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Jaid Black, Founder of Ellora’s Cave, Clears the Air

During the past few weeks, Ellora's Cave has been put under the microscope by readers and anonymous commenters. Karen S of It's My Blog and I'll Say What I Want, pondered about the quality decline at Ellora's Cave after a reading of Ben's Wildflower by Carol Lynne. I was less than impressed with the book as well but both Karen S and I have enjoyed Ellora's Cave books in the past. Were there changes in Ellora's Cave that was affecting the quality of its offerings? I emailed Jaid Black (Tina Engler). She responded that she would answer any issue I cared to bring forth. This is the unedited conversation.

Jane: Tell me a little about how Ellora's Cave was conceived.

Tina Engler aka Jaid Black: I was an unpubbed author with a trash can full of rejection letters. As a writer I had reached an impasse: either I was going to have to conform to NY standards and sex down my manuscripts or I was going to have to start my own publishing company. I chose the latter (doh!) and never regretted it ;-)

Jane: Has EC changed its focus since it was originally started? To what? and why?

Black: No. The original focus always has been and always will be erotic romance.

Jane: Do you feel in that there is a change in the style of the stories they are putting out? There seems to be a large emphasis on group sex as well as BDSM.

Black: We end up publishing what authors write. In other words, this isn't a NY situation where our authors are told, “Gimme a gay vampire orgy with some werewolf elements, 2.5 kids, a side of fries and a chocolate shake.” I mean, we don't want stifled formula. We want them to write what they want to write so the best possible story results.

Now, that said, authors are intelligent people. If they make more money writing gay vampire orgies than they do off of contemporary romantic comedies, they will continue to write whatever pays the bills. And despite some online moaning (no pun intended) to the contrary, the group sex and BDSM is selling very, very well. Sales are excellent, higher than ever before.

Black: My thought would be that, because EC is not a NY situation, if readers want to read something different they should contact their favorite authors and encourage them to expand their horizons. They should also write to EC's customer service department and tell us how they feel, something rarely done. If nobody complains to us and sales are higher than ever, how are we to know that there is a contingent of people who want something else?

Jane: Do you have a sense of the demographics of your readership?

Black: It's all over the board.

Jane: What impact do you think that NY's involvement in erotic romance and erotica will have on EC? Particularly with the epublishing only moves by Harlequin and HarperCollins.

Black: To be honest, I don't think it will have an impact. I also predict that their “e-pub only” moves won't last. For one, the readership still isn't quite there. For two, their authors will complain and revolt. Trust me from experience: authors want to see their names on tangible books. Anything less and they feel inferior at book signings.

Jane: How involved where you in picking the early authors that have gone on to have success in NY such as Jaci Burton, Sarah McCarty, and Shiloh Walker.

Black: By the time those you named came on board I was no longer responsible for picking and choosing new authors. That happened—and still happens—at the level of the individual editor. The authors I recall handpicking that went on to become big in NY are Diane Whiteside, MaryJanice Davidson, and Christine Warren. Diane and MaryJanice come from the REALLY early days of EC, before we were a house to be reckoned with, so I basically stalked them until they opted to write for me *g*.

Jane: It doesn't seem like we are seeing many breakout authors as we did in the past, i.e., there appear to be one and done authors whereas the early EC authors really established names for themselves? Is that an incorrect perception?

Black: Definitely, but an understandable one. In the early days there weren't as many authors so higher percentages were snatched away. These days we have a lot of authors and there are only so many NY slots to be filled so…

Plus, we're seeing a newer phenomenon happen at EC, wherein authors making 5 and 6 figure salaries with us aren't exactly hot to jump on the NY bandwagon. Not only that, but we're also getting an influx of submissions from NY-established authors. I'm proud to say that we've got some big names coming your way in the months to come.

Jane: Is it simply harder to sign ebook authors given the larger number of e publishers today?

Black: Not for us.

Jane: There have been some complaints about editing. How do you respond to that?

Black: Again, as customers if you don't make us aware of the problem by writing to us then we have no way of knowing there is one. For authors, the responsibility of stepping up to the plate and saying “I don't like this edit and here's why” falls on them. (I have very little sympathy for passive-aggressive types who say nothing, then complain behind your back.) Overall, though, we have a very solid editorial department that has won significant awards and been praised by other—New York—houses. Mistakes will happen, but we try to eliminate as many of them as possible.

Jane: How many editors do you have?

Black: 21

Jane: Are authors required to include sex by a certain page? How about the inclusion of certain words? Must a book have certain words to reach a certain rating?

Black: No, no and yes. If there are no graphic words, then we don't mark it as E-Erotic. That's a decision I made at the company's inception and I stand behind it.

Jane: Do certain ratings sell more?

Black: Yes. E sells the best.

Jane: What is the qualifications a new editor must have?

Black: I don't feel qualified to answer this because I'm no longer in charge of that department. EC has gotten way too big for any one person to know every microcosm of what goes on so that's why we have department VPs. (Raelene Gorlinsky makes the calls in editorial.) I do know she administers tests to see if the prospective editors catch content and line mistakes, but beyond that I really don't know. Raelene has been in publishing for a long time, is well educated, and I place a lot of confidence in her decision making skills. She's also been an avid romance reader for years—you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who knows the genre better.

Jane: Have you moved away from providing your books in bookstores other than your distribution deal with Pocket?

Black: Not at all. We get new deals with brick and mortar stores daily.

Jane: Why are you auctioning off print rights? And what is the future for EC authors as it relates to print?

Black: We auction some of them off to bigger houses in order to bring our authors and company more exposure and, thereby, sales.

Jane: Are you moving toward a more epub format then 'publisher' format due to not being able to compete with NY

Black: Definitely not. I'm not sure where all these rumors began (actually I am sure but that's another story), but I can assure you that EC is flourishing. We're doing better than ever and are finally getting to the point where we can and are competing with NY.

Jane: Why did you go to twice a week release? The perception is that you can't possibly provide quality editing when it seems like there is such a huge quantity of books being released

Black: And, Jane, I'm sure that perception was generated from people whose motives you should really hold suspect. For instance, I know who the “inside source” is at 2 of the blogs. This person was *never* an insider. (That would be akin to saying everyone who cooks food at McDonalds is an insider.) The only employees with any sort of insider knowledge whatsoever are department VPs, period. Nobody else has access to the inner workings of the company. To suggest otherwise makes for great blog fodder, but it simply isn't true.

