single book they have the rights for on to sell as ebooks, especially out of print stuff! There are multiple books I would have bought if they were available on kindle, but don’t want to clutter up my library with a hard copy.

  17. I used to work in a bookstore and I often wondered about the bestseller list, when the books that were supposedly moving were gathering dust.

    I notice in the 770 comments, someone is questioning why Larry’s name even came up in the article. It’s the name reason the Damiens and Arthurs and Natalies of the world can’t refrain from taking swipes and Larry and Sarah: fear.

  18. I don’t understand why sales numbers are such a big secret. Ofcourse, even having sales numbers wouldn’t settle anything, it would still leave the question of did this book sell more because it was priced lower, released in October, etc?

    1. Well, with the other info already spilled, such as income per sale and such, and figuring taxes and what not, then we… err… I mean, someone would know exactly how much ransom Larry was worth.

      1. Larry is an auditor, and knows perfectly well what he’s given away.

        If you’re smart enough to do the math, you’re probably also wise enough not to blab. This is a blog for fans and authors, and Larry is kind enough to let fellow authors know what is attainable, if the writing is actually treated like a career.

        Meanwhile, the SJW crowd couldn’t figure it out with their faces pointed at a spreadsheet.

  19. Glyer is an IRS agent, if I’m not mistaken. I guess it’s possible that he’s become independently wealthy from the notoriously lucrative fanzine business since the last I heard, but I’m betting not.

  20. Dead Six was 1% of your sales?

    I’m a one-percenter!

    It can’t have bombed that badly. They offered to let me keep writing books. I think it suffered because it’s shelved differently, and I think a lot of people didn’t like it because it doesn’t have monsters or magic in it. When you have a couple of successful series as a writer, it can be hard to branch out into other genres. Even some of your hardcore fans won’t like it.

    I’ve never looked at the sales figures, except for what I get sent in the mail. Number one, I don’t want to get discouraged, and number two, it doesn’t matter. Even the half-share of royalties I’ve gotten have paid the bills more than once, and I’ve checked “published author” off of my bucket list. Given how many aspiring writer types are out there, with nothing to show for their efforts but a stack of rejection letters, I can’t complain.

    I do anyway. All the time, because I’m a bitter, burned-out husk of a human being (I should start smoking). But I really shouldn’t.

    1. Solution: Add monsters. Or vampires.

      (Just kidding… haven’t read dead six yet, but i read it in its original form waaaay back in the day…)

    2. The Dead Six series or twories…whatever, are amazing good reads.

      I didn’t realize you were actually responsible for half the character byplay, it worked so seamlessly.

      You better keep writing. Yeh hear!

      1. You should hunt down the original web serial “Welcome Back Mr. Nightcrawler” over at The High Road. Some of it ends up in Dead Six almost word for word without alteration.

    3. As a young tot, many a year ago, I chanced to read an EOD manual.

      Opened my eyes to the fullness of man’s love for his fellows, it did.

  21. Yeah, those Hollywood options are nothing to sneeze at. I can’t remember if I brought this up in a thread a few months ago here, or somewhere else.

    One prolific author (of licensed product tie-in fiction, IIRC) commented about a year ago on a gaming-related page that they had a studio take out an option in the 90s on an original short story or novella they did 20+ years ago, where the option, after the initial period, had a yearly renewal payment of 10% of the amount they were to pay him if the option led to a film. As of last year, there still hadn’t been any progress – but he’d made SUBSTANTIALLY MORE (especially after adjusting for inflation) just on the RENEWAL PAYMENTS than he would have ever made had they just made it in the time span of the original option.

  22. Very tangetially related: Scalzi has just gotten his *third* TV deal this week. It’s especially curious in that his first TV series has yet to air. How is he suddenly such a hot commodity? I don’t want to say it’s his politics without proof, but I wonder.

    1. Does this one also involve (in Scalzi’s own words) “suckling Rupert Murdoch’s withered, reactionary grandpa teats”?

      Funny how getting a TV offer from Fox seemed to make that taste sound appealing to him.

      1. Oh great. Now I’ve got an image stuck in my head of Scalzi wearing his Empire frock and doing unspeakable things to Uncle Rupert’s liver-spotted geriatric moobsicles.

