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(Update to this post: I’m shutting down comments because it’s been over a week and they’re still coming. What’s more, I don’t really want to keep talking about it. Thank you.)

(Second update: Disabling new comments hid the old comments, which I didn’t want, so comments are back on again.)

Yep. It’s true. Based on the sales of Circle of Enemies, Del Rey has decided not to offer me a contract to write more Twenty Palaces books.

What? Why?

Well, Pretend Questioner, let me address that in a very long blog post

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.


( 76 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Oct. 15th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. Next up is another uncommon UF, so maybe that will do.
Oct. 14th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
I am not especially surprised, given the givens, but this is a major bummer and I am very sorry you're having to go through it.

Josh and I saw Betsy at the Mill & Swill last week, and Josh thanked her for picking up your books. She shook her head and said, "This is part of why I'm leaving publishing. If people aren't buying great books like those by a smart, talented author like Harry, I don't even know what to do with myself anymore." Not making this up or exaggerating even a little. Your fans may be few, but we are loyal and we think you and your books are amazing.
Oct. 15th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
Wow. Thank you.

I promise better stuff is yet to come.
Oct. 14th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about what happened.

I enjoyed the first book, bought the other two and their on my to read list. And the book trailer definitely was better than others I've seen.

When the other books come out I'll be buying those too.

I'm glad you don't see this as a set back and I'm glad you have plans to come out with other books.

Oct. 15th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
The other books will be new and different. Hopefully, people will like them just as much.
Oct. 14th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Still think you should do a kickstarter campaign for the next book - you never explain why you don't.
Oct. 15th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
I'm sorry. Let me be more clear: I need to be increasing my readership. The Twenty Palaces series is shrinking with each book. That's unsustainable.

I need to try something new and grow my readership. My plan is to revisit this setting, maybe as self-published work, when things are more stable.

I'm not sure I can pull it off, but sticking with the Twenty Palaces books is throwing good effort after bad.
Oct. 15th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
Well, that sucks.

After finishing the third book, I realized that the term "noir," which is occasionally applied to the series, was exactly right.

These aren't urban fantasy novels. They're noir mysteries. The supernatural element is cool and necessary, but the balance of the presentation follows the tropes of gritty mystery novels far more than the tropes of UF. That whole, "What the hell is going on here?" thing is totally, totally mystery.

Which means that if you had nothing else to do but tout your books, you might try working them at the mystery-reading crowd. If Del Rey was to go back in time and restructure their campaign, that might be the way to go.

Crap. It's really, really awful. I don't particularly like most UF (Kim Harrison is the only other one, and her books are increasingly like other UF books with the romantic and emotional entanglements), but your books were very enjoyable. Also, each book was better than the previous--your growth as a writer was evident.

I'm so sorry this happened. I hope Egg, etc. (as I've been thinking of it) sells.
Oct. 15th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
Thank you.

You know, after Andrew Wheeler's fantastic review of Game of Cages, Del Rey tried to get some attention from the mystery crowd. They sent a bunch of review copies to mystery bloggers, and the only result was a single desultory review, which was little more than a plot recitation.

The fantasy readers aren't fond of hard core mystery elements, and mystery readers don't like the magic.

Noir has always been more respected than popular. I think it's awesome stuff, but even I am not in the mood for it all the time. And people standing in the bookstore with their credit card in hand are very honest. I gotta respect that.

I think there will be a time for these books, but not right now.
Oct. 15th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
I know, a lot of people didn't like the feeling of not knowing what was going on. But, honestly, that was one of the things I liked most about it!

Sorry to hear about the series being cancelled. But I will certainly look forward to reading the prequel!
Oct. 15th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
Thank you. I hope it won't be long.
Oct. 15th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
I'm very sorry to hear it, Harry. I loved the series (just finished Circle of Enemies, will post a review soon) and definitely hope to see it continue sometime.

For the record, "too much ghost knife" is complete bullshit. Ray's ghost knife is cool and works as a selling point, not a drawback. As a tool, it helps define him. It's like saying Green Lantern uses his ring too much.

Looking to the future, I can't wait to see what else you write. Keep up the good work. You've got a big fan in me!
Oct. 15th, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
Green Lantern totally needs some extra jewelry. He needs some red earrings and a golden belt buckle and an azure necklace. Otherwise it's all ring ring ring.

