I love World of Warcraft, and I had an Amazon gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket, so I thought I'd try picking up a WOW guide, just for fun. I didn't have demanding expectations, and I wanted to be supportive of a self-published author, so I bought the paper version of this book instead of the much cheaper Kindle edition. After reading through the entire book in about an hour, I was so thoroughly disappointed with the content that I felt compelled to return the book. I consider it almost completely worthless and even the Kindle version is overpriced. Frankly, there are VERY few useful tips in the book, and those could have been conveyed in a short blog post without making a book.
The author is insulting to his readers, and evidently considers bad reviews to be the fault of the reviewer rather than considering the possibility that his content is lacking. No doubt he'll attack me for this review as well, but I feel people need to be warned about the poor value this book represents. He talks about readers being divided into "those who got it and those who didn't", as if the bad reviews are from fools who just incompetent to follow his clever advice. He further insults readers with, "If you are greedy, lazy or... shall I say... challenged in the comprehension department, this book will not work for you." He also says, "This book will not fail you, you can only fail yourself!" Sorry, but this book WILL fail you, unless you are such a rank beginner that you've never even HEARD of the Auction House.
The book is also poorly edited, riddled with typographical errors, and the author consistently writes "fraction" when he actually means "faction" (i.e. Alliance or Horde).
For a book that focuses entirely on how to make gold from the Auction House, I find it laughable that most of the book consists of extremely basic UI walkthrough instructions on how to post auctions, and to hide the utter lack of real content, is padded with as many screenshots as possible -- 22 of the 78 pages in this book are screenshots, and many of them are just slight variations on each other, like a screenshot that shows a 24-hour auction time selected next to a nearly identical screenshot that shows the drop-down menu with 12/24/48 hour options. Is that really helpful?
Moreover, all of the screenshots and instructions in the book correspond to the standard interface -- not a single mention anywhere in the book about Auctioneer, which is a valuable add-on that can automate most of the hard work the author would have you do poorly by hand. Ignoring Auctioneer is inexcusable in a book like this -- the standard interface is pretty straightforward, but Auctioneer is powerful and complicated, and actually DOES deserve to have a guide book written for it! Nor does the book mention the Postal add-on, which makes it fast and easy to get expired auction items from your mailbox back into your bags quickly. For that matter, the author is apparently unaware of the standard interface feature which allows you to Shift-click on a mail item to automatically put the items into your bag, which saves a LOT of clicking and time, even without using the much better Postal add-on.
This book isn't completely devoid of content, just close. There's some discussion about marketability of related items, such as bolts of linen cloth being useful only to tailors vs. linen cloth being useful to everyone, or copper ore being less useful than copper bars, or how leather is only useful mainly to leatherworkers. He advises you not to be greedy, lazy, stupid or arrogant, which is good but obvious advice. He does rightly point out that each server has its own economy, but elsewhere admits that he only plays on Shandris, so that's the only server economy he knows. He cites Thursday night as the "sweet spot" to post auctions (at least on Shandris), which he posts as 48-hour auctions once a week. He suggests buying auctions that are way under the market price and reselling them. (Well, duh!)
The author's strategy is incredibly basic -- intensive, error-prone manual research (watching the buyout price, ignoring partial stacks), taking a guess as to the appropriate price for an auction (from your sense of the price history), then undercut the competition (post as 2-3.5 gold against competitors seeking 5 gold, for example), avoid being "the only game in town to beat" (because someone could undercut you instead), and try to make lots of gold by sheer volume of auctions. A better strategy would be to use Auctioneer and conduct full auction house scans on a daily basis so Auctioneer can track prices FOR YOU and calculate appropriate market prices based on actual statistics and real information instead of intuitive guessing. Price the auctions right, and they'll probably sell. Relist the ones that don't. Undercut the market price if you want a quick sale. It's not rocket science. Auctioneer is a great tool that can serve you well. Or you can do it the author's painfully slow and laborious way, your choice.
The author does digress from the Auction House theme to talk about a few general tips on the game, but they're not particularly valuable or interesting. He talks about mailboxes (expiration, keeping empty, not using as storage though there's technically no limit, suggests starting from the end of the mailbox for speed, complains about people who hog the mailbox and block access for others), and about how exalted reputation can earn discounts and access to new mounts. He says that skinning is easy, herbalism harder (and uses the derisive term "weed pickers" for no apparent reason), and that mining is the hardest but most profitable (especially in Outland and Northrend). He mentions useful pairings of professions, like mining with blacksmithing/jewelcrafting/engineering, skinning with leatherworking, herbalism with inscription. (All obvious.) He talks about using the elevator in UnderCity for the falling achievement, and mentions a trick for mages to use Blink right before hitting the ground to avoid fall damage. (That one was new to me.) He warns hunters not to Disengage near a cliff, says to avoid autorun near the Dark Portal, and to beware of dragons while flying. He also talks about achievements, while deriding them as "Cheezements", again for no apparent reason.
He does explain that you can avoid being flagged for PVP by guards of the opposing faction, if you set your pet/minion to passive, cancel spells or unequip armor that causes damage to attackers, don't defend yourself at all, and undo those changes after you die and run back. Of course, all this really means is that you can do a death march through an area if you must, and avoid being flagged by making sure you're only a victim of the guards and don't damage them at all. This may be useful, but well known.
Out of this entire book, there is only ONE page of somewhat-useful information, heavily hyped elsewhere in the book, and that is the page on cross-faction trades. Again, this really isn't rocket science -- all you need is a trusted confederate to cooperate with you at a neutral Auction House (e.g. Booty Bay) to trade items between Alliance and Horde characters, since the game won't let you buy your own auctions from the same account. This isn't really that hard to figure out, but the author does offer a step-by-step procedure involving a predetermined list of items to trade (to be shared with the friend on the other account), to use a signal of some sort while posting auctions in an arranged order, post all auctions at 1 copper to avoid auction house fees, race to buy the auctions before someone else does, and don't cry if someone else swipes the auctions from under your nose because you posted them for 1 copper. Then switch characters and have the friend mail the items to your cross-faction character normally. This is the "big secret" of the book, and the only content of slight value. And what do you know, it's on page 64, which is NOT included in the "look inside" pages on Amazon, of course. If you want to buy the book for that one page, more power to you, but I've pretty much described the procedure, and you can read this review for free.
The book includes a short glossary at the end, but better glossaries of WOW terms could be found online easily.
All in all, this book was an extreme disappointment, to the degree that I felt completely cheated for having spent ANY money on such a worthless book, even though it was a gift certificate and I had low expectations to begin with. I felt compelled to write this review to warn others not to waste their money on this book; it's an epic fail.