Tuesday, September 30, 2014

People who drink too much

This chart is absolutely horrifying. It shows that 10% of Americans account for 60% of alcohol sales. The entire industry is propped up by its most loyal customers. That's not surprising; it's true of many industries. What is horrifying is how much those people drink: 74 drinks a week.

It's one thing to have a loyal customer base. It's something else for them to be killing themselves with your product. But the only way the alcohol industry can not murder millions of people is by accepting a 50% reduction in sales. Never mind blaming greedy corporations, such a thing isn't even possible in a capitalist system.The rules of the free market make it literally impossible for alcohol companies to provide a safe and healthy experience for all of their customers.

Under some kind of state-regulated scheme you could imagine a system where most people still get to drink once in a while, but nobody can drink that much. The only way to shape the market that way is government regulation. So the next time someone tells you we need less regulation, ask them if having 10% of your population literally drinking itself to death is good for the economy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seriously thinking about moving to Canada

Another big spike in Canadian Kindle sales. Possible reasons why:

1) The accounting system is completely borked.

2) Amazon.ca is reporting in Canadian numbers, which everyone knows are only worth a fraction of American numbers.

3) Too much maple syrup on keyboards, so people keep ordering 10 copies when they meant to order 1.

4) Noted Canadian fantasy author Dave Duncan is totally leading a fifth column effort for me. (Thanks, Dave!)

5) Once you make it to the top of the Magic & Wizards list, you stay there, because people just order off the top of that list. I mean, who wouldn't?

Sadly, I imagine it's #5, which means the only reason my book isn't a blockbuster yet in the USA is because it isn't already a blockbuster.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Canada loves me!

I don't understand this, but apparently on Amazon.ca I am #2 in Books/SF&F/F/Magic & Wizards. Since this is likely the only time I will see my book right behind Patrick Rothfuss (and ahead of Lev Grossman!), I had to grab a screen shot.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Interview with the Qwillery

Another interview over at the Qwillery, wherein I get to quote the best sentence I have ever or will ever write.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

An interview with Dave Gross

Dave Gross, the author of Prince of Wolves and a host of other Pathfinder books, asks me some questions over on his site, giving me an excuse to spin a pack of lies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SotBL Down Under

Some places to buy my book in Australia (sadly, all on-line):
$20? Not bad for Australia.

Look at that RRP: $34.99.  And that's in Aussie dollars, not that worthless green paper. But it's discounted to $22, which is reasonable.

Ebook only, but hey - free delivery!.

OK, even I wouldn't pay $35 for this book, and I think it's the best book of the year. I can say that because GRRM hasn't released a GoT book this year. But then, I guess you can say that about almost any year.

 $40? -choke-

This is the best price, only $17.69, but they order it from America, so it takes a couple of weeks. So better order two, for when your partner swipes your copy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

SotBL in the Wild

Rumor has it copies of Sword of the Bright Lady can be found on bookshelves. Unfortunately they are native only to the continental USA, so I have zero chance of spotting one here. If anyone sees one, feel free to snap a pic and send it to me.

Also, you can turn the book face-out, so that engaging cover by Gene Mollica gets maximum exposure. The gorgeous Keithen will force people to buy the book by the sheer power of his one-thousand yard stare.

My mother-in-law appreciated the writing, but on the whole found the book to have "too many sword fights." So, you know, that's kind of a glowing review.

Monday, September 8, 2014

SFCrow's Nest reviews SotBL

Kelly over at SFCrow's Nest noticed:
By about half-way through the book, I had decided that M.C. Planck had found a way to truly fictionalise a table-top gaming experience. Bodies are looted and experience and goods apportioned according to who struck the killing blow and rank, of course.  

This is referring to one of my little jokes in the book. It's a scene that mirrors what every single group of RPG players do: as soon as they kill the bad guy, they stop and argue about how to divide up the loot, with the noblest Paladins kneeling in the mud right next to the knaviest Rogues dicing for the magic boots or whatever.

In my defense Homer started it. There's a scene in the Illiad where some warriors stop fighting to strip the armor off the guy they just killed in the middle of an active battlefield, and consequently get ganked while their guard is down.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Japan leading by example

This is a fascinating look at Japan, but what I wanted to highlight was this:

People I interacted with in Japan seemed to be intent on being honest and conscientious in their work because it was part of a cultural code of conduct. That’s just the way we do it in Japan is what it felt like to me...

Within a few days in Japan, my cynicism was replaced by trust, which made me begin to feel an obligation to the society as a whole to keep within the social code of integrity.

We are social animals. We copy what others do, especially if those others are social leaders. Now look at how many of our social leaders behave, from celebrities to politicians. That should explain a lot.

Trust is the most valuable cultural asset, and the Libertarian enterprise to reduce everyone to a profit-seeking machine destroys that trust. I don't particularly want to live in Japan (its social conformity has plenty of downsides), but the basic concept of integrity is something that is self-replicating. Sadly, that's the only way it replicates: people are only trustworthy after others have been trustworthy to them.