Thursday, May 28, 2009


(NOTE: This is a work in progress...)

There have been plenty of World of Warcraft podcasts in the past who have been more like self-therapy: trying to rationalize and/or justify the days upon days that they've spent playing WoW. The often whiny, self-important host will tell you over and over that just because they have no real-life friends or interests or just because they never get any enjoyment doing things that normal people do doesn't mean they are abnormal. No, in fact, some will tell you it's the other way around! It's "fairer" in World of Warcraft because of some mechanism or other (in WoW we can just ignore, or /gkick, or we vote on everything, blah blah blah).

The host will tell you, passionately so, that they've met people they never would have dreamed of meeting through the magic of guild chat. "I talked to a Chinese," one giddy host proclaimed. "Where am I going to find a Chinese here in Alabama?" Or they will tell a 10-minute long story about the inside jokes they share with their "friends" over vent. "Every time I come on vent, deathstabberkill will always say 'hi love' which I think is so hysterical coming from someone with a name like 'deathstabberkill!' But in real life if his name is just 'Frank' then it could kind of be creepy for him to say that."

If this hasen't revolted you enough, the hogwash is ratcheted up to the next level when the self-important host starts calling World of Warcraft "The World of Warcraft." If they're not joking when they use that, it should be a clear indication that you should no longer listen.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Poor Sales of Arthas

Thought you'd be interested to know how Arthas is selling in the United States. A couple of readers of the blog who happen to work in publishing have access to the Nielsen BookScan numbers and emailed me some interesting information.

Nielsen BookScan has reporting of actual "cash register" sales of most of the majors, independents, and other retail outlets in the U.S. where books are sold (B&N, Borders, Amazon, Books-A-Million, Follett, etc., even to places like Target and Starbucks, just about everything there is I think except for Wal-Mart). While they've asked me not to post actual numbers, I can say the sales (as reported by retailers and other outlets) have been relatively poor and are not even close to exceeding 20,000 copies sold. This doesn't mean the publisher hasn't advanced/sold many thousands more copies of the book to its customers; it means people aren't buying it even though it's out there in number. At this rate they said the book may well end up as a bargain "remainder," which apparently is what they call books that have been severely overprinted. These books, I've been told, usually end up in stacks in a bargain section with drastically reduced prices.

The consensus I'm hearing is that the book has obviously been typeset to hit 300 pages in order to justify a $25 pricepoint, when the book, especially with the inexpensive/poor-quality paper stock used, should only be about 180-200 pages and $17.95 or so.

Some more odd facts - the book has sold the most copies in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, with Miami, FL second, Columbus, OH, and Richmond, VA rounding out the top four before the largest market NYC finally comes in fifth.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hatfield vs. McCoy

My good friend Hatfield, a level 80 Blood Elf hunter and all-around good-natured guy who plays on Anvilmar with the guild [Sons of Horus], recently admitted that he did all of the Noblegarden events and is now "the Noble." For Hat, being called "the Noble" outweighed the indignity of gaining such a worthy-sounding title through a series of egg gathering, chocolate eating, and bunny rabit themed achievements.

He and I had sort of had an unofficial running bet to see who would be the first to cave and get a world event title, and I suppose I win! The main prize is that Hat has to come over and bake me a ham. The side prize is that I get to tourture him with a Fishing With John marathon! The only problem is that, as usual, I will likely not answer his emails, texts or phone messages and will probably never collect my winnings.

More on this important news as it develops. I'm hoping for a nice honey glaze!