• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

An Open Letter to the Tournament of Books

About the TOURNAMENT OF AUDIOBOOKS

This is a letter for the organizers at Audible.com (if I can figure out how to send it to them!), but I wanted to share it with all of you–especially the kind folk who’ve been supporting THE FIERY CROSS all through the tournament.

I know the lengths to which some of Ms. Stevens’s fans have gone, and I’m not comfortable about any of you guys wasting your time in similar endeavors. So–

An Open Letter to the Organizers and Supporters of the Audible.com 5th Tournament of Audiobooks:

I can’t say how much I appreciate all the time, trouble, and support taken by my readers through all the voting in the Tournament of Audibooks—and I’m very much pleased to have seen THE FIERY CROSS do so well through the various rounds. But…
I’m afraid that this latest round of voting has fallen prey to the demons of technology, with people (on both sides) using various ploys to place multiple votes in support of their favorite. I do appreciate the fervor and devotion that causes fans to do this—and it’s not illegal; there’s nothing in the rules of the tournament preventing multiple voting, but it’s not sporting, guys. And it’s not fair—not fair to you, to have you waste your valuable time doing something like that, and not fair to the organizers of the Tournament, to have it become a futile click-fest.
I’m perfectly happy to concede the final tournament round to Ms. Stevens; this is her first book and I’m sure the publicity will be helpful to her. I wish her all the best.

55 Responses »

  1. More chivalrous and noble than Ian Murry, William Ransom, Lord John and Jamie Fraser combined!

    Antipodean Janet xx

  2. Thank you Diana, for your integrity and generosity.

    I have felt very uncomfortable about this “tournament” and the pressure put on me, as a fan of your writing, to vote.

    I have never listened to one of your stories on audiobook. More importantly I have never listened to any of the audiobooks The Fiery Cross has been pitted against.

    How can anyone ethically cast a vote unless they have listened to both books and are able to make an honest comparison?

    Unfortunately this “tournament” has been a perfect illustration of the fact that ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic’.

    Let your audiobook sales speak for themselves and let’s hope this ‘tournament’ dies a natural death.

  3. Diana,

    All I can say is thank you and your integrity is another reason why we love you!

  4. Very cool and classy answer.
    “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.” :-)

  5. I don’t know why everything must be a contest anyway. Each audiobook speaks for itself.

  6. Diana,
    The moral victory is yours anyway!
    I have a question: I’ve been looking for Drums of Autumn on CDs read by Davina Porter
    ( She’s fantastic!) to no avail. Is there a chance that it will be available in feasible future?
    I have three sets of the “Outlander” saga at home: the hardcover is only for me to touch, the paperback version is to read anytime , and the mass paperback travels with me.
    I started listening to the CDs while driving, and presently I’m in the middle of Voyager.
    I’d gladly continue to listen to the next book , which is Drums of Autumn.
    Best Regards,
    Ivona

    • Dear Ivona—

      I don’t know whether CDs are still available from Recorded Books, or whether they’ve gone entirely to the MP3 format. I’ll try to find out for you, though.

      –Diana

      • Dear Diana,
        I appreciate very much your prompt response, and your trying to find out if the Drums of Autumn read by Davina Porter is still available on CDs.
        You just gave me the idea where else to look for it. I realize how busy you are, so I’ll check
        Recorded Books, and hopefully find what I’ve been looking for.
        Thanks a lot and good luck with all your projects!
        Ivona

        • Recorded Books was absorbed by another company (perhaps Audible–although that’s not important), thus the CDs seem to have disappeared. I searched high & low for CDs–finally found some via a thorough and lengthy internet search. The trend seems to be toward down-loadable files now from Audible. eBay is a possibility; used book stores that carry CDs, etc. When you find a match on the internet, read the description VERY carefully. The CD image may show an entire set but you will be buying just 1 CD out of several. Good luck!

      • Ivona –

        It’s available in mp3 format on audible.com

        They usually have a deal where you can download your first book for free, which would be a good bargain for one of Diana/Davina’s audiobooks.

    • Your local library would be a good source as well.

    • Another possibility is to buy the mp3 book and then burn it to CDs that you can listen to in the car. That’s what I do for some of my books.

      • That’s what I do too! I buy the MP3 and then burn for the car. I can’t afford a MP3 player for the car yet…so I do it the same way you do. The first time I heard all Dianna’s books was through the library…but then had to have them for myself to listen to them any time I wanted.

        Dianna,
        What I love about your books is the history that I can absorb while enjoying a wonderful story. Bless you for all the hard work you put into these books.

