Buying To The Net Redux: Or ‘I told you so’

No less a writer than Norman Spinrad has hit the publishing death spiral, and with a flip of the bird to those who tried their damnedest to ruin my reputation when I laid out the whole evil “buying-to-the-net” process back in December ’06, I’ll simply say:

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By Holly

Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

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12 years ago

I’ve been posting the URL to this (and your historical articles/posts) and the Spinrad posting everywhere I go wherein there are discussions about authors not being able to get new contracts or having their existing series canceled. It’s amazing to me that so many people who are published have no idea about “order to net,” and I noticed that many of your nastiest detractors seemed to erroneously think you meant the interNET, not “order to net.” The battle for the midlist is definitely engaged.

12 years ago

thanks Holly for an interesting if somewhat distressing article. However, it appears to me the traditional mainstream publishing houses have always got it wrong as, regardless of their claims, their history shows they generally cannot pick a best-seller let alone effectively monitor the large number of good books that are written each and every year. It is about time these publishing czars are consigned to history as the obsolete dinosaurs they have become and, I am convinced this is already happening. Just look at how eReaders have taken off and how AMAZON already sells more electronic books than hard copies.
As a new author I am quite disgusted at the so-called rules and processes to get published and frankly I will NEVER submit my works to such a stupid and f***ed up sytem as it is no longer necessary in this new age of electronic online and POD self-publishing where an author retains mastery of their works and products.
So goodby you monopolistic publishing shills and hangers on – may the door slam on ya bum as you leave! – and let’s welcome a brave new world of self determination.
It’s about time too.

12 years ago

I was reading though your old posts that you linked to here and got choked up about Talyn. Have you heard of or read about Carina Press. An offshoot of Harlequin they are a direct to digital publisher and they are dong well. I’ve enjoyed many of the books they’ve published since opening last month and one of their claims is no great story will go unpublished. Wonder if Redbird could find a home there. I do so miss that world and the Tonk. 🙂

Reply to  Holly Lisle
12 years ago


Are you familiar with Joe Konrath/do you follow his blog ( I’ve only found him recently but much of what he says resonates so strongly as things that you have at least touched on – while I don’t think you’d agree with him on everything, necessarily, I think you’d find him interesting.

Cheerful Disclaimer: This post is unofficial and un-endorsed, shared simply as someone who’s been following you for years and just found another voice saying some similar things about the industry. Cheers!

Reply to  Holly Lisle
12 years ago

Thanks for setting up Rebel Tales, Holly. I really appreciate how you have structured your business. You are on the forefront of new trends in publishing. Best wishes.

12 years ago

A little discouraging given how much I’d like to be published, but hopefully things will get better.

12 years ago

I hope that his prediction of the death spiral of the death spiral comes to pass.

BTW, happy birthday 🙂

12 years ago

Thanks so much for telling us so, Holly. I’ve always believed you, for whatever little that’s worth. -TimK

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