Black: At any rate, we went to twice per week because of all the reader mail we receive asking for more books. According to studies, the average romance reader reads one book per day. When you take into account our shorter novels, we're batting average in terms of supply and demand. (But to answer the rumors, no, we don't need more money and no, our editorial department is not suffering!)

Jane: Do you think the ebook market is overly crowded.

Black: Not to us. Competition is a good thing because it keeps us on our toes.

Jane: No one seems to really understand what the Lotus Circle is all about. What is it all about?

Black: TLC is a new publishing venture for us. It's not aimed at the romance community per se so I suppose it's normal that you don't get it *g*! At any rate, TLC publishes psychic fiction and metaphysical non-fiction. (The sequel to my book One Dark Night will release there, for instance.)

For the record, Kathryn Falk does *not* have a vested interest in The Lotus Circle. She has one book coming out with us, a fact we have publicized all over the place. I can assure you that Ms. Falk is not in need of any money. In fact, she has intended from the get-go that any and all profit will go to her SOS (disabled veterans) charity.

Jane: I had one follow up question that really isn't a follow up question. How is pricing determined? I was surprised to see novel length books at $7.99. Should we expect the prices of Ellora's Cave ebooks to be commensurate with the high priced mass markets?

Black: Jane, isn't the 7.99 a multi-author anthology? I believe our 1 author full lengths are a dollar cheaper

Jane: I can't remember the title. I just remember one book I was interested in being $7.99 and my eyebrows rose. I have a problem paying $7.99 for an ebook because it's not something I can return or resell like a paper book. I'd have to look back in my TBB list and see if it is still there.

Black: I recall that we instituted the 7.99 anth price during a time when high selling authors were griping about putting their novellas in an anth with low selling authors. Upping the pricetag appeased them.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to present factual information to your readers. Best wishes! :-)

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 13, 2007 @ 07:52:55

    Toni Blake recently revealed that she’s been writing for EC under the pen name Lacey Alexander *gg*. I wonder who’ll come out next!

  2. Sarah McCarty
    May 13, 2007 @ 08:08:20

    Nice to see EC having a chance to respond to all the negativity. Thanks for showing both sides of the equation. And as I said on Karen’s blog, I had a great time writing at EC and I’m sure many authors starting out now will also build wondeful memories with the company.

    My books are $7.99 I think because of length. I normally write about 128K. That takes more time to edit and when it goes to print, with at least one of the printers used by EC, had to be compressed into Trade size rather than “expanded “into.

  3. TeddyPig
    May 13, 2007 @ 08:13:51

    “I'm sure that perception was generated from people whose motives you should really hold suspect.”

    The readers who buy books? The reviewers who buy a ton of books? Paranoia will destroy-a.

    “I know who the “inside sourceâ€? is at 2 of the blogs. This person was *never* an insider.”

    I read several people on Karen’s blog who gave their opinion most anonymous. Why the focus on one “insider”?

  4. Jane
    May 13, 2007 @ 08:51:56

    I wish I would have asked how authors were involved in auctioning the print rights. Do they know about it? approve of it? Get any $$ from it? That sort of thing. Any other questions I should have asked people?

  5. Gail Faulkner
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:04:52

    Jane, I can only speak about my own experience. I’m excited to be part of the Pocket Anthologies. I have to say, the deal negotiated for me by the professionals EC hired is excellent. I do get half of the sale of rights price and any royalties my portions of the book will make. I have given up NONE of my rights as author and benefited from a sweet deal I didn’t have to sweat over. Just between you and me, the return from my short story has far exceeded my expectations and we certainly haven't seen royalties yet. It is print after all.

  6. Jaid Black
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:05:53

    Teddy, I’m not going to get into a flame war with you. What I will say is I’ve found over the years that readers don’t post anonymously b/c they have no reason to… and all the slander has been anonymous. People can post their opinions all day long and I respect that, but I don’t respect anonymous “sources” posting blatant slander that they can’t verify/substantiate. That’s not paranoia; that’s a fact.

  7. Keishon
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:07:45

    As a reader, my buying habits at EC has certainly changed and was a bit short-lived. Anya Bast and Shelby Reed quickly became two of my favorites and they haven’t put out anything new in quite sometime. Also, there’s not a bestseller list at EC so I have no clue as to who is popular; thus I am left with reading blurbs and excerpts that don’t sound all that great to me. I can’t really say much on the quality decline at EC but would like to know if there are more good authors out there like Bast and Reed who do a good job of combing sex with a good story.

  8. Jaid Black
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:19:55

    Jane, auctioning off print rights is not a new thing in this industry. It’s done all the time. Yes, authors know about it and get paid nicely for it. We’ve not heard a word of complaint from our authors about the Pocket anths. (In fact they are asking for more.)

    In terms of single titles, we’ve only had 2 complaints from authors who have left EC for NY and now want to take their books back and sell them theirselves. (Sorry, but contracts don’t work that way.) Publishing isn’t a one-way street where an author has the choice to use Company A, make nice money off of them, then try to finagle their way out of contracts with them in order to sell them to Company B. We have done nothing backhanded or out of of our legal and moral rights. Contracts are spelled out in length; additions to contracts are always mailed to authors with a separate sheet of paper listing the changes. If you’ve been told differently, you’ve been lied to.

    My question would be how readers even know about things like this… unless authors (not readers) are trying to incite problems. I mean, this isn’t the sort of question your typical reader thinks about or cares about.

  9. Teddy Pig
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:21:40

    Samhain is $5.50 for full length

    Loose-Id is $5.99 for full length

    Elora’s Cave is $6.49 for full length

  10. Jaid Black
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:26:10

    Keishon, I appreciate your comment. Truthfully, we’ve toyed with the idea of listing our best sellers for years, but haven’t done it for one reason or another. However, I can promise to show your comment at our next directors meeting. (You’ve given a helpful demonstration as to the value behind the idea.)

  11. Jaid Black
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:29:54

    Teddy, we feel our prices are fair based on the length of the book and the editing time required.

  12. Teddy Pig
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:38:09

    “I've found over the years that readers don't post anonymously b/c they have no reason to… and all the slander has been anonymous.”

    Your right, most of the people who emailed and agreed with Karen were authors who do not want to be named. Now particulars aside, required sex scenes etc etc… these were people in your own business giving their honest opinion and the general flavor of those posts was apparent and the dissatisfaction with worsening quality was evident. It might not be a highly accurate poll but in all it would worry the hell out of me.

    The only reason I knew those were authors by-the-way was because it reflected the comments made to me by authors I respect word for word.

    I can understand being on the defensive it is your company but instead of focusing on the silly parts or the “slander” I would be more concerned on the big picture.