        Thanks a lot.

      2. Remember that Fox TV has virtually nothing to do with Fox News. But this is probably just another example of the leftist financial shuffle used to promote GoodThink, and slide bucks to Scalzi. Kinda like how Hillary’s book that nobody bought got such a huge advance (Campaigns will buy huge stacks of the thing, and give them away as a Campaign expense, thus Hillary’s advance is a way of laundering Campaign cash into her personal bank account.)

      3. Hmm… FX is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, owned by 21st Century Fox, chair and CEO Rupert Murdoch. Fox News is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, owned by 21st Century Fox, chair and CEO Rupert Murdoch. Both seem to offer similar opportunities for reactionary grandpa withered teat-suckling. 🙂

        I just thought it was amusing that Scalzi heaped scorn on such suckling a few short years ago, but apparently can’t wait to do it now.

      4. Yup…

        Still ticked about last season’s ‘Almost Human’. I understand why they aired the fifth episode as second (sexbots sell…), but it got annoying when they ran the skipped episodes (when Karl Urban’s character was still suffering from the most obvious PTSD signs) much later in the season.

        1. I was bummed when that got cancelled. It was getting better and had a ton of potential.

          I’ve met Karl Urban. Really super nice guy. My wife said that he is one of the only actors she’s ever seen who is actually better looking in person than on TV too. 🙂

      5. I loved Almost Human and was really bummed when I heard it was cancelled. It was very well done, especially little throwaway details like holographic crime scene tape.

    2. How could any of them been aired yet?

      The Old Man’s War deal was announced fairly recently, not too long after Scalzi posted a rather oblique post in which the studio that had optioned OMW war for feature film was listed as a former business partner. Apparently the director who was part of the film deal was still interested, since he is part of the TV deal as well.

      The other two were also announced recently.

      There is no guarantee that any of these shows will get made and aired. The movie & TV business is crazy, and unless you are JK Rowling, the writer’s cut is such a small part of the business that it’s considered chicken feed to keep a property optioned just in case, or to keep the other guy from getting it. I was at a con panel once where one of the panelists had been flown first class to LA by a TV producer who was too busy to see him when he got there. Quite a few famous SF novels have spent decades under option. Heinlein’s biography is full of stories about Heinlein being tired of being jerked around by show people.

      Hollywood definitely has a record of shunning conservatives and libertarians, (see Roger L. Simon’s book, Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine), but when OMW was first optioned, I think Scalzi was still being regularly compared to the evil Heinlein. There are zillions of writers with politics that are suitable for Hollywood. Relatively few of them have best sellers to their credit and even fewer have Scalzi’s talent for self-promotion. So I think it is fair to suggest that if Scalzi’s politics were different, he might have more trouble with Hollywood, but I think it’s quite a leap to suggest that there are producers out there shoveling money at him as a reward for his politics.

      1. Agreed. What Scalzi writes seems to be stuff that is readily translatable to TV anyway. He writes like a screenwriter.

        That isn’t an insult. After all, he GETS PAID to write that way, because people enjoy it enough to throw money at him. Hell, I enjoy most of his stuff I’ve tried.

    3. It’s possible that you’re seeing a herd mentality in play. Everyone knows that Sci-Fi and Fantasy are potential money makers. And Scalzi’s name comes up often enough. It’s possible that the first deal triggered additional interest from others who otherwise would have looked elsewhere.

  23. Wow, your posts on the business of writing are so informative. Making me rethink my writing career plans. My main takeaway from this article is that it appears to be most lucrative to pick a genre and stick with it (at least at first).

  24. I read the first MH as a used paperback, bought the ebook MH omnibus, both military adventures as ebooks, Grimnoir came as used pb, new pb, and ebook, and finally Legion ebook. I stockpile books (I’m expecting bookburning to start any day now) and the fifth of those mentioned is now in the reading queue. Keep up the good work Larry!!

