Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Amazon Reviewers Are Big Whiny Babies

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 7:38 AM

GalleyCat reports that Amazon.com reviewers are punishing the brand-new final book in the Wheel of Time series with one-star reviews because the e-book isn't published until April. Get a load of these babies:

On Amazon, one reviewer wrote: “A good comparison of not publishing in ebook format is ‘withholding of newer drugs, by drug companies till patents of the older drugs run out.’ Definitely not buying the paper format. I waited till patiently till January despite knowing Sanderson had finished the book back in July 2012, I can wait till April.”

Another reader added: “Found a used copy of Eye of the World in 1990; it caught my attention as the book was almost size of hardback but softcover. Since then I have purchased each new book on the date it was released. I will not purchase this book though. I had planned on repurchasing all of the previous books for my Kindle as easier to store, but I will not do this as I would not be able to complete the series now. I instead will search internet when I get home and will be paying the first industrious individual that has scanned the book and offered for sale.”

I would urge people to think before they post shit like this. So now Kindle owners are cancer patients who are being victimized by Big Pharma? And the second "reviewer," who admits that he bought the first book in the series because it provided a low cash-spent-to-pages-read ratio, says he'd rather turn to piracy than buy the book? The wafting scent of entitlement is sick-making.

 

Comments (29) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Oh waaaaaah. They can get it in hardcover or audio form now. Probably for the same price as the kindle version. Unless they literally live in a closet, they've got room for a hardcover book. I agree that financially it was probably a bad idea to wait on the electronic version, but since I much prefer the feel of a real book in my hands, I am perfectly fine with this decision.
Posted by NateMan on January 10, 2013 at 8:08 AM · Report this
2
Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to a bunch of kids bitching about the expiration of the temporary payroll tax holiday, and of course, they were blaming Obama for it, even after I pointed out that he signed it into law.

This is why we can't have nice things.
Posted by jeffinfremont on January 10, 2013 at 8:08 AM · Report this
3
I have to admit, I do feel a bit of resentment toward the publisher. I went out and bought the book first thing Tuesday morning so I could have that delicious thing in my hot little hands.

First off, the cost went up again. This last book cost $35 when previous installations cost $24, $26, $28... the cost has been inching up as the end drew near... while there really hasn't been any increase in the quality that I can discern. In fact, I'd say the inverse. The older hardbacks have a denser paper, with fewer ink stains. It looks a lot like the printing quality went way downhill since the last book.

That said, I was doing to buy this book no matter what. I've been reading the series since '95. I've grown up with these books.

I just wish the publishers hadn't known that.
Posted by Queerly Yours on January 10, 2013 at 8:13 AM · Report this
4
Who cares? They may be vitriolic, but they're right. Fuck those publishers. It's 2013. Netflix is about to release an entire season of Arrested Development in a single day. There's no need for this artificial time-delay bullshit anymore.

Books are just fire hazards now. Unless it's something by Robert Jordan (yes, I know he's dead. Whatever), in which case they're also flammable doorstops.
Posted by Jason Petersen http://fixedpoints.net on January 10, 2013 at 8:16 AM · Report this
5
*going. I was going to buy this book.

Have to double check for typos. *sigh*
Posted by Queerly Yours on January 10, 2013 at 8:16 AM · Report this
deepeyes 6
Was I disappointed after 20-some years and 11,000 pages not to be able to get a digital copy? Yes. Am I *entitled* to a digital copy? Fuck no. The publishers chose the most lucrative option. Duh. And having waited this long, April doesn't seem that bad.
Posted by deepeyes http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351140610 on January 10, 2013 at 8:18 AM · Report this
7
@3: Where in the world did you buy the book for $35? Yes, that's the retail price, but Amazon has it for $19, and B&N for $20. Even most of the independent bookstores (at least in my area) drop the price like that for a big new release.
Posted by NateMan on January 10, 2013 at 8:21 AM · Report this
8
I wish book publishers would do what a lot of record companies have done with modern vinyl releases: include a downloadable version of the album as well as the vinyl LP. At $25 for what is a very large book...it would be nice to include that as an ebook download too.
Posted by redchapterjubilee on January 10, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
9
JUST FYI everyone: this was not even the publishers decision. THe widow of Robert Jordan is an old lady who owns the rights and is uncomfortable with Ebooks. She has personally insisted on delaying that version until April because she is worried (for no good reason really, but there you have it) that the sales will cannibalise Hardcover sales and will possibly make it the only book in the series that didn't go to number 1 in the NYT bestseller list. The publisher (and Brandon Sanderson) actually convinced her to not delay the Ebook for a year and only for four months instead.
Posted by Andreas on January 10, 2013 at 9:04 AM · Report this
sjbrot 10
Re: 4. We're living in a post-"Arrested Development on Netflix" world, people.
Posted by sjbrot http://jamesbrotheridge.tumblr.com on January 10, 2013 at 9:04 AM · Report this
11
They're just mad they wasted all that money on a device to read books when they could have skipped over that middle man and picked up the book without it.
Posted by treehugger on January 10, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
12
Amazon really needs to have people reviewing comments like that on products and removing ones that have received too many thumbs-down "dislikes".
Posted by FuzzyLamps on January 10, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Posted by horatiocain http://jerkcity.com on January 10, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 14
@9 I can't blame his widow, Harriet, for that decision. Screw the cry babies. This book does deserve to be at #1.

As for any quality claims, pure delusion. I'm 190~ pages into the book, closing in fast on the massive 180~ page (yes, 180 page chapter titled "The Last Battle"--it's finally here!) and the book so far is the best since either The Eye of the World (#1) or The Shadow Rising (#4).