  13. Vivi Anna
    May 13, 2007 @ 09:52:09

    Kudos Tina for coming on and answering Jane’s questions. You certainly didn’t have to do that and shows to me that you are interested in what your readers have to say.

    And for the record before anyone takes me to task…I don’t write for EC.

  14. Anne
    May 13, 2007 @ 10:33:09

    In response to emailing EC customer service(as I posted on Karen’s blog):

    I emailed customer service at EC, i.e., Raelene, about six months ago when I was DYING for a plain old contemporary, and I got the response that authors tend to direct their efforts toward what sells and while they continue to encourage submissions of all genres, a publisher does not control what an author creates.

    So basically the answer was sorry, but we can’t help you. Hence, my switch to finding books at Samhain and Cobblestone instead.

    To me, it’s a waste of time. They aren’t listening.

  15. Charlene
    May 13, 2007 @ 10:53:28

    Keishon, Anya Bast has a new EC titles coming out in a week or so. I’m looking forward to it myself. Shelby Reed is one of my favorites, too.

  16. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 10:53:32

    I appreciate the fact that Black is such a strong advocate for her business, and I like her passionate defense of EC, even if I believe there’s probably mix of perspectives among those associated with the publisher. If the person behind the company doesn’t stand up for the business, then how is anyone to have confidence in its authors and books. I hope that Black is as passionate an advocate for her authors as she is for the business of epublishing and EC.

    One thing did bother me, though, and that was Black’s comment that readers should be the ones who report bad editing to the publisher. I’d hate to have to accept the idea that the ‘editor as expert’ concept is old-fashioned in this relatively new industry, because when I buy a book that is supposedly professionally published, I think I have the right to expect that the editor was better qualified than I am to edit a book. IMO the editorial feedback issue is an internal mechanism, and I’m not sure the author should be the feedback source, either, although perhaps I imagine more of a creative partnership than there is. But in any case, I do think it’s unfair to want or expect readers to watchdog editors. Those issues should be resolved before the book ever hits the streets, IMO. Of course I don’t really embrace this whole customer feedback model of Romance authorship to begin with, but that’s sort of a separate topic.

    I think editing is a problem not just for epubs, but for Romance novels in general. And it frustrates me to no end, because editing is a crucial contribution to the narrative power of a book, IMO. There are authors who are naturally gifted writers, whose styles enhance or complement their stories. And there are authors whose styles are merely unobtrusive — serviceable but not artful. And there are authors whose styles actually interfere with the storytelling. Some authors need more grammatical or punctuation correction, while others might need someone who can parse through the writing and draw the story out more. I a) get the feeling that “editing” has become somewhat reduced to copy or line editing in the industry, and that b) there is a perception that errors we might expect an editor to catch are somehow less important than other things in a book. But IMO if NOT ONE READER recognizes and responds to the errors coming out of a house, that’s still no excuse to tolerate them. It doesn’t mean errors don’t happen; if I find less than 20 in any book length manuscript, I think that’s relatively minor. But I hate to think there’s an attitude that editing isn’t just as valuable — in its own way — as writing. I’m NOT an editor, but boy do I appreciate great editing, and IMO a well-edited book can actually disguise a multitude of story/writing/character flaws and weaknesses.

  17. Emily
    May 13, 2007 @ 11:22:14

    I am not sure that people are not getting TLC because they are assuming it is romance based. It clearly isn’t and most of us read many genres and have a respectable comprehension of web-based materials. But with TLC just what is fiction and what is not, is very blurry.

  18. Emily
    May 13, 2007 @ 11:23:47

    I also agree that editing should be monitored in-house like any other quality control. All it takes is some random monitoring of the product.

  19. Karen Scott
    May 13, 2007 @ 12:39:55

    Tina, I have a few questions so bear with me:

    1. I asked a current EC author if she knew whether any extra editors had been taken on when EC went to eight books a week. She told me that she wasn’t aware of any recruitment drives for new editors in recent times, can you clarify if there were indeed new editors taken on, and how many?

    2. On the subject of editing, a few anonymous, and not-so-anonymous authors, intimated that editors were told to limit the number of commas during edits, because apparently, they slowed down readers. Is there any truth to this, and if so can you explain the reasoning behind it?

    3. I was informed that the author in question had been awarded a 12-book contract, on the basis of one book, and that quite a few of the newer authors were reporting similar news. Firstly, is this true? And secondly if it is true, who would be responsible for making this decision? Is this purely the editor’s call, or are there other personnel who would have an input? Especially considering that the author seems to be relatively new to publishing, and thus (admittedly, mostly assumption on my part), mostly ‘unproven’.

    4. You dismissed a few of the anonymous posts as heresay, but there were a few authors who e-mailed me with concerns about what they saw as a general drop in the standards in comparison to previous years. These authors weren’t trying to cause trouble for EC, and some of them have been with EC for many a year, so I find it hard to discount their views. Isn’t is just possible that the standards have dropped, but none of the relevant personnel have picked up on it due to maintained sales?

    5. Keishon mentioned earlier about the quality authors not writing as many books for EC, and this is something that’s concerned me for a while. From a readers point of view, it’s disheartening to see this happening more frequently. Is this something that will change in the future, i.e when the NY commitments have been fulfilled, or will this be the status quo from here on in?

    6. I’ve noticed that the EC covers seem to have become a lot sexier than previously, and I was informed that the powers at EC had deliberately taken this decision to sex them up because the sexier covers amped up sales. Firstly, are the sexier covers a deliberate marketing strategy, and B, do they generate more sales?

    7. Digressing slightly, you also mentioned that the sequel to One Dark Night was being released at TLC, instead of Berkley, how come?

    OK, that’s enough from me, sorry I’ve bled all over your blog Ja(y)nes. *g*

  20. Jaid Black
    May 13, 2007 @ 13:06:15

    Emily & Robin, I didn’t mean to suggest that readers should be unpaid editors. What I meant was, by the time the book leaves the editorial dept it should have no glaring content errors and next to no line errors. However, if it has left the editorial dept and has a glaring error, I would hope readers would let us know… otherwise we have no way of knowing. We do quality control impromptu inspections, but that’s a sampling of books, not everything out there.

    Anne (1) Raelene is not in customer service and (2) I will never force a writer to write something they don’t want to for the sake of anybody. They will receive suggestions but that’s it. As a reader you have the choice to read what they do write or read elsewhere. You have made your choice and I respect that.