    • I have listened to all the audio books, thanks to my Library. Have you checked there?

  7. The voting wasn’t a blind vote, you “could” download a free chapter from each of the books to be considered.

    I did vote for Fiery Cross and Davina Porter’s reading of it. It is unfortunate that some folks felt compelled to vote more than once. Bowing out is a class act from a lady with class in spades. You weren’t kidding when you said that your characters were a part of you, (and you a part of them). Where is the honour in “my fans can click faster and are more organized than your fans”?

    I’m sending healing and wellness vibes and prescribing hot tea and honey with a splash of something to sooth.

    VickiB

  8. As class act from a class act. I would expect nothing less!

  9. Very gracious letter, Diana. It seems to me that what some of these competitions are measuring is something other than “this book vs. that book.”

  10. I think that is very gracious and noble.

  11. I have all your audio books and wish I’d known about the contest earlier so I could vote for Fiery Cross. (sigh) I would only have voted once. Sad that others didn’t see it that way. Your audible books are great and I recommend them to the readers of your books. I had read all seven books several times before buying my first audible.com book and greatly enjoyed them in part because of the great narration. I hope the same narrator will be available for Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.

  12. Diana, I pulled these email addresses off of my audible member page. One of them might get your letter to the right people:

    Business Development: bizdev@audible.com
    Advertising or Marketing: marketing@audible.com.
    Press Inquiries: publicrelations@audible.com

    • Dear Karen–

      Why, thanks, that’s very kind of you! I think they got it, though; I sent it through the Customer Support staff, who are always very helpful.

      –DIana

  13. So I can’t follow 100% of what has actually happened, but I can well imagine. And although I, as a long-time, loyal fan, have voted for you, I very much appreciate your response. Very classy; well done.

  14. Diana,

    From the response to this blog and to your daily lines your fans are numerous and I for one feel so privileged to be part of the Outlander Family. So as nice as the award would’ve been you’ve already received numerous awards in my mind – you’ve changed my life with your books, creativity and dedication to your craft. I applaud your desire for authenticity and good sportsmanship.

  15. Beautifully said. (Why am I not surprised? )

  16. As an AVID fan not only of yours in particular but audiobooks in general, I was thrilled to vote once in each round for any book to which I listened. I have listened to each one of your Outlander series books
    and Davina Porter is so amazing at bringing the characters to life that I actually hear their voices in my head when I’m reading the physical copies of your books. She is a true talent! Congratulations on the recognition (both of you), no matter the results of the final round!

  17. Congratulations for doing so well! Was a great book to read! I’ve been a fan since I was handed Voyager… and love and respect your writing, so much so, it’s kind of ruined it for me with other authors… but that is just me. I also want to congradulate you on this letter… I respect you that much more as a human being and individual. Thank you for posting this letter. Anitaxo
    P.S. Congratulations to Ms. Stevens!

  18. Such a gracious lady, and such a farce that people have nothing better to do than vote over and over again! I voted one time and it was for The Fiery Cross. Davina Porter is fantastic and I just about jumped up and down when The Fiery Cross FINALLY came available unabridged. Thank you for your incredible stories.

  19. This is exactly why you have such loyal fans – brilliant and classy response. Thank you for writing such incredible books, each time I start a new one I get totally lost in the story and hate for them to end. Look forward to the next installment.

  20. What a nice letter, Diana. Whenever the question comes up “If you could have dinner with any person, who would you choose?”, your name is the first that comes to mind. Not because I am some kind of crazed groupie, but because from reading your books, blogs, and notes, I feel like we have very compatable personalities. If you’re ever in the San Francisco Bay area, the first bottle of wine is on me!

  21. By the time I found out about the contest, they had The Fiery Cross against The Night Circus and I had to take a pass on voting since I loved them both too much.

  22. Dianna,

    I have joined audbuble.com last month (seeing as how I am always driving and can’t sit to read a “real” book) and saw that the tournament was going on when it was half way over. I tried to keep up with it but I am not all ways online. I find it sad that people out there would do such a thing as rig a vote over a book… even if it is any one of your awesome books… and ruin the competition for the rest of us. I know you have a big enough fan base to win and it saddens me that now we will never know who really won… I am almost sorry to call myself a “fan” so I will call myself a lover of books :-D

    ~Marlyn Aurora~

  23. I admire your show of integrity and as well as your ability to diplomatically chastise well-intentioned, but over-zealous fans in a way that will still endear you in their hearts and the hearts of others. Motherly wisdom works in many arenas. Class-act.

