Tag Archive: Economics


Today, for the majority of the Novel Ninja audience, is tax day. April 15th, over half a year away from elections, because they hope we’ll forget how many extra forms they added by then.

As I described in another post (about the historical significance of March 25th), the US gets the date of April 15th by rounding off from the UK’s April 6th, which was shifted from March 25th by a medieval bigshot in Rome updating the calendar. The Canadians couldn’t let themselves be outdone by their cousins to the south, and delayed it all the way to the end of April. Australia, the land of reversed seasons, decided to flip their tax calendar and made it October 31st (yep, Monster Day). New Zealand decided to split the difference and stuck theirs in July.

The point is, everyone has different dates, and everyone knows the headaches involved. Yet taxes are often like the location of the toilet on the USS Enterprise: it’s got to be around here somewhere,  but you never see the characters interact with it.  Continue reading

Yep, I’ve been away for a while. I had some personal-life things to take care of. Nope, I’m not going to describe them here, because they don’t have to do with writing or fun stuff. This ain’t no LiveJournal or MySpace here, bub! (Aaaaand I just dated myself. Moving on.)

I was going to make my first post back be a book review, but instead I decided to get off my duff and start the worldbuilding series I’ve been meaning to do for months now. The reason is that two parts of my life have converged on the same topic very recently. The first is that my workshop at Christendom College has restarted; the second is that I play World of Warcraft on the side.

What’s the relevancy? you might ask, and rightly so. Warcraft players might be able to guess, of course, but I’ll address the workshop angle first. Most of my students are interested in writing fantasy, which is a happy coincidence for me as I fully expected the opposite even though all evidence of youthful interest in fiction backs it up. (Just glance through the Teen Fiction section at your local bookstore, or see what the most popular movies are among the teens-and-twenties demographic.) I tailor my workshop lectures to my audience’s interests, and when I mentioned I could do some lectures on worldbuilding, there was much rejoicing.

One of the things many people overlook when worldbuilding, however, is economics. That doesn’t mean Wall Street and esoteric ideas of bull and bear markets or how one makes money using other people’s money. No, I mean taking into consideration what is valuable to a different society, what constitutes that level of value, how you represent and trade that value, and how you go about creating value.

Oh, dear. I did promise non-technical, didn’t I? It’s right there in the post’s title. I guess I need to live up to that! Continue reading

Book Prices

World-famous, multiple-time New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia recently posted a rant. This is nothing new; he rants a lot, though the difference between him and your average Internet Joe is that his rants are educational snark and not simply complaints. (Well, other than stuff like complaining about government bureaucracy, but hey, if my wife were treated that way, I’d be ticked off too.)

This particular rant was about something I talk about a lot too: the pricing of books. You can click here to read what Correia wrote (language warning), but the gist of it was that someone posted a review of one of his novellas without reading it, simply so he could complain about the price. It seems that a 30,000-word novella written by a very big-name author in a moderately big-name IP (Warmachine), with full-color illustrations and accessible to people who know nothing about said IP, is not worth the huge, huge cost of . . . five bucks.

Similarly, there’s a member of a Facebook writing support group I’m in who has said multiple times that he won’t bother reading any ebook priced higher than $3.99, because “That’s how much mine is and I doubt anyone worked any harder than me.”

Continue reading

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