I’d like to take the time to thank each of you who has faced out a copy of Talyn at your bookstore, or bought a copy for yourself or someone else, or recommended it to a friend or a bookseller. I apologize for being so distracted by garbage that I haven’t taken the time to say this properly.
It’s been an unpleasant week or so—most people probably think I should have just ignored the whole Little tempest, but I believe that someone who has been lied about has the moral obligation to defend his innocence. However, as noted by one commenter, anything you say when someone lies about you will only convince the people who want to believe the lie that it was justified, and that sort of hostility is no fun to deal with. While I know that I had to go on record correcting the lies, I acknowledge (and knew beforehand) that this whole thing would have sunk from lack of interest if I had let the lies stand.
You folks have been huge bright spots for me with this garbage, as well, and I want to thank you for that, too. Your support and encouragement, as well as your help with Talyn means more to me than I can say
I finally registered just to be able to comment on this DA debacle. It gives me a chance to say some things that I kept to myself during my run-in with Jane, which was unpleasant but not as nasty, I think, as your experience.
I gave the whole ‘author behaving badly’ phenomena a lot of thought at a time when I was also thinking about the larger issue of reviews and review weblogs. What I picked up on — and this is more intuitive than analytic — is a contemptuous tone in DA and some other, similar review blogs. There’s a distinctly gleeful tone when Jane identifies what she sees as a flaw. Something like a dog with a bone, and just as protective. I am constantly reminded of a certain kind of student who shows up in fiction workshops, the ones who can’t hide their disappointment at not being stars, and who make it their business to keep the brightest lights in the class humble. Jane is certainly bellicose enough to be an attorney, but my guess is that the contemptuous tone is there because she’s also a frustrated writer of fiction.
If a book is good, Jane begrudges; if it’s bad or the author does something she considers over the line, she’s gleeful. If you read her reviews the most striking thing is not her insight or analysis, but her ‘listen up, I’m onto your tricks’ tone.
The worst part in all of this is that she did harm you and then she got childish and dug in her heels, hiding behind a lot of legalese that she pulled out of thin air. Her defensiveness was the most revealing aspect of her correspondence. That old nugget about the lady protesting too much comes to mind.
You don’t have the time or energy to pursue justice in this situation, and she knows it. That gives her more reason to bluster, which is what she likes to do best. It’s her most efficient way of drawing attention to herself.
It’s probably not really possible to make you feel better about all this, but then again it’s good to know you’re not alone. I even made up a badge (proud member of the author behaving badly club)… but then I decided that would be giving DA too much credit.
And while I do not generally read fantasy, I did read Talyn and I very much enjoyed and admired it. You created some wonderful characters, and a very interesting world.
My local B&N had Talyn in a nice standup display at the top of the escalator (fiction is on the second floor), showing off the really excellent cover art. Thank your publisher’s promo budget I suspect, since the other books in the display were also from Tor.
I’ll be blogging about it once I finish my current deadline. I don’t know if it’s the best you’ve written, but it’s definitely the best book of yours that I’ve read.
I work at Barnes and Noble as the fiction lead (i.e. I am in charge of anything fiction and all those fiction displays you see laying around) and when I got your MM Talyn book I put your book on our new in fiction tower which is one of the best selling displays for fiction mass markets in our store. I also put a face out in the section and another 2 face outs in the new sci-fi/fantasy bay. Why did I do this? Because I loved your Secret Text book and really wanted to read this one, thus I wanted customers to read also. I find you to be a wonderful author and hope any problems that have surfaced will soon be fixed.
My copy of Talyn arrived at my tiny bookstore today, and I can’t wait to re-read it. Also, thought you might enjoy the review my daughter posted on her blog: http://hannaslifeiscool.blogspot.com/2006/12/book-review-talyn-by-holly-lisle.html
The good news about sales and reorders is wonderful. Thank you for letting me know.
The stress related to sales of the paperback print run of TALYN is overwhelming. Not from a financial perspective—at this point I have other gigs in progress and lined up (thanks to my wonderful agent, Robin).
But if it goes well, I have the hope of writing more books in the world I love most of all the worlds I’ve written. Lotta worlds.
Saving the world you love most means more than money.
I want to help you with your Talyn sales. I dunno how much help it’ll be, but I’ve mentioned on my site. Here’s the link:
A happy Talyn word-of-mouth story: My sister-in-law saw that I recommended it on my blog and got herself a copy. She said that she blew right through it–it was such “a captivating read”. She plans to read it again–this time more slowly!
On an another happy note, my local Borders got in more copies as well. 😀
I was passing by my local Books-a-Million and decided to stop in to check out Talyn. I found two faced out copies located in the new fiction area, as well as three faced out copies on the regular fiction shelf space.
Unfortunately, I was broke and wasn’t able to buy a copy. However, I will be getting my copy very soon.
By the way, you don’t have to thank us Holly. We owe you the thanks.
*mourns Firefly* I loved that show, but discovered it too late.
Still waiting on my copy of Talyn to come in the mail. I’m getting impatient. 🙂
Gabriele—I imagine he has been caught by ordering to the net. It isn’t any sort of politics, though—it’s just a combination of corporate policy and computer programming. Politics writers might be able to do something about.
Tina—letters never hurt, but they won’t overcome sales figures. Professional publishing (and all professionally produced entertainment) is numbers-run, and in pretty much the same fashion. As an example from another media, fans couldn’t save Firefly, and that was a huge, organized campaign.
Not sure if this will be too late for your all important first monthly figures in the US but I checked for Talyn this weekend and in my nearest large book shop.
It’s in a prominent position on Oxfrod Street and is part of one of the largest chains in the south of the UK, Waterstones, the guy there said that paper back copies of Talyn are being ordered in to arrive some time at the begining of January, (the guy wasnt sure of the exact date).
I thought it would be better to get it there than order through Amazon which is where I get most of your books.
I’ll keep you posted on the numbers/spine out issue when they arrive.
Holly, you know you always have our support. And when I get to the store I’ll do what I can to promote Talyn.
haha – “the little tempest”. very apt turn of phrase. 🙂
Holly – would it be helpful if we emailed the publisher and politely expressed our wish for the third book in the series to be published?
I’ve been facing Talyn out everywhere I see it. Just let us know when you find out if there will be a third in the series.
I wonder if this author has been trapped by chain store book ordering politics as well.
The only way to say thank you properly is to keep writing, silly. 🙂
Have a great holiday, Holly.
You’ve always got our support Holly. You’re not only a wonderful writer, but a wonderful person, and we’re happy to be there for you.
It’s a shame that some people can only get kicks by starting something. It’s even worse that it was right before the holidays.
On the subject of Talyn, I have not read it yet. I want to, and will, but I have to wait until after Christmas to buy it in case I get it for Christmas. However, I put a plug for your book on my site, and that page will be up today.
I hope that Talyn and Hawkspar sell great, and we get to read the next installment as well.
And Holly, don’t let the Jaynes get to you. Just make sure you have a Merry Christmas.
it’s annoying when all people seem to want to do is cause upset but i’m sure you’ll always recieve support from those who know you and your fans 🙂
Talyn was a great fantasy read and i love the hardback edition that ive got and am trying to get people to read your work (I’ve already got my mum working on three of your books!)
I’ll be getting a paper back copy of talyn before the year’s out as it’ll be travelling round australia with me, a nice companion to have i think.