  25. >I don’t have time to do a proper fisking

    Shame! I don’t mind waiting… though to be honest, John wossname seems to be “just some guy on the intarwebz” instead of a proper target…

  26. If your sales are down, why do I keep ending up with more of your books to read without going to the library.
    I hope that someday I can claim even a small portion of the success you are having, but then I would have to focus better on writing and getting better at writing and getting published, which I am still working on.
    O well, guess I should work mostly on college and getting married for now and worry about the book stuff as I go. 🙂

  27. I have been suspicious of the NYT Bestseller list since my stint in Iraq. Most of the books that get tossed out that way for troops to read in what down times there are, are the ‘New York Times Best Seller!’ thriller and romance novels. Dear good grief, I swear half of them were the same book with the names changed. The occasional Dean Koontz and Robert Ludlum (this was before MHI came out by a solid year) was pure gold, even if the Koontz stuff was as much horror as thriller (neither genres I usually enjoy, but beggars cannot be choosers.) Frankly “New York Times Best Selling” whatever tends to be a warning label for me meaning disposable formula drek. Which may be unfair of me.

    1. Freakonomics was a NYT bestseller, and was anything but formula. Of course, it was a non-fiction real world applications of economics textbook, but it was still fantastic reading.

  28. Glad to know that you think “eARCs are awesome” enough to say so in a post specifically about how much money you make from your writing. Ever since I started buying them preferentially from my Category 1 (“OMFG they’ve finished a new book and the prospect of waiting for it to be edited and slipped into the release schedule is frustrating me to the verge of incontinence!”…a category which has existed in my taxonomy since I was 8 years old, which only one publisher bothers even trying to monetize by charging folks like me $15 for the chance to read a $6 book several months early) authors, I’ve occasionally wondered how they related to regular, post-release sales, vis a vis how much my desire to read the book causes the author to get paid. 🙂

  29. I read the File 770 article twice, and most of the anger seems directed at Vox Day, who seems to spend an inordinate amount of time sniping at John Scalzi. Larry – you’re getting dragged into this rodeo by your buddy Vox.

    1. And when you support racial nonsense like “white privilege”, John Scalzi’s promotion of it, and his unflinching support for an anti-white racist like N.K. Jemisin, what rodeo is that?

      Because I’m having trouble sorting out the difference between “diabolical” Jews, Arabs or whites. Such defamation is in fact one in the same.

      You say Day “repeatedly denigrated blacks, gays and women.” In what world does Jemisin not repeatedly denigrate men and whites? In fact she is a daily serial harasser of white men for no other reason than being white and men.

      You say “calling somebody who advocates for racial segregation a racist is not an attack – it’s a statement of fact.” Jemisin supports the racially segregated “safer-space” at WisCon and the unofficial off-campus dinner as well.

      Can you see what I’m doing here Mr. Gerrib? I’m invoking principle; goose/gander, Golden Rule, fair play – call it what you will. It’s how law operates and without it we fall apart.

    2. You’re wrong, Chris. Larry got “dragged into this” by John Scalzi himself. I’ve never been in the business of comparing Larry’s sales to John’s or anyone else.

      In fact, you will search my blog in vain for any reference to Larry’s New York Times bestseller ranks. Hence Mr. Glyer’s question about them.

      But it is amusing how people like you and John keep trying to separate two men who aren’t joined at the hip as you seem to believe. Neither Larry nor I are inclined to be dragged into anything by anyone, including each other.

      1. That’s because unlike the left, the right doesn’t need to have monolithic group think. I can disagree with Vox about different topics and not have it be a life shattering blow to my self esteem.

        It is cute when Gerrib shows up trying to concern troll though. If only I didn’t associate with such unsavory elements, then maybe all those Social Justice Warriors would quit slandering me. 🙂

      2. Chris writes books nobody reads. It pains him. Even a “Big Idea” slot on Whatever wasn’t enough to kickstart his career… something I’m sure he was quite surprised to find considering Whatever “has up to 2 million daily views”.

        Whenever he shows up, I assume he’s just pandering until someone says something mean to him. Then he can complain on his blog and hope one of his SFWA Heroes see his plight and will help him finally sell some books.

        Or maybe he just wants to be a victim. After all, being a victim gives liberals superpowers…

    3. I’m not concern-trolling, Larry. I’m making the simple statement that when I (and I suspect most people) read the File 770 article, the anger appears to be directed at VD, not you.

      VD – you did too explicitly compare Larry’s sales to Scalzi’s: see here.

