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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 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

340 Comments

  1. Jinni Black
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 09:07:54

    It’s the consignment model that’s killing the industry. Megabookstores get to look like a ‘land-o-plenty’ with little risk to themselves.

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  2. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 09:17:38

    Since this is how the industry has worked for-evah-ah, is EC actually claiming they didn’t understand this when they started printing books and shipping them to stores? I’m betting returns were spelled in their contract with Borders . . .

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  3. Emmy
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 09:33:09

    How do you make that argument, when I’m sure Borders would be delighted to sell all their stock? Then they wouldn’t be going under.

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  4. Jane
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 09:40:45

    @Kalen Hughes I think the argument is that the number of orders was made in bad faith knowing that they didn’t intend to sell/stock that overage, but merely return it, allowing a credit balance to grow. This way Borders could make orders on the credit balance. Churning is a securities issue with specific elements you have to prove. It will be interesting to see how the petition is crafted.

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  5. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 09:50:39

    Thanks for explaining! It will be interesting to see . . .

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  6. NKKingston
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 10:50:42

    Well done EC, I say. After the recent discussions about how crippling this business model is, it’s interesting to see an ePub challenge it. If they’re successful I wonder if we’ll see any of the traditional publishers sue for churning. I don’t want to see Borders go under (it’s easily my favourite bookshop – well, new book bookshop), but the current system is so biased towards the large chains that a revolution in publishing can only occur if they have a reason to push for it as well.

    It’s always fun when Ellora’s Cave sues someone.

    Ooh, who else have Ellora’s Cave sued?

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  7. Anona
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 11:02:56

    I believe I heard rumors that Borders would order specific books from Ellora’s and Ellora would in turn send them books that were not ordered.

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  8. mysterious
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 11:26:25

    I have it on good authority from an industry insider that EC mismanaged its print program and is losing its proverbial shirt on it due to high returns and underestimating just how costly it is to print and distribute books. Borders is woefully mismanaged too, but I doubt Borders is responsible for EC’s losses on the print program. (And even if they are, EC won’t get any money from them; you can’t exactly get blood from a turnip. Borders will either disappear or will be bought out by one of the other chains by the end of the year.)

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  9. Kat
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 13:10:51

    Borders will either disappear or will be bought out by one of the other chains by the end of the year.)

    It has begun, I’m sure. I’ve heard of a few store closures this year. A friend who works at the one near me was told their jobs are secure for a while, as theirs is one of the best performing stores in the Mid-Atlantic. Others, not so lucky.

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  10. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 13:21:55

    It's always fun when Ellora's Cave sues someone.

    Ooh, who else have Ellora's Cave sued?

    How about a bunch of their own authors for starters . . .

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  11. Joy
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 14:57:23

    I have it on good authority from an industry insider that EC mismanaged its print program and is losing its proverbial shirt on it due to high returns and underestimating just how costly it is to print and distribute books.

    Hmmm, this may explain why they have been selling some print books cheaper than ebooks since December.

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  12. HelenKay Dimon
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 15:44:20

    Whatever happened to the EC/Pocket venture where Pocket put out EC’s backlist titles in print? I’m guessing this is the EC print program separate from Pocket, but still have to wonder about how this impacts Pocket’s program.

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  13. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 15:57:25

    Since my EC/Pocket anthology with Charlene Teglia and Summer Devon released this month, hopefully the Ellora’s Cave banner across the top of the cover and the Ellora’s Cave Presents in the computer won’t keep Borders from stocking it. :(

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  14. Ellora’s Cave Sues Borders | Romancing Trashy Novels
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 17:57:07

    [...] the publishing industry as a whole.  If anyone can dish and explain the legal end, it’s Jane at DearAuthor, but I have one small [...]

  15. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 18:03:32

    Having been a sort of insider, if you can call an author–who’s been wined and dined by EC–an insider, it’s really fascinating what they’ve done over the years, yet they think Borders is the problem.

    A few years ago, EC decided they didn’t want to pay Ingram’s to distribute their books. (= g.r.e.e.d.y.) and they wanted booksellers to go directly to them. They also didn’t want to pay a warehouse to hold and ship the books, so they bought a massive warehouse to house and ship their own. (= g.r.e.e.d.y.) In addition, they bought an incredibly expensive publish on demand printer (whatever they’re called) so that they wouldn’t have to pay an outside source. (= g.r.e.e.d.y.)

    I say this with the caveat that some of what I’ve said may have changed since I was made aware of what EC had done.

    I know, I know, many won’t agree with the = g.r.e.e.d.y. part. But here’s *my* opinion. EC took on massive expenses in order to save money. (Hello? First clue.) But IMO, the worst part was the distribution. Almost as soon as EC decided to ditch Ingram’s, distribution went to hell. Just how many bookstores have the time or want to bother with ordering directly from a small (small when it comes to print) publisher when the bookstore has an in-house system automatically set up to order from Ingram’s? And with other erotica/erotic romance lines coming out that are available much more easily than taking the time to go directly to the publisher, why bother? IMO that’s why Aphrodisia started topping EC books on the shelves. Before, you’d see countless EC books, and now I can’t remember the last time I saw an EC book on the shelves. I see Samhain, but is EC even in a big chain anymore?

    Again, my opinion, but EC really screwed themselves if they’re in financial trouble. Hell, at one time–it has been several years ago–they were going to open up coffee shops with an art gallery displaying EC art. Who in the hell came up with that? What sane publisher… Nevermind.

    Oh, and I always found this interesting (=WTF?) that EC said they’d put every ebook into print. Huh? How much does it take to figure out that when you’re putting out 6 or 8 or whatever books a week, you warehouse them yourself, print them yourself, that you’re eventually going to run out of room. Also, by not focusing on the higher selling authors, they spread themselves too thin. It takes time to develop an author. That’s why big New York publishing houses usually (the ones I know of) only offer 2, 3, or 4 book contracts. They want to build that author. They put them on a schedule, have a sales force, advertising, etc. etc. etc. They rarely publish an author–that I know of–without considering whether or not that author will be popular in the stores, AND the author not having another book coming out soon that will give them an opportunity to develop a following.

    I’ve been shaking my head for years to the point I’m amused.

    EC has made decisions that were eventually going to catch up to them, and I think we’re looking at just one of the results.

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  16. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 19:03:45

    mysterious – I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

    I remember a meeting with EC in Florida several years ago and their marketing (ahem) person didn’t know what a cover flat was. The authors had to explain to her what it was and what they were used for. What kind of publisher would hire someone for marketing who knew NOTHING ABOUT PUBLISHING?

    IMO, this was one of their biggest mistakes – they went into print with someone who knew nothing about the business. The other one is they didn’t want to pay Ingrams to actually distribute the books. The reality of publishing is that you can have all your books listed with Ingrams, but that doesn’t get them on the shelves. Someone has to SELL the books to booksellers – I’m not sure they understand that to this day.

    As for Borders – they’ve been pulling this stunt for years. Another interesting tidbit is when Borders places an order, until they receive every book in that order, the invoice doesn’t go into their billing system. Since it would take them 3-6 months to pay the invoices, it could be a year to see any money if the order wasn’t filled immediately.

    Which brings us back to EC and their part in this. It’s pretty well known that they were sloppy with filling orders. Borders might order 100 books and EC would piecemeal them – 50 here, 20 there…it could take quite a while to fill the order. And since Borders doesn’t put the invoices into the system until the order is filled…well, you get the picture.

    And yes – they are also known for sending out books to stores that didn’t order them. I saw this on my own royalty statements. One month it would be 500 books out and then next…550 back. When one author did the breakdown of her sales she found that essentially she was basically paying them to keep the book in print. Her income on that book…negative dollars.

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  17. Christine
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 19:36:33

    From MysteriousToo: “Oh, and I always found this interesting (=WTF?) that EC said they'd put every ebook into print…Also, by not focusing on the higher selling authors, they spread themselves too thin.”

    Hi – not sure what EC/TLC/CP ‘s print strategy is, but they do not put every author’s works into print, particularly from the TLC/CP lines. I know if an EC author is signed up for the Romantic Times convention, EC will make an effort to have that author’s book on the print schedule in time for the convention. But just because a book has been e-published for x number of months or years, that doesn’t mean its automatically going into print. I know a couple authors with ebooks in the CP line that have been out for 3 years and there hasn’t been a whisper of those books going into print.

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  18. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 19:43:10

    I was at that same meeting as J.C.

    Ditto.

    x 5

    Cheyenne

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  19. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 19:50:14

    Christine, I started with EC back when they were a baby 2 years old.

    I *so* remember emails–I’m not sure exactly when or how many times–stating they planned to put every book within a certain word count range–into print once they started going into print and were successful with it.

    I think they finally figured things out–when you’ve got a warehouse full of books that aren’t selling… Also, I was talking about EC, not CP or the other one. Never wrote for those lines, so sorry I didn’t make that clear. I don’t think CP when I see EC.

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  20. Robin
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 19:55:56

    It’s always fun when Ellora’s Cave sues someone.

