Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Ellora’s Cave Sues Borders for $1,000,000

It's always fun when Ellora's Cave sues someone.  This time, they are putting the screws to beleagured Borders.  Not sure how EC expects to collect when Borders has a market cap of $40,000,000 and over $465 million of debt.  In any event, the suit by EC alleges that Borders ordered more books than it planned to sell which resulted in a credit balance on the account  EC argues that this "churning" is crippling small publishers.  Ironically, in 2006, EC gave Borders romance buyer, Sue Grimshaw, an Ellora's Cave award.

More to come.  I'll try to pull up the petition and post it.

Via GalleyCat .

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. Karen Scott
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 08:40:28

    The same brains that for some reason bought Linden Bay and after years of building one of the best reputations in the business decided to offer mediocre books with little or no editing and ugly covers for sale alongside Samhain titles?

    Oh now, this is interesting, so the purchase of Linden Bay wasn’t a good idea then?

  2. Anion
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 08:46:49

    Sandra, your editor may be caring, compassionate, and a wonderful person, but the few books she’s edited that I’ve read (NOT yours, I want to make clear; I’ve never read your work) have committed serious crimes against the English language.

    As for the rest of it…I can’t comment, because when I start to I start thinking of so many things, and I start to feel sick with rage and shame and wonder what the hell I’m actually doing.

  3. Anon Writer
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 08:49:45

    It was if the goal is to dilute quality, resources and reputation. The Linden Bay covers and excerpts speak for themselves.

  4. DS
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 10:02:43

    Wasn’t this just announced in Dec 08. Isn’t that fast downhill?

  5. Linda
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 10:04:06

    One reason why some publishers never took up EC’s offer to “also sell on their site” was because the publishers would not be given the right to personally go look at the number of titles sold. They would have to take EC’s word for it that such-and-such book sold X number of copies.

    I agree with Post 163. If EC is having a hard financial time of it, how do authors know they’re getting paid for every book they sold? Someone mentioned that sales are down. Are they down as much as EC says?

  6. Ana Thierry
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 10:17:47

    Anon Writer wrote: The same brains that for some reason bought Linden Bay and after years of building one of the best reputations in the business decided to offer mediocre books with little or no editing and ugly covers for sale alongside Samhain titles

    The transfer of LBR didn’t take place until January 1st. Would you repaint a car without the title? Methinks not…

  7. Mireya
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 10:23:02

    I don’t have anything at stake, but how can anyone say this early on, that purchasing Linden Bay was a bad idea? Give me a break.

  8. CJ
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 10:31:16

    Well, this is a surprise. I am a reader and enjoy a variety of genres, including erotic romance. Today is the first time I’ve browsed around looking at information about the industry and I happened on this. I’m a bit stunned.

    First of it, it appears that there are only a few people who’ve posted – they’ve just had an awful lot to say. So, I’m assuming I can’t take what’s written here as being representative of the reading or writing population at large but rather the complaints of a few.

    I can see why the lawsuit would be of interest to the people in the industry. What I can’t see is why this post turned into an attack on everything from the owner of the company’s personal life to the quality of an editor’s work. That has nothing to do with the lawsuit but comes across as people and their sour grapes.

    I’ve read some EC authors I think are fine writers and will continue to buy their books. I’ve read some that I wouldn’t spend money on to read again. But that’s the way of things.

    It’s funny to me as an outsider that apparently people who started their writing careers with Ellora’s Cave are now so intent on attacking them. Aren’t you happy that they gave you a start and enabled you to get where you are now? Seems to me that people would be grateful for that. In doing a bit of reseach I discovered that quite a few of the popular names in writing today had books out in the beginning from Ellora’s Cave: Lora Leigh, Cheyenne McCray, Kate Douglas and Angela Knight just to name a few. If this company is the one who gave you the start you wanted in writing, isn’t it bad form to now condemn and attack them?

    The comments made here make me glad I’m just a reader. It’s clear that people are a bunch of cut-throats in this business – quick to condemn and point fingers. I have to say I don’t get it. If you don’t want to write for Ellora’s Cave, fine, don’t write for them. Move on. If you don’t want to read Ellora’s Cave books, then don’t buy them. There’s no gun held to your head to make you purchase. But don’t make yourself look petty by making attacks based on innuendo and rumor. Not only does that make you appear petty, but foolish. And damages your sales. I tend to not purchase books by a writer I consider to be petty or bitchy. And boy is there a lot of bitchy displayed here.

    And lastly, I have to say this comes across as a bunch of people who are either very intimidated by Ellora’s Cave or jealous because it’s human nature to attack those we are envious or fear.

    Shame on all of you. You’re no shining example of professionalism.

  9. Me
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 10:46:18

    Mireya is right…I’m tired of the pettiness and horrendous behaviour here…sheesh….I’d expect this from maybe, fourth graders….maybe? sigh….funny how this type of behaviour always comes up when EC is being discussed….I wonder why?

  10. Kathy Kulig
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:30:43

    Sandra, Ditto in addressing comment #94. Helen Woodall is my editor too. She’s a joy to work with and an excellent editor. And books she’s edited that I’ve read were fabulous. RT mag. has been giving awesome reviews too. When emotions are high, as I’ve seen in these posts, arguments opposing will only be met by more negative comments as I suspect this comment will be. All I can say is the authors I know are friendly, professional and supportive, and same holds true for EC’s staff. I get my checks on time and I’ve always been treated fairly. I love my cover’s too. I hope 2009 brings good things to you all.

  11. Anon76
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:38:29

    Let’s all be real here.

    A business is the sum of its parts. Authors are in business, publishers are in business. However, a publisher’s actions hold a huge amount of sway over an author’s business because of those nasty things called contract clauses.

    We’ve all seen authors behaving badly at one time or another, but 99.9% of the time, their actions have no relevance when it comes to their publisher’s business. Readers simply nix them off their “to be bought” lists.

    But…a publisher’s actions spout long tentacles which aren’t often realized to full length until a later date. And these SERIOUSLY affect an author’s business. Every action causes a reaction that reverberates throughout the industry, be it with suppliers, sellers, sales reps, reviewers, readers, etc.

    Think on it. How often have you boycotted a company in any industry (clothes suppliers, super stores, heck, even whole countries) because of the actions of the key players at the top of the pile?

    Such things do make a difference, and the people getting the brunt of your ire are the people who can least afford to take the hit. The workers. Whether it be from layoffs, firings, reduced wages, or just general association with said company.

    It all matters, whether we choose to go around with blinders on or not.

  12. Anon Writer
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:41:37

    Do you wait until you have the title and then repaint it so it matches the quality of the rest of your fleet? Methinks so…

  13. Ana Thierry
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:46:03

    Remaking a company takes time – more time than 10 days.

    Now if three to six months from now nothing has changed – thats a completely different issue.

  14. same game: no name
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:52:42

    RT mag. has been giving awesome reviews too.

    Q: I am not disparaging EC or casting aspersions on the merit or quality of their product, but doesn’t RT Mag have a somewhat incestuous relationship with EC?

    — Is the owner of RT still involved in the Lotus Circle books project?

    — Is EC still a major advertiser in RT?

    — Didn’t the last big blow-up on the blogs about EC have something to do with their presence at the RT convention?

    It always makes me suspicious when when major advertisers just happen to get great reviews — especially when other review outlets don’t share the love.

  15. mysterious
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:59:09

    Pursuant to one of the above comments re: prison reform:

    Prison reform is indeed a noble cause. Improving prison conditions and prisoner treatment in prisons is a humanitarian issue. But I don’t think that is at all what Ms. Black is doing.

    Basically, she’s going around saying murderers don’t belong in jail, and for purely selfish reasons—-i.e., she wants to get her hubby out.

    After hearing what I heard on this board I did further research, and I found that Ms. Black (a multimillionaire via Ellora’s Cave) used her millions to buy expensive attorneys for her hubby to file an appeal that would hopefully get him out on a technicality. This is a guy who not only killed an ex-girlfriend, he attempted to kill a CHILD. (And as far as I’m concerned, anyone who even attempts to murder a child belongs in prison for three thousand years).

    In my book, that means Ms. Black is using the $$ earned on her author’s backs for sinister purposes. Further, the fact she makes her actions so public by bragging about it to the press (all I had to do was Google her name and “murderer” and I got like 100 hits) reflects back onto Ellora’s Cave—-to the detriment of her authors. I’ll never buy another Ellora’s book again, no matter who the author, because I don’t want to support what she’s using the resulting money to do.

  16. Mireya
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 12:09:29

    @Ana: exactly.

  17. Valerie O.
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 12:16:16

    Wow again!!! I think I need a scorecard at this point and Jaid hasn’t even made a comment in more than 100 posts. What started as a discussion about Borders and EC got very far off the topic, probably because so many people feel very strongly about EC’s practices, but like I said before, each story has as many sides as there are people involved. Here goes walking a fine and wavy line…..

    While I agree that she showed very poor judgement in marrying a man convicted of murder and sentenced to Life without Parole, it is HER bad decision to make and should have nothing to do with her buisness. (No don’t shoot me yet.)

    BUT, when you publicly announce your choice and intent to attempt to aid said same spouse with money that you are EARNING, she does still earn an income from EC even though she is “no longer” involved with the daily running of the company, from the buisness than YES some of the people you do buisness with would have reason to question continuing an association. By doing so she has linked the company to an extremely controversial subject (as seen by this blog) and potentially harmed it.

    Also the fact that she acts impulsively by speaking, or in this case blogging, recklessly; would be worrisome to potential associates. No one wants to do buisness with a hot head who is verbally abusive (not that I’m saying she is).

    As far as the editing and quality of the books being released, that IS a problem, but not just with EC. I have seen the same with many of the smaller e-presses, I’m hoping that part of the growing process for them will be to improve these areas. Like most people I am not inclined to waste money on a poorly written ebook, which is why I tend to stick to the authors that I know and have read before unless I am reviewing the book for one of the websites I write for.

    As to the practice of not allowing an independant third party to check the accounts, I have to agree that it would raise some major red flags as far as I’m concerned. Isn’t there something that could be done? I mean, if all of the authors got together and demanded an independant accounting, they would have to be given it, wouldn’t they?

    I guess that’s all I have to say for now. Bye!

  18. DS
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 12:50:16

    The Brashear/Tina Engler case is set for trial 3/23/09.

    The Baker & Taylor and Borders complaints are available for review.

    Google Summit County Court Records then click on “records search” on the right if you would like to check the filing out. You have to be precise about the name. One (Borders) is under Jasmine-Jade. The other (Baker & Taylor) is under Jasmine Jade (no dash).

  19. Bruce Batchelor
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 13:07:17

    Wow. Hundreds of posts and I see that the very first one was the most astute. It is worth repeating:
    by Jinni Black January 8th, 2009 at 9:07 am
    It's the consignment model that's killing the industry. Megabookstores get to look like a ‘land-o-plenty' with little risk to themselves.

    Yes. Hello, people! As long as the US book publishing industry is wasting $1 BILLION every year on consignment, with complete disregard to the environmental impact of this stupid overprinting, I have little sympathy for either the retailers or the publishers. The consignment model must be ended (going back to pre-Great Depression practices; using the same firm-sale terms used in almost every other retail sector), and soon — if this book publishing industry is to have any hope of being profitable over the next few years.

    Of course the whole printed book part of the industry is destined to be drastically reduced over time as society moves to mostly reading digital books on smart phones – netbooks – tablets – whatever. That move is as inevitable as was the move from snail mail to email. Regardless of whether you personally love printed books and wish to cling to the status quo, this change will come. And almost every book store will close or largely morph into a mixed-product store (selling gifts and coffee; running a pub; whatever) as soon as the volume of printed books sold drops below a viable level. Since most bookstores operate with a paper-thin profit margin (if any), it won’t take much of a decrease in overall book sales to go out of business. Think about music stores closing, next to become “redundant” will be video rental stores, then it will be the bookstores. Because most purchases will be digital, and most will happen on the Internet, there will be very little need for customers to patronize a local physical store.

    Unfortunately I see the EC-Borders lawsuit as a squabble about who gets which deck chairs on the Titannic.

    If the book publishing industry’s “leaders” can agree to end consignment altogether, at least all players will have a better economic footing in these coming years to adapt to the coming (r)evolution. Ending consignment would be quite simple to do: it would only require the two largest chains and the top six publishers to agree to the new fixed sale terms (re-cutting the pie), and setting a date six months hence. Presto, one billion dollars of additional “pie” to divvy up between publishers, retailers and authors.

    You are invited to read more about this on my own blog at

    Thanks to Jane for running this blog and to Jinni for her insightful observation about the root cause of all this!

  20. Jane
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 13:08:21

    @DS: I read the petitions over the weekend and was . . . surprised? at the content and brevity of the complaints.

  21. Jen
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 13:23:32

    Many people don’t buy pizza from Domino’s because the company’s founder donates his profits to pro-life groups. Others don’t watch movies at Cinemark because its founder donated money to the yes on Prop 8 campaign. I don’t see how this situation is any different. If you disagree with a cause, you don’t give your money to a company where the proceeds will be funneled, however indirectly, to that cause. Personal life is only personal when other people’s money isn’t involved.