      1. I don’t think Mr. Gerrib concern-trolls. I think he genuinely believes racist intersectional dogma is anti-oppression. Why that is is another story. He’s certainly not alone, is he? The David Duke of SFF didn’t get four Nebula nods writing her own name in, did she.

      2. Wait… So let me read through that link… Scalzi posted a bunch of things on Twitter about how fans of Some Unnamed Conservative Writer kept saying that Some Unnamed Conservative Writer was selling more than he was and COMPARING OUR SALES. Then Vox copied those tweets over and commented on them, and posters responded COMPARING OUR SALES, then Vox responded by COMPARING OUR SALES… So it was all Vox that was explicitly comparing our sales?

        But of course, maybe it was some other successful conservative author with lots of loud outspoken fans that Scalzi was complaining about. Well, if he didn’t want my fans to mock him on the internet, maybe he shouldn’t have tried to portray me as a rape apologist? (and fail miserably in the process) 🙂

      3. Fine, Larry, Scalzi hurt your fee-fees when he said nasty things about one of your snarky posts. Pot, meet kettle.

        At any rate, VD has five posts and counting on how Scalzi’s a fraud (VD’s words, not mine) and the guy at File 770 calls BS, pointing out that given the limited information, there’s no way to tell which of you is selling more, and what limited information available suggests you’re in the same ballpark.

        But rather than saying “hey, people, not me leading this sales charge” you jump in and snark that a guy with 28 Hugo nominations doesn’t know how publishing works. If you don’t want to get roped into a sales argument, then don’t.

        1. Aaaaaaaaaaaand Chris Gerrib runs away once exposed, bleating that everyone here is the one throwing the tantrum, in a great variant of the “Shut up!” tactic!

          Your tactics haven’t changed from the days I used to encounter you over at Jordan179’s LJ years ago. Nice to see that you and Yama remain constant in your methodologies of trolling.

        2. I’m guessing you didn’t read the link. Either that or you’ve got a very strange sense of what “hurt fee-fees” means. Now personally, I consider dishonestly trying to portray someone as a rape apologist to thousands of complete strangers as a bit more nefarious than being snarky but I’m not a fucking tool.

          By the way, nice use of #2 from the checklist.

          At any rate, Vox and Scalzi are talking shit to each other as usual, none of which I care about. Then File 770 dragged me into it. While my response barely mentioned Glyver, I clubbed one of his commenters like a baby seal, because there is a whole Clampsian subsection of the SJW internet that lives for opportunities to explain how I’m not a *real* writer. So it isn’t that I got roped into a sales argument and was somehow pulled along helplessly, but rather I said “fuck it, you want to insinuate my career is in free fall, let me take this opportunity to once again rub my success in your SJW faces.”

          File 770 having 28 Hugo nominations is more indicative of the cliquish nature of the awards than any demonstration of publishing knowledge. I take a certain perverse glee in pointing out Glyver’s 28 Hugo nominations whenever he starts bitching about the horrors of outsiders meddling in the sainted Hugo process.

          Anything else, Gerrib?

        3. “a guy with 28 hugo nominations”

          For a fanzine. This qualifies him to understand professional publishing and sales figures how exactly.

          This is called “argument from inappropriate authority” and it’s a logical fallacy.

          But thank you for playing.

      4. Yeah, racial and sexual defamation is “fee-fees” when it happens to us and when someone insults any women then we’re violating the shitty golden sacred sanctum of womanhood globally, spreading misogyny, homophobia and we immediately de fault to “right-wing” and “conservatives” and please someone donate to a rape crisis center immediately and get your file prepared for the FBI in case of a truck-dragging death, and oh yeah, don’t some goofball woman from the SFWA wish we all die in a fire cuz wimmens, they don’t do stuff like that but they do carry home every fucking award for taking the piss on transgender pronouns in space and then happily declaring no white men won an award.

        Fuck every clod-hopping social justice twit and their fem racist KKK they renamed “feminism.”

      5. AFTER John Scalzi had already “dragged Larry into it”. As usual, all I did was point out the actual facts that Scalzi was skating over. And notice that I correctly anticipated both a) LOCK IN’s appearance on the NYT bestseller list, and b) its one-week duration.