    Ain’t that the truth!?

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  21. mysterious
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 20:44:17

    this is why I have had serious reservations about subbing to EC, even if my primary objective was to be in ebooks only with them. Their gross mismanagement of their print side is a huge albatross weighing them down. It could even realistically put them out of business, even if the ebook side continues to thrive. I see them making a lot of the same mistakes managing the print side that Triskelion did—and we all know what happened to that.

    This is why no startup publisher should get involved on the print side (or even big-time epublishing) unless it has executives/management/et cetera that have actual experience in how actual publishing and bookselling really works.

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  22. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 21:04:08

    Exactly, mysterious–how right you are. Having been there, I can tell you they do not have the kind of staff a major publisher has to handle print, much less anyone on staff who truly knows what the hell they’re doing. I am not just being mean and nasty against EC. I’m saying it like it is. They brought people on board–nice people, so I’m not trying to cut them down, but unfortunately that’s how it’s going to come across. But the problem is that these people were from other career paths. People who had never been in publishing.

    To me it doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking to realize there’s more to print publishing than printing a book and putting it through the distribution channels. (Before dropping those channels.) Unfortunately, that same mentality has never been a part of EC. Even –I– got it and that’s when I’d never been involved in publishing other than being an author for an e-pub.

    Although, not to bring up anything to tick anyone off (more), but I can remember when EC fired Crissy Brashear and my first reaction was, “Oh, shit, there went the brains of the company.” Funny that another author said the same thing to me.

    I don’t write for Samhain, although they’re the one e-pub I would consider writing for. Crissy’s got a good head for business and is smart enough to know that she needs people who know what they’re doing.

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  23. mysterious
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 21:16:43

    and yet Samhain’s print alliance w/ Kensington appears dead in the water (because NYC print publishing is in the toilet in general).

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  24. Ann Somerville
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 21:20:28

    gotta love all these anons with their deep opinions.

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  25. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 21:30:24

    True, mysterious.

    And I do agree with you, Ann about these anonymous deep-thinkers.

    Sometimes, though, you can’t publicly say things without affecting other aspects of your career. But the deep thoughts are that. And well-thought out, not just hate letters flung out there. I truly would like to sign my name, but, well, unfortunately I can’t. Oh, well. Like I said, though, these are my thoughts after having been with EC since 2002. Take them or leave them, it really doesn’t matter. But they do answer some of the legitimate questions that have been brought up…

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  26. vein
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 21:31:12

    Something clearly went shonky on the print side last year when EC vanished from shelves. I think the anons provide a convincing explanation that matches the known facts.

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  27. Robin
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 22:03:26

    This is exactly the kind of situation where I understand the anons.

    We already know how EC deals with so-called “whistleblowers.” Or authors simply speaking their mind on their own blog, lol. Yeah, I wish people feel they could be brave and speak truth to power, because a publisher can’t clamp down on its whole freaking house, and it would be great to have that ‘you better keep your mouth shut’ vibe disappear. But if the comment sounds reasonable, I’ll take it in and consider it along with those of named posters.

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  28. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 22:10:17

    “Or authors simply speaking their mind on their own blog, lol. Yeah, I wish people feel they could be brave…”

    Yeah, some of us are chickenshit. ;-)

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  29. Kaetrin
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 22:21:09

    I didn’t know Borders was in trouble. We only have one Borders store in Adelaide (in the city) and it’s easily my favourite store – great to hang out and browse in. I was hoping they might open another one closer to my home but if they are gonna go out of business that probably won’t happen. We don’t have Barnes & Noble so maybe they can come to Adelaide…

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  30. Anion
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 04:24:17

    I don’t agree with everything “Mysterious” said, but I too clearly remember the “Every book will go into print” emails.

    I am sick unto death of seeing the next’s seasons print lists coming out and my books are not on them. Again. And again. And again. While books that are nowhere near as well-written as mine (sounds egotistical, and I’m sorry, but I’m talking about on a technical level; bad grammar is not an objective thing. Bad grammar is bad grammar), books that I don’t believe sold as well as mine, go into print.

    I have no idea what the criteria for print publication is and it infuriates me. One of the reasons I went with EC was because of the print program. And it’s not that I’m just desperate to have a book in print. I have books in print from NY houses.

    But I’m sick, sick, SICK of getting emails from readers of my mmps asking why they can’t buy my erotic romances in their preferred format, which is paperback. And I thank them, and I tell them if that’s what they’re interested in to contact EC and let management there know that they would like to purchase my work in print.

    To date, I have been informed of at least 50 emails sent by readers to EC management asking for my work to come out in print. Apparently that isn’t good enough; I know 50 is an incredibly small number, of course, but are you telling me every author whose books go into print get more emails than that? Every single one? Is there some magic number I have to reach? Isn’t it generally considered true that for every one reader who bothers to send an email there’s quite a few who agree with them but don’t email? What the hell is wrong with me, that my books aren’t good enough to print, even as I sell more and more books to NY?

    And I know several others who have NY work either out or contracted, and month after month they’re skipped too. Doesn’t it make sense to print the books of authors who already have or will have books on the shelves?

    I find the categorization of EC as “greedy” for wanting to print its books in-house or warehouse its own books instead of paying someone else to do it totally facile.

    And in all other respects I have been quite happy at EC. I’ve been treated well. I negotiated my contract quickly and with no trouble. My sales are great and my royalty checks come on time, with no problems at all, and everyone I’ve dealt with in any capacity (save Will; you other EC authors know what I’m talking about) up to and including Raelene–about whom I have only good things to say–has been professional, friendly, capable and efficient.

    But the frigging “print program” makes me see red, because it is costing me money in lost royalties.

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  31. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 06:28:55

    EC has a long history of trying to shut up their critics (authors) and everyone knows it. I’m a recovering EC author and I also received one of their infamous letters from their lawyer. The way I look at it is this – the truth is the truth no matter how you many times you deny it. I was one of EC’s first authors and I’ve seen the company in good times and in bad. When it was good – you couldn’t find a better small press to work with – but when it went bad, anyone with sense should’ve run for their lives.

    I left in Feb 07 and the company went out of the way to try and damage my career. After the 08 RT debacle (go read my blog if you don’t know what I’m talking about) the company came after me again for telling the truth. They spread lies about me to anyone who would listen. Even management (ahem) of RT drank the EC kool-aid and they’ve been telling people I’m a liar and a troublemaker. The funny thing is they had a conversation with one of my best friends…who in turn told me about it. But I digress…

    Ann wrote: gotta love all these anons with their deep opinions.
    Some people actually value their careers and if you’re dealing with a company that is as vindictive as as they are – you have to protect your reputation. I don’t know who these anon posters are but I can assure you, 95% of what they’ve said has been my experience as well.

    Anoin wrote: I find the categorization of EC as “greedy” for wanting to print its books in-house or warehouse its own books instead of paying someone else to do it totally facile
    This is the perfect example of why they shot themselves in the foot. EC only wants to do business on their own terms and they didn’t understand how publishing works. This industry is a dinosaur and you have to learn to play the game before you can change the rules.

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  32. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 07:25:34

    As one of their authors, I’ve decided that I’m washing my hands of EC. I have one last book coming out soon and then I’m walking away, contract obligations fulfilled. It’s their loss, but they won’t see it that way, I’m sure.

    Because EC doesn’t care if they lose one good author, when there’s a hundred mediocre ones eager to be pulled out of the slush pile. It’s ridiculous. I’ve never missed a deadline, never complained about anything I was told to do, never refused to change what they wanted me to change, promo’d when I was supposed to, sold like gangbusters, jumped when they damn well said jump. And in exchange I get in house submissions ignored for months on end, no prayer of a slot on the print list despite the fact that I’m going to be at RT and am in every way eligible for their print guidelines.

    There’s a very small handful of authors who are repeat EC authors and who, for whatever reason, are their chosen few. The rest of EC’s roster cycles so fast it’d make your head spin as authors come in, do a book or two, and then are never heard from again because EC doesn’t have the time, money or interest in promoting all of their authors the way they do the chosen few.

    That’s all fine. As I told my best friend when i told her my decision to no longer submit to EC…they may be the big gun right now, but the way they treat their bread and butter, their authors, they won’t be for long. All signs are pointing to self-destruction. I just hope I get that fat first month royalty check for my final book before they do.

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  33. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 07:59:58

    “The rest of EC’s roster cycles so fast it’d make your head spin as authors come in, do a book or two, and then are never heard from again because EC doesn’t have the time, money or interest in promoting all of their authors the way they do the chosen few.”

    See that’s one of the things that began to break EC’s hold on readers. I’ve heard several readers say this: because EC prints author after author, and does not develop any number of authors, a reader never has a chance to develop loyalty. Say they find one author they love and they can’t wait to get her next book…which never appears. In the past authors were published regularly and the readers loved them for it. Readers like to follow authors, and how can they if the author only has one book out and goes away? From the beginning I’ve wondered about EC’s thinking. A NY house doesn’t just print countless authors and books to get eight published a week. They look at it from a business standpoint and determine what authors they believe they can develop to garner a large, faithful fan base. They look at LONG TERM and not what can we get now and how fast can we get it.

    I do think part of EC’s mentality involves not wanting any of their popular authors to be “snatched away” by NY houses. I’ve actually heard this. That’s so shortsighted. Really. Look at all the authors who change houses in NY–it’s commonplace for an author to find a better publisher–better for them. They’re biting themselves on their — by refusing to develop an author so that she won’t be lured away by a bigger publisher.

    Ah, this deep-thinker should really be thinking about more important things. That’s one thing EC is not, important enough to waste time debating over. I hang up my mysterioustoo hat and chickenshit-anonymous keyboard. :) Have at it and enjoy.

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  34. Juliana Stone
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 08:06:32

    Me thinks I dodged the proverbial bullet when I declined their contract last fall. nuff said.

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  35. Victoria Dahl
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 09:19:44

    I know if an EC author is signed up for the Romantic Times convention, EC will make an effort to have that author's book on the print schedule in time for the convention.

    This statement made me stop and stare in horror. Is the business model built around the RT convention? Yikes.

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  36. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 09:48:08

    @Victoria Dahl:

    EC’s management has blatantly said that unless you’re registered for RT, you will not go to print with EC. That’s the main criteria, though obviously not the only since I will be at RT and still didn’t get on the print schedule.

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  37. mysterious
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 10:02:45

    EC's management has blatantly said that unless you're registered for RT, you will not go to print with EC. That's the main criteria, though obviously not the only since I will be at RT and still didn't get on the print schedule.

    This is stupid and inane. Attendance at RT does not in and of itself guarantee book sales. Indeed, a lot of authors who don’t attend RT sell thousands upon thousands of books. Actual book sales records and established fan base size should be the criteria for going into print—NOT RT attendance.

    The more I learn about EC, the happier I am I elected to work with another publisher.

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  38. Victoria Dahl
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 10:09:28

    I’m honestly shocked. I’m only marginally aware of the e-side of this business, but in my head I always considered EC the granddaddy. The professional model. But this was just a vague idea of mine… clearly. *g*

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  39. mysterious
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 10:26:36

    I think EC managed its ebook side well for many years, but lately they’ve resisted the new ebook innovations and they’ve also ignored the growth of their competitors. That, combined with the completely idiotic way they’ve mismanaged their print division, is going to cause them serious problems, especially in the midst of a major recession. A shame for their authors to have to pay the price.

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  40. Jaid Black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 10:39:19

    1. EC has never sued an author.

    2. Everything on here is pure assumption with no facts to back any of it up.

    3. All the facts will come out and be made public post-court. I’m sure the anons will try to skew those facts too, but it’ll be a lot harder ;-)

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  41. Jaid Black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 10:42:30

    4. If I tried to damage your reputation and career JC, then prove it. Sue me and prove it. Quit running your mouth with no facts to back it up.

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  42. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:02:55

    Victoria, yes, from the beginning of EC’s print endeavor, authors attending the RT convention have had priority in regards to getting her/his book in print–although they don’t always make it. I haven’t seen that change. True, I haven’t been around EC for a few years, so these days I only know what my friends who continue to write for EC have told me.

    Wow, it has been a few years. The hardcover that just came out–I wrote my novella for it 4 years ago. One of the authors in the anthology mentioned to me just yesterday that the 8-author anthology sold a whole 300 copies its first week out–nationwide–according to BookScan, and also according to BookScan has only sold 3000 copies since its release in mid-Oct. But I don’t have access to BookScan, so I can’t say it’s a fact. I suppose those numbers don’t take into account the copies EC sells directly from their website or warehouse. They do prefer to sell direct as stated.

    You’ve really got to wonder what the art directors were thinking when they put a fishnet covered butt adorned with a pink ostrich plume on a $26 hardcover…

    ?

    Cheyenne

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  43. jaid black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:10:42

    Cheyenne, we did not do the art… Pocket did. Again, all assumptions with no facts to back it up. As to the sales, I don’t know and haven’t asked but will find out.

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  44. jaid black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:14:48

    sigh.

    5. We do not base what goes into print on RT. We have tried to accomodate as many authors as possible by having their books available at RT to sign, but it’s surely not the basis for deciding when a book goes into print.

    Please quit stating your assumptions as though they are facts.

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  45. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:18:06

    “Everything on here is pure assumption with no facts to back any of it up.”

    I almost snorted my chai over this. Using the all-inclusive “everything” is humorous. So much of what’s included in this little chat has been put into writing and sent out to every EC author on its list. I didn’t say “everything.” I said “so much of it has.” Some of the emails that have been sent out over the years on the EC loops from “management” would put you into hysterics once the initial shock wore off that “she said that PUBLICLY?” Seriously, someone needs to print and bind them. Many of those emails would make for some entertaining reading. I’ve never seen “professionals” flip out like certain someones have over the years at EC. The kinds of emails where you can only sit and stare at the screen and go, “Oh. My. God.”

    Lord I’ve got better things to do. This was just too precious for me, though.

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  46. jaid black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:22:44

    Accusation is easy; proof isn’t. Show me if you’ve got it.

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  47. jaid black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:26:15

    I know one thing I’d like to see… blog owners not allowing people to state rumors, gossip and assumptions as facts when they offer no proof to back up their claims.

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  48. Victoria Dahl
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:27:05

    Wow.

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  49. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:27:07

    Mysterioustoo wrote: I almost snorted my chai over this.

    Sounds painful. :)

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  50. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:29:48

    I sure wondered what great minds were thinking when it came to that cover, Jaid. I didn’t even know what it was that was on the cover at first. And I didn’t say EC art directors, I said art directors. My bad in not saying Pocket.

    Yes, I’d love to hear the actual BookScan numbers! At least coming from you we’ll hear it directly from the source.

    BTW, it very much has been stated over the years that priority for print books is given to authors attending RT. Doesn’t mean at all that the print model is built around RT, just that the authors attending have received priority so that they have a book to sign at the convention. And an amazing amount of EC/CP authors attend RT. I guess maybe this part of the conversation is a matter of semantics.

    Cheyenne

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  51. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:29:53

    1. EC has never sued an author.

    Bullsh*t. And my friends have the bills from their lawyers to proove it.

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  52. jaid black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:33:00

    Kalen, have them show you a legal document in which EC sued them. They won’t be able to produce them, I fear, because they don’t exist.

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  53. Victoria Dahl
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:34:47

    omg

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  54. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:37:02

    “Accusation is easy; proof isn't. Show me if you've got it.”

    LOL. You’d really like some of those emails to go public? Seriously? The ones posted before a certain someone was banned from posting to the business loop for a very long time? God, I wish right now I was a packrat when it comes to saving emails. But I do have a friend who keeps every email post that comes into her box, and as long as she didn’t lose it in some kind of computer crash, I could ask her for copies and we can post. Sound fair enough? We could do it here on DA, headers, footers and all.

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  55. jaid black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:39:59

    You talking about a certain someone who was fired? All your posts would do is show WHY she was fired. But I don’t think the biased blogs would like that public, hence you wouldn’t be too popular around here anymore.

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  56. Me
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:47:12

    I’m with victoria dahl when I say, wow…just wow….reminds me of the thread from a ways back in regards to contracts and stuff…..EC’ers are prickly peeps

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  57. Jane
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:48:25

    The great thing about lawsuits is discovery. Through the “discovery” process all emails, documents, recordings, etc pertaining to how businesses are run, how the decision to make e into print, and so forth will be recovered.

    Hardrives and servers will be subpoenaed and deleted emails will be recovered and so on and so forth. Litigation is the great truth teller in many cases.

    There is a difference between being sued and being threatened with letters from lawyers on behalf of an entity that you are going to be sued. That’s not really semantics.

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  58. jaid black
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:51:43

    Jane, agreed.

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  59. mysterious
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:53:21

    i think the direction this thread is taking is just confirming a lot of suspicions I’ve had about EC management for a long time.

    I wish EC and its authors the best. But I’ll never be among them. I have other, better options.

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  60. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:56:18

    Jeez, after all these years there should be at least a hundred authors who have those goodies saved in their inbox folders. No, I wasn’t talking about the person who was fired. I’m talking about an author who has been with EC for a very, very, very long time. Even before the time when the person who was fired that you’re referring to, flipped out over the loop, too, and was “put in her place” by other management. The years later fired person one time did make some comments to someone publicly on the loop, comments she shouldn’t have made, no matter her intentions.

    But raving . . .

    LOL. Precious.

    In other words, the emails are definitely there, but certain someones would rather those emails not be made public. I sure as hell wouldn’t. I can’t imagine anything so embarrassing as some of those emails being made public.

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  61. Jane
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 11:58:46

    @jaid black Then there really isn’t any problem with people posting emails from the biz loop because EC’s got nothing to hide here.

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  62. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:12:40

    Awesome, Jane. Now I have to see if my fellow EC author friend still has any of our favorites. I know other authors have those letters in their hands, but going public with it under your real name? OMG, who’d want the kind of crap that would rain down all over them if they did.

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  63. looktoyourselves
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:12:54

    It’s this precise sort of defensive reaction to any and all questions that has landed EC where it is now. Their print program isn’t a program. To be a program they’d have to have an articulated process to choose books. Despite asking what this process is multiple times to multiple people, I’ve never been given an answer. No, I’ve been lectured, I’ve been condescended to and I’ve joined the ranks of the ever growing group of authors EC has driven away.

    The proof is obvious to everyone but EC, which is sad as well as totally absurd. Look at their new releases – where are the anchor authors who used to bring the readers in? EC has screwed them over, disrespected them and driven them away. Other publishers would see their authors branching out and attracting a new readership as a way to attract new readers to their own brand. Instead, EC sees it as some sort an attack.

    Go into Borders and you’ll see that other small publishers get their books on the shelves regularly. Other small publishers are able to deal with the rest of the world without starting fights and estranging people who can HELP them sell books. Instead, EC would rather blame their own ineptitude on everyone else. It’s Borders’ fault that EC doesn’t get their books on shelves!? It’s Baker and taylor’s fault there were so many returns even though that’s the process every other publisher seems to understand. It’s always someone else’s fault.

    A convention isn’t going to solve distribution problems. A new website that can’t support the load and repeatedly crashes until the digital books need to be moved back to the old website is just more of the same meandering and utterly pointless business EC does. Or jasmine jade or whatever they call themselves this week.

    At one time, EC was an innovative, powerful force to be reckoned with. I was proud to write there. Now they’re the company who sends royalties later and later each month and when they’re called on it, they lecture authors on fiscal responsibilty. If that’s not a pot meet kettle moment, I don’t know what is. Hare brained, half assed, poorly executed pie in the sky plans trump any real, comprensive business plan and EC has no one to blame, NO ONE, but themselves.

    In the end I find it very sad. As ridiculous as this all is, as amusing at it tends to be to people, seeing this all play out in public via yet more emails to the author loop that should never have been sent, public attacks by the publisher on authors, representatives of this company getting on blogs and acting totally unprofessionally yet again just makes me cringe.

    Be a publishing company or don’t. But your problems are your own. You have a print situation that is utterly ridiculous and unpredictible. You have estranged yourselves from book distributors and major outlets. You have estranged a great deal of the authors who made you what you were and you continue to run around pointing the finger at everyone else instead of doing some much needed soul searching.

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  64. Jen
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:17:03

    Doesn’t EC have, you know, a publicist? Just… wow.

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  65. Darrell King
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:21:59

    There is a problem though – authors sign an agreement of confidentiality to protect the business information that is shared on that loop. The EC Biz loop is intended to be a private loop to distribute business information. For an author to release that information (publicly or anon) is in violation of that. We post propietary info onto that loop to help inform our authors, whether it is regarding sales, royalties, or handling rumor control. What might be demonized into something to “hide” can in many cases be proprietary information.

    To reiterate, no, we do not give permission to put biz loop posts and private info out onto any public forum. If you have info to bring to Jaid’s attention, send it to her directly.

    If anyone has any questions for me regarding this or any other business concerns, feel free to contact me at my email listed below.

    Darrell King
    Executive V.P.
    Jasmine-Jade Enterprises
    [email protected]

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  66. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:23:46

    “It's this precise sort of defensive reaction to any and all questions that has landed EC where it is now.”

    Do you ever see a New York publishing house have their publisher or owner jump onto a blog and start being defensive about anything? No, they’ve got better things to do like run a successful publishing house. The NY professionals just leave the nons, anons, and not so anons to state their opinions, accurate or inaccurate, and the publishers keep doing what they’re in business to do. Run a successful publishing company.

    Doesn’t it often seem like the more defensive the person is, the more you know you’ve hit a nerve?

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  67. Jane
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:30:02

    @Darrell King That’s a convenient statement, of course, but Jaid Black is making the accusation that people are liars and inviting them to prove their claims. How do you, on the one hand, call someone to prove it, and in the next breath, say that proving it will amount to a violation of their contract?

    And what are the repercussions to such a violation? Is there a liquidated damages provision because it there isn’t EC would have to prove some monetary loss related to the violation, wouldn’t you agree with that? And if the emails simply support Ms. Black’s position, there wouldn’t be any monetary loss, would there?

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  68. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:48:15

    Jane – Let me explain to you how this works. A certain person goes out and makes rash statements they can’t back up so to in order to save face the underlings are called in to try and clean up the mess. I’ve seen this happen so many times I’m having flashbacks.

    Dk mentioned the confidentiality agreement – I dug out my contract from 07 and it states (not verbatim as I’d hate to be accused of leaking secrets) that the author won’t disclose confidential information, including emails MARKED as confidential, for a period of one year. Since my last contract was signed in February 07 – I’m off the hook.

    Now where is my backup drive…

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  69. Anion
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:49:23

    5. We do not base what goes into print on RT. We have tried to accomodate as many authors as possible by having their books available at RT to sign, but it's surely not the basis for deciding when a book goes into print.

    Please quit stating your assumptions as though they are facts.

    Well, Jaid, why don’t YOU show us some facts, and explain what the print criteria is, then?

    I’m sorry, but I’m hopping mad. I’m going to RT. Another good friend of mine is going to RT. Both of us have been with EC for years. BOTH of us have been happy with EC and have stated so publicly, and repeatedly. Neither of us is getting print books for the con, which wouldn’t be such a big deal if either of us had a print book yet in the several years we’ve both been with EC.

    I don’t believe EC is evil. I don’t believe the bashing. The business with RT last year and the claims that the American flag was used as a stripper prop, for example, and have been DISPROVED through video.

    I have defended EC’s business practices repeatedly here and other places, and there’s a reason for that too; because I believed in them. I defended the company against ridiculous claims like “The option clause means you are forced to sell your next book to EC” and negative comments made by people who know absolutely nothing about the business of publishing as a whole, or people who clearly and obviously have big old axes to grind. Hell, look at my comment earlier in this thread, about how well I’ve always felt treated at EC and how professional and supportive everyone has always been? That was the TRUTH. I wasn’t making that up in order to be some kind of Lynne-Connelly-esque cheerleader (and I have never played the Lynne Connelly “If it hasn’t happened to me it’s never happened and you’re all liars and jellus haterz” card either; again, if you look back at previous discussion you’ll see–I hope–that while I have been supportive of EC and told the truth as I saw it I have never tried to deny the veracity of others’ experiences or their right to feel the way they feel.)

    And that’s not just because of publisher loyalty, not at all, and I’d like to think that my comments here and elsewhere have *always* been logical and even-handed enough to prove that.

    But I am furious about this print book business. What is the criteria to get into print? WHY are the requests of my READERS to have print copies of my books being ignored? Why do I have a book which sold something like 3000 copies in its first two months of release, and has never seen print? Why do I have books with incredibly enthusiastic reviews–from reputable places, not just FAR or “Kissess and Rainbow Sparkles Reviews” or whatever–which have never seen print? Why do I have NY mmps which get great reviews, and still no EC books in print?

    And more to the point, why do terrible books get to go into print? And we’re talking objectively terrible here. Books in which the word “ecstasy” is used seven times in the space of two paragraphs. Books in which three or four pages consist of people eating dinner and talking about their dinner in the most dull and banal ways possible. Books with subject/verb disagreements and tense disagreements on almost every page. Books that appear to have barely been touched by an editor, or have been “edited” by that one editor (we all know her name) who seems to be barely literate.

    We were told that EC’s in-house printing machine meant that ALL titles would eventually see print. To date I’m not aware of any backlist titles that have.

    We were told our new books would see print; but WHY? How do you pick them? I was told when I signed with EC that all of my books over a certain length would see print. It’s been several years, where the hell are my print books?

    Why are you treating us this way, for Pete’s sake? We WANT to work with you. We’re HAPPY to work with you. As I said above I have always been VERY happy at EC. I have always felt professionally treated.

    But I am livid, absolutely freaking livid, over this print book business. WHAT IS THE CRITERIA? Obviously it’s not quality of writing, because if it were books like the one I read would never have been allowed near a press (hell, it shouldn’t have been allowed out as an ebook either.) The author who wrote is doesn’t have other EC titles out that I’m aware of; but again, I know an EC author who regularly gets fantastic reviews, has NY books, and over 25 EC titles and hasn’t had a print book released in years. I have multiple titles, strong sellers, great reviews, and readers who request print copies of my books, so where is my print book?

    I don’t expect total transparency, not at all. The business side of the business is none of my business. But you damn well should be telling us how a book makes it into print, because that IS my business. I’m sick of it and I know others who are too.

    This is why I’m no longer writing for EC. I’m tired of being treated like the hard work, the good sales, the professional image, the good press, the great reviews that I have garnered over the last few years, and everything else mean absolutely nothing to EC management.

    (Granted a lot of this is my editor, who used to be fantastic but has over the last year started ignoring emails, missing deadlines, and apparently making up new rules as she goes along. :rolleyes. Were I staying with EC I would have asked for a new one. But this print business is too much. I’m sick of waiting.)

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  70. Ann Bruce
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:51:31

    In regards to mentions of “anchor authors” and the following quote:

    Also, by not focusing on the higher selling authors, they spread themselves too thin. It takes time to develop an author. That's why big New York publishing houses usually (the ones I know of) only offer 2, 3, or 4 book contracts. They want to build that author. They put them on a schedule, have a sales force, advertising, etc. etc. etc.

    Isn’t that the problem with the NY publishers and their 80/20 business model? They rely on 20% of their authors to bring in 80% of their revenue? They aggressively market those 20% and, for the most part, let the remaining sink or swim? That business model’s not working out so well for them, is it?

    As for the authors who seem to think they’re not published unless they’re in print: Why the heck did you submit to an e-publisher in the first place?

    In regards to authors who only publish a handful of books and disappear: Perhaps they’re not writing? Perhaps they have other priorities in life? And not because they’re being ignored or marginalized? Just maybe?

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  71. Anion
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:52:53

    Oh, and further to that, you probably wouldn’t have so many returns if you made sure the books that went into print were actually QUALITY BOOKS. Shouldn’t “well written” be a major part of the criteria? This is your public image; print books are a major way you attract new readers.

    I know you have many literate editors and people. Raelene has always struck me as an intelligent woman who likes to read and recognizes good writing.

    So why in the hell are so many of the print books badly written garbage? When you have good writing, by good writers, going ignored?

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  72. Ann Bruce
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 12:56:05

    OT:

    (Granted a lot of this is my editor, who used to be fantastic but has over the last year started ignoring emails, missing deadlines, and apparently making up new rules as she goes along. :rolleyes. Were I staying with EC I would have asked for a new one. But this print business is too much. I'm sick of waiting.)

    Anion, you need my editor.

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  73. Anion
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:05:00

    And like I said, Ann, were I staying I would have asked for one. And to be fair my reason for leaving isn’t all based just on EC; I should have let myself calm down from comforting my crying not-on-the-print-list friend before commenting here. I’m not really writing erotic romance anymore period.

    Also to be fair, this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot.

    Ann, I knew my books would be ebooks and I was fine with that. But when my readers are begging me for print copies because they don’t like to read ebooks, and EC ignores THAT…then yeah, it pisses me off. I’m losing royalties I should be getting, and they’re losing the opportunity to read books they want to read. And no one can explain to me why.

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  74. Lauren Dane
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:06:09

    You know what, I am really not moved by the “why did you sign with an epublisher if you wanted print” argument. It’s silly and an attempt to muddy the waters.

    First of all, EC demands print rights but then they not only don’t use them but think telling an author her books will be out “eventually” in print is a concrete answer. It’s not. I’m not a moron, this is a business for me too. I realize I signed with an epublisher. But if an epublisher wants my print rights they should either use them or let the author get them back. Don’t tell me my print rights are worth 5 figures and then not put them out. If they’re worth so much, why aren’t they in print?

    Print rights are part of the contract so riddle me this: if they’re so unimportant I shouldn’t be worried about them to be considered a published author – why does Ellora’s Cave include them in the contract with the digital rights? Are they not making them important themselves by doing so? And if they think they’re important enough to take in the contract, why shouldn’t I since they are, after all, my rights?

    Print is an issue to all of us who sign EC contracts because they’re in the contract. I didn’t put them there, Ellora’s Cave did. They’re making them important by taking them. Why wouldn’t I want them to be used?

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  75. Darrell King
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:12:30

    I’m not calling anyone out and I won’t go into details pertaining to the privacy agreement. I’m simply stating that if anyone has a valid concern regarding EC’s business practices to please contact us directly so we can discuss it. I expect that we may not always come to satisfactory terms with every issue that may arise, but we do our very best to run a fair and successful business for everyone from authors, artists, editors and in-house staff.

    The reason I have posted regarding the above comments is due to the fact that we DO have authors that question the comments posted and we want to make sure that they are not drawn into what may or may not be false statements and to remind those who do have concerns that we are here to help answer questions directly and work out any issues.

    As far as what Jaid said, she did say to prove lawsuits. That isn’t under our privacy agreement. I agree that if such things exist they should be made into fact.

    The reason Jaid and I both feel it’s nessecary to post is because of the negative impact that anonymous posts may have on published and/or potential authors.

    Anion (or any other authors who feel similary), please contact me directly so we can resolve this.

    D

    [email protected]

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  76. Jane
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:20:23

    @Darrell King Unfortunately you are misstating what Ms. Black was demanding to be proven. She has invited or even demanded people prove that issues regarding who goes into print and who does not. Who has been threatened with legal action and who has not.

    Your statements insinuating that those who attempt to rebut Ms. Black are somehow violating their contract seems to be a direct rebuff.

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  77. Ann Bruce
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:29:38

    You know what, I am really not moved by the “why did you sign with an epublisher if you wanted print” argument. It's silly and an attempt to muddy the waters.

    I’m not here to move you and I’m not muddying waters, just addressing previous remarks. I’m stating my opinion, which is EC is an ELECTRONIC publisher. There is no guarantee in the contracts that a book will go into print, so I expect an author whose goal is to see his or her name in print to act accordingly.

    And rights grabs in contracts? Please. It’s business. I know a number of NY authors whose contracts include electronic rights, but they haven’t seen their books in e-format even after a few years in print.

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  78. Jane
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:34:07

    @Darrell King In further contemplation of your confidentiality clause, if there truly is only a one year disapprobation on speaking out, I can’t help but wonder at the clause’s validity.

    I’m sure you know that the purpose of confidentiality clauses, which is considered to be an ancillary restrictive covenant on trade, is to actually preserve the secrets of a corporation. That one is no longer held to any confidentiality after one year suggests that the confidentiality isn’t really that important.

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  79. Emmy
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:43:25

    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.

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  80. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:45:41

    I thought this posted, but it never showed up. If the first one shows up can you delete one?

    Maybe it’s an omen that I should shut my mouth. Oh, what the hell.

    First of all, EC demands print rights but then they not only don't use them but think telling an author her books will be out “eventually” in print is a concrete answer.

    Sigh. If I could have seen the future through a looking glass…

    I’ve never said anything about this so publicly, but damn I’m tired. I would never have signed print book rights to EC. Ever. I’d rather not have had a single book in print than what they did. They put 8 of my novels and 3 novellas up for auction and boy did hell bust loose in all different kinds of corners over that. Won’t go into detail as much as I want to. From what I’ve heard from industry professionals, what EC did and the way they did it lowered the industry’s opinion of EC big time.

    I can’t tell you what a nightmare this has been over the last couple of years. You just have no idea and again I won’t go into detail… It has been the worst experience of my writing career. The absolute worst.

    And I don’t want to hear the BS that I’m lucky to have these books being published by a NY house. I’d rather not make a single dime on them than to go through what I have and had to go through. Not one freaking single dime. But I do cash the pittance of a check–what’s left after their agent, EC, and my old agent.

    Of course I’m not the only author whose books were put up for auction because EC needed fast cash–I was told by a stumbling certain (nice) editor in the home office who didn’t know how to answer my questions when I heard the news–except to say EC was doing it for cash. Other authors may have had a sweet experience with their books being sold to NY publishers. Lucky them.

    All I can say is thank you to St. Martin’s for believing in me enough to buy all of those books. And thank you to my fantastic editor and agent.

    But details. Sigh. You have no idea.

    Unfortunately I’ve just opened myself up to being blasted by EC’s rhetoric and other authors telling me they’d like to be in my shoes. Tell you what–I’d like you to be in them, too, when it comes to this particular situation. I’d be a much happier girl.

    Cheyenne

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  81. Curious
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:55:05

    Wow. I’ve heard rumblings about EC but I never expected to see anything like this. Wow. This reminds me of Trisk. Speaking of which, where is the number one cheerleader? Seems remarkably silent…

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  82. Anion
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:11:48

    I read Jaid’s comments as being directly related to proving lawsuits and to proving that EC’s print program is based entirely around RT.

    I’ve never been under the impression that print is based solely around RT, and I’m not aware of a single EC author who does believe that. It’s always been my understanding that the books printed for RT are done as a favor and a kindness, so authors at RT wll have something to sign (much like how books were printed for the Ritas). Certainly RT has no bearing on any of the print schedule save the one immediately before RT; I’ve never noticed any correlation there at all, and believe me, I’m looking hard at those print schedules.

    See, this is the thing though, David and Jaid and anyone else from EC management.

    When you’re under scrutiny and attack? Your behavior needs to be impeccable. IMPECCABLE. No matter who is behind it, or how many people are lying about whatever subject it may be, or whatever. (I’m not accusing anyone of lying, just making a point, okay?)

    Organizing and running your print program like toddlers “organize” their toys–just grabbing whatever is handy and throwing it up, with no rhyme or reason or accountability–is a BAD move anyway, but especially when you know someone is looking to exploit any weakness they possibly can, anywhere, for any reason, and they’re willing to do whatever they have to do. You are leaving yourself wide open for this sort of thing.

    I’m angry about the print program, yes. Very angry indeed. I feel that I have worked hard to develop and maintain a good professional image. I feel that EC and I have both benefitted from that. Yes, I have benefitted from EC’s large customer base and reputation, of course. But I have drawn new readers to EC, too.

    And I feel that in exchange for that I deserve to know what the criteria is to send work into print. And I deserve a publisher who puts quality work into print, not something that makes me look bad.

    That’s all. It’s not that much to ask, really.

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  83. Anion
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:16:13

    Wow, Cheyenne. I’m very sorry you had such an awful experience and FWIW, I understand well that sometimes you’d rather not have the sale than deal with the stress. I really hope you don’t get lambasted for speaking up.

    Hugs.

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  84. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:30:22

    I really hope you don't get lambasted for speaking up.

    Thanks, Anion. I guess my anger is spilling out and I’m so tired of the whole mess which slams me in the face every time I have to rewrite one of them. The result of my opening my mouth will probably be that more of my books will be put on the “auction block”…

    Especially since they–well, I’m assuming from the lawsuits, but that’s it, an assumption–probably need the cash.

    Groan.

    Cheyenne

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  85. kerry
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:32:12

    As a reader who’s bought NUMEROUS EC books in electronic format and in print format…wow. I’m disappointed in EC’s attitude. The comments here from EC authors may very well not be true (although hearing the same comments from numerous authors tends to lend some credibility to the complaints). However, I can read the defensive, ranty, unprofessional comments from EC’s “representatives” here with my own eyes and you know what? I want no part of such a company. I’ll add EC to the list of publishers I won’t buy from (hi, New Concepts! Hi Highland Press!) and take my money elsewhere.

    Oh, and I will say – my purchasing at EC has dropped in the recent past. Many of my favorite authors are gone, and I’ve been really disappointed with the quality of some of the new and unfamiliar authors whose work I’ve bought. I’ve often wondered lately what was going on with the editing, because it doesn’t seem to be thorough. Used to be, I’d buy an EC book without reading reviews because I’d be pretty sure of the quality. I’d pick up books in Borders on a whim. Not for a good while though. Sad.

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  86. Karen Scott
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:37:26

    but I can remember when EC fired Crissy Brashear and my first reaction was, “Oh, shit, there went the brains of the company.” Funny that another author said the same thing to me.

    I’ve been saying that same thing since she left EC.

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  87. Sheryl Nantus
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:42:45

    wow…. just… wow…

    all I have to add is that when I recently ordered some books from EC through their big sale my credit card was charged immediately…. but it took over two weeks for the books to be shipped to me. I contacted Customer Service twice and received no answer. Whether that’s an indication of financial problems or not may not be an issue but the lack of support was to me. Don’t think I’ll be buying any more books, at least not through the website.

    I do have to say that I’ll follow Joey W. Hill anywhere…

    ;)

    ReplyReply

  88. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:53:16

    I do have to say that I'll follow Joey W. Hill anywhere…

    Joey rocks!

    Chey

    ReplyReply

  89. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 14:56:09

    Well, I gotta go write after I pick up my son. There are actually more important things than talking about EC. :o)

    Have a great day, everyone!

    Chey

    ReplyReply

  90. rebyj
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:02:14

    wow..I’m posting to mark how far I have read more than anything because I can see this being a 400 post thread before too long.

    As an EC reader, I’ve read excellent books and some ” OMG how’d that get published” books. My last order had a book I thought maybe a 14 year old boy had written while he was spankin the monkey it was so bad.

    As a consumer I’ve been concerned about the changes in ordering lately. My last order took well over 2 weeks to arrive.

    As far as the industry controversy addressed in this thread, I’m glad the freedom of speech is around so discussions like this can occur. I hope it’s constructive rather than destructive.

    ReplyReply

  91. anon2020
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:20:54

    Jane,

    I’m curious about the print rights issue for small publishers. Unlike NY which pays an advance to obtain rights and then can sit on them (like e-book rights). EC and other small publishers don’t pay an advance. The only thing on either side is a signature and a promise to deliver what’s on both sides of the contract.

    Couldn’t an argument be made that since no advance was paid, the publisher is sitting on the print rights and has already received compensation with the explotation of the digital rights that the author should not be penalized because the publisher can not or will not excersie the print rights option?

    The agreement between the parties would seem to be more a consignment basis without the advance. Maybe not. I haven’t read the contract, but I have wondered about it since I keep hearing the complaint that print schedules aren’t adhered to or the criteria to get into print isn’t known. Any legal loophole wiggle room here (potentially)?

    Not that NY publishers necessarily do a better or worse job by their authors but at least with an advance an author can decide whether or not the minimum payout and/or risk is worth the granting of rights in the first place.

    Curious too

    ReplyReply

  92. Me
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:24:58

    Let’s not even get into the rights EC insist’s on either….nothing like signing the rights to your work away….forever

    ReplyReply

  93. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:25:48

    Kerry – what you’ve seen here is barely an inkling of what their authors have had to deal with. Ranting emails and accusations are only a small part of it. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was having flashbacks – I was literally sick to my stomach as I read some of the madness being spread here. I just keep reminding myself that I’m no longer writing for them and all will be well. :)

    So EC is suing Borders. With the way Borders handles their business, they probably should be sued. It’s my understanding that Borders (and they aren’t the only ones) will order directly from publishers then send in returns through Ingrams. Ingrams will give them a credit for the returned books as if they were paid for and they haven’t been because Ingrams didn’t handle the sale – EC did. So while the publisher is hanging out still waiting for their checks – Borders is order more books with their credit while not actually paying out a cent.

    With that kind of business model I’m only surprised someone hasn’t sued them before now.

    ReplyReply

  94. Karen Scott
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:27:06

    There's a very small handful of authors who are repeat EC authors and who, for whatever reason, are their chosen few.

    Carol Lynne comes to mind, mind you, I’m pretty sure she fell out with them over something or other. Come to think of it, it’s been at least two weeks since Lynne had a book out, all must definitely not be well in paradise.

    If I tried to damage your reputation and career JC, then prove it. Sue me and prove it. Quit running your mouth with no facts to back it up.

    And this would explain all the Anons who appear whenever the subject of EC comes up.

    300 copies its first week out-nationwide-according to BookScan, and also according to BookScan has only sold 3000 copies since its release in mid-Oct.

    I put that down to the ridiculous over-pricing. Also, I think that anthologies with that many authors are silly. But that’s just my opinion.

    I know one thing I'd like to see… blog owners not allowing people to state rumors, gossip and assumptions as facts when they offer no proof to back up their claims.

    Jesus.

    @jaid black Then there really isn't any problem with people posting emails from the biz loop because EC's got nothing to hide here.

    Hmmm… Maybe I could…OK no, see this isn’t my fight.

    A new website that can't support the load and repeatedly crashes until the digital books need to be moved back to the old website is just more of the same meandering and utterly pointless business EC does.

    I did think it was a strange that they didn’t bother doing the appropriate tests before going live.

    Doesn't EC have, you know, a publicist? Just… wow.

    Susan Edwards I think. I think she has an impossible job.

    There is a problem though – authors sign an agreement of confidentiality to protect the business information that is shared on that loop.

    But the owner just asked for those e-mails to be posted on here as proof. Oh I get it, you’re the damage limitation guy.

    And what are the repercussions to such a violation? Is there a liquidated damages provision because it there isn't EC would have to prove some monetary loss related to the violation, wouldn't you agree with that? And if the emails simply support Ms. Black's position, there wouldn't be any monetary loss, would there?

    I love it when you get all lawyerly Jane.

    Books that appear to have barely been touched by an editor, or have been “edited” by that one editor (we all know her name) who seems to be barely literate.

    Hmmm… Helen Woodall by any chance?

    Where are Sherri King and Lora Leigh and Rachel Bo and Jennifer Dunne and Jory Strong?

    They ran away as fast as they could I guess. Yeah, where is Sherri King? I used to quite like her books.

    Wow, Cheyenne. I'm very sorry you had such an awful experience

    She wasn’t alone, as I recall, they screwed over a few of their other big sellers too.

    ReplyReply

  95. Jane
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:27:40

    @anon2020 That has so many variables and “it depends” that it is hard to answer. Certainly every contract requires “consideration” on both parties. Consideration is the thing (good, service, money) that one party contributes to fulfill the contract. I suppose one could argue that because there is no consideration for the print part of the relinquishment of rights that the print portion of the contract is voidable (as opposed to void). But, again, there are so many variables that it would be hard to know.

    ReplyReply

  96. Kate
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:37:03

    Hey, Karen,
    Romancelandia’s most prolific writer is still at work. Carol Lynne’s busy over at total e-bound. Looks like at least one release every couple of weeks there. I think she had an EC release in the last month or so.

    ReplyReply

  97. Curious
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:38:28

    @Karen Scott Carol Lynne has a new book out today with EC according to her website

    ReplyReply

  98. Donna
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 16:30:09

    I don’t care if disgruntled authors allege that EC eats babies and sets nuns on fire. That’s not what has kept me from submitting to them. At the top of a rather long list? Jaid Black SHOWING HER ASS in comments like the ones she’s made here.

    There’s good money to be made at EC–for the time being, anyway–but I don’t consider it worth association with someone who would behave in such an unprofessional, unacceptable manner. No way.

    ReplyReply

  99. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 16:47:44

    I don't care if disgruntled authors allege that EC eats babies and sets nuns on fire.

    OMG, something like this should definitely come with a spew/choke notice. Can we sue for someone posting and making us choke on our pumpkin spice cake?

    Chey
    who is ridiculously on email/internet while at the bookstore cafe, and who’s supposedly supposed to be WRITING.

    ReplyReply

  100. Ann Bruce
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 16:50:35

    Let's not even get into the rights EC insist's [sic] on either….nothing like signing the rights to your work away….forever

    Have you read the EC contract? Because this comment makes it appear like you haven’t. Or perhaps you did but didn’t understand it.

    ReplyReply

  101. Ann Bruce
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 16:53:05

    Books that appear to have barely been touched by an editor, or have been “edited” by that one editor (we all know her name) who seems to be barely literate.

    Actually, I didn’t know her name…but I do now. Thanks, Karen!

    (Cutting myself off from the Internet now before I get fired.)

    ReplyReply

  102. Myself
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 17:33:10

    Not sure what EC/TLC/CP 's print strategy is, but they do not put every author's works into print, particularly from the TLC/CP lines. I know if an EC author is signed up for the Romantic Times convention, EC will make an effort to have that author's book on the print schedule in time for the convention.

    That, in a nutshell, is their “print strategy.” Cater to the authors who attend cons; ignore everybody else.

    Been there. For many quarters in a row. Don’t particularly mind anymore, though. Royalties are getting iffy enough without print returns chewing them into negative figures.

    ReplyReply

  103. Mary Winter
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 17:47:52

    Jaid said:

    Accusation is easy; proof isn’t. Show me if you’ve got

    it.

    *takes deep breath* I was going to stay out of this; however, after reading

    all the comments, here is what I CAN prove…

    1. I went to order books on TLC’s website through their sale. THREE BOOKS. I
    tried in early December, and on January 5, even though the “sale” notice said
    it ended 12/28 (though hey, books were still really cheap… um web person,
    update needed in asile three, oh, I’m sorry…) When I went to check out, I
    was going to be charged $20.00 shipping. FOR THREE BOOKS. I’m sorry. That’s
    crazy. If you’re going to discount your books, don’t make up the revenue on
    shipping and handling. And if that’s to cover the weight for all the “free”
    stuff that the sale notice said I was going to get, that’s worse than an
    infomercial, because at least they tell you that you’ll receive your second
    widget free so long as you pay $6.99 handling. And yes, I have a screenshot.
    File creation date 12/13/08. I didn’t screen shot the January one.

    I also have a statement dated November 25, showing that my author copies, 21 books (14 lbs according to the box) only cost $12.84 to ship. That sounds very reasonable. Which really makes me question $20.00 for three books.

    2. I also own an online website, and placed ONE order with them once The
    Lotus Circle had some books in print (It’s a metaphysical store). Why have I
    never placed another? Because as as an online indy bookseller, I am NEVER
    notified of new releases. I never receive any kind of notifications. I am a
    small fish in a big pond. That’s cool. But to not even send a “new release”
    blast email to sellers? What kind of relationship building is happening?
    In fact, when I heard about the sale I eagerly waited for an email … never received one. So I never bothered to ask. Why? I have other wholesalers that are all too happy to work with me. However, this ties in with the distribution issues, I believe.

    3. I recently had the rights to three of my older (including my first) titles
    returned to me. Amazingly in the website switch over, the electronic books
    (print ones can still be sold) showed back up on the website again. I sent an
    email about it. They’re gone. But I never received any sort of confirmation
    that the books were removed, thanks for bringing this to our attention, any
    sort of “oops we pulled data from the wrong database”. Nothing. I still check
    at least twice a month to make sure such things don’t happen again.

    I suppose one could argue that because there is no consideration for the print part of the relinquishment of rights that the print portion of the contract is voidable (as opposed to void). But, again, there are so many variables that it would be hard to know.

    I can assure it is definitely not. I asked. Even for short, novella, way too
    short to go to print on its own lengths. Which is sad, because then you
    wouldn’t have frustrated authors, they wouldn’t have to worry about
    warehousing a zillion books, and it would create a lot less stress.

    I have written, and deleted, these final paragraphs many times. Let me just
    say this… My first EC book (now elsewhere), was published in Dec 2002. I
    walked away from them once, in 2004 (so I missed the kerfluffle), came
    back… and now do not consider myself an Ellora’s Cave author. I may, or may
    not, have one final release with them, but since it was aimed at their
    metaphysical line, and in print, really no one could tell me when it would
    come out, though it’s on the schedule… we’ll see.

    Yes, I have other business interests now. My decisions I made were for both
    personal and professional reasons. In fact, in some ways I have to thank
    EC/TLC for the atrocious handling of this last book, whether it comes out or
    not. The honest truth is, I wish everyone well. I want to believe that there
    is room for everyone out there. Because not every book is right for every
    publisher. And every author has different business goals. Just because I am
    not happy doesn’t mean that someone else will be.

    I also know my dad may not have been college educated, and I can’t thank him
    enough for the biggest lesson he ever taught me–don’t listen to what anyone
    says, watch what they do. That will tell you what you need to know. And I am
    very sad at what I’m seeing. And that’s why I’m writing this post.

    Oh and to end on a proactive note, for a highly informative look at the
    bookselling industry, I just finished “Rebel Bookseller” by Andrew Laties,
    who used to own a huge Chicago children’s book store. The churning and other
    practices mentioned here (and elsewhere) is discussed in this book. Very,
    very interesting, and I think for education, if for nothing else, everyone
    with a published book should read it. Very eye opening! (Yeah, I mentioned
    this book before… sorry! LOL!!! I can’t help myself when it is so timely.)

    ETA – sorry about the wierd formatting… looks okay in the edit window. :(

    ReplyReply

  104. anon2020
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 17:56:04

    I suppose one could argue that because there is no consideration for the print part of the relinquishment of rights that the print portion of the contract is voidable (as opposed to void). But, again, there are so many variables that it would be hard to know.

    I can assure it is definitely not. I asked.

    Just for clarification: who did you ask? EC management or a literary attorney who had reviewed your contract and situation

    ReplyReply

  105. Mary Winter
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 18:00:55

    Just for clarification: who did you ask? EC management or a literary attorney

    I asked EC since I already had my request in for the previous books. It was a more, “hey, while you’re looking at those, can you look at these?” sort of thing. It’s not something I’m too concerned about at the moment. I’m looking forward…not back.

    ReplyReply

  106. Ellora’s Cave Sues Borders | The Naughty Bits
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 18:07:04

    [...] Dear Author posted this news yesterday. The news around the actual law suit was not the most interesting part of the post. If I were an author looking at signing with Ellora’s Cave I would take heed of those comments that were left there today. [...]

  107. Myself
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 19:49:01

    First of all, EC demands print rights but then they not only don't use them but think telling an author her books will be out “eventually” in print is a concrete answer. It's not. … if an epublisher wants my print rights they should either use them or let the author get them back.

    But Lauren, the problem with your argument, vis a vis the EC business model, is that it 1.) is fair and 2.) makes sense.

    ;-)

    Nice to “see” Chey and JC again. Just wish it were under happier circumstances.

    ReplyReply

  108. Nonny
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 19:53:05

    /subscribing to comments.

    >_>

    ReplyReply

  109. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 20:04:23

    Nice to “see” Chey and JC again. Just wish it were under happier circumstances.

    Myself,

    Nice to see Myself again, too. ;-D

    I have to say my “I’m tired of crap” meter has gone on overload. Lack of sleep and being majorly behind on deadlines–thanks to a certain situation that makes Valium seem like a pleasant alternative to this headache right now–I’m not really myself. Well, hell. Being distracted by a blog conversation related to that desire to visit my doctor and request that Valium is certainly not a big help.

    I guess it may not be so wise to jump on blogs when one is feeling this way. :-) But what the hell.

    Cheyenne
    who’s so tired she’s babbling–after a not-so-productive day

    ReplyReply

  110. Ashley V
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 21:05:13

    As a lurker, and huge romance reader, all I have to say is wow….but I am not surprised. I decided recently that I won’t be buying any EC books again after they handed my book order in a horrible manner. Guess it’s not just their buyers who get treated like crap. Glad to know I am not alone :)

    ReplyReply

  111. Pamela
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 21:37:29

    Ok, that was 20 mins of my life I won’t get back. ALthough it was fun .