There have already been two, possibly three moments in the book that completely outclassed the fantastic fantasy awesomeness of the rain scene at the end of The Shadow Rising.

For the nerds keeping score:

The beginning of the chapter titled "A Knack". Onions. Onions everywhere.

"The last ride" at Tarwin from the same chapter. One hundred fucking thousand.

The first (so far) dreamshard scene. "I'm coming for HIM". Possibly the most bad-ass moment so far out of 3.5 million words.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on January 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
15
Can some industrious Stanger writer get a review out ASAP? I started the series but gave up after so many books of NOTHING happening. Rule for writers... about as much story progression should happen in each installment. See Harry Potter. It got to frustrating to read Jordan spending 800 pages to tell the story of half a day. And too too frustrating to see Rand bumble his way through saving the world while Jordan rags hi through 10,000 pages of indecision.
Posted by LukeJoe on January 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
slake 16
A one star review in this case won't affect sales. If you read the first 13 books in this series, it's unlikely a one star will prevent you from reading A Memory of Light. Decisions have consequences- the widow postponed digital release to prevent ebook sales from cutting into the hardcover sales and preventing the new book from hitting number one. I assume she weighed the consequences of that action and is willing to abide with crappy reviews.
Posted by slake on January 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
17
These people are clearly being over the top, but I don't think it's unreasonable to be pissed that an ebook version is not available, especially for a huge book like this (by, huge, I mean lots of pages). And lowering the rating by giving it 1 star is kinda the only leverage you have over publishers to pressure them to offer the book in the format you would like to purchase (or not purchasing at all and pirating instead, I suppose).

Yes, I have room in my apartment for a hardback book, but I don't necessarily want to carry it around everywhere with me, and it's going to be totally impractical for reading at the gym, reading on the subway if I have to stand, etc. etc. I totally support people not being into the ebook thing if they're not, but there's nothing inherently evil about people wanting a more portable method of carrying around books (plus, I can indulge my ADD tendencies...I'm currently switching around between at least 6 different books...). If price point is a concern, make the ebook more expensive for the first 4-6 months, but at least make it available!
Posted by sara on January 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
r.chops 18
Shouldn't this headline be "Sci-fi fans are whiny babies"?
Posted by r.chops on January 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM · Report this
douchus 19
#18 - WoT series is not Sci-Fi. DICK.
Posted by douchus on January 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM · Report this
r.chops 20
Apologies!
"Fantasy fans are big whiny babies"
Clearly.
Posted by r.chops on January 10, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 21
@19 if you wanted to get really, really, really, awfully pedantic and nerdy... it's post-apocalyptic science fantasy, at least in this turning of the Wheel in the story.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on January 10, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
22
I too was peeved that his book only came out in hardcover... so I waited less than 24 hours and downloaded a scanned copy, with hardly any errors!

Suck it, Robert Jordan's widow!
Posted by canajun-eh on January 10, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 23
What @19 said.

But paperbacks (which is what I buy) make for great things to throw at cats and puppies when they do stuff they're not supposed to.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Paul Constant 24
@10: Actual LOLs. Thank you.

@15: I don't know if we'll be reviewing the book, honestly. I am waaaaaay behind on Wheel of Time and simply don't have the time to catch up. And I think I may be the only person in the building who's read any of the Wheel of Time at all. I'm really sorry—I wish I could help you out. Maybe some Slog reader can pitch in?
Posted by Paul Constant http://https://twitter.com/paulconstant on January 10, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
25
Big whiney babies? Isn't that some kind of Gay kink?
Posted by sgt_doom on January 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 26
@17,

They may be within their rights to be pissed off, but the main objection I have is a problem throughout Amazon reviews: people who have a problem with Amazon or with a specific supplier leave a one star review for the *product*, thus lowering the overall star rating and leaving the impression that the product is worse than it is.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 10, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
27
Agree with @17. Years ago, when I first got interested in the series, I read the first book in paperback, then promptly went online in search of the ebooks for the rest of the series. They didn't exist. Then promptly downloaded them as pdfs. More awkward to read and with some typos, but better than trying to fit that many extra books onto my shelves. Would have happily paid $7-$10 (current ebook prices) for each, as I later paid for Towers of Miidnight. Not having ebooks available was just money left/on the table. Same thing now. If they put out the ebook, people would happily pay $5 less (or maybe even the same price) over the hardback, and the publisher would make more money due to the lower printing costs. In four months, they'll probably have to charge even less because there will be used copies, scanned copies, and the prospect of a paperback release pushing down prices.
Posted by sf gal on January 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM · Report this
28
Amazon just sent me an email about their new Autorip program. They just gave me MP3s for a bunch of cds I'd previously bought. I'm pretty pumped. I will actually probably start buying more cds if I get the digital copies too. Now if they could do this with books, all would be good.
Posted by sisyphusgal on January 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
29
What we're pissed about:

Let's acknowledge that publishers can release their entire back catalogs immediately in a digitial format. Let's further acknowledge that it would be a mighty boon for those who prefer a digital format (because owning a full library is overrated, especially when you have to pack it for a move).

Why isn't every released and out-of-print book on Kindle right now? Money. The costs are so low (no paper, no printing, no shipping, etc.) that the customer won't stand being gouged. So when a publisher releases a book at hardback price, the customer calls bullshit and stays away, waiting for the first pirate to do what the publisher could have done all along, but chose not to.
Posted by woof on January 11, 2013 at 7:10 AM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy