• “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.”
  • “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


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. 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.

  2. 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~

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

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

  8. Good for you – proud of you!

  9. Hello DG,

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


  10. 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.

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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?

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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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