But thank you. I appreciate it.
(no subject) - nick_kaufmann - Oct. 15th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - burger_eater - Oct. 15th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nick_kaufmann - Oct. 15th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)
*sigh* I have not read Circle of Enemies yet. Its here in the house (the boys bought it at DragonCon cause our Books a million sucks and no B&N here). I suppose I am an odd duck. I felt you have just enough introduction to allow me to understand the story. I do not have to be led through every nook and cranny like a child.

I loved the ghost knife. It made sense to me. And I do not think it was overused. Ya have one good trick, dammit you use it... a lot.

I read 3-4 books at once. ATM I have a MZB, JD Robb, Laura Resnick (almost done), and fluffy cozy mystery by Denise Swanson. Some days or times the fluffy bubblegum books appeal to me. Most days I want a book with a real twist. A real fresh idea or ideas.

You do what you have to do. I mean heck Elizabeth Moon revisited the Deeds of Paks after what 20 years? I will continue to check out your books and spread the word.
Oct. 15th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I understand different people have different tolerances, but it's gratifying to hear so many people say how much they enjoyed the ghost knife.
(no subject) - cainle_bean - Oct. 15th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2011 06:08 am (UTC)
Oh no!
I've been a fan of Harry Connolly ever since I heard about your first book on Scalzi's site. My wife and I have bought all of your books in paperback and ebook form so we can read them at the same time.

Keep writing. I'll keep buying. Even if it isn't about Ray and Annalise. You're good at it, and it seems to make you happy.

Most of what you've described as shortcomings (according to Amazon reviews) are what make me consider you a mature writer. I wish that sold better, because that's what I look for in novels.
Oct. 15th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh no!
Thank you. I owe Scalzi a big thanks for hosting the Big Idea essays.

And no worries, I'll keep writing books, and I'll hopefully keep things interesting.
Oct. 15th, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC)
Well, crap. I am so sorry this happened to your series.

*sends a cosmic hug in your direction*

But I am glad you have more books in the works, and I'm really looking forward to buying them.
Oct. 15th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much.

Are cosmic hugs like cosmic rays? Because I could use some superpowers.
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Oct. 15th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear that. :\

I'm glad to hear we'll still be getting more writing from you though.
Oct. 16th, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not quitting any time soon. And thank you.
Dawson Cowals
Oct. 16th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
Not sure who the detractors are, I for one loved the series!
Really hoping something breaks for you maybe with one of the new books so you can return to the Twenty Palaces world. I was recommended to your series by a fellow Jim Butcher fan and devoured all 3 books in like 5 days. The story was just starting to really pick up and get good with the ending of the 3rd and I was totally along for the ride. I look forward to reading any other works you put out, but hope that we get to find out what happens next too! Best of luck on your next manuscript, and please let us know if there is any inkling of more Ray in the future!
Oct. 16th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Not sure who the detractors are, I for one loved the series!
Thank you. Believe me, if I return to the Twenty Palaces series, I'll mention it here.
Oct. 16th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
Damn, I'm so sorry to hear this!
For what it's worth, I've enjoyed every last word.
I don't know how you have arrived at the thought that this was your fault, because honestly, I don't know what else you could have done. You did good.
Oct. 16th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

The way I see it, the person who takes the blame is also the person who deserves the credit when things go right. That's the person with the power.

If I have the power to create a story that really speaks to lots of people, then I'm the one shouldering the load. It's on me to do the work correctly.

If that makes sense.
Oct. 16th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
finally got some time to read this. I'm sorry. This sucks. Not the least because I am too broke to buy books right now so I am a tiny tiny bit responsible. (when I get full time work I will be rectifying that, though) How long are they going to keep copies on the shelves of bookstores? Are they planning on just selling out of the stock they have printed?

Oct. 17th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
You are not even a tiny bit responsible. No individual is. This is a matter of large scale sales and large scale audience appeal.

And they are definitely going to keep selling their stock as long as it makes financial sense, so the books won't be going away. Also, I plan to take over the ebook sales when that time comes.
Oct. 18th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
I somehow missed this the other day, and just want to say: dude. So sorry to hear it, and here's to you landing on your feet ASAP.
Oct. 18th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm lucky in that I have a new thing to work on and it's sorta fun.
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