    Teddy, you and I are going to have to agree to disagree here. While I can respect that you will tend to believe your online friends over a stranger as most people do, you have to understand that there are two sides to every story. EC takes suggestions from our authors very seriously when they are presented in a professional in-house manner and not taken to reader blogs. What happened on Karen’s blog wasn’t a list of suggestions aimed to help anyway… they were innuendos and accusations meant to damage our reputation. Worse, they were lies. If they weren’t lies they wouldn’t be afraid to put their names to the posts. As an example: one of the most rampant lies being spread is that EC has a tendency to sue authors who “displease” us. While such a statement is a convenient way to garner sympathy and look like a victim, it simply isn’t true. We have too much work to do to go around suing people over frivalous matters.

    Here’s the bottom line for me: Jane invited me to speak my piece so I did. There will always be that small but vocal contingent who chooses to pick apart every word I write and sink their teeth into it. I have no control over that and no desire to defend myself over every ping sent hurling my way. At the end of the day, our high level of sales isn’t consistent with the alleged dissatisfaction being talked about. Because of that fact, again, I encourage you to recall that sometimes when authors tell you things, they aren’t giving you both sides of the coin… or revealing their motives.

    Good luck and happy reading.

  21. Anya
    May 13, 2007 @ 13:06:52

    Keishon — Thank you so much for that lovely compliment. :) :)

    I do still write for EC, but lately I’ve had other contract obligations to fulfill for Berkley and Harlequin Spice. Once I’ve met them all, I’ll pick up on some EC targeted projects I have in the works. I do have a new release coming out from EC this Wednesday, though.

    My lack of releases from EC hasn’t been by choice, but by necessity. Hopefully I’ll get my legs under me soon and get back to having regular EC releases.

    As far as finding authors at EC that you enjoy, I can recommend a few. :)

    Have you read Lauren Dane? I’ll say up front she’s a personal friend of mine, but she writes great stories too. Have you read Samantha Winston’s Gladys Hawke (I love that book), or anything by Sahara Kelly? I really like Rhyannon Byrd a lot and Patrice Michelle. Have you checked them out? Or, let’s see… Sylvia Day, Joey Hill, Annie Windsor, Mandy Roth or Michelle Pillow?

    Your tastes might differ from mine, but that’s a sampling of my favorite Ellora’s Cave authors. You might find one or two you enjoy.

  22. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 13:12:15

    re. the comma issue: is it true, as one author on Karen Scott’s blog pointed out, that the EC style manual reflects this fewer comma rule? Oh, and I guess I better be honest and say that a “no” answer will simply result in a follow up question of what is the “official” policy regarding commas (i.e. what’s the wording in the manual)? I’ve done spin control myself for too many years not to know that a certain answer might be on its face truthful but still not the whole story, so I actually appreciate Karen Scott’s questions and truly hope that Black/Engler is willing to go beyond the corporate cheerleading to answer them candidly — even though I understand that she doesn’t actually owe any of us an answer. But, hey, open that door . . . .

  23. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 13:23:20

    Emily & Robin, I didn't mean to suggest that readers should be unpaid editors. What I meant was, by the time the book leaves the editorial dept it should have no glaring content errors and next to no line errors. However, if it has left the editorial dept and has a glaring error, I would hope readers would let us know… otherwise we have no way of knowing. We do quality control impromptu inspections, but that's a sampling of books, not everything out there.

    Ah yes, I understand; thanks for clarifying.

    If they weren't lies they wouldn't be afraid to put their names to the posts.

    In many ways, I’m grateful that my ambition is to remain a Romance reader, because my own sense is that authors are often viewed as manual labor in the whole Romance publishing machinery. So authors who aren’t willing to put their name to something don’t immediately strike me as liars, only because of the ugly comments I’ve seen from editors who claim they won’t work with an author who has made certain types of comments. That whole thing seems so bizarre to me, so out there and unprofessional and so beyond any questions of artistic merit, but okay, I’ve seen the fallout, so I guess it’s happening. So I understand why authors might be reluctant to put their names to something. In fact, what I immediately wonder is whether author are afraid of or feel a hostile publishing environment, and are thus unwilling to go public with their criticism attached to their names. OTOH, I TOTALLY agree with you that every author has his or her perspective, and it might not be “accurate” in the sense of being objectively true, and I also understand that there are usually more than two sides to every story. And I’ve certainly seen enough petty comments from authors to realize that it’s likely not always a picnic working with them, either. But at the same time, right or wrong, when you see a pattern of comments, a pattern of complaints, it starts to look like that whole smoke – fire thing.

  24. Emily
    May 13, 2007 @ 13:48:14

    Kudos to Jaid to giving such full replies BTW. Questions have been raised about many publishers over the last few years and those whose staff are willing to discuss and address the issues always get the benefit of the doubt with me. In epublishing there is a lot of rumor and feuding and often smoke without fire while fires rage elsewhere without producing any smoke at all… I think transperancy counts for a hell of a lot.

    But as for anonymous comments, it is complex. Some epublishers terminate contracts with authors who says things they don’t like. I have had a few wrist slappings for speaking my mind online, some well deserved and a few not so much. Publishers vary greatly in the degree to which they embrace open discussion amongst their authors and readers even when it is entirely without spite. IMHO I prefer publishers that understand the slightly different interests of authors vs. publishers vs. readers and accept any discussion that is honest and has a contructive goal.

    For example if a new author asks me what publishers to try I don’t always recommend the publishers I am with–but the one I think will be the best match for them. I recommend EC fairly often despite not having any connection to them.

  25. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 14:33:39

    I prefer publishers that understand the slightly different interests of authors vs. publishers vs. readers and accept any discussion that is honest and has a contructive goal.

    I get the impression that some publishers view authors as employees, and that baffles me, frankly. I tend to believe that one inspires rather than demands loyalty, but even still, what duty of loyalty should authors owe publishers? I mean, how many publishers extend loyalty to authors unless the author is performing financially for the publisher? Clearly publishers and authors need one another, but it seems to me that the taboo against authors speaking out about Romance publishing is extreme and somewhat twisted.

  26. Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 13, 2007 @ 15:04:57

    Robin, I’m not one of those people who embraces “if you can’t say anything nice…”, however, in business, and life in general, I still think it’s better not to bad mouth anyone publicly.

    I mean, who looks worse? The woman who trashes her husband up and down the street, or the one who just quietly gets divorced and moves forward with her life?

    Bad mouthing doesn’t get anyone anywhere. It doesn’t do any good and it can do harm. So what’s the point?

    I think that’s probably where most authors are coming from when they keep their traps shut. I know that’s where I’m coming from, anyway.