        “McRapey is getting annoyed that people keep pointing out that Larry Correia sells more than he does, even though his publisher keeps buying him a one-week spot on the NYT bestseller list each time he writes a book.”

      6. As usual an Inter-Sext toy confuses racial and sexual group defamation (I am white and man therefore I race and rape) with an insult.

        Here’s the way it works: I insult an Inter-Sext groupy and I am against all blacks or women who ever lived. An Inter-Sext groupy insults me cuz I’m white and male and it’s a scientific observation of oppression in action, like Newton’s apple and planetary ballistics.

        The question I have is what retard farm is churning out these robots.

      7. I read the the rape link, Larry. You were at best flippant about a serious topic and got called on it. Sorry, them’s the breaks.

        Vox and Scalzi are talking shit to each other as usual, none of which I care about. Again, Vox dragged you into this, if for no other reason then he can’t claim his sales are in the same county as yours or Scalzi’s. (Well, he can *claim* – nobody’d believe him.)

        By my reckoning, you started the “SJW war” with your stunt of putting a racist, sexist and decidedly third-rate author on the Hugo ballot. Poke a stick at somebody = get poked back.

        At any rate, what pushes my buttons on this whole thing is *nobody* – not you, VD or Scalzi – has enough facts to say who sells what. But yet VD calls fraud and you add gas to the fire.

        1. How is the weather on your planet?

          I was flippant to stupid motherfuckers who were attacking Miss Nevada for advocating self defense. As far as seriousness goes, want to take any bets as to which one of us has spent more hours training people how to defend themselves from rapists and violent criminals, me or Scalzi? I spent a good chunk of my life teaching good people how to shoot bad people, Gerrib. I’m fairly well acquainted with the seriousness of the topic. The last time one of my students shot a rapist we threw a party.

          But here is the link so the bystanders can decide for themselves.

          The SJW war started years before Sad Puppies and it is way bigger than me. Currently they’re trying to fuck over the video game industry. My goal was to get the SJW crowd to demonstrate their true nature to the casual observer, which they did. Boy did they ever!

          When people poke me with a stick, I hit them with a club. Sorta like the plummeting career in freefall guy, which was why my response was basically, to quote Dave Chappel: I’m Rich, Bitch. 🙂 The part you haven’t yet wrapped your brain around is that this is a spectator sport. I don’t ever expect to sway people like you. You lie about me, I make you look stupid, then a bunch of people read it. My goal is always to convince the undecided. My job is to get your side to show the world their pretty pink panties. Luckily you guys are too damned stupid to quit.

          As for your last paragraph, nobody really cares what pushes your buttons, Gerrib. That would require you to have fans.

          I didn’t add fuel to Vox’s fire. I didn’t participate in that. I defended my plummeting upwards career. Where in this post did I say anything disparaging about Scalzi’s sales numbers? In fact, quite the opposite, I explained how authors got paid, and said that since he’s got a 5 year head start on me he is probably making more money than I am. Not to mention I explained how TV options work, and it sounds like he’s got a few of those and I’ve only got one. Also I explained how publishers game the system, but said that even if a publisher’s marketing folks did so, the author has no say in the matter.

          Gee whiz. That’s like the opposite of throwing gas on a fire? Could it be you just got butt hurt that I defended myself against the approved SJW narrative about me?

          Any more bullshit, Gerrib? I think there still might be a handful of people here who aren’t yet convinced that you are a fool. But hurry up. This post is sinking down the page, so once there isn’t an audience you are no longer worth my time.

      8. Wow, people yelling at Larry because they’re pissed off at Vox. That pretty much sums up the whole past year, no?

        *rolls eyes*

      9. Chris gerrib -“You were at best flippant about a serious topic and got called on it. ”

        That man child is among the last persons on the planet that can “call someone” on flippant use of rape.

        I bet you were there cheering Scalzi and his “I am a rapist” post…

      10. “By my reckoning, you started the ‘SJW war’ with your stunt of putting a racist, sexist and decidedly third-rate author on the Hugo ballot. Poke a stick at somebody = get poked back.”