  24. I could never figure out the voting process, and to be fair, have never heard the Audiobook , so I didn’t vote for The Fiery Cross at all. I however want to say I admire very much your classy action of bowing out of the contest due to “voting irregularities”. We your fans already consider you a winner in all the ways that count! I admire your integrity, and like others have said, it is no wonder that all your main characters are imbued with this quality. I would not say all your characters; there are the “bad guys” after all! I am presently re-reading all the books for the umpteenth time; just now it is the “Drums of Autumn”. With an encounter with Stephen Bonnet fresh in my mind, I would not make any blanket statements about all your characters being honest!!! Keep up the good work, Diana, but take care of yourself! We need you around for a very long time to continue to engage us with your very fine writing!

    • Dear Marjorie,
      I was just like you; completely satisfied in my indulgent escapist cocoon reading and re-reading the ‘Outlander’ series again and again……Untill……. I discovered Davina Porter’s marvellous evocative narrations of the series. ‘Cross Stitch/Outlander’ was the first audio book I ever listened too. Prior to purchase, I recall initially thinking that it was a wee bit silly to be buying a audio version of a book I cherished so much. I was anxious that it might ‘taint’ my experience of Diana’s treasured words. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was addicted all over again! Please give the audio books a try. I guarantee that you will love them.
      Happy listening!
      Warmest regards
      Antipodean Janet

  25. Thank you, Diana, for leading by example to make this world a better place. If we all just did what was right…. all the time…

  26. Why indeed, are we surprised at Diana’s high class, excellent and straight arrow letter. Jamie, Clare, Ian, Young Ian, Bree and Roger, and I could go on and on … exude such a high degree of honor, how could we expect any less from their creator. Aye? Thank you, Diana, for your wonderful stories.

  27. Well played Mrs Diana… Your a true lady.

  28. Good for you – proud of you!

  29. Hello DG,

    Well said and well done! . . . although you’ll always be a winner to us.

    Cheers,
    JLS

  30. Hi Diana,
    I was very impressed to read your letter. Like a lot of your fans I admire your integrity and consider you the winner no matter what the outcome. I voted once (it never crosssed my mind to vote multiple times) after listening to the chapters available as I don’t have audio books. After getting a taste of having The Fiery Cross read to me, I think I’ll have to obtain them now! It is a pity that well-meaning fans can have the opportunity to bombard competitions by multiple voting..sad, when we know you would have won hands down.

  31. Well-written, of course, and extremely classy.

  32. I am ever renewed by the courage of your integrity and morals. Thank you Diana for restoring my faith in human nature.

  33. What a shame…whatever happened to the fair fight? I’m so pleased TFC has done so well, and in my eyes, a winner all the way. And what a fab letter, with such generosity and class.

  34. There’s a good sport, Diana. Wish more folks could be that way. But I too enjoyed seeing your book rise in the ranks and would have loved to see you win, truly an adulation from fans beyond most measures. But judging by the numerous emails and comments you receive daily, I am sure you know already how beloved your books have become and how dear you are to so many of us avid readers. Thanks and Best Wishes Always!
    Christine

  35. Noting that Audible.com now has the Outlander series on sale for @$7.95. This news came with the announcement of Ms. Steven’s tournament win. Maybe a reward for Ms. Gabaldon’s readers?

  36. Very gracious… This is yet another reason why we not only love the books, but respect the author behind them. You are a most talented woman and it is a pleasure to me to enjoy you both in print and as a person! Hats off to you!

  37. It would have been nice to have been able to vote one time, but there was some kind of problem with the website. I, too, hope that Davina Porter will be narrating the next book. Is Written In My Own Heart’s Blood going to be available on audible when the book comes out? I discovered your books on audible.com, and I have been a fan ever since.

  38. I dislike these competitions almost as much as I dislike all the “reality shows on TV”. Not reality at all. However, there has to be something for everyone (I guess).

  39. I stand guilty by ignorance for voting one time for a book and author I admire. I didn’t pay attention that this voting was for “audiobooks” nor have I read or listened to the opposing book. However, I did only vote once for the love of a book (series) I have enjoyed so thoroughly and have recommended to everyone I know who likes to read.

    I apologize for my ignorance but not for my being a loyal fan.

  40. I respect you for doing this! While I have not listened to the other audio book I have listened to all of the Outlander series and the Lord John series and enjoyed thoroughly word! Love listening while walking to and from work and while I’m in the Gym. The mind wonders and the does not concentrate on the pain of the workout. It’s great!

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