  27. Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 13, 2007 @ 15:07:38

    Oh, as a PS, it’s called class.


  28. December Quinn
    May 13, 2007 @ 15:13:27

    JMO, but I believe the anonymous commenters Ms. Black was specifically referring as fake “insiders” were actually people (or person) who posted anonymous comments at the end of the post, not authors anonymously writing to Karen.

  29. TeddyPig
    May 13, 2007 @ 15:50:24

    “While I can respect that you will tend to believe your online friends over a stranger as most people do, you have to understand that there are two sides to every story.”

    Not really, my “on-line friends” and I were chatting on the phone about why they do not and never have published with Ellora’s Cave. It was very eye opening but helped me understand what was going on when Karen got the landslide reaction she did on her blog.

    “What happened on Karen's blog wasn't a list of suggestions aimed to help anyway”

    Right Jaid I do not think those people who emailed Karen were directly employed by you so I would not think they felt they needed to give you professional constructive criticism for running your business I know I would not be bothered either I get paid for my time. I’m still waiting to see if EC fixes that stupid Paypal problem.

    “Bad mouthing doesn't get anyone anywhere. It doesn't do any good and it can do harm. So what's the point?”

    Right, but Anne that leaves all the newer authors getting left to deal with the same bad experiences and does nothing to support others in the writing community. So where and when should you open your trap and say what you think?

    Jaid I for one, would love to hear you answer some of Karen’s questions since the answers would address specifics brought up in the emails.

  30. Emily
    May 13, 2007 @ 15:57:09

    What about the woman who lets her sister married her ex, knowing that he is abusive?

  31. Jaid Black
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:04:10


    1. We are always seeking out and hiring new editors, but we don’t release company info like that. Most things I’m willing to discuss, but that’s a tad too much info for a reader blog :-)

    2. re commas: Raelene edits by the Chicago Manual of Style (see, the accepted standard in American literature. The manual states for fiction writing: if commas aren’t needed, don’t put them in other than to avoid confusion. That said, Raelene has never tried to be the comma nazi; if an author disagrees with an edit and wants the comma, she has to speak up.

    3. If she did receive a 12-book contract it was because she has completed 12 books and all of them were individually accepted after being read by her editor. I don’t know the ins and outs of each individual author’s selling record at EC. However, I do know we don’t offer contracts on books not yet completed to unestablished authors. And, as an aside, while I respect the fact that her book didn’t suit you, there are a lot of readers out there who do enjoy her books! :-) I can’t expect you’ll enjoy every author we publish; but it’s important to remember that tastes vary from reader to reader… we try to provide an assortment.

    4. I don’t believe our standards have dropped. If anything they’ve become more stringent b/c we’re at the point where we can afford to be picky. But you do have to remember that, just like readers, editors’ tastes vary. In other words, one editor’s sugar = another’s shit. The same author can submit the same work and if editor x reads it she’ll get rejected, but if editor y reads it she’ll get accepted. That’s life in this business no matter the publishing house.

    5. I think newer authors are just as capable of churning out quality reads as established ones are. If what you mean is established authors, then yes, a lot of them are still writing for EC and have future releases in the works. OTOH some of the ones who got their start at EC won’t be coming back. It depends on the author in question.

    6. We make e-book covers as sexy as possible, but print covers are supposed to be significantly tamer. Yes, sex sells (online). Offline, in print, is another story and gets a lot trickier. You have to have balance.

    7. I am no longer under contract with Berkley. (No dramatic parting of ways; just one of those things where I got a better deal elsewhere.) My loyalties lie with EC & Pocketbooks so this is where I choose to write.

    Robin, firstly, I have no problem with authors speaking out. What I do have a problem with is when they flat-out lie. There is a world of difference between an opinion/expression of concern and bold faced slander. Secondly, what good reason does an author have to drag readers into business concerns? (1) Most readers simply don’t care. (2) The opinions/ concerns need to be brought up in the appropriate forums, such as with the publisher, with RWA, with the Writers Guild, etc. Reader blogs aren’t that forum because (3) It’s unprofessional as hell.

  32. Jaid Black
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:14:43

    I’m almost afraid to ask, Teddy, but I will: what Paypal problem?

  33. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:15:23

    I mean, who looks worse? The woman who trashes her husband up and down the street, or the one who just quietly gets divorced and moves forward with her life?

    Or how about asking the question this way: should we encourage a woman who has been in an abusive relationship with a batterer to simply keep her mouth shut and just quietly get divorced? Is that a classy woman or someone who has yet to understand that secrecy can also be a license to violate basic principles of decency?

    “Class,” as you put it, assumes that anyone speaking out will be trash talking. Even when people talk about airing dirty laundry, there is a very specific image of what that means, an image clearly meant to suggest that there are just some things that shouldn’t be talked about publicly.

    But IMO there are plenty of things that could be talked about publicly that aren’t “dirty laundry” or Jerry Springer-type trash talk, but there is such a blanket taboo around speaking out that no one pays attention to distinguishing what it’s good to talk about and what it isn’t — and authors certainly don’t want to take the chance.

    I tend to dislike gender-based differentiations, but I truly wonder sometimes whether women aren’t socialized to blur the boundaries between the professional and the personal such that we tend to take as personal things that men wouldn’t even consider such. And I wonder also if that blurring makes us more apt to marginalize women who do make that separation more easily, calling them bitches or seeing them as playing a man’s game, or accusing them of violating some unspoken code of politeness. It’s similar to the argument that Romance shouldn’t be the object of more critical attention, and that authors speaking critically about the genre should expect to be unpopular with other authors (buffet tables and all that).

    My own experience is that when you have an environment in which open dialogue is embraced, you don’t have so much trash-talk, because things don’t generally amp up to that level quite so readily. But when you have this blanket taboo, stuff bubbles and boils under the surface, gurgling out in less than healthy ways. I mean, look at how much time we spend talking about what’s proper and improper to say instead of about the actual issues that are at stake. Sure there’s good sense and not so good sense, classy discourse and trash talk, but as one of the Supreme Court justices said (Holmes?) the best antidote to bad speech is more speech.

  34. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:18:06

    What about the woman who lets her sister married her ex, knowing that he is abusive?

    LOL, I wasn’t the only person thinking along those same lines.

  35. Collette
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:25:56

    Jaid, this is the email that is posted to the Ellora’s Cave yahoo group each and every release date. It’s been going on for as long as I can remember. While it is not a problem for me since I use my credit card, it seems that something should’ve been worked out with paypal before now–especially since it is probably costing EC sales. It’s disconcerting that EC seems to be one of the few (the only I personally know of) online vendors who is having this paypal problem. Just saying.