        Racist and sexist compared to who? And as you say, “Sad Puppies” was openly declared. It’s not a “stunt” for the Hugos and Nebulas to nominate “third-rate” authors on the strength of their anti-white, anti-heterosexual, anti-men NON-FICTION writing. What “stunt” is it to give all Hugos and Nebulas this year in support of an anti-white anti-male ideology you’ve been buffaloed into supporting?

        bell hooks says a thing there and it comes out of your mouth here, but without you even knowing what bell hooks and her capitalist white supremacist patriarchy even is. Do you ever think about where your vocabulary about “privilege” originated? Is there an equivalent anti-black anti-women ideology with Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke who all spoke a shared vocabulary that routinely went after women and blacks?

        The SJW war was started 5 years ago with the entry into the SFF community of racist sexist serial harassers of straight white men lying about “diversity” who were then (and still are) institutionally backed to the hilt by the SFWA, webzines and awards committees. This is supposedly in response to, as the ADA Initiative puts it, the “fight against harassment of women and people of color in the science fiction and fantasy community.” The problem with that mythical lie is that it never happened, unless you consider “harassment” to mean throwing publishing contracts and awards at Delany, Russ, Jemisin and Le Guin as soon as they entered the community.

        That is a fact that actually happened. Against that is stacked bullshit about “colonial” SF and Heinlein and Asimov’s sexism and racism. But there is nothing on the anti-PC side that can stack up to the institutional torrent of racist remarks from award nominees, editors and serial panelists within the so-called “anti-oppression” movement.

        Do these remarks where I changed words around sound like “anti-oppression” or straight up racism?

        “Y’all blacks had centuries to handle the discourse of diversity and did shit with it. Bye.”

        “Hard as it to believe, somewhere right now, a black, gay female is explaining to a man or white what they =really= meant.”

        “I do remember the No Black People hour, hehe”

        “I fucking hate those DirectTV ads with women and children on wires looking for reassurance from black men while a black gospel choir sings.”

        “I may have to unfollow a bunch of white people today.”

        “I’d say most black men should come with TWs (trigger warnings) for unthinking privileged arrogance, but that’s like saying books need TWs for ‘contains words’.”

        “The NBA is, alas, dominated by black Southerners.”

        “can we have a moratorium forever on black people selectively misquoting long-dead whites to silence contemporary whites critiques of racism?”

        “Seems lately every week is black stupidity week.

        “Just read another call from a black man about the need for ‘nuance’ rather than shrill ranting.”

        “Didn’t need the user icon to know you’re black and a woman.”

        “angry old black women are angry, old, black, and female.”

        ‘hard work’ is such a code word for black people to use to denigrate & dismiss.”

        Those don’t come from our side of the ledger Mr. Gerrib but from yours; your presidents of literary organizations, authors and editors, and they are rewarded with awards.

        The reason ADA, J. Scalzi, M.R. Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Jim Hines and so many others get away with their distortions is because there is no immediate negative consequence to them – they are not standing in front of a judge and jury which will weigh the evidence. Instead they preach innuendoes to a choir and simply ignore facts.

        The truth is if we played a game where I would lose or gain $1,000 dollars for every quoted person institutionally placed within SFF who made anti-black, anti-women and anti-gay remarks as opposed to anti-white, anti-men, anti-heterosexual remarks, I’d be awash in cash. The SJWs would never dare play such a game and that exposes the lie at the heart of all this.

        Stop supporting these insane bigots and their “trigger warnings,” “rape culture” and racial “privilege.” You are being taken in by a KKK in pig-tails and CorrectRace/Skin.

        In a courtroom, one weighs the evidence to see who first poked a stick at who and who’s poking back. Unless you think all cases end in a tie or are willing to put up 20 grand to play a game, I’d think about throwing the racists you support to the curb. And stop acting like 1 equals 50, especially when the 50 are all claiming to be gang-tackled by one guy. In the real world no judge would buy such bullshit.

      11. “Wow, people yelling at Larry because they’re pissed off at Vox. That pretty much sums up the whole past year, no?”

        Needs like button badly.

      12. The whole “trigger warning” crap was popularized on Tumblr. You got yelled at if you didn’t add TWs to your post so that the other Tumblr precious snowflakes didn’t have to see stuff they didn’t like.

        If you didn’t use them, you would get deluged with stories about how you caused some un-named imaginary third party to spend all night on the suicide prevention hotline.