  22. DS
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 13:39:14

    @Jane— Not, as they say artfully drafted. And why attach an unsigned contract? I also wondered why 21 was in there. Waste and enormous damage to the environment?

    Did you catch the liens? Doesn’t look good to have liens on such minor amounts.

  23. Kathleen Coddington
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 13:45:57

    While I won’t deny that some of what I’ve read here has been troubling, I must repectfully disagree with comment #94. Like Sandra Cox & Kathy Kulig, Helen Woodall is also my editor. I have found her to be professional, supportive, thorough and competent. I agree sloppy editing is annoying, but errors creep in despite critique groups, proof reading and editing. I’ve been noticing there’s a lot more in the mainstream published books I’ve been reading in the past couple of years as well. While I can’t speak for others, as a realative new author I have had a positive experiernce so far with EC. Hope it stays that way.

  24. GrowlyCub
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 13:48:10

    Totally off topic here, but

    Domino's because the company's founder donates his profits to pro-life groups.

    I had no idea. We don’t eat much pizza, but now that I know we won’t buy at Domino’s again!

  25. Karen Scott
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 13:52:13

    If this company is the one who gave you the start you wanted in writing, isn’t it bad form to now condemn and attack them?

    So by your logic, the people who have been royally screwed over by EC should just shut the fuck up and be grateful for having been given the chance in the first place?

    If you had an employer that was treating you like shit off somebody’s shoe, would you put up and shut up, just because they’d at least given you a chance?

  26. Anon76
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 14:02:25

    Yeah, the lien things look really bad…and item 21? WTF?

    And how a blank contract adds to the mix is beyond me.

    Sigh (one of the uneducated masses, I guess)

  27. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 14:20:16

    In doing a bit of reseach I discovered that quite a few of the popular names in writing today had books out in the beginning from Ellora’s Cave: Lora Leigh, Cheyenne McCray, Kate Douglas and Angela Knight just to name a few. If this company is the one who gave you the start you wanted in writing, isn’t it bad form to now condemn and attack them?

    Hi, CJ,

    I was afraid this would happen. That’s why I usually don’t say anything ever public like this on a huge forum. I would like to say that what I stated was fact and not a condemnation. It’s what I’m going through and have been going through. I’m sharing, which is a very difficult thing to do in the public eye. I said I just need to get over this personal issue with them and move on. I don’t think stating the fact that the “executive” at EC would not call me back is a condemnation. It soured my whole respect for the company. I had still been writing for them and had books on the schedule when they did what they did. The person refusing to speak to me? Yeah, that really soured things for me. If she would have held a conversation with me, then maybe I wouldn’t feel as hurt and bitter as I do now. All of it I need to let go. I was a very high earner for them, and they
    blew me off.

    I am a very loyal person and I appreciated EC for giving me the venue for my books. They helped me get my start by publishing them. They didn’t create my career and are not responsible for the success of my career. I’ve worked hard for that. Unlike St. Martin’s, EC never ran ads for me, never promoted me. I paid for every dime of advertising I did and worked tirelessly to get my name and books out there. I’m too tired now to do what I did then. I worked hard. Funny, but I even got a certificate for the cleanest manuscripts when they were handing out certificates one year. I never had revisions, ever with EC. Because my books are so tight and I do have a good command of the English language and grammar, and I’m meticulous–not to mention I have fabulous critique partners–my “edits” only consisted of misplaced commas (I do suck at commas) and a very few minor things like a typo or dropping a word. Unfortunately some things were missed–like giving my heroine 2 left ears, or something like that. :-) Now watch, I’ll have made a zillion mistakes in this post. :P

    But I wrote those books, I wrote them to the best of my abilities and never submitted anything I didn’t think was solid. They gave me the venue, and I appreciate it. But I did every damned bit of work. My NY publisher puts so much into my books that I don’t have to do anything. EC never put one dime into supporting me as an individual author. I say individual because they did promote anthologies that I happened to be in.

    This is NOT meant as a complaint or a condemnation. I am not condemning EC for this and I am not complaining–that’s just how it was. This is to explain to you that EC gave me the opportunity and venue to start off in the erotic romance world. They did not build my career. I built my career. I would have started submitting to NY publishers but I was having fun writing erotic romance and working hard to build my name. I really didn’t have time to put together proposals. Not with the number of books I wrote.

    EC made over $100,000’s and $100,000’s off of me because of my hard work. I show the six digit numbers instead of saying hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it a little more clear. I never begrudged that, ever. I still do not, not one tiny bit. I was paid well and I appreciated them. I had no personal issues with them. But by doing what EC did to me and refusing to speak to me about it, they showed just how much they did not appreciate or care about me as a person or one of their authors. Because of this situation, I believe I’ve been nothing but cash to them.

    Neither JC nor I are really troublemakers. We’ve stated facts and what EC has shown and done to us. You would not have believed what EC did to JC publicly on the EC loops and even I couldn’t believe she hung around for as long as she did.

    This is not meant as a rant even though it’s going to come out a mile long. This is an explanation of my side of the story and a rebuttal to your statement.

    You are completely entitled to your opinion, and I will never deny someone the freedom of speech. But I can question it, and I can respond to it.

    Also, let me give you a little perspective on the difference in making a name. I don’t keep track of numbers anymore, but for EC I might have sold at the most 5000 books per title in a year. That’s 5000 people who read that book. Compare that to print runs of over 100,000 with a NY publisher on a mass market novel.
    5K vs 100K is a big difference in exposure and making a name.

    “Now you have it. The rest of the story.”
    Does anyone remember Paul Harvey and his sign-off for his program? I heard his voice in my head as I finished my end of the discussion. LOL.


  28. Jane
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 14:24:58

    @DS Yep, I was pretty surprised by the tax lien that hasn’t been removed. I also was curious about the unsigned “form” contract bc that suggests that its the contract that they find objectionable rather than a specific contract that had terms that were breached. I was curious about the way that the conspiracy issue was pled. Even though conspiracy is not a cause of action in and of itself, it is usually pled separately.

    Now that I think about the suit, as brought, I don’t know if there is actually a breach of the contract. It seems like the contract terms were followed. It’s just that there is an accusation of bad faith execution of the contract.

  29. Robin
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 14:28:32

    Authors aren’t employees of a publisher, they are independent contractors. Consequently, for every argument that a publisher “made” an author, there is a counter-argument that a successful author helped “make” a publisher. It’s supposed to be an exchange of rights for compensation, a mutually beneficial arrangement. If only more authors felt comfortable sharing their publishing experiences, I suspect that some publishers would not last long enough to plummet into bankruptcy and/or disgrace, taking many an author’s rights with them.

  30. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 14:29:33

    Author: same game: no name

    RT mag. has been giving awesome reviews too.

    Q: I am not disparaging EC or casting aspersions on the merit or quality of their product, but doesn’t RT Mag have a somewhat incestuous relationship with EC?

    — Is the owner of RT still involved in the Lotus Circle books project?

    — Is EC still a major advertiser in RT?

    — Didn’t the last big blow-up on the blogs about EC have something to do with their presence at the RT convention?

    It always makes me suspicious when when major advertisers just happen to get great reviews — especially when other review outlets don’t share the love.

    For godsake. WHY is the Romantic Times being brought into a discussion about EC? Now I will say “What the hell?” THIS is ridiculous.


  31. Taylor Tryst
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 14:49:31

    My name is Taylor Tryst and I am a very contented writer with EC, and like Sandra Cox, Kathy Kulig, and Kathleen Coddington, Helen Woodall is also my editor.

    While obviously believing in the right to free speech, I would like to first state how highly inappropriate and unprofessional it is to air your dirty laundry in a public forum. I believe that ‘flaming' someone by name does nothing but show your lack of loyalty, self-respect, and maturity.

    I personally have found Helen to be a wonderful person, an incredible friend, and an invaluable editor. I have been with EC for two years and have been treated with nothing but respect, dignity, and fairness.

    I agree with others who say that the industry as a whole has problems with the integrity of their work, finding errors in not only other electronically published work, but in print as well.

    I, like the other EC authors who commented here against this blatant self-flaggelistic rhetoric, hadn't planned on making a statement on this forum ,as I know that I would be ‘flamed' regardless of what I said or the validity of my points.

    However, I believe that ‘we' as authors owe it to each other, to be as professional and responsible as we can be in the image that we portray to the public. After all, ladies, the public is our audience, our bread-and-butter, so to speak. So, if you were an author who was so worried about your sales why on earth would you ‘bad-mouth' the company who carried your titles? In essence, giving yourself the worst publicity possible, and losing your credibility with readers and possibly fans.

    Also, have any one of you ever lied, cheated on a boyfriend or spouse? Have you had an abortion or been arrested for a D.U.I? Have you given a child up for adoption or have sex prior to being married? Okay, I know everyone is really angry at my point, but here me out.

    How would you like someone to come onto this forum and break confidentiality or have the absolute lack of common courtesy to talk about your past, your personal life, your mistakes, or your misgivings?

    I personally hope that my email has not offended anyone, as I am just here, as you all, to speak the truth and bear no ill will toward anyone.

    I wish everyone here a very wonderful New Year and hope that you all find happiness in your lives and careers.

    Taylor Tryst

  32. Anon76
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 14:54:13

    I don’t know J.C, but I have had dealings with Chey before.

    For her to speak out says A LOT in my book. She is a humble, gracious woman, and I am glad to have made her aquaintance.

    Again, for her to even mention her circumstances gave huge weight to the issues, if only in my eyes.

  33. Anon76
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:00:06

    Sigh, Taylor

    You wrote:

    “However, I believe that ‘we' as authors owe it to each other, to be as professional and responsible as we can be in the image that we portray to the public. After all, ladies, the public is our audience, our bread-and-butter, so to speak.”

    The same applies to the agents of a publishing house. It is not an exclusive thing.

  34. Mireya
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:02:00

    @CJ: you are reaching conclusions based on observations from ONE thread. I am a reader, like you. I’ve been an observer for six years now. Are there cuthroats in the ebook industry? Not anymore than there are in the big publishing industry. Main difference is that some epublishers seem to think that bad publicity is better than no publicity and go out in public without thinking.

    Those authors you are condemning where among the authors that actually put EC on the map. EC may have given them an opportunity, but guess what, EC is where it is because those authors and a few others like them, brought the business in by writing good books. Books that kept people coming back for more. Those same authors were very supportive of EC for years. They helped promote the publisher. Again, thanks to them EC got to become a multimillion dollar company.

    Take it from someone who has nothing to do with the epublishing industry, but has been around since 2003 and has seen a LOT going on in public forums and groups (and now blogs) in those 6 years.

    On a side note, this thread is now SERIOUSLY derailed.

  35. Mary
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:02:03

    When you own a corporation, you are held to a standard that you may or may not like.

    When you give interviews talking about your marriage to a convicted murderer, a murderer who tried to kill a child after killing the childs mother, and you state your two children (iirc) look at the murderer as a father figure and hero ( irrc), you tend to open yourself up for comment.

    When you claim to be an empowerer of women and their sexuality, and you marry a male accused of domestic violence resulting in the death of his partner, you tend to invite comments as to the depth of that empowerment.

    The murder of someone is horriifc..and there is no way to sugarcoat it.

  36. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:05:38

    Thanks, Anon76. That is so nice of you!

    Jeez, I guess my long post got to ME enough to snap–as I did re the references to RT. But I don’t deny how I feel about them being dragged into this mess. It’s a kinda out of the blue, “huh?” Let’s not go there.


  37. Mary
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:08:40

    When you make yourself the public face of a corporation you invite attention.

    When you provide and interview posting a picture of yourself with your convicted murderer husband , you invite comment.
    (sorrry for the double post)
    When you proclaim yourself and your company an empowerer of women by publishing books you say fulfill their fantasies, then you marry a man who was convicted of murdering his domestic partner in front of that female partners young child, and that man then tried to murder the child who witnessed the act of murder, you invite comment.

    When you provide all this information on a blog site and further state that your own two minor children (iirc) look to that male as a father figure and hero (iirc) and you state in the interview that you would have no problems having your children in contact with this convicted murderer you invite comment.

    I mean, get real.

  38. JC Wilder
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:09:28

    At no time did I condemn or attack the publisher. What I did was share my personal experience with the company.

    I was the 13th author they acquired and I was already published with a following. Back then the company consisted of two people and a handful of unknown authors. Trust me, I brought more to the table for them then they did for me.

  39. JC Wilder
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:22:39

    TT wrote: While obviously believing in the right to free speech, I would like to first state how highly inappropriate and unprofessional it is to air your dirty laundry in a public forum.

    Really? I don’t remember airing any dirty laundry – I talked about MY EXPERIENCE. If anything is the publisher’s laundry on display and they are the ones that hung up their panties for all to see.

    What I find interesting is you feel that sharing an experience is only okay if it is a GOOD experience. So when you want to switch dentists are you going to ask the friend who only says nice things or the friend who says it like it is?

    More than ‘I believe that ‘we' as authors owe it to each other, to be as professional and responsible as we can be in the image that we portray to the public’ I think we owe it to each to be truthful. I haven’t said a single thing here that I feel would damage my career, my reputation or my sales. I haven’t resorted to name calling or finger pointing – but the publisher did.

    Just because your experience is good (and I’m happy for you!) that doesn’t mean everyones is.

  40. AReader
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:29:23

    Off Topic: Interesting that EC appears to have rallied the raw recruits.

  41. Hipkarma
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:32:35

    OT: Yes, noticed that.

  42. Nonny
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 15:35:10

    Yes, because authors sharing both their negative and positive experiences is totally inappropriate and airing out dirty laundry. Musn’t ever say anything that could be possibly interpreted as “bad”, even if it is the truth. /sarcasm

  43. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 16:12:06


    I may not be pleased with EC right now, but there’s been no rallying. In fact, there’s been no mention of this on any of the EC business/author loops.

  44. Myself
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 16:13:24

    The final straw was the doubling of the releases. I know both Chey and I had conversations with the managing editor and I'm sure there were others as well. We knew the impact this would have on an indivdual author's sales and were were basically told to shut up. … Once the releases increased we ceased to be artists and, in their eyes, turned into content providers.

    I’m so glad to see an EC veteran come out and say this. It’s something I’ve maintained since that ill-advised (to say the least) change was instituted. The inner circle of cheerleaders, of course, maintain their sales either haven’t changed or have gone up, but the rest of us know what a boatload of crap that is.

    I made better first-month royalties with another pub than I’ve made recently with Ellora’s. And I know damned well it’s at least in part because of that manic release schedule.

    We didn’t just turn into content providers. We turned into hamsters running on the profit wheel. And not very well-fed hamsters, at that.

  45. GrowlyCub
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 16:18:13


    I think RT was mentioned in this thread because the owner, Lady Barron or whatever her real name is, has a publishing venture with Jaid Black and because of the EC/RT convention issue last year.

    [tangent:I stopped buying RT a long, long time ago (probably 8 or 9 years), when I realized that review grades seemed to go along with advertising space and when ‘Lady’ Barron’s comments in the magazine and behavior detailed in the articles started to rub me the wrong way. Talk about an egomaniac in the making.]

  46. vein
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 16:31:24

    re “having the title” of Linden Bay. You also “have” the authors as an ongoing connection and the books as your product. I have never read a Linden bay book and do not know if there is an average quality difference but if there is it rests in the amount of rust in the body, not the color of the paint. You can paint a lemon red, but….

  47. My Thoughts
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 17:24:18

    I know for a fact that some of the authors that were treated badly would still write for NY and EC at the same time.

    But EC did things that would turn your stomach. I thank Chey and JCW for coming out and being honest.

    The thing is, everyone wants to give Jaid Black the benifit of the doubt but what about the authors that have been mistreated, Just imagine if what they are saying is true, just what else could of been done.

    For those authors eg Taylor Tryst, I suggest trying to put yourself in the other authors shoes, imagine what happend to Chey happening to you. How would you feel? My personal opinion is this

    and its MY personal opinion.

    I think it all boils down to ego, Jaid Black was first and formost an author and I think her ego can’t stand it when she is out sold by another author. I think that it plants the seed for bitterness in her that takes form years later in attacks against that author.

    eg. If EC is as big as it claims then why would it need to sell Chey’s books at auction for some quick cash, Nope MY PERSONAL opinion is Jaid couldn’t handle the fact that Chey sold more books then her and was more popular. I just feel that what was done to Chey was more personal then business.

    If I was a smaller author at EC then I would be worried that if I became hugely successful then my books would be sold off.

  48. CourtneyLee
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 17:24:41

    This comment thread has been fascinating and I want to thank the authors, both named and anonymous, for sharing their experiences with us. I first discovered ebooks through EC after purchasing one of their print books at–haha–Borders, and for a long time they were my gold standard for quality and content variety in e-published erotic romance. I stopped buying from them because their quality started going down and, although they were publishing a few of my favorite erotic romance authors, I don’t have the book budget to give my money to a company with declining quality.

    So all this hullabaloo over their business practices doesn’t presently affect me monetarily (which is the extent of my contact with publishers), but I’m sad for so many authors who worked so hard with EC who were treated badly. With them, not for them, which makes the insult even worse because EC benefited from those authors just as much, if not more, than the authors benefited from EC. No one deserves to be treated as if they’re only a source of profit. People are so much more than an expendable means to a financial end.

    CJ, I do want to say that although this comment thread is not the best snapshot of the industry, it is certainly not the whole photo album (although apparently Jaid Black does look that bad in all the pictures). The fact that you are new to the constant conversations about the industry at large in forums such as these takes a lot weight away from your negative judgements. Acclimate yourself to the water in this pond before you declare it’s not something you want to swim in.

    Thank you, Jane, for your impressive restraint in dealing with those who do not have the maturity to act like grown-ups. My hat is off to you.

    Cheyenne, I have read a few of your bondage books before and have been meaning to glom your recent print releases from St. Martins. From your conduct here, I am SO snapping up your books as soon as I get tax money. You sound like one cool chick. :)

  49. Jacqueline Roth
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 17:49:20

    It is not necessary for people to agree in order for them to show basic consideration and respect for one another. That fact seems to have gotten lost in this thread. If you wish to attack a company’s way of doing business or the head of that company’s comments related to the company that is appropriate to the argument being posed here. What is not relevant is the personal attacks. It’s almost as if those who could not find a professional reason to attack EC degenerated into a personal attack against Jaid Black and Helen Woodall just to feel important and a part of things.

    Ms. Black is a big girl and, as shown here can certainly speak for herself and can and will be judged based on those facts. But Ms. Woodall is another matter. Helen is also my editor. She is someone who has made my experience as an author richer and more rewarding. I am an English teacher and yet she still challenges me to be better. I admit sometimes I roll my eyes at the style rules that work best for ebooks, but those are not determined by an editor.

    Why bring RT into this? Because the insinuation was that Ms. Woodall was allowing inferior work to be passed through. RT has regularly given high marks to those who work with Ms. Woodall as have many other review outlets. Yes, EC is an advertiser with RT, but so are most other epublishers and many smaller print publishers. Does that imply that no reviews in RT can be taken seriously?

    Someone mentioned earlier that large numbers of EC authors hadn't descended in defense of the publisher as if that were some measure of the accuracy of the claims here. It isn't. It is simply that most of us know that the anti-EC bandwagon will not be swayed. But like the others here, I could not let the criticism of a quality editor go unanswered.

  50. AQ
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 18:31:59

    Hello, my name is AQ Fredrichs and I wrote one book for EC a lifetime ago. I was around the loops when JC was treated so unprofessionally. In fact, I e-mailed EC management because as an professional IT consultant who had specialized in network security with an emphasis on e-mail and administration I was intimately familiar with the standards used in corporations regarding appropriate e-mail use. The e-mail was sent out regarding JC Wilder was not in my professional IT opinion anywhere near professional.

    Here’s why this is unprofessional. 1. This e-mail was sent to a semi-private e-mail host. Yahoo. That’s third-party which allows external e-mail to be sent out. 2. Most of the individuals on this loop are NOT employees working for EC, they were contractors: authors, cover artists, etc. 3. I’ve worked with senior level management at Fortune 100 companies to small mom-and-pop shops. HR and legal would’ve been involved in my opinion had that e-mail gone out in any of the companies I’ve worked for. 4. By excerpting e-mail conversations between JC and EC management, it opened up more questions than answers and did not actually make management look better. The inciting incident was approximately 45 days old. It could’ve been left to die a slow death. It certainly made me question management decision making.

    Still this is only my opinion. Needless to say, after I complained I no longer had an editor. Well, at least one who could or would respond to me. Which was okay in a sense because I hadn’t submitted anything since that one and only book. Although right before this happened I was having an excited conversation with my editor about an idea I had.

    What really got to me about Patty Mark’s response to my concerns was that I was told the e-mail had been vented past EC’s attorney. I’ve worked in law firms as well. I can’t imagine that e-mail making it past any corporate lawyers I’ve worked with, but then those are my standards not theirs.

    For full disclosure, I should also tell all of you that approximately 2 months later, I again complained about an e-mail that I felt would’ve led to the executive being removed from the premises. In retrospect, that might have been a stretch. Even so it’s what I believed at the time because I’d never seen so much dirty laundry aired about the head of a competing company. Once again this was aired to a third-party e-mail server whose recipients were mostly contractors. This time the e-mail was sent by Tina Engler aka Jaid Black and this time I was removed from the EC-Biz list.

    As far as Chey’s situation is concerned, I suggest those of you that don’t know or understand the situation go take a look at Mrs. Giggles’ blog. A couple of posters have gone out of their way to explain the circumstances they believed were involved. I don’t know if they got it right, Chey, but I suspect it might be close.

    As far as the print issue is concerned. I can tell that my book went to print. Why? Not a clue when there were others who had a book out before me. I can tell you that the going to print book list seemed to change on a regular basis. I have no idea what the criteria for either getting on the list or the changes to the list. I was nowhere near the decision making part of the business so all I can tell is what I observed.

    EC was an amazing company. A leader and an innovator. Perhaps they still are. I wish them and their company the best but there was unprofessionalism in the past. What extent did it or does it affect their business? Don’t know. But I can tell you that I would not have written this had EC stayed away from this blog.

    Others have spoken out. I’m here to tell you my limited observations.

    Thank you for listening.

    AQ Fredrichs

  51. Maggie
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 18:35:57

    This is off-topic.

    @Taylor Tryst:

    Also, have any one of you ever lied, cheated on a boyfriend or spouse? Have you had an abortion or been arrested for a D.U.I? Have you given a child up for adoption or have sex prior to being married? Okay, I know everyone is really angry at my point, but here me out.

    Just curious to know why having an abortion, giving a child up for adoption, or sex prior to marriage is comparable to nasty, selfish and ultimately irresponsible acts like cheating on your spouse or D.U.I.

    My parents gave up their first child for adoption because at that time, we lived in a country with poor birth control methods and they just couldn’t support a child yet. I thought that was a pretty responsible thing to do.

  52. Donna K.
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 18:51:41

    **…Does that imply that no reviews in RT can be taken seriously?**

    I sure hope not! As a new (small press) author I was absolutely thrilled to receive good reviews from RT on my first two print books (as was my mom who bought copies of both issues for everyone she knows, including-no lie- the people who work at Walgreen’s…LOL). I prayed like hell for higher than a two and lucked out with a 4 and a 4-1/2 star.

    I’ve only been to this site a couple of times. but I’m sure glad I checked out this thread. I’ve found a couple of new authors to try. ;-)

  53. DS
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 19:06:20

    @Jane: I’ve reread the complaints and the exhibits and I think I’m going to give up on trying to understand what is going on in the legal arena until more information available. It looks like a mess.

    I looked at some Ohio decisions dealing with civil conspiracy.

    In Ohio, civil conspiracy requires plaintiffs to show the existence of “a malicious combination of two or more persons to injure another in person or property in a way not competent for one alone, resulting in actual damages.” Williams v. Aetna Fin. Co. (1998), 83 Ohio St.3d 464, 475. Because conspiracy is not a free-standing tort, plaintiffs must also establish the existence of a separate, independent wrong. Wilson v. Harvey (Ohio App. 8 Dist), 2005-Ohio-5722, at 41. And that independent wrong must have been not a negligent act, but an intentional one. Hicks v. Bryan Med. Grp., Inc. (N.D. Ohio 2003), 287 F. Supp.2d 795, 813.

    It appears that EC is using what they call breach of contract to get the civil conspiracy before the court. I have an impression that there might have been a verbal side agreement; but, I can’t imagine a company NOT getting something like that in writing if a lawyer was at all involved.

  54. Ann Somerville
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 19:21:54

    @Taylor Tryst:
    I’ve had an abortion, and sex before marriage both with my now husband and with other people. I don’t consider either of those things mistakes or anything to be ashamed of. Equating them with drink driving/infidelity is utterly offensive.

    Equally, I don’t think the character of one’s marriage partner is automatically a reflection on a person, or anything to do with their business. Enough people have spoken here to make their point that to them, Tina Englor Drew/Jaid Black’s campaign to have her murderous spouse released from prison, is an offensive act and they don’t wish to support it. Personally, I think EC’s business can be discussed without bringing the marriage into it, but equally, the woman herself has made it an issue many don’t feel they can ignore. I respect people’s right to make their own decisions on that. It’s certainly not ‘breaking confidentiality’.

    Authors speaking up here are taking a risk, not for their own sake, but to protect other authors and consumers. They are to be congratulated for their bravery, and the idea that it’s better to keep quiet about dodgy business practices out of corporate loyalty is the kind of thinking which has led to disasters and frauds on a huge scale. Being a whistleblower is not easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

  55. Jane
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 19:22:26

    @DS: I took the conspiracy complaint to be an allegation that B&T and Borders acted in concert (which is the gravaman of a conspiracy complaint and not really pled) to order books that Borders had no intention of selling and ordered for the sole purpose of creating a credit balance.

    I think that might be the only claim that they have because there is no breach of the contract terms. Borders ordered books, BT sometimes fulfilled that order pursuant to the contract.

    I’m thinking that this is a bad faith claim, really, rather than a breach case. I mean, what exact term of the contract is actually being breached or unfulfilled?

  56. Anon76
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 19:27:53

    DS and Jane,

    Also look into the LLC laws in Ohio. Many people think that LLC means Limited Liability Corporation, when in fact, the last is Company, not Corporation.

    And in Ohio, an LLC status will not protect you if you or your officers are found to be willfully negligent, and blada blada. Meaning that personal property of the offenders is up for grabs in court.


  57. Jane
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 19:43:35

    @Anon76: I can’t see that playing a role in the BT/Borders case even in a countersuit.

  58. Taylor Tryst
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 20:20:27

    @ Maggie
    I'm sorry, I guess I was just trying to make a point here. I wasn't comparing each individual action or experience to another, but using the group as a whole to make a point about the personal attacks on Jade Black.

    Yes, Ms. Black has placed herself in a public forum. Does that give others a right to judge her, and make fun of her or to be so childish and hurtful? I believe it does not. Ms. Black defended herself the way you are defending your parents and their decision now.

    Who am I or anyone else to say it was right or wrong. Do you see my point?

    Everything is personal. Personal. I make no judgments about any of the topics. You're parents should be proud of the decision they made if that was what they chose.

    I just wanted to bring up things that were immensely private to make a point…that is all.

    No one is free from sin. No one should judge another. We all have faults, make mistakes, make decisions that others might not agree with, but they are just that, our decisions.

    I can see everyone's viewpoint, but I took offense to the attack made on my editor, and had to make a comment. The troops haven't rallied because the troops don't' want to become involved in name-calling, immature behavior or personal attacks.

    I feel to attack someone like Helen by name was doing so when not all of her author's have been heard, and not every EC author has spoken here. Like speaking ill of the dead, Helen cannot defend herself, nor should she have to. Helen is an incredible editor. My work and I are better for it.

    That doesn't mean everyone should have my opinion or experience, but this is my truth. I am a very loyal soul and this was important for me to say.

    I'm sorry that this entire blog has happened, as it has seemed to veer so way off course and escalated to the point of insanity.

    I would like my career to be long lasting, and build a strong fan base, whether it remains with EC or I move on. At this point, I couldn't be happier. I don't think blasting people or airing company business in a public forum should enter into that whatsoever.

    What it boils down to is that a divorce is sometimes an ugly thing. Don't make a forum like this into “The Enquirer” of its kind. Life is just too short.

    I wish everyone well and I won't be back to the forum again because I want no further part of something so out of control and hurtful. If I offended anyone, I apologize first hand.

    If you wish to email me, please feel free to do so. I keep a very good eye on my email, and will always answer anyone that has a question or concern.

    JC, Chey, everyone, good luck with your careers.

    Readers, I am very sorry that you had to witness this. I hope that you might give a few new authors at EC a chance. Thank you.

    Good luck to everyone, and for the sake of the industry, ladies and gentlemen, can't we just keep it professional.

    Taylor Tryst

  59. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 20:53:57

    No one is free from sin.

    Shocking as it may seem, there’s a whole world outside your narrow views. And in that world are lots of people who think trumpeting about trying to get a murderer out of jail on a technicality *is* something to judge.

  60. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 21:27:14

    Hello, for the last time. :o)

    Thanks for letting me know Mrs. Giggles had questions regarding my personal situation and I did read all of the comments. I appreciate everyone who had something to say for either side of the situation.

    I don’t open my mouth on blogs on anything controversial for many reasons–or I should say I didn’t before now. However, this has to be where I stop, take control and get past my feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger, and bitterness. I have given the situation power over me for far too long, and I’m not sure how to get past it. I could go into detail after detail after detail that hasn’t been mentioned. But the more I do, the more tired I get, and the more power I’m giving away.

    Gennita loaned me her office assistant who has been a pleasant diversion. Now I need another guy who is also hot and sexy and hunky, a guy who has the ability to make everything all right with a big kiss and hug and… :D Oh, wait. Then I’ll have two hunks to play with.

    I won’t be reading anymore posts or making anymore comments myself. I’ll be unsubscribing from the comments after this post. I’ve said everything I can say, more than what I should have said.

    THANK YOU to all of you.

    As I mentioned in my post to Mrs. Giggles, I’m going to take my wireless internet card out now…



  61. AReader
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 23:22:51

    Yes, because authors sharing both their negative and positive experiences is totally inappropriate and airing out dirty laundry. Musn't ever say anything that could be possibly interpreted as “bad”, even if it is the truth. /sarcasm

    I’m assuming this comment is directed at me. I wasn’t saying anyone shouldn’t comment I just thought is was interesting the only authors who seemed to be speaking up for EC haven’t been there very long. The old guard as it were seems remarkably silent on this. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just interesting.

  62. DS
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 08:05:01

    I wanted to add this URL linking to an article by someone else involved in a small press addressing this situation.


    The upshot from this seems to be EC was simply inexperienced, screwed up and is now trying to pass the buck.

    I think it’s also important to note that unsold inventory is taxable and I’m thinking that B&T and Borders preferred EC have the taxable inventory in their warehouse at the end of the tax year.

  63. Ann Bruce
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 10:23:29

    Wow. Take a weekend off and it’s 161 comments later…

    @me: Actually, there have been previous discussions in DA where current and former EC authors pointed out the rights are not signed away forever because there is(are) rights reversal clause(s). Even within this thread, authors mentioned getting back rights to EC books.

    @Cheyenne McCray: I’m not picking on you, but since you brought up numbers… So, with 100k print runs, do you sell out or do 30k-50k end up with their covers torn off?

  64. Dont Quote Me
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 12:22:45

    Chey will not be back to answer your question, She said a few posts ago thats shes not reading any more of this thread.

    I will say on her behalf that I have talked with another author who has hit the NYT best sellers list and I will not give away deets I will say that I think we can all safely assume she sells her 100K books, I wouldnt be surprised if she went into second print runs or more, especially as her popularity builds.

    Just thought you might like to know that.

  65. Me
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 12:25:28

    Yes, Ann I know…..sigh…here we go again….that thread was extremely sad as well….the point is, you( the shiny new excited author) don’t have the power, they do….theoretically the way the wording is, they really can have your rights for a very, very long time….maybe even forever if they want…..I don’t think wanting them to be 5, or 7 or even 10 years is being difficult….my point was, that they weren’t willing to change things like this in their contracts….why? well, maybe because they might want to sell them in the future when they are looking to make a quick buck because they’ve mismanaged things so badly….as they did to Miss Cheyanne….I feel sorry for the newbies desperate for that first sale that will sign anything. Bottom line, their contracts are not very author friendly. IMO

  66. Julia Sullivan
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 13:27:37

    No one is free from sin. No one should judge another.

    No, actually, judges and juries can and should judge others. And indeed convict them of crimes.

    If Jaid Black has been using her Ellora’s Cave platform to campaign for her husband’s release from prison, then that does reflect on Ellora’s Cave. People have every right to evaluate the situation and decide how they feel it reflects on the business. (If she hadn’t been using Ellora’s Cave as a platform for advocating for her husband, I would have been with the ‘not relevant’ party.)

    As for abortions, I’ve had two. Legally. I’ve also had a tonsillectomy, and have had some skin tags removed surgically. What does my medical history have to do with crime or sin?

  67. shirley
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 13:30:29

    Maybe that is why they keep the rights for the long term, Me. So they can sell them later, which is completely within their right to do. It’s not illegal, no matter how ‘wrong’ said act may be interpreted to be.

    Trust me, I sympathize with the betrayal I’m sure Ms. McCray felt when she found out her long time publisher was auctioning the print rights to some of her erotic novellas. And on the cusp of her really breaking big in NY. I’m sure she felt like that act had the potential to ruin her budding career.

    On the other hand, from a business perspective, I have to admit to some confusion as to the rest of the story. I’ve read Mrs. Giggles and here, but truth be told, I don’t understand how the purchase of said print rights has anything to do with Ms. McCray, over and above the fact that she initially wrote the stories. SMP bought print rights to finished work, not to work in progress. As such, and as a business person, I’d think Ms. McCray and her agent would have been smart to work a deal with SMP re overhauling said stories. She doesn’t ‘have’ to rewrite the stories by virtue of the rights being bought by her NY publisher. The books are already written, published, finished. Are they up to SMP’s standards? I don’t know, but that really bears little on the point. SMP didn’t buy unfinished work yet to be completed. They bought a finished product. And whether they bought in order to keep Ms. McCray completely in-house, or to prevent competition from others publishers for Ms. McCray’s work, regardless SMP is a business and if they didn’t think they’d make money off the print rights, they wouldn’t have bought them. If nothing else, NY publishing is most definitely a business.

    If she and her agent didn’t negotiate some sort of advance for reworking the newly acquired by SMP print rights for her previously e-pubbed books, I’d think someone may have dropped the ball a little bit. Those books are done, finished, and that’s what SMP bought, right? And I’m sure someone may suggest Ms. McCray offered to do the rewrites in order to prevent some sort of backlash from SMP. I suppose that could be true, but what is also true is that Ms. McCray has zero control over what EC chose or chooses to do with the rights they legally retain via their contracts. What is also true is that SMP offered Ms. McCray contracts because they hope to make money, even more hopeful that it’s lots of money, off Ms. McCray. Further, what EC did/does will perhaps make SMP think of EC as a pain in the ass, but it’s doubtful they’ll peg Ms. McCray the same. This is a business and EC selling off rights isn’t exclusive just to EC. It’s my understanding that selling rights is a relatively common publishing occurrence.

    I’m entirely earnest here, too, I don’t need a thousand comments calling me names. I’m looking for clarity on this item, despite the fact that this is completely off topic from the original post by Jane. While I understand and sympathize with Ms. McCray’s feelings, I mean jesus, who wouldn’t feel shafted if something like this happened to them? I also don’t see it as a ‘bad’ thing against EC. It’s a business.

    To be clear, I don’t buy from EC. I thought about it a couple of years ago, but at that time, and it could have just been the day, I had a helluva time trying to check out. I think my patience is seriously waning, so I just decided I didn’t have the time to deal with whatever hoops were necessary and just never went back. I get my ebooks from other places like Samhain, LI, Changeling Press, AMP, etc.

  68. shirley
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 13:35:14

    Jane, a question re the topic of the post:

    I waded into the briefs, briefly, LOL. It’s kind of like reading gobbledygook. My question is this: Considering the suit, in your opinion, do you think any of the parts have a chance in and of themselves? Or did you come away from it, sort of like I did, that if any part failed to pass muster the whole would collapse? Also, it seemed to me like all the action was to get to another end. In other words, suing for x or y in order to really get a judgment on z, even though z may or may not be illegal?

    Or am I just REALLY confused?

  69. Jane
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 13:45:38

    @shirley That’s a multifaceted question. LOL.

    1) There are two different claims being made. One is a breach of contract claim (on account and unjust enrichment are essentially contract claims) and second is the fraud claim.

    2) There are different “remedies” for contract and fraud claims. Under a contract claim, an injured party is only entitled to contract damages. This can be very limited. Under a fraud claim, you can get what’s called “compensatory damages”, which is a broader range of damages (i.e., loss of profits or other ancillary damages that an injured party can prove are casually related to the fraud).

    3.) You can plead alternative causes of action and remedies in a complaint. The requirement is that there is a good faith basis for your complaints or allegations.

    4.) You can win the contract claim and not the fraud claim and vice versa.

    Does that answer your question(s)?

  70. JC Wilder
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 13:50:14

    Shirley wrote: If she and her agent didn't negotiate some sort of advance for reworking the newly acquired by SMP print rights for her previously e-pubbed books, I'd think someone may have dropped the ball a little bit.

    In a nutshell – Chey could have refused to rewrite the books and her career would’ve been over. Period.

    Publishing, like most industries, is rather incestuous. Publishers do talk to one another, editors talk to one another, publicists talk to one another…etc. If Chey had tried to refuse to do edits then her career with SMP would’ve been over and chances are the other A list houses would have given her a pass as well. No one wants to work with an author who has been labeled a diva.

    SMP buys the right to print, in a specified format, the book known as (title) written by (author). It is up to the publisher to determine if they want it edited or rewritten. It’s no different then if they bought a brand new manuscript from a new author.

  71. Karen Scott
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 14:23:53

    What is not relevant is the personal attacks. It's almost as if those who could not find a professional reason to attack EC degenerated into a personal attack against Jaid Black and Helen Woodall just to feel important and a part of things.

    Hmmm… Who attacked Helen Woodall? I’ve read books that she’s edited, and in my opinion she sucks at editing. I get the feeling that she’s ok if her author is able to string a sentence together enough to self-edit, but otherwise, it’s a hard-slog.

    Listen, I appreciate the cheerleading, your loyalty is impressive, and I’m sure that Ms Woodall is great with children, and loves animals, but that doesn’t mean she’s a great editor.

    I just thought is was interesting the only authors who seemed to be speaking up for EC haven't been there very long.

    They’ll learn, just like the others, then they’ll find this thread again, and wonder what they were smoking.

    Like speaking ill of the dead, Helen cannot defend herself, nor should she have to. Helen is an incredible editor. My work and I are better for it.

    Well, Helen could defend herself if she chose to, who’s stopping her?

    Hey, you wanna send me a book to review, so that I can judge whether or not she’s improved as an editor? I promise I’ll be honest in my assessment. For you, I’ll drag my Reviewing Mojo out of the cupboard, dust it off, and get cracking. My e-mail address is hairylemony @ gmail .com.

    I’ll be eagerly awaiting your masterpiece.

    I don't think blasting people or airing company business in a public forum should enter into that whatsoever.

    Aww, you’re so green it breaks my heart to think that one day your rose-tinted glasses will viciously be torn off your face, when you realise that PollyannaLand doesn’t actually exist within publishing.

    I believe that ‘flaming' someone by name does nothing but show your lack of loyalty, self-respect, and maturity.

    Well to be fair, Jaid Black’s name wasn’t really mentioned until the lady herself came on and showed us her knickers, and the Helen Woodall comment was merely an observation. And if you think that comment was ‘flaming’, then you really must be new to Romanceland. That my dear was as tame as it gets, and Ms Woodall probably knows that herself, seeing as one of the books she edited caused a bit of a stir in Romanceland for a couple of weeks, a while ago.

    I wish everyone well and I won't be back to the forum again because I want no further part of something so out of control and hurtful.

    We’ll see how long that lasts.

    I, like the other EC authors who commented here against this blatant self-flaggelistic rhetoric, hadn't planned on making a statement on this forum ,as I know that I would be ‘flamed' regardless of what I said or the validity of my points.

    Who are you again?

  72. Ann Bruce
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 14:40:07

    @Me: Oh, boy. I do love the assumptions you make, especially “the shiny new excited author.” Anyone who knows me can attest that I’m bitchy and cynical, especially when it comes to business. And, please don’t assume that people who sign up with EC are ones who are idiots who cannot handle their careers. I can read a contract, I can weigh the pros and cons, and, heck, I even tie my own shoelaces. Go figure!

    I’ve seen the contracts for EC and I’ve seen the contracts for the NY pubs. A lot of the clauses are very similar. BTW, S&S in 2007 tried to keep book rights forever (as in forever as defined by the OED and not “a very, very long time”). Frankly, all publishers are out to make a profit and all their contracts are geared to be more favorable to them than to their authors. If this is revelation for some, that’s a little sad.

  73. Ann Bruce
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 14:45:03

    @Dont Quote Me: I believe–someone please correct me if I’m wrong–the NYT best-seller is based upon books ordered by bookstores, not actually books sold. Also, about 30%-50% of books printed are not sold and mulched.

  74. shirley
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 14:47:43

    Okay! Thanks, Jane :D LOL, that did clear it up for me. The whole brief seems so round about and lengthy, I got lost, *g*.

    So then my next question is probably moot, but, even in the brief, I don’t see that Borders or B&T lacked the good faith. But that *is* what EC is suggesting, right?

  75. Jane
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 14:59:50

    @shirley I think its implied in the fraud claim but bad faith is an entirely different cause of action with different elements.

  76. Me
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:02:50

    @ Ann Bruce

    The list is created by the editors of the “News Surveys” department, and not by The New York Times Book Review department, where it is published.

    The list is based on weekly sales reports obtained from selected samples of independent and chain bookstores, as well as wholesalers, throughout the United States. The sales figures are widely believed to represent books that have actually been sold at retail, rather than wholesale figures.

    Ann, I believe the list is made up of a little bit of this and that…they say the final formula is a trade secret. But to my knowledge, it’s from books that have sold, and they gather their info from a wide range of book stores.

  77. mysterious
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:04:38

    I honestly think the whole suit is bogus. I think that EC’s attorneys probably know that too, and drew it up as a nuisance suit in the hope that Borders will pay them a token out-of-court settlement just to make it go away. A great many lawsuits are filed with that objective in mind.

    I doubt this would stand up for more than three seconds in court.

  78. Jasper
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:06:01

    What are the criteria for someone claiming they are a NYT’s bestselling author? Most of the author’s commenting who have their username linked to their website claim this status. Are there some unpublished categories of ranking such as a romantica list?

  79. ilona andrews
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:13:26

    @ Ann Bruce

    A mid-NYT mmpb (somewhere around 10-15th place on the list) in general will move upward of 7-10K in the release week, according to Bookscan. This is on average, the actual numers are greatly influenced by a whole number of factors: what is released, how many other books are released, is it a holiday, etc. Some people hit the list with 5K, some like me only hit extended with 6K. Most NYT authors will show under 300 on amazon in the first few days of their release.

    This isn’t coming from any scientific resource, but from me watching Bookscan and obsessing.

    As to the math, it’s easy: let’s say $6.99, at average royalty of 8% with a print run of 100K and 100% sellthrough will give you roughly 56K in royalties.

    I can’t speak for Chey, but I can tell you that sellthrough is deceptive, especially with a series, because people keep going back and buying your previous books. My first novel has been out for close to two years and have now sold twice its original printrun.

  80. Jacqueline Roth
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:15:00

    “Aww, you're so green it breaks my heart to think that one day your rose-tinted glasses will viciously be torn off your face, when you realise that PollyannaLand doesn't actually exist within publishing. “…

    So let’s all throw as much mud as possible at everyone who will stand still long enough?

    “Hmmm… Who attacked Helen Woodall? I've read books that she's edited, and in my opinion she sucks at editing. I get the feeling that she's ok if her author is able to string a sentence together enough to self-edit, but otherwise, it's a hard-slog.”

    I’m frankly surprised by this. Other than style issues, which I admit drive me crazy at times, I’ve not seen issues with the books Ms. Woodall edits and I’ve read several. She edits my work and frankly I’ve been pleased with it. But then we all have different tastes in books. Some prefer character driven books and some action driven. It would seem that your opinion differs from many reviewers. But then I’m sure they’ve all gotten it wrong.

    I simply find it rather tacky to deliberately insult someone by name who certainly did not ask to be included in the conversation. If that makes me “green”, so be it.

  81. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:16:08

    What are the criteria for someone claiming they are a NYT's bestselling author? Most of the author's commenting who have their username linked to their website claim this status. Are there some unpublished categories of ranking such as a romantica list?

    This is how most authors and publishing houses that I know use these terms:

    “NYT’s Bestselling”: You have to make the printed list. This used to be the top 15, but I think it’s now the top 20.

    “Bestselling”: This one can mean almost anything. It can mean that you made the USA Today list, the extended NYT’s list, etc. For ePublished authors it could even mean that they were a bestseller of Fictionwise, or on their publisher’s in-house site. Unless the author spells it out, it just means that at some point, one of their books did well.

  82. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:18:53

    Ok, that didn’t come out right . . . I didn’t mean to imply that eBook authors claims to being “bestselling” are any less legit than print authors.

    Please don’t take me to task.

  83. ilona andrews
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:19:51


    It depends on the publisher. Printed NYT goes to 20. If you make it into top 20, you are NYT Bestseller.

    Extended NYT I think goes to 35. If you make it into extended, things get complicated. Some publishers view hitting extended as being NYT bestseller. I am pretty sure Avon does, although I might be nuts.

    My publisher doesn’t, but my agent does, and when I’m marketed to foreign publishers, I’m marketed as NYT bestseller, but my book cover for March release says “National Bestselling Author.” I think I either have to make the printed list (top 20) or hit extended again for my publisher to view me as bestseller.

  84. ilona andrews
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:26:53

    PS. Forgot to mention, by release date, I mean the actual release date. Most people get soft release, with the bookstores making the book available before the actual release date. Which means you sit there and watch helplessly as you book gathers 2-3K in sales which will never count for any sort of list, because technically your book isn’t out yet. :P

  85. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:28:17

    I believe-someone please correct me if I'm wrong-the NYT best-seller is based upon books ordered by bookstores, not actually books sold. Also, about 30%-50% of books printed are not sold and mulched.

    It’s a little stranger than that . . . it’s based on reports of sales (not actual sales) from a select and secret list of bookstores. Said bookstores receive a printed sheet that lists the titles that the NYT thinks will hit (based on things like print runs and buzz), as well as blank spaces for them to fill in should something become a wundersell out of nowhere. So it’s something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  86. veinglory
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 15:28:47

    I have seen authors claim to be best selling because they made their publisher’s top ten sales one week, had a top ten amazon rank in a specific sub-genre, or just because. IMHO the received meaning is still a books appearance on a major newspaper-published listing, and lesser listings shouldn’t really be used the same way.

  87. AQ
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 16:18:20

    @Shirley: According to what I read on Mrs. G’s site, EC sold subsidiary rights not print rights. Two different things in a publishing contract. Subsidiary rights would be strictly between EC and SMP. Chey and her agent have no part in the negotiation and cannot renegotiate directly with SMP.

    As Chey herself said up above, the EC stories were written with a specific niche in mind. They weren’t written for her current reader so she’ll rewrite these stories not simply because (or if) SMP asks her to but because she needs to meet her non-EC reader’s expectations. Otherwise those readers might not buy the next new book by her.

    But in case you were wondering how subsidiary rights differ than direct print rights as far as royalties are concerned here’s an example of how I understood them to work in the most basic of examples.

    Cavaet: If I get the math wrong or if this isn’t a subsidiary rights issue, someone please please correct me.

    Totally made up numbers here: The author’s original royalty of this medium was 10% but the subsidiary rights in this case are a 50% split of net.

    So 10% minus the publisher’s agent’s 15% right off the top, then 50% of what’s left minus the author’s agent’s fee say 15%. So at the end of the day, the author would get 36.125% of the original 10% so that makes the author’s royalty rate in this particular example 3.6%. Again totally made up numbers for ease of example. Most author do not get a 10% print royalty rate, subsidiary rates vary widely depending on the negotiation, and there could be additional fees that come off the top that I haven’t accounted for.

    While I understand and sympathize with Ms. McCray's feelings, I mean jesus, who wouldn't feel shafted if something like this happened to them? I also don't see it as a ‘bad' thing against EC. It's a business.

    You’re right, in the end this is just business. There’s nothing personal here. It happens all the time in corporations, sports franchises, etc. EC’s selling of these rights is completely legal and they do have the right to conduct business however they see fit to meet their long-term business goals.

    That doesn’t, however, mean that I have to like or respect the way they appeared to have gone about making this particular business deal into reality. Because like I stated on Mrs. G’s site, I think Chey’s contributions to EC’s success were more than an author having their work for sale on a website. She actively promoted them, she advertised, she did so many things and was part of a group of original authors that helped put EC on the map. EC’s success and breakthrough wasn’t because of one person. It took people from all different aspects of the business to work together to make it happen. That right there is sufficient reason in my opinion for her to deserve at the very least a personal conversation with management prior to EC moving forward with this business decision. She was still writing for them, she was still promoting them even though she had made a splash in NY.

    Yes, I know…it’s just business.

  88. JC Wilder
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 16:25:53

    AQ – Hey girl, nice to see you out and about. :)

  89. JC Wilder
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 16:28:32

    Best selling –

    NYT Best Seller – Top 20

    USA Today Best Seller – Top 50

    National Best Selling Author – NYT Extended, USA Today Extended or a Best Selling list from a national list such as Waldenbooks, Borders – not an online list it has to be the printed list.

  90. Nonny
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 16:44:27

    On the topic of e-publishers and “bestselling”…

    At one of my e-pubs, I was listed on the in-house “bestselling” list. I had sold only ~50 copies of said book at the time. They were a newer house, yes, so I didn’t think too much of it, until I saw other authors from the same house tacking on “Bestselling!” to their tag. I didn’t say anything, because I’d seen the same practice at other small houses that I’ve heard don’t sell all that well, but I have always felt this practice to be misleading at best.

    I don’t have any issue with in-house bestseller lists. I think they’re a great thing to track who/what are selling. I do have issue with authors adding the “bestselling” tag as if it were NY or similar. If they specifically state “Bestselling author at [insert publisher]” that’s one thing, but to do it across the board… always rubs me the wrong way.

  91. AQ
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 16:46:15

    by JC Wilder January 12th, 2009 at 4:25 pm Reply to this comment

    AQ – Hey girl, nice to see you out and about. :)

    Yeah, I lurk when I can but rarely feel the urge or need to comment.

  92. Karen Scott
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 17:04:45

    simply find it rather tacky to deliberately insult someone by name who certainly did not ask to be included in the conversation. If that makes me “green”, so be it.

    Well, her name is listed in the books she edits, so why shouldn’t it be used to identify her?

    Besides, it wasn’t really meant as an insult. If I’d have wanted to insult her, I could have called a her a snivelling dumbass. Instead, I merely opined that I felt her editing skills were way below par. It’s ok to do that.

    You know why?

    Because she’s an editor for a company who publish books that people like me buy. (OK, maybe not so much these days, but once upon a time, I was an EC fan girl).

    If I pay that money, I have every right to give my opinion anyway I choose, be it Pollyanna-like, or with a dose of the Simon Cowells.

    Some prefer character driven books and some action driven.

    Prefering character-driven books to action-driven books is more a matter of taste, I feel, and not so much about bad editing, so I’m not sure that that argument holds up so well.

    It would seem that your opinion differs from many reviewers.

    Which reviewers, would they be then? It’s ok, I’ll let you go ahead and list them for me.

  93. Jess
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 19:20:40

    So off topic, I want to have a fangirl moment

    ilona andrews


    – I just had to get that out off my chest LOL

    As a reader that gets a bit jaded cause I have read so many books in the paranormal genre, I often pick books to pieces. Your books kept me completely captivated and turning the pages, I am DIEING for book 3.

    I will go back to lurking now LMAO

  94. ilona andrews
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 19:28:23


    Thank you! I am so flattered. If you drop by my blog sometime, I am torturing people with snippets.

  95. An Aussie peering in
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 20:25:52

    I am wondering, with all this mismanagement and diversion of funds, where the taxation department and inland revenue is in all this…

    If I was a writer who suspected that my royalties were being diverted, and that the management of EC were not allowing third party accounting of the business, I would be shopping them to the IRS.

  96. Mireya
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 08:02:30

    @Jacqueline: Do you really believe that a good review is also a reflection on your editor? If you do, you are SERIOUSLY deluded. Take it from a 6-year veteran reader reviewer with no writing credentials or literary education, who has worked for more than one online reviewing site.

    The vast majority of online review sites have volunteer reviewers who are just readers, no formal education in writing or literature whatsoever. People like me base our reviews in how we feel about a book, not the writing technique. Hence, editing is barely a consideration. As a matter of fact, the editing is only taken into consideration if it is so horrid that it actually messes with our enjoyment of the story. Most editing flaws fly right over the head of the reader reviewer if the reviewer is actually really enjoying the story. Conclusion: the good review is a reflection of how good YOUR writing and storytelling ability is.

    This also applies to the popularity of books case in point: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. It is HORRIDLY edited. Yet you’ve seen where it is.

  97. Mireya
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 08:09:23

    Sorry, ran out of time to edit. I need to add something to clarify:

    Conclusion: the good review is a reflection of how good YOUR writing and storytelling ability is in the eyes of that particular reader reviewer.

    NOTE: By online reviewing sites I am referrring to ROMANCE online reviewing sites.

  98. Mireya
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 08:26:48

    And apologies again: I am talking about reviews from romance reviews online sites, not blogger reviewers. They are different.

  99. Jane
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 08:28:38

    @Mireya I think your assessment of what a review is – is true for blogger reviewers too. A review is merely a reflection of the reader’s viewpoint of the writer’s work.

  100. veinglory
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 09:52:26

    One reason I stopped revieing for online romance review sites is that many absolutely forbid any mention of editing. I had my comments on editing *removed* from a review of an ebook that was published years prior (not an ARC) and had a clear typo or misplaced punctuation on almost every page.

  101. JR
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 10:21:04

    @jaid black:

    Jaid, your very mature responses to the comments shows how well you take critiscm, and your lack of professionalism. “Show me proof I ruined your reputation” sounds like something someone would say if they were truly guilty and know they’ve gotten away with a hideous crime.

    Retract the claws, and allow these people to speak their mind. You can’t be the only one allowed with an opinion.

  102. Mireya
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 11:32:22

    @Jane: I agree. I did want to be as clear as possible about my reviewing background & experience, though. I’ve never reviewed for a blog or started one for that purpose. :)

    @Vein: I heard about it, but I never reviewed for a site that followed that rule.

  103. former author
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 21:15:22

    I can’t believe I read every post. . .

    There was A LOT I could have said but didn’t, but I feel the need to reply to a few things. . .

    I started writing for EC in 2004. I had the rosiest of rose colored glasses and NO ONE could tell me anything bad about EC without me defending them to the death. . .or at least the dearest wish for death to release them from my songs of praise.

    I believe this is normal for new authors, kind of like the new girlfriend not listening to the old girlfriend’s warning that the boyfriend is a lying cheating scum. If you are a new author to any house and you have been treated well, by all means, defend your publisher loud and proud.

    BUT DO NOT condemn other authors as unprofessional because they are sharing their experiences.

    Everything in this business is so hush hush. We don’t even know how the bestsellers list is calculated for heaven’s sake and that’s supposed to be our standard of excellence!!!! If we as authors don’t share our experiences with others, we will continue to get screwed by unscrupulous (lord, I know I spelled that wrong!) publishers, agents, and perhaps even book sellers.

    For the record, I wrote over a dozen books for EC. My dealings with my editor started out wonderfully and went downhill as time went on. Whenever I questioned management about ANYTHING it was a crap shoot whether I’d get a curt reply, a nasty one, or one at all. I was OFTEN treated like a whining child and felt the tone and content of many PERSONAL emails was unprofessional. The ones on the Yahoo loop are a whole different story.

    I choose not to sell to EC any longer, I choose not to buy from EC except for a select few authors, and I’m VERY VERY careful not to burn any bridges.

    This is just my .02, I could rant about many, many things (the least of which is taking the authors out for dinner at a conference and asking for 18 separate checks) but I think the happy EC authors need to know there is a downside and it isn’t just a “few” disgruntled authors. I can name quite a number who feel the same way and wouldn’t dare to post.

    There, now the next person to get sucked into this will have one more post to read bwahahahahahahahaha

    (_/_) (_\_) (_/_) (_\_)

  104. Tanya
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 11:30:35

    I think this thread is getting out of hand. For authors to smear a publisher publicly, is disgusting, immature kindergarten behavior and unprofessional. I believe this whole discussion started about Borders and EC placing a lawsuit against them. I don’t blame them at all because the bookstores have been coddled too much. So many stores don’t take returns, why should a bookstore have that right?

    Why this discussion escalated into the smearing of publishers is beyond me. Then it went on to reviewing. My two cents worth, if a reviewer finds errors in a book, that reviewer needs to contact the publisher before posting the review. Too much is made out of a few simple errors. With e books that can be easily corrected if the publisher is willing. Let me add to that how many big name print authors have errors in their books!! There are far too many reviewers out there doing it for the sake of a free read. As mentioned before, most of them are not professional reviewers, but merely readers.

    Then someone mentioned EC taking on books by other publishers and pulling the publisher’s personal life into this whole conversation. How TACKY!! Also, please note that there are a number of other publishers already doing this, Siren for one and Samhain, so what’s the big deal about EC doing it? It’s merely a good business decision to fight the declining economy.

    Last of all, if you’re not happy with your publisher, then write for other publishers, but I doubt if you’ll ever be happy anywhere. You’ll always find something to bitch about.

  105. RUBlind
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 12:28:32

    @ Tanya.

    I find it interesting that you don’t say how tacky it was that Jaid came out and acted the fool.

    In my mind a few people were discussing EC’s not so nice policies, When Jaid came out of the woodwork at started stiring them up.

    I’m under the impression and it has been stated here by multiple authors, that EC do not treat whistle blowers very well, Hell it looks like they dont like anyone to question their policies.

    I think this whole thread is alot of authors that have never got to say whats happend to them finally finding somewhere to express themselves.

    As a reader I’m VERY interested in the publisher of any of my favourite authors, I dont go to EC cause I know or like their management, I go for the authors I have invested many hours of my time and my hard earned cash.

    The one thing you never mentioned in your entire post was that by coming out and challenging authors to ‘prove it’ Jaid opened herself up to critisim.

    The thing I have to decide now as a reader is if I should continue to buy with EC, I am really really disgusted with them, Only one author is still an autobuy with me and that is Jory Strong. I have now got to come to the hard decision about wether I should keep buying her stories OR wait till I can buy her print books 2nd hand or on ebay.

    Yes I know this isnt good for the Author, thats why I am going to have a LONNNG hard think about it. EC has screwed over some of my fave Authors, do I continue to support them or do I punish poor Jory Strong?

  106. A new author
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 12:29:34

    As an aspiring author, I’ve read the whole thread and have done more research because of this thread. I reserve the right to make judgment as I see fit, but I’m glad to see both sides represented, and can see this is a hot topic. Many thanks to the authors brave enough to speak up, and the EC representatives that decided to post also. Very interesting indeed.

  107. jaid black
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 12:38:13

    A lot has been said here, most of it not factual. But you are correct… I shouldn’t have responded on here, especially since I know this blog & and its followers are heavily biased against EC.

    First of all, no matter what I say here, I know it will be ripped to pieces. That’s why I don’t read blogs. Every once in a while, however, something is snuck under my radar detector and I end up seeing it, as was the case here. (FYI: I ended up seeing everyone’s comments to what I wrote because I was CCd in on a legal email exchange… not because I’m a glutton for punishment and enjoy coming back for more.) And yes, I do have a short fuse when I read out and out lies. Sorry, but I’m human, and when I see lies written about me and/or EC I try not to react, but sometimes do. My apologies to all EC authors for my reacting here. (And no, before the unfactual comments begin, no author has threatened to leave EC because of my comments here… I’m apologizing to them because I feel I owe it to them, not because I was scared into doing so or whatever bogus scenario is next concocted here.)

    1. I was a prison reform activist AT LEAST a solid decade before meeting my husband. My feelings on this subject existed before him and, as he’s been quite ill for some time, will continue to exist after he passes on.

    2. I have never spent EC funds in any way, shape or form on my husband or his defense. Although I don’t write very much, and haven’t for some years, my royalties (from 3 publishers) are still mine and as such I have a right to do with them whatever I want. In keeping with that logic, readers have the right to buy my books or not if my political beliefs grossly offend them.

    3. I never wanted to go public about my husband, but was put into a position where I felt I had no choice. Information about him was sent to all the bloggers and I had to decide whether to act offensively or defensively. I took the former choice, which might have been the wrong one, but considering I had maybe an hour to decide… well I did what I felt was the best choice at the time.

    4. I never said murderers shouldn’t be incarcerated. On the contrary, I believe my husband deserved a lengthy prison sentence. (He does too.) My interview, for those who actually read it, dealt more with my dislike of a judicial system that ensures proper representation at trial for the wealthy, but doesn’t require quality representation for the economically disadvantaged.

    5. I am exceedingly happy when an EC author does well, whether they outsell me or not. To state otherwise is grossly misleading of my character and downright false. The better an EC author does, the better EC does as a whole. To state that my ego can’t handle someone doing better than me is just bizarre. I don’t even have an ego… the blogs saw to that which is why I quit reading them and went into a cocoon in the first place.

    I’m sure there was a ton more said, but I answered the points that stuck out in my mind the most. And again, to all EC authors, I do apologize for coming here in the first place. It was wrong of me and I admit it. I also promise you I won’t be back to defend myself against whatever is said next because I really do not read blogs… and now I don’t read legal mail either. I can be briefed on the important points ;-)


  108. AQ
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 12:39:12

    @RUBlind: Jory has some new material coming out from Berkley. Check out her website for details.

  109. kerry
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 12:48:01

    My two cents worth, if a reviewer finds errors in a book, that reviewer needs to contact the publisher before posting the review. Too much is made out of a few simple errors. With e books that can be easily corrected if the publisher is willing. Let me add to that how many big name print authors have errors in their books!!

    Are you kidding?! Reviewers should contact publishers to report errors? Wow. I wonder if the New York Times Book Review contacts publishers to let them know of errors. I bet not.

    The fact is, a book riddled with errors reflects poorly on the editor, the author, and, by association, the company publishing the book. I don’t think anyone is bitching about a few typos, but many errors. If a reviewer is going to sit there and list numerous errors and report back to the publisher, then they’re really doing the editor’s job for them, don’t you think? Again – not talking about a few typos here and there. Everyone makes those, everyone lets them slip through.

    There are far too many reviewers out there doing it for the sake of a free read. As mentioned before, most of them are not professional reviewers, but merely readers.

    Unless I’m missing something, no one is strong-arming publishers into sending copies to people to review. Review copies are sent to people who the publisher thinks will review the book. Period. I would assume that publishers would be able to discern if a reviewer was “doing it for the sake of a free read” by the quality and scope of previous reviews. Even if they were “doing it for the sake of a free read” – if the end result is a review that garners publicity for the book, perhaps the publisher doesn’t care about the motive.

    Also, personally, I’d rather read reviews from readers than from “professional reviewers.” I’ve read more good books that were recommended by fellow readers, non-professional blogger reviewers, and friends than by professional reviewers. (And hey, let’s not forget that some professional reviewers work for publications or groups that have business ties with the publisher – which could be a conflict of interest, IMO.)

    As for the thread getting out of hand, besides being late to the party, I think you miss the fact that the thread got out of hand right around the time Jaid Black came in and started making defensive, snide, and bullying comments herself.

  110. RUBlind
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 12:48:29

    AWESOME AQ Thankyou

    @ Jaid Black

    I’m sorry Jaid, but far to many authors both anon and named have said stuff about EC that makes me worry.

    There is just far to many for me to believe it otherwise, if it was just one or two then I could except room for inhouse fighting, but there is just to much said here against EC that I believe.

    I’m not so sure about the ego thing, Only cause every author that does good seems to have something go wrong with them, makes me look at you in a different light.

  111. Jackie Barbosa
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 16:47:52

    Tanya asked:

    So many stores don't take returns, why should a bookstore have that right?

    Um, because it’s in the contract the publisher makes with the bookseller?

    Seriously, I’m not a fan of the current returns model, but I’m not sure that replacing it with a strict “no returns” policy would benefit either publishers or authors, either.

  112. Interesting
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 01:17:44

    by jaid black January 14th, 2009 at 12:38 pm
    A lot has been said here, most of it not factual.

    The word MOST kind of stands out, it shows that you ADMIT that SOME of it factual…..

  113. formerECauthor
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 11:23:20

    @Tina / Jaid

    While I appreciate the fact that you apologized for your posts here on DA, I don’t believe for a moment you’re contrite. Why? Because this is a pattern of behavior for you that I’ve seen at least four times over the past five years. Someone ‘insults’ you or your company, you go racing out to post threatening, bullying, ridiculous responses then someone from managment comes along to clean up after you.

    As a former EC author I’ve lost count of the number of times you’ve sent out irrational emails to the EC lists and to authors and on your own blog. There was a time, not too long ago you were removed from your own company lists because you couldn’t restrain yourself from quick judgements and flying off the handle. In short – you are your own worst enemy.

    It pains me, truly pains me, to see how the company has deteriorated over the past three years. The best and brightest authors chased off by bad management decisions and poor treatment. Refusing to negotiate contracts, an options clause that only a fool would sign, canceling advertising options, posting slanderous emails about specific authors and former employees to the entire company, bad mouthing authors / competitors and everyone else to whomever will listen – I could go on and on for days because I’m SICK OF THE LIES. If you truly loved your company and your authors you’d admit there are serious issues and work to resolve them – period.

    You and your management team can say whatever makes you feel better, but the truth is still out there in thousands of email messages from EC computers posted on EC lists. So the next time you want your detractors to ‘prove’ wrongdoing, you might want to think twice because sooner or later someone will take you up on it.

  114. rantypants
    Jan 16, 2009 @ 21:00:51

    wow, excellent. I found a way to save money. No more books from EC for me. Only a bunch of women can create this kind of emotional drama around a fricking business…

  115. Maddie
    Jan 16, 2009 @ 21:22:11

    @ jaid

    I think most people would love to believe that what you wrote is heartfelt, but this has happen way to many times for it not to have some truth to it (former authors) saying how they were shunned and kicked out of the loop whey they asked to many questions, sad to say but EC is not the only e – publishing house to do this to their authors and I’m pretty sure we will hear of this happening again.

    I also have to agree with what #79 said:

    by Emmy January 9th, 2009 at 1:43 pm Reply to this comment

    Wow. This is all so sad. I started reading ebooks because of EC. I found a print book at Borders with an ad about ebooks in the back. I bought the book and brought it home, and downloaded MS Reader that same day. My first ebook was Jaid Black's The Empress' New Clothes. I used to go online every Wednesday and download every new ebook and read them all.

    Then the authors that I used to love to read started disappearing, and replaced by all new authors. What happened to my old favorites? Where are Sherri King and Lora Leigh and Rachel Bo and Jennifer Dunne and Jory Strong? I started going to LI and Samhain for books because they had better stories for less money. Now I might buy five ebooks a year from EC, when two years ago I was getting five a week.

    I have I think only 3 or 4 authors that I buy at EC J Strong being one of them.
    Like Emmy I used to click on EC to see when the new books were out now I click maybe once a week.
    I’ve been burn one to many times by some of the new authors that I now stick to my 3 to 4 authors not sure if is the editing or some of newer authors not being up to par with the old standards that I guess were tossed when $$$ factor became more important than the quality of work.

    Please do not take this as a personal attack on you Jaid Black but as a reader and customer of your company, that I supported from get go.

  116. LauraD
    Jan 16, 2009 @ 22:17:42

    I was at a Borders today…..ALL of their EC books were in the “clearance” section, marked 50% off, no return. Interesting.

  117. vein
    Jan 16, 2009 @ 22:32:07

    I am not sure what would be seen as smearing and bias. Presumably we all have some kind of secret society for the denigration of EC because…. um, because…. the illuminati, or alien mind control. Or something.

    Because I must be plenty crazy. I also have this weird idea that when I review a book in, my own time and on my own dime, and post it for readers that nothing is owed to the publishers. The idea I should report to them is rather like saying food poisoning should be reported only to the chef.

  118. K. Z. Snow
    Jan 18, 2009 @ 00:22:00

    Okay . . . I’m damned sick of all EC authors — except the well-known, awe- and loyalty-inspiring authors who’ve moved to New York houses (or Samhain) — being painted with the same brush.

    I’m not some semiliterate hack. Ellora’s Cave policies and business practices and Ms. Engler’s personal life have nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of every EC author’s work. All this huffing over a company that has, justifiably or not, gotten some bad press shouldn’t have anything to do with a reader’s perception of a writer’s commitment to her craft.

    Authors take their work where it is 1.) appreciated and/or 2.) can get the best financial remuneration. It’s that simple.

    Ellora’s Cave isn’t my only publisher. But even if it were, you can bet I wouldn’t just be sliding smutty dreck their way. Sex-o-rific or deeply romantic or both, I take pride in my ECPI books . . . even if I haven’t been there as long as the revered veterans. And I guarantee most ECPI authors feel the same way.

    Talent can crop up where and when you least expect it. Don’t write us off.

  119. Hmmmmm
    Jan 18, 2009 @ 02:18:22

    Okay, here is my thoughts

    a) The last 5 books I have bought from EC that are from totally new authors to me have been poorly edited and the plots plain unappealing, I have stopped wasting my money on the risk of a new author.

    b) I think its smart that you write for more then one publisher, that way if I find your books at another site I will go hunting for more of your stuff, This would be the only way I would risk buying your books from EC.

    c) I think you sound a little bitter about the ”revered veterans” as you call them, this is a public blog and I makes me think less of you for giving them this title. They have proven their talent by the sheer number of fans they have. From what I’ve seen here, I think the ”revered veterans” would still be writing for EC if they hadnt been screwed over.

    d) Remember most readers are LOYAL, I’m sure that you wish to one day have many people that love your books and would want to look after your best interest, especially if your treated badly.

    e) On a personal note, I hope you have a long and successful career, but as a reader, I dont appreciate it when you make snide comments about authors I have spent years faithfully following.

  120. just sayin...
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 11:42:17


    My take…

    I have written for Ellora's Cave a couple years now. I also have written for several other epublishers as well as print publishers during this time. I continue to write for both EC and NY houses WITH NO CONTRACT ISSUES.

    That, right there, should call into question the validity of some of the comments being made on these recent blog posts.

    I find it really disturbing that the authors in complaint are willing to reflect their irresponsibility on this publisher in such an unprofessional manner.

    But first off, EC, if you are listening, there is one valid point in these recent blogs: YOUR PRINT PROGRAM NEEDS SERIOUS RETHINKING. From nonsensical book scheduling to poor customer service to not distributing through Ingrams, you've made bad decisions. Enough said.

    I urge authors and readers alike to email EC directly and let their concerns be heard so EC can give this problem due consideration. EC is a company that is always growing and changing and I've no doubt they will once again strive to make their company the best it can be.

    Now, per the badmouthing I saw on the Dear Author blog regarding Jaid Black's personal life. For those that did it, I am ashamed for you. What inexcusable, immature behavior. It's no one's business what Jaid does with her life or her money. Do not judge lest you be judged.

    And btw, I would dare, double dog dare, anyone of those blasting Jaid Black to so rudely do the same to any other prominent New York editor or publisher publicly. You wouldn't, would you?

    Why does Jaid and Ellora's Cave deserve less respect?

    A couple other points:

    #1. Let's talk about option clauses. An option clause gives the publisher the right to review your next book and make an offer. It's about respect. You give your current editor first read. Does this mean you can't shop the book? NO. Does this mean EC has the absolute right to buy books that fall under said option clause? NO. An author fulfills an option clause by allowing her editor to review the manuscript. The author must then decide whether to accept or negotiate a contract offer or outright reject it.

    Point A: EC absolutely negotiates option clauses. As I stated, I happily write for more than one publisher.
    Point B: Any NY publisher is going to expect an author to uphold her end of the contract and fulfill option clauses. If an author blatantly does not, I've absolutely NO DOUBT any NY house would take necessary action. For an author to ignore an option clause is absolutely unprofessional and very few NY authors would dare behave as such. It would be silly too-‘because again, it's just a matter of letting your current editor read your material and make an offer if they so chose.
    Point C: For those EC authors who've made claims to receiving cease and desist letters-‘good for EC! Please explain to me why, just because EC is an epublisher, you should be entitled to unprofessional behavior?

    And there's that word again. UNPROFESSIONAL!

    And #2… The question of Ellora's Cave selling/auctioning the print rights of books to other NY houses. Does anyone actually believe they did this illegally? That, for example, St Martin bought books from EC that neither had a legal right to? Uh, NO. The fact is, EC was fully within their rights. It was in the contract and the AUTHOR SIGNED AND AGREED TO THIS CONTRACT.

    Now, let's be clear about another thing-‘this isn't some sort of new or unusual or shady practice. Big, NY publishers do it all the time. When I sell a print book, the publisher typically also takes rights to foreign books, hardcover editions, audio, possibly even movie rights, etc, etc. Does this guarantee my book will be a big cinema hit? NO. But it gives the publisher the right to sell it as such and believe you me, if they can make money, they will.

    So why are these EC authors mad about the sales being made? Well, hmmm. Maybe they didn't review the contracts they agreed to. Maybe, years later, they regretted signing away those rights. But sign them away THEY DID, even though it may be inconvenient. Even if, now that they are bestselling authors, they want their full rights returned. After all, who wants to split profits?

    And maybe that's what it's all about. Yep, let's get this straight. These authors are making a big stink over money, then badmouthing EC in the process and then calling them greedy? Ehem.

    As for the issue of EC's professionalism with authors. As far as I'm concerned, it's a non-issue. Like I said, I've been with them over two years. Never had a problem. Have I always been happy with their decisions? HELL NO! Uh, that's called life. I always keep my business relationships professional, so maybe that explains why.

    On the other hand, I've certainly stomached my share of bad behavior from editors in large NY houses. Learned long ago it's part of the business. Publishing is all about money. If you aren't the current hot ticket, editors don't hesitate to neglect and abuse you.

    And that's another reason I like EC. Hot ticket or not, it seems they treat all authors pretty much the same. No red carpet.

    Maybe that's really what this stink is about.

    As for the Borders lawsuit, I won't comment. Why? Because I don't know the details or understand them. Doubt most of you do either, to say whether it's right or wrong. Always a good idea, if you ask me, not to bigmouth about things you don't full comprehend.

    And the last thing I want to say? I make really good money at EC. I'm happy there, so readers, please do ME and numerous other authors a favor and don't take your business away from a good publisher because of some authors acting badly. Every author has opportunity to review a contract, to get an agent, to negotiate, and to walk away. All these authors whining are whining about things they agreed to.

    Even more troubling is how many authors and anonymous posters are publicly complaining about issues that aren’t affecting them directly, or in areas they have no business complaining about in such a public forum and yet, people are putting stock in what they say. So please, don’t.

    Finally, for those who are going to immediately make cheap shots at *my* anonymity, let me explain why–it's because I have this bad habit of acting professionally…

    Try it on for size.

  121. Jaci Burton
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 12:00:09

    I continue to write for both EC and NY houses WITH NO CONTRACT ISSUES.

    That, right there, should call into question the validity of some of the comments being made on these recent blog posts.

    …..are you that naive? Really? You’re happy with EC, so therefore anyone else who claims to have issues is lying? Seriously? Have you drank that much KoolAid? Are your rose colored glasses a shade too dark? I mean come on.

    I’ve stayed silent and sat on my hands on this issue for over 300 posts, but this one is just ridiculous. You insult every author with a legitimate issue with their publisher by stating that you’re happy and they’re full of shit. It’s great that you’re happy. It’s awesome that your publisher treats you great. Anyone who’s been in the publishing business for 5 minutes knows that it doesn’t always work that way, and things can change in 6 minutes. That a publisher will treat authors differently depending on the situation and how the publisher feels about certain authors.

    I’ve had my ups and downs with EC. I choose to keep my issues with them private because its my choice to do so. But if authors choose to air their grievances publicly, then they have a right to do so. Someone coming along saying “I’m happy, so these other people must be lying” is the one who needs to take a step back and go to their happy place and leave everyone else alone.

    If you want to come in and post that you’re happy with EC and leave it at that, then I think that’s awesome. You’re putting in your .02. But I think you went too far.

  122. ME
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 12:13:57

    Amen Jaci, and well put.

    I too am glad said author is happy with EC. Several months ago I would have been happy with them as well. BUT, their option clause stinks and they were not willing to negotiate any part of it. They were also not willing to negoitate their “rights clause” either. So, I decided to refuse the contract because it DIDN’T WORK FOR ME.

  123. Lauren Dane
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 12:46:56

    The way a logical argument works is this: You have a premise, an inference and a conclusion.

    Your premise is that you personally have no problems with the EC contract or EC in any way. Your Inference is that because you have had none and others say they have, the fact that you have had no problems means – conclusion – everyone else is lying because you have had no problems.

    That’s simply illogical. The only thing you can say is that you haven’t had any problems. And for that, I’m happy for you. The issue here, is that you state that everyone else’s experience should be questioned because of yours. That’s stunningly ridiculous.

    Your assertion that X doesn’t happen to anyone else because it never happened to you is either totally naive or purposely blind. I’ve never been hit by a car when I crossed the street but it happens to other people every day. I’m not questioning your experience any more than I’d question the experience of any other authors who’ve posted here. Each one of us has different objectives and goals in our careers.

    For example: I’d never, that’s right, never sign an option clause for an epublisher. You would and that’s fine. I happily sign my NY option clauses because I receive something EC does not give – an advance. An advance means they’re giving me consideration in advance for the world I’m creating. They’re paying to lease part of my future, EC doesn’t do that and so they wouldn’t get that right in return from me. Options have not one damn thing to do with respect. Respect means I turn my books in on time, that I respond to correspondence in a timely and professional manner and that I make my book the best I can.

    Options are not about respect, they’re about leasing a future right to something. Rights are about money for both parties. That’s a logical business choice, no more or less valid than yours. But your career is not mine or anyone else’s. Choices you would make are not choices I would make.

    Do not think to extrapolate out your experience as a generalization. There’s a very big difference between personal experience and general circumstance. That doesn’t make you more professional, by the way, not any more professional than attacking other authors and calling them liars anonymously makes you more professional.

    Not all houses work for all authors. Moreover, a house that may have been a wonderful place for a certain author at any given time may not be the best place for her later on. For a whole host of reasons you or I may not be privvy to. Any assertions that your experience (or mine, or Jaci’s or anyone’s) is the one true way and all others are invalid are simply stupid. Your experience is simply that, your experience.

  124. Jaci Burton
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 12:57:51

    Me, exactly. What works for one person isn’t going to put the other person in a happy place.

    Publisher A submits contract to Author B. Publisher A submits contract to Author C. The exact same contract. Author A negotiates a couple points and is blissfully happy. Author C looks at the contract, tries to negotiate a few critical points, but Publisher A refuses to budge on some of those points. Those contract points are a dealbreaker and Author C walks.

    What might make one author ecstatically happy could be a dealbreaker for another. Which I think is what just sayin… doesn’t understand.

  125. Thankful
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 18:33:01

    Thankyou Jaci and Lauren.

    I think both of you answered everything I would of said. I thought ”just saying” was a little crazy for thinking cause her experience with EC are perfect that means everyone else is lieing.

    I think there is FAR TO MUCH being said by MANY authors for it to all be a mass conspiracy and a LIE….

    And as for the attack on Jaid’s personal life, while I’m not hugely interested in her, she DID open herself up to critisim…..and as for the DARE about us talking about a NYT editor…

    I mean give us a break, we would all do it in a heartbeat we would just all be ANONYMOUS :)~

    Anyone that is famous or public figure opens themselves up to critisim, its just human nature….sad but true….

    Thanks again to Jaci and Lauren

  126. Reader Beware: Ellora’s Cave | The Naughty Bits
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 20:27:34

    […] this particular event recently on Dear Author where I can read in black and white seasoned professional eBook writers whom I respect explaining […]

  127. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 20:27:38

    @Jaci Burton:

    I've stayed silent and sat on my hands on this issue for over 300 posts,

    Eh, I’ve sat this out, too, Jaci and I was quite happy doing so.

    I don’t know jack about orders, yadda, yadda yadda so really, I’ve got nothing to add to much of this discussion.

    For the most part, I’m pretty much happier seeing how things play out first.

    I don’t have any desire to join in on either a cheerleading session or flip it around and do a lets’ roast EC session.

    However, on this bit, I gotta echo Jaci and Lauren here.

    I continue to write for both EC and NY houses WITH NO CONTRACT ISSUES.

    That, right there, should call into question the validity of some of the comments being made on these recent blog posts.

    Personally, no. I have not had issues with EC.

    Personally, no. I haven’t had any bad experiences with EC.

    My contracts with them haven’t ever caused me issue. My agent has reviewed them for me and hasn’t seen any cause for concern. But these my personal experiences and this circles around my particular contracts-which are customized for me.

    However, just because I haven’t had problems, or you haven’t had problems, doesn’t mean other people haven’t had issues. Legit issues. Viable issues.

    Are some of these cases here exaggerated? Possibly. Even likely. But that doesn’t mean all.

    We all have different expectations and goals with our careers. Things that may seem inconsequential to you could be a major road block to another and it’s incredibly arrogant of you to feel that just because YOU haven’t had a problem means nobody else could/should/would.

    Unless you’ve been in their exact situation, looked at it from exactly where they stand, including their personal likes, dislikes, expectations, disappointments…etc, basically BE that person, you can’t expect others to live by your standards.

    I imagine you’d wouldn’t like somebody else telling you what standards and expectations you should have in life.

    Others don’t like to have it done to them.

    And lastly, in regards to this…

    Finally, for those who are going to immediately make cheap shots at *my* anonymity, let me explain why-it's because I have this bad habit of acting professionally…

    Try it on for size.

    I’m sorry, but the shame on you tone of your post pretty much blows your attempt to act professionally out of the water. Where the shame on you didn’t blow it out of the water, the posturing did the rest of it. You can’t tell others how to view things, what they should and shouldn’t do and still be viewed as acting professionally or fairly.

  128. Melissa Blue
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 13:36:33

    Jaci and Lauren, your class has shown through your post. You’ve summed up your arguments beautifully, basically stated what I was thinking the whole time reading this thread.

    The only question I have is regards to when is it a good time or place to speak about your bad experiences. So many times I’ve come up against “you’re unprofessional” for saying MY experience was bad. When is it okay to say it? Where is it okay to say? How many authors were saved during the Triskelion (sp?) fiasco because someone was “unprofessional” and spoke up. This is the only gripe I have. You’re either applauded or black-listed.

  129. Jaci Burton
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 13:54:36


    I think speaking up is a matter of personal preference. At the time you think is right, when the topic is essential for you, and at a place you think you will be heard. If you have issues with your publisher that are important to you and you think important to others (other than “I don’t like my editor because her hair is blue”) you have a right to bring them out publicly. It’s your experience. You can’t worry about what anyone else thinks.


  130. Maili
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 14:30:54

    I’m sorry for coming in so late, but I have to respond to Tanya’s comments about reviewers.

    “Then it went on to reviewing. My two cents worth, if a reviewer finds errors in a book, that reviewer needs to contact the publisher before posting the review.”

    I’m still almost convinced you had your tongue in cheek when you wrote that. I’ll pretend you didn’t have your usual morning drink at the time because otherwise, you wouldn’t suggest it. Let alone entertaining such a crazy concept of having a reviewer doing an (presumably, paid) editor’s job.

    “There are far too many reviewers out there doing it for the sake of a free read.”

    Free read? Oh, please. Let’s see…

    A) It takes two to three hours to read a novel and perhaps another hour to sort out notes that were made during a read.
    Maybe an hour to write a draft review and roughly two hours to knock the draft into a (hopefully) readable review. Half an hour to format the review along with a book cover image and the details on where to purchase a copy.
    Then, after publishing the review, two or three days to deal with initial responses, questions and feedback from readers.

    Three days and few hours’ worth of work, for a “free” book? Give me a break.

    B) Authors almost always benefit from reader reviews in terms of publicity and promotion, especially when a typical reader reviewer has a good, working relationship with regular readers who know or trust her reviews.

    “As mentioned before, most of them are not professional reviewers, but merely readers.”

    I’ll tell you what I think makes a professional good reviewer: an ability to offer some good and honest constructive criticisms of a novel while respecting a fact that reviews are for readers, not authors or publishers.

    Authors write stories with readers in mind while writing in a way that suits them. Reviewers write reviews with readers in mind while writing in a way that suits them, too.

    It’s true there are some bad reader reviewers that do it for “free” books, but they tend to be the ones that authors and publishers love. I wonder why.

  131. CK Reader
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 22:54:37

    Wow, just wow. I spent over an hour reading all these comments. I’ve been a EC loyal reader for a few years… this really stuns me. I mean you could kinda tell their quality went down compared to when I first downloaded/bought their books. *Shaking my head. I feel bad b/c up until a few days ago I would still give props to EC, I called up my partner in crime and we’ve decided to remove some of our EC shout outs. (No offense EC)

    I do have to agree with other readers, I have noticed that my fav authors (Jaid Black being one of them) are not being published on a regular basis. I’ve given up on Trek series. Now the most important factor is WTH did all the good EC authors go? I need a new ebook site to buy from!

  132. Jane
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 23:33:07

    @CK Reader: There are other ebook publishers out there. Depending on what you are interested in reading there is Samhain, Liquid Silver, AmberQuill Press, Loose ID (although I think they sell a lot of m/m fiction?), Whiskey Creek Press, Wild Rose Publisher (I haven’t read many books by them so I can’t state what their quality is).

    Mainstream publishers like Berkley offer some pretty spicy books (Maya Banks, Lauren Dane, Anya Bast, Beth Kery all write for Berkley Heat).

    Hope that helps. If you have more specific tastes, maybe we can do a better job at recommending books/epubs to you.

  133. Jess B
    Jun 18, 2009 @ 03:11:11


    My Opinions

    Samhain Publishing is the best all round quality at the moment

    I go to Changling Press and Loose Id for the more outragous but fun books, more ‘out of this world’ crazy ideas etc – both companies have good editors.

    Torquere Press and MLR Press and Dreamspinners are my favourite M/M publishers.

    Liquid Silver is a company that is quickly growing and I have some authors from there I have started to collect. New Concept Publishing are very high quality in their standards for books and I have some awesome authors that I read from there, they however dont advertise much and arnt as well known in the epub world (I think its the name LOL those of us that know it call it NCP but this doesnt help people looking for new epubs)

    hope this helps, Check out Samhain it will blow you away compared to EC now :)

  134. Mireya
    Jun 18, 2009 @ 08:06:37

    @CK Reader:

    Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Diane Whiteside, Kate Douglas, Cheyenne McCray, Sarah McCarthy, Delilah Devlin, Shiloh Walker, Lisa Marie Rice and several others are now contracted with big New York houses. Your best bet is to visit their respective websites to keep up to date (Lisa Marie doesn’t have a website though, so she’s tricky to track). Others moved to other epublishers or are mostly published by other epublishers i.e. Stephanie Burne and Kate Hill you can now find at Changeling Press. Treva Harte (co-owner of Loose Id is, of course, publishing her books at Loose Id). Louisa Trent can be found at Loose Id as well.

    EC does not have a good track record with a good deal of their former authors. I will not go into detail as the story is long drawn, it has sub-plots, and is not mine to tell.

    New Concepts Publishing doesn’t edit the work of their authors. This is widely known and if memory serves, they are clear about this in their Submissions page. I do have a couple of autobuy authors there, namely Jaide Foxx and Kaitlyn O’Connor, but their books are not exactly examples of good editing though they are not godawful, all things considered. However, a lot of people are not willing to buy their books for that reason. Additionally, they have been known for unprofessional and borderline unethical business practices, which created a lot of issues for them, and my guess is that they are now keeping a low profile for that reason.

    Samhain Publishing has high standards, has an excellent reputation, and is a good one to check out. Their erotic romance line is named Red Hots! Though they have very hot romances in their other romance imprints.

    Liquid Silver Books and Amber Quill Press have been around for over 5 years so they are quite established, and both have good stories and put effort into their editing. They are a bit hit or miss for me though, but worth looking into.

    Bottomline, you have many options out there, and you can still find your former EC favorites, but published by big NY houses or in other indie epubs. It’s a matter of looking around a bit.

  135. Pride & RWA Precedence: The Devil’s Advocate | The Naughty Bits
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 09:43:20

    […] Top ePublishers but Ellora’s Cave sure is missing. Probably because I listen when people like J.C. Wilder and Cheyenne McCray and Lauren Dane and Mary Winter say things I am sure are important to all […]

  136. EDNightshade
    Jul 14, 2009 @ 00:44:18

    I have been searching the internet for awhile now and have only heard good things about EC until now. Obviously, after reading all these posts, many people have had problems with them. But, I decided to submit to EC anyway. I would love to be an EC author and find out first hand how they run their business.

    The reason for my post though is to say this is a great blog and I have learned a lot from it.

  137. Donna
    Nov 14, 2009 @ 22:49:57

    Nobody wins here.

    EC has obviously treated its authors badly and sales must reflect it when some of there best and brightest authors leave.

    The readers miss out when the series they have been hooked on – Wizard Twins, Oath of… and Trek (why not finish this Jaid Black?) for one reason or another never seem to get finished.

    And – Im not sure why having read about the awful conditions they have been writing under, but I think some of the writers who have left wrote some of there best books under Ellora’s Cave.

  138. Publish With Lightning Source — Muriel Lede's Official Blog – Thoughts on reading, writing, and publishing erotica. Have a seat, there's plenty of room left!
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 19:08:00

    […] against that avenue for most self-publishers, and even small electronic/POD publishers; read about Ellora’s Cave’s woes with Borders for an example of things going […]

  139. Blank Fax Cover Sheet
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 10:20:29

    there are many new movies to watch this month, i would be going to the cinema and video rental store again “:;

  140. Blayne Edwards
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 16:03:34

    I have a question that’s a bit off-topic.

    What’s to stop an e-publisher from pirating their own books and cutting out the author’s share of the royalties? How hard could that be, really? Set up a site where you charge a fee each month, use another business name, etc and sell the books as someone else. I know it would probably be a bit more complicated than that but it could be done, right?

    Also… what if an e-publisher had the resources and know-how to hack into their authors’ computers? Couldn’t that publisher simply hire staff writers and develop the ideas they “harvested”?

    Not saying anyone would do such a thing. Just wondering if anyone has ever considered how easy it would be to rip a lot of writers off this way.

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