    Dearest, most wonderful readers,

    Please, PLEASE, if you must use paypal please be aware that the
    glitch is still there and worse than ever. Yes, they do take your

    Yes, they do charge you a transaction fee. Yes, you might still get
    the Error Message.

    Please note, this is NOT from EC. This has nothing to do with us
    not accepting your order. This is paypal not finishing the order due
    to a glitch on THEIR part that they refuse to fix. If you do get this
    message, don’t reorder but please email me with the subject line or
    first line of your email referring to paypal. I’ll get your links
    released as quickly as I can.

    One thing that helps is if you also include the Transaction ID
    number somewhere with your order. Make my job easier, please. (Down
    on bended knee, even!)

    Another glitch with paypal (ie. The Spawn of Satan) is that they
    are doubling the charges of some of your orders. This is where the
    TID numbers are so very important. Heather or I can get your refund
    faster if you include these.

    One thing YOU can do to help me. If this happens to you, contact
    paypal CS and complain. Be as loud as you wish. I’ve said it once
    and I’ll continue to say it. The customers for EC and CP are THE
    BEST in the world. (And since I email all over the world, I should
    know) Rarely do I get a nasty email from any of our customers. Well,
    take it all out on Paypal if you would please. lolol

    Lots of new books are coming your way and WHEW, talk about good
    stories. No, I’m not going to give you any clues, just teasing. I do
    this so well, too. >

    Thanks again to all of you who make my job the best in the

    Queen of Customer Service.

  36. TeddyPig
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:26:06

    Hey Jaid I am sure your customer service knows about this I have chatted with them several times.

    EC has a problem receiving the acknowledgment when Paypal hands back the customer after the customer pays within Paypal. It’s a really annoying problem because it means I have to email your customer support over and over about it to get my books.

    Anyway, EC customer support blames Paypal and as I have worked with Paypal on several sites… um that’s not really true.

    At least check with Samhain and find out what they are doing because it has a similar feel to several systems I use. I have never had a problem with their system or with Paypal like that.

  37. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:43:22

    (1) Most readers simply don't care. (2) The opinions/ concerns need to be brought up in the appropriate forums, such as with the publisher, with RWA, with the Writers Guild, etc. Reader blogs aren't that forum because (3) It's unprofessional as hell.

    I think readers start to care when they feel the books they are getting are somehow lacking. I agree with you that there are a lot of avenues internally that are better suited to certain issues, especially those that have to do with authors and their particular contracts, and other things for which internal dialogue is the first route an author should be taking to resolve an issue or a complaint.

    There’s IMO a strange phenomenon in Romance, where there’s an overpersonalization of the author and an equally strong disassociation of the publisher. So readers sometimes have what they see as personal connections with authors and books, but the production of books is like the Wonka Chocolate factory — a secret enterprise where no one is seen entering or leaving, and rumors abound with no confirmation or denial. And your comment about readers caring is valid — except that readers, at least online readers, are becoming savvier and more informed about certain aspects of the industry of Romance in addition to the genre, and we understand that it’s not simply that an author has a dream, writes a book, and instantaneously generates legions of readers and fans. We understand that publishers and editors influence and shape what readers get, that the *business* of publishing affects the *genre* of Romance, and that economic gain is sometimes offset against quality concerns. So yes, some of us have started paying attention to the publishers’ contributions to what we’re reading.

    This isn’t to say that some talk isn’t “unprofessional” as you say, but would we necessarily agree on what is or isn’t? I work in public higher ed, and there are many things I don’t share publicly that have to do with the daily dynamics of my particular job and my colleagues and my boss and and my work conditions. Because it’s no one else’s business, it will unduly influence their opinion of me and of others and of my industry, and most people on the outside wouldn’t understand how to value or effectively weigh what I say anyway, making them an inappropriate audience to begin with. I may have my complaints, but I value what I do enough to want others to value it, as well. BUT, I will discuss issues related to the both my work specifically, and the university more generally, and higher education as a whole, because there’s legitimate public interest in those things, and IMO an important stake in maintaining dialogue with those whom our work aims to serve and support, especially if they are critical of the way we are doing one thing or another. And sometimes it’s a major pain in the ass. So yes, I see what you are saying about people sharing certain things that might be more appropriately turned inward, but I don’t think that a perceived shift in quality or questions about editing and editorial influence and preferences are inappropriately shared in a more reader-populated setting, because these are things that directly influence the books readers get and the choices we have to make. You may not agree, but I think that for the most part, we readers are pretty smart and our *bottom line* is that we want the best books possible.

  38. Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:52:36

    I have no idea how my comment devolved into silencing abused women. This is why I don’t comment much.

    I was talking about business. *sigh*

  39. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:56:04

    Oh, and as for the comma issue, I really think commas are much more difficult to place effectively and properly than most people think. A comma is an unassuming little piece of punctuation that exists primarily to facilitate clarity and can so easily compromise it, IMO. I used to be a serial comma splicer, and I find I notice that particular error quite often in Romance (what IS the resistance to semi-colons, I ask you?). So I sympathize with editors and authors who aim for the right balance of commas in fiction, because some of those choices are subjective and related to weighing an author’s style against optimal reading conditions. I do think that Romance is being honed to align with a perception that readers have shorter attention spans these days, but on the other hand, too many or too few commas can make reading downright laborious.

  40. Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:59:59

    Okay, upon a moment’s reflection, I get it. But I was just using “divorced women” as a metaphor, so you can understand the meaning behind my statement.

    I’m not saying women should be silenced. I’m just saying trash talk in general is useless. But open dialogue–that is totally useful, and should be employed and celebrated.

  41. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 17:00:36

    I have no idea how my comment devolved into silencing abused women.

    Ah, it was probably the divorce metaphor. But in any case, I wrote a five paragraph response to your post, with only a few sentences addressing that example, so I don’t really think your comment “devolved’ at all.

  42. Robin
    May 13, 2007 @ 17:01:32

    I'm not saying women should be silenced. I'm just saying trash talk in general is useless. But open dialogue-that is totally useful, and should be employed and celebrated.

    LOL we posted at the same time. Yes, I agree.

  43. Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 13, 2007 @ 17:07:49

    Robin, you’re a smart cookie. I have to watch myself around you.

    Damn it.


  44. Teddy Pig
    May 13, 2007 @ 17:22:32

    I have a bias against semi-colons in general. They look strange and are the last thing ever think to use. Plus, they sound like something that can get cancerous if you don’t have them checked often.

  45. Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 13, 2007 @ 18:32:52

    Teddy, I’m not a fan of semi colons either.

    We live in an informal society and pop fiction has evolved to shape with it. We also live in a faster society, so yeah, commas slow things down.

    I mean, I can’t even have a decent conversation with anyone at a cocktail party anymore. The minute I comma my spoken words, ie pause, someone else interrupts. So, I think the comma thing is just a reflection of real life.

    I’ve gotten around it by using periods. But, with the influx of patches and drugs, periods might be a thing of the past soon too.

    *martyred sigh*

  46. DS
    May 13, 2007 @ 19:23:02

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Trusse. Entertaining and helpful. If I have to read things twice because of improper comma placement I start to get annoyed fast.

  47. Shiloh Walker
    May 13, 2007 @ 22:04:30

    Hopefully I'll get my legs under me soon and get back to having regular EC releases.

    *G* Anya has her hands full right now. Hope you enjoyed Mama’s Day, Anya!

    What I will say is I've found over the years that readers don't post anonymously b/c they have no reason to…

    Tina, I can’t necessarily agree with this. I know a decent amount of readers who do post as anon on blogs. A few of them have been burned by flame wars and they just prefer to go anon.

    I don’t have much to comment on this topic that hasn’t already been addressed or said,but as an author I do know that when I have concerns about my edits, I address them. Something I did in my last Hunters novella for EC had my editor concerned (the heroine was basically losing her mind) and I had to clarify a little. A book I wrote right after I miscarried a few years ago was very..very..dark, violent even, and the editor had some concerns, wanted some changes. I wasn’t comfortable with the changes, but I could see her concerns so I went back and worked on it until she could understand the motivations behind the characters. The comma issue isn’t one I’m familiar with although I do vaguely recall a few being taken out. If it had changed the general vibe of the story, i would have said something. But I tend to overpunctuate, I think, anyway.

  48. Laura
    May 13, 2007 @ 22:31:45

    “I think newer authors are just as capable of churning out quality reads as established ones are.”

    To me, that quote speaks to the questions of diminishing quality and increased production. “Churning out” and “quality reads” just don’t seem to go together.

  49. Taekduu
    May 13, 2007 @ 22:51:42

    I don’t think EC is the only group who needs some stronger editing. I will add Samhain, Liquid Silver, and New Concepts Publishing to that list. I just think EC is more noticeable because they have been around longer and because of the sheer volume of sales.

    I recall when EC first started and most of the books were written by Tina Engler under a variety of names. I also remember reading some amazing stories being put out that were so different from anything being put out by NY. I used to spend nearly a hundred dollars a month there. But now I might spend 10 dollars every 3 to 4 months. Part of this is due to variable quality and writing experience, which one hopes would be accounted for by editors. Of course, this might be my view as a relatively naive reader.

    As much as I think many books are utter crap I try to remember that what I consider garbage might be someone else’s dessert. A friend of mine who used to write almost exclusively for EC would complain that the books where she worked the hardest on plot and character development always sold the worst while the ones that had a relatively flimsy plot but lots of sex sold like hotcakes. Personally, I don’t expect too much from EC brand books in terms of plot and creativity. The editors are sensibly on the lookout for a book that readers will buy and readers have pigeonholed EC for sex and more sex. Sometimes we luck out and you get both, but what I want is not being provided so I look elsewhere.

    Of course, for everyone who is complaining or irritated with EC take your money away. If enough people talk with their wallet then they will finally hear you because their wallet is screaming. If they cannot take the time to correct a problem with a payment method then how much do they really respect the readers who are keeping them in business. Don’t buy the books until they make an effort as well. I have been talking with my wallet for some time. I am a small voice, but as far as I am concerned, I am making my point. I am not wasting my valuable time e-mailing customer service or waiting for them to refund my money.

  50. Ann Jacobs
    May 18, 2007 @ 07:49:16

    [ Taekdoo says: The editors are sensibly on the lookout for a book that readers will buy and readers have pigeonholed EC for sex and more sex. Sometimes we luck out and you get both, but what I want is not being provided so I look elsewhere.]

    Yes, EC is known for sex, sex and more sex, but there are a lot of EC books, including some of mine, that have won nominations and awards from groups who don’t hand them out to poorly written smut. EC books had seven nominations for RT’s Reviewers’ Choice awards this year, and its authors are finalists in a variety of prestigious RWA chapter contests.

    As for editing, I’ve had editing at EC that’s been more thoughtful, more in-depth, and more helpful toward improving my writing than I’ve had with any other publishers I’ve written for, including two big NY houses. SueEllen Gower is without a doubt the best editor I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Her edits are never intrusive, always on the mark as to what needs to be fixed to make the story better.

    Reader interest drives sales, and right now the interest (as shown in sales numbers for me both at EC and Changeling, where I also write short erotic romances) is in BDSM, menage a trois, and MM romance. My forte is contemporary with occasional paranormal elements, but adding BDSM or menages has a way of ratcheting up the sexual relationships in any book. I don’t believe going hotter necessarily makes the stories less compelling, so long as the sex is motivated by emotion and logical in terms of the story line. I haven’t delved into MM because it’s not my personal cup of tea–but no one at EC (other than my first editor who hasn’t been there for close to three years) has ever suggested that I switch and write a genre I’m not comfortable with for the sole purpose of driving my sales up.

    I sometimes consider sales potential when plotting a story. After all, I’m a businesswoman as well as an author. I’m also a reader, and I hate hearing people diss authors for a house as a group because I know very well there are topnotch authors writing for EC–not only ones like me who’ve been around a long time, but many of the newer ones like Lauren Dane, Lacey Alexander, Judy Mays, Tawny Taylor, Rhyannon Byrd, Denise Rossetti, and others whose names escape me at the moment. Among the ones who’ve been around a while, I can enthusiastically recommend Jaid Black, Joey W. Hill, Anya Bast, Denise Agnew, Lorie O’Clare, and of course, me, LOL.

    I’m back to writing–I try to keep my nose away from blogs but got sucked in by another post about another house that caught my attention and led me here.

  51. Dear Author.Com | Ebook to Print: Does it matter to you?
    May 19, 2007 @ 22:48:28

    […] Black, owner of Ellora’s Cave, mentioned in her previous interview that she thought the NY move into e-publishing would have difficulties […]

  52. Denise Rossetti
    May 23, 2007 @ 21:14:17

    I’m one of the “new” authors Ann mentioned. (Thank you, Ann!) I have worked with two EC editors, Raelene Gorlinsky and Sue-Ellen Gower. At no stage, have I been asked to remove superfluous commas – and I LOVE my commas! Editing has been professional, thorough and timely.

    Like Ann, I cannot speak highly enough of Sue-Ellen Gower as an editor. Her input is invaluable. She catches character inconsistencies, plot holes and awkward sentences. She makes me look good. Robin commented about the importance of top-quality editing. I could not agree more. I DEPEND on Sue-Ellen and I have absolute confidence in her.

    Given that my critque partners refer to me lovingly as the Picky Bitch from Hell, this is a real compliment!

    I do find the standard of both writing and editing in e-books variable. I’ve often been disappointed by sloppy editing, banal plots, obligatory sex and two-dimensional characters. Equally, I’ve been thrilled by intense emotion, lyrically written sex and interesting ideas. The work of Joey W. Hill and Sarah McCarty is a stand-out in any company you care to name.

    Similarly, there are print books I’ve paid good money for and thrown against the wall. As Jaid said, someone’s sugar is another’s shit.

    Oh, and one of my books is longer, so it’s $7.99. I understand that readers may be wary, but that length is what the story demanded. It’s sold almost as well as my first with EC, which was $6.49. One reader wrote to tell me it was the longest e-book she’d ever bought, but that she felt she’d got her money’s worth! Both Joey and Sarah write often at this length and they have a huge following.

    And yes, I’ve had the same PayPal problem. Not good.


  53. Shermel
    May 28, 2008 @ 13:25:24

    Jaid, I’m a romance erotic reader fiend and I realy love reading your books. I just wish the stories were a little longer because I hate when I get to the end of the story too soon, being that I’m a fast reader. You have a very imaginative mind. (that’s so cool!) I wish I could develope some of your talent.

  54. Ann Jacobs
    Jan 02, 2009 @ 09:18:46

    Hi, Saniya–

    I think one of the reasons you see many erotic romances (including a lot of my own) coming in at novella or short novel length is that the longer the story is, the more difficult it is to keep up the level of eroticism without getting redundant with the sex acts, which I feel have to further the emotional arc of the story if they’re to be relevant.

    I try to get around the readers’ “want more” feelings by writing most of my books in series, where the protagonists of one novella are secondary characters in the rest of the books.

    As to the other posts in this blog, which I re-read when I somehow got notice of a new post, I continue writing for EC because of 1) my editor, 2) my ability to write novellas that are not part of a multi-author anthology, 3) and the fact that I get to write what I love and not to a formula. It doesn’t hurt at all that my sales of one novella to EC generally exceed the paltry sums I made with my five NY novel-length books back in the late ’90s.

    As to the preponderance of BDSM, menages and MM romance, I’ll be having a “straight” contemporary series out around mid to late 2009 and early 2010, and I’m looking forward to it having great sales. The series probably will have light BDSM elements (sex play) in some of the books, and it may include some “swapping”, but it will be basically heterosexual romance (hot as hell) between one man and one woman. I, too, need a break from multiple partners and BDSM.

    Happy New Year, everybody!

  55. veinglory
    Jan 02, 2009 @ 09:32:03

    I would say that there can certainly be a point to ‘bad mouthing’–saving other authors from joining a bad or sinking press (or choosing a better over a worse selling press), and helping readers withdraw support from one that is treating authors badly. And to be clear Ellora’s Cave is neither. But I very much regret having kept my own mouth shut while Chippewa circled the drain, it was the wrong thing to do. I should have spoken up, and doing so anonymously would have been better than not doing it at all.

  56. Sharon
    May 28, 2009 @ 04:49:16

    I found myself enjoying Jaids’ books, although there have been some instances when the men in them can seem too overwhelming, and I have the urge (if they were real) to knock their heads together.


    Can someone tell me when the new books come out for the Trek m Quan series? And what their titles will be…..

  57. Karia
    May 31, 2009 @ 00:29:16

    Wow, many of these comments I find facinating. Why do you care what the price of the books/ebooks is??? No one is paying you to read the book, if you don’t like the price or the publishing company or whatever–why read it? I love to read, and I read everything. All Sherilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Lara Aiden, Shannon McKenna, Kresley Cole, Alexis Morgan, Carly Phillips, and I could go on… My only pet peeve is bad editing, but I place that problem squarely upon the author. A good author should edit her/his own work. AG and Gena is great in terms of continuity and smooth transitions between sex and story and blending them together. Shannon McKenna and AG have the ability to draw you into long series and continue to care about the characters within the story. Definitely a challenge when trying to write romances about one main character, but maintain other plots. JR Ward’s latest was probably her weakest at this–Rhev’s story was there, but the forcing of Wrath and John’s stories seemed to say that her editor did not refocus her enough. Just my opion when compared to other books in the series. This would be a point about editors-is there a point where the editor just turns the author loose? and stops editing them? (i.e. Acheron with the first half of exessive abuse that could have been cut by half and then doubled the romance section of the book).
    Recently I discovered Shiloh Walker, Christine Warren (some books better than others) and the E is the selling rating.
    I say, Jaid, Keep up the good work and your own writing. Negativity for the sake of trashing others is only a reflection on the person making the negative statements.

  58. Jackee
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 01:33:05

    I’ve stumble accross EC after reading the print version of “Seized” by Jaid Black three years ago. I didn’t know about erotic romance before that. So you can imagine my chock when I discover how erotic the scenes could be.

    I bougth the book after browsing through Amazon UK. It’s where I’ve been living for the last six years. It retain my attention because there was a black woman on the cover. I’m french and black. In France Harlequin and its romantic romance with white characters prevel.

    After reading that first book i was hooked. I decided to continu with the Trek Mi Qan serie and purshased another (by the way Jaid is there gonna be a next TMQ book?). But I couldn’t found a proper order. So i went on the website who was written on the book. And this is where i discovered the word of e-books, erotic romance (of all genres!!!), and the best invention ever Paypal.

    Paypal changed my life. I can pay anything with it from anywhere in the world. I even pay my rent trough Paypal. But i have to say that EC system is top notch. I’m living in the other side of the world with a different time line and never had a glitch. I can’t say the same for other websites!

    In anycase by creating EC, Jaid Black had open my mind to new possibilities and I thank her for it.

    Any consideration to invide the french market? Those guys are too dusty! They need to get shake up a bit!

  59. Lisa
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 18:36:03

    This is an old article I know. I just don’t like that Carol Lynne gets cast as a bad writer in this because one of my favourite E/R Ellora’s Cave books is by her although I bought another one of hers recently that I haven’t been able to get into yet. But the first book I bought of hers was amazing!

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