        Personally, I’d just hand them an exacto-knife, and tell them to cut down, and not across.

  30. But the more you produce, the more likely somebody is to read your stuff and tell their friends.

    And the more likely somebody who reads one book and likes is to buy everything else you’ve ever written. At least, that’s how I read. I read one book, and then if I like it I buy everything else the author ever does (unless it is a completely different kind of book that doesn’t appeal – like Dresden files versus whatever Butchers other series is). If there is only one book to read, you are losing out on a lot of potential revenue.

    1. I won’t buy every other work by that author, but I’m likely to buy another, and the one more after that if I like that one, etc.

      1. I should rather say that I buy everything until I run into one I hate. And sometimes I do pick something up at the library (mostly if I think the eprice is too high).

  31. Check this out second comment on 770’s article:
    Don Fitch on September 16, 2014 at 11:45 am said:
    “I happen to feel that the two of Correia’s Titles menioned sound totally Bleh!, and I didn’t read them…”

    So this guy literally judges a book by its cover and announces it to the world, and yes that’s his own inability to spell “mentioned” correctly.

      1. Why not? Jim Hines looked at the MH covers and somehow leapt to the conclusion it was about a white guy who bangs lots of hot chicks. It’s a Leftist superpower.

  32. You’re also part of the Ada Initiative’s historic 2006-14 timeline of “Conference anti-harassment work in SF&F.” Apparently you fall within their purview of “the traditional fascination of SF&F and other literature and media with the experiences and ambitions of white Western men,” which is racist naughty-time.

    “April 2014: Larry Correia and Theodore Beale recommend a ‘Sad Puppy’ slate of works to voters in the 2014 Hugo awards, comprising largely politically conservative or ‘golden age’-style science fiction works.

    “August 2014: The Correia/Beale ‘Sad Puppy’ slate performs poorly at the Hugo awards in London. Ann Leckie’s debut novel Ancillary Justice, widely praised for its handling of gender, wins Best Novel, and receives a standing ovation.”

    Sept. 2014: Words cease to have meaning.
    Oct. 2014: Feminists forget how to breathe.

    I agree with one thing these cis-broads wrote: “Don’t buy the works of people who harass or support harassment.”

  33. What I don’t get is why authors don’t make their own instant NYT bestsellers.

    Since everybody knows the stores polled, pick a slow week, buy the hell out of your book at all the stores, then sell the physical books later on your own website, preferably as “autographed by the author”, and lightly discounted.

    Since it’s so easy, I’ve no doubt the major publishers are trading off their weeks, like Coke and Pepsi do with sales in stores.

    1. Even if you’re right and “everybody knows the stores polled,” few authors can afford to buy their way onto the NYT bestsellers list. Just to put the numbers in perspective, speculation is that it takes at least 3000 fiction sales to hit the list (and the number may be low). Figure the average hardback costs $20 (again, low) and you’re looking at a minimum of $60,000 spent in one week just to get on the list.

      Further, consider the time and travel/shipping expenses involved in doing this. Bulk sales are dismissed by bestsellers lists, so you can’t just call up the local B&N and buy up every copy of their book. You need to buy them one or two at a time, requiring a minimum of 1500 purchases. I think you’d be hard pressed to make more than 10 purchases an hour if you’re online — meaning an investment of 150+ hours (leaving precious little time for sleeping in a 168 hour week) — and something which would be physically impossible to do in person. That means hiring someone to handle this for you, which means paying the people doing the buying AND paying for the books bought.

      There are plenty of companies out there who will do this for a fee, which is the whole point of all of these columns. Well, not Larry’s. He was just fisking the idiot who thinks Larry’s career is in free fall.

      1. That has been done before, which was one reason the NYT now drops “bulk sales” from the number. The ones who did it the most were business seminar types, and they’d buy up all of their books when they released in stores, then give them away as part of the seminar’s attendance price.

      2. Larry, I’d wager bulk sales of political biographies aren’t dropped, at least if the subject is someone like Hillary. The bulk purchase being a campaign expense, and the royalties, well, that’s how you convert campaign funds to personal income “Legally”.

  34. Larry, in addition to move/tv adaptation, have you considered graphic novel adaptation? Grimnoir is currently perfect length for a good number books.

    1. I’ve talked about it with various people, but have never really pushed forward on it. I’m friends with Chuck Dixon though, so I really should pick his brain more.

    2. Good idea. There’s a lot of novel series getting the comic treatment these days. And Larry’s work would translate very well in that medium.

      1. Well, as someone above already mentioned, Lorenzo & Valentine trilogy (Dead Six, Sword of Exodus, Project Blue) is another good candidate for graphic novel treatment.

  35. Can someone please help a guy out? I keep seeing references to Scalzi being a confessed rapist. Did he really say that somewhere? Did he provide details? Has someone checked out his claims and/or contact the cops where he lives?

    1. It was metaphorical (stupid, but metaphorical). I don’t remember where or when, but it was something about how all men were rapists. Evil patriarchy or some shit. I don’t know.

    2. IIRC, it was something about having written a rapist character and being able to sympathize with him more, because being an evil white male, he was naturally a rapist (and soooo sorry about it).

    3. Back during the last election cycle, when some idiot politician mentioned “legitimate rape” Scalzi made a long winded post about how he was a rapist, and how much he appreciated republicans helping rapists.

      He was being his usual passive aggressive self and attacking people he disagreed with in an indirect and cowardly way.

  36. “You were at best flippant about a serious topic and got called on it. ”


    This, from the guy bringing us ‘fee-fees.’

    Chris, you’re the one talking like a hysterical kindergartener. Fee-fees, forsooth.

  37. I think most romance readers are women and most scifi genre readers are men. I think most thriller readers are guys but the divide is not as wide.

    Does this imply women buy more books than men?

    1. *chuckle* I know a bunch of my guy friends who like reading romance novels because of a love of character interaction. I got a couple recommended for me for snark to snark combat.

      I don’t think your premise is wrong though. Thrillers strike me as the ‘common ground’ genre.

      1. Not sure if it counts as “romance” or not, but after catching a couple “Outlander” episodes on TV – based on Diana Gabaldan’s novels – I went ahead and bought the first book in that series on Kindle, just for the heck of it. What the hell; I need a little romance in my life, regardless.

  38. Larry. I am on book 4 of the MHI series, and am completely addicted. I’ve been reading them on my Kindle app, and have spent way too many early mornings griping at you for writing such thoroughly engaging stories.

    I’m really curious how the TV rights are going to be executed, though. In general, the stories are incredibly bloody, and your Snowcat scene in Alpha is beyond phan-gasmic. That was the most ridiculously gory scene I’ve read in years. Commendable, but no way does it get to the silver screen. 😉

    Regardless, keep it up. The story arc is very intriguing, and I’m chomping at the bit to see how you complete it. What is the over/under on books in the series? 10?


      1. Peter Steele would’ve made a perfect Franks- he had the size to loom convincingly over whatever big fella you got to play Owen, he could do good menace, and he had a great voice for Franks’ taciturn lines. Unfortunately, we’ll never find out. RIP.

          1. Franks really requires CGI. I tend to imagine him as a shorter, uglier, less-green Hulk. Not many actors are…wide enough (and not fat with it) to truly embody Franks.

    1. ‘Complete the series’?

      Sir, the MHI series encompasses vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, zombies, gun bunnies, alternate universes, Cthulu, and mercenaries.

      There could easily be more MHI books than there are B-movies. I’d be willing to make a large wager that there will be new MHI media as long as Larry is drawing breath, if not much longer.

      If I were earning my keep as a professional fiction writer, I’d straight up offer Larry a cut in return for permission to start writing MHI spin off novels, like Star Wars/Trek has.

      Heck, “Trailer Park Elves” can be an entire trope all by itself now.

      There are BILLIONS of fallen angels, Franks can’t be the only one to sneak in… and even if he is, who says the angels did a 100% perfect job of policing their own? There must be a continuum. There have to be some angels that just barely scraped by getting tossed out.

      Humans can do magic in the MHI universe. Lycanthropes exist.

      How can the MHI saga possibly stop?

  39. Rereading this, I was reminded of something I think Lester Del Ray said: He wouldn’t write for Hollywood because there isn’t enough money in it! Write a screenplay, get paid once. Write a good novel, and it pays for life. He said everything he’d ever written was in print, and earning him royalties.

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