    I think my favourite part was when the VP guy showed up and tried to scare everyone with lawyerspeak and Jane just roundhoused him right between the eyes with real lawyerspeak. SMACKDOWN. Back-pedalling much? That must have been pretty embarrassing. LOL

    Can I just say, I have never bought an EC book and never will because thier cover art sucks the big one. It’s a frivolous thing to base a purchase on I know, but I can’t help it, ugly things make me want to barf. After reading all this, I’m kinda glad I never gave them any money. I don’t like giving egotistical idoits money.

    ReplyReply

  112. The Daily Square - Pink Elephants on Parade (Sun Ra Version) Edition | Booksquare
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 22:25:00

    [...] Ellora’s Cave Sues Borders for ,000,000Go for the news, stay for the comments. [...]

  113. Myself
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 22:52:03

    Truly, Chey, I so hope you get this all behind you ASAP and go on to enjoy the success you’ve worked so hard to earn. I’m sure others feel the same way.

    ReplyReply

  114. me
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 23:04:53

    yes, Ann Bruce
    I’ve read the contract…because it was offered to me and I refused it….and um, yeah I understood it as well…….this is getting really tired

    ReplyReply

  115. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 23:12:30

    Myself,

    I tell myself (LOL) constantly that I’m going to do just that–let go–until it smacks me in the face again. And again. As far as getting it behind me soon, those books are scheduled out until 2012… Sigh. Feels like a sort of prison sentence. Doesn’t that date just feel like freaking forever? Well, as long as I have other books coming out, that’s what counts.

    I’m tired. I will go to bed and stop whining. For now. ;-)

    Chey

    ReplyReply

  116. Deanne
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 23:20:19

    OMG came to mind everytime I read one of Jaid’s comments. I have heard things about her buisness practices before, but wow those comments proved all the rumors I have heard.

    I spent over $300 during the sale in Dec. and that is all the money they will be getting from me. My first order came quickly no problem. My 2nd and 3rd order they didn’t ship a book I ordered and it is on the invoice. I have emailed them several times and called and left voice mail once. This was over 3 weeks ago and I’ve heard NOTHING back. I have to assume this means I won’t be getting the books I ordered.

    Thanks for the great customer service EC!

    ReplyReply

  117. Gutenberg
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 00:42:22

    At the top of a rather long list? Jaid Black SHOWING HER ASS in comments like the ones she's made here.

    There's good money to be made at EC-for the time being, anyway-but I don't consider it worth association with someone who would behave in such an unprofessional, unacceptable manner. No way.

    Amen to that.

    I must admit I’ve heard the siren call of EC a few times in the past but, luckily, have always come to my senses. Hearing others’ experiences, particularly those of Cheyenne as well as a friend who wrote for EC, makes me feel like I narrowly escaped offering my soul to the devil. And by devil, I mean an uncontrolled banshee with no business sense.

    G

    ReplyReply

  118. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 02:33:56

    Wow. After having kicked ass at writing today, I get to stop by and visit before bed, and just wow.

    The one glaring thing here that is missing, if any of you haven’t noticed:

    EC’s cheerleaders.

    Every time, and I mean every single time some big issue rears its massively ugly head when it comes to EC, there are a dozen EC authors who come in with their guns blazing. I remember times when if a blog insulted EC, they’d have 50 authors down their throats and take over the whole thread. And I am not exaggerating. Anyone else remember those days?

    Methinks things have changed at EC in even more ways than before, and of course there is some of the same crap being done. Like the comment about our checks coming late? They just pulled the “check’s in the mail” stunt again, what was it, the end of Nov? I think EC authors better not be counting their unhatched chickens and put them in a couple of other baskets, to very lamely combine a couple of cliches. EC money can be good, really good, but I have to say it was better in the past. Regardless, cover your butts and start thinking that the ride you’re on might not last forever. Especially when we see how desperate they are for money by the lawsuits and auctioning off their authors’ print rights.

    Now that I worked so hard do I have to stop playing and go to bed? It’s only just before 1:30 a.m. :) I kicked butt. I deserve to play at least a little. Sleep is for wimps!

    ReplyReply

  119. Katharina
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 04:08:30

    I am glad to hear that my December order hasn’t been the only one that was handled in such an amateurish way. As I live in Europe I took advantage of the free shipping inside the US and posted the books to a friend who flew over for Christmas. Guess what, I am going to see these books in summer, because they arrived too late, despite my ordering them early enough *grr*. However, I did get some “nice” explanations from customer service.

    I think it would have been way classier had EC not commented here, especially in such an unprofessional way. No idea about the names behind the mayor NY publishers, but imagine Mr Simon and Mr. Schuster popping up here, because we insulted their business. Me thinks a lot of unhappy authors (anon or not, and I totally understand the anon thing) sacrificed their time and banded together to tell lies, YEAH RIGHT.

    ReplyReply

  120. Former Trisk Author
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 06:12:16

    Reading this thread brings back the nightmare of Triskelion. The similarities are scary. My empathy to all of the EC authors.

    ReplyReply

  121. Anion
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 06:16:00

    Jaid Black technically isn’t involved in the business end of EC anymore, if memory serves. I don’t recall the exact situation, but I’m pretty sure she stepped down as head.

    I could be wrong though. Does anyone else know?

    ReplyReply

  122. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 06:44:32

    If I remember correctly – and I do since I have all the emails – Tina/Jaid ‘retired’ in late 03 and she never really left, IMO. It was quiet for about 6 – 9 months before slowly returning to active duty.

    I have no idea in what capacity she is working now as I was removed from their business loops even though I still have twenty-some titles there. Luckily, I did receive the rights back to most of my novels. :)

    ReplyReply

  123. Carolan Ivey
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 09:56:15

    This whole thing makes me very grateful EC didn’t buy the one manuscript I submitted to them. (Obviously it didn’t have enough sex. That is, it was on every fifth page, not ever other page.)

    Ya know, if I were an editor looking for a job, and I ran afoul of a publisher who wanted me to sign a contract with so many confidentiality clauses that I would be forced to ignore legitimate questions from my authors, I wouldn’t take the job. That’s just crazy.

    ReplyReply

  124. This is simply shameful
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 10:18:45

    Like watching a train wreck in action I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the screen. I am not an author, I’m a reader and I have to say this is the saddest thing I’ve seen in a long time. And I’m not talking to the authors who I feel have every right to vent, first amendment anyone? To see the boss pop in and goad (yes, goad!) her authors into this level of antagonism is shameful. I’m not judging you as a person, but I gotta say this shows a shocking level of unprofessionalism. Do you realize Jaid most people not in the know would have been willing to give EC some benefit of the doubt, that is until you came in here and started acting like the school yard bully. No wonder your authors are uniting against you.

    Shocking, just shocking.

    This is one customer you will not get back.

    ReplyReply

  125. Karen
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 11:34:25

    I stopped reading their paperbacks years ago when I saw the word “pantyhoes” throughout an entire manuscript and I realized the manuscript had very little–if any–editing. This whole paperback/returns fiasco is probably one of the reasons EC is also trying to get other publishers to have their own books on the EC website, so they can earn commissions from their competitors’ books. I’m certainly glad my publisher turned down the offer…I didn’t want my books getting mixed in with EC’s titles (that whole “pantyhoes” thing has stayed with me), and I definitely did not want Jade/Tina/whatever getting so much as a penny from my work in order to pay for her murderer/incarcerated husband’s attorney fees. From my understanding, quite a few publishers turned down the offer, and I’ve no doubt the whole scheme was designed as a way to earn much-needed money to keep the company afloat in the midst of this paperback crisis. I’m sure the last thing my publisher (or any other publisher) needs is a connection with an antagonistic woman who seems so quick to whip off legal action against anyone or any company who ticks her off.

    ReplyReply

  126. Amanda
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 11:41:34

    I’ve never bought from EC. Ever. I am not involved with the writing side of the company, and this is my first time ever even seeing EC’s name. And boy, must I say I am not impressed.

    1) Jaid. I’m laughing at you. Honestly, that was the stupidest attack ever, and you had to get someone to cover your behind because you KNOW there is a problem. You know, and Lord all-freaking-mighty, your company knows. And every single person who has read this knows that there is a problem.

    2) Jane. I love you. Book marking this site because you are that awesome. (Lawyer smack downs are awesome!)

    3) EC authors – I am so sorry. I’m watching this trainwreck happen, and you all are saying things that make me cringe, and it’s just the overview. Details, lord, are something I don’t want. I couldn’t handle how badly they burned you all. Free hugs to all as well as chocolate. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

    Excuse me while I go link this to every other forum, website and person I know. This has people reeling over the behind the scenes drama, and unprofessional attacks made by EC. Wow. Just wow.

    ReplyReply

  127. Louise
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 12:24:37

    *blinks*

    Strikes Ellora’s Cave of her to buy list. Naughty publishing people!!!

    You do realise acting like asses on the internet will turn potential buyers away. Remember a LOT of readers visit this popular site, not only authors and reviewers.

    I very nearly purchased a ebook from them last night, but their covers put a stop to that. I’m not much of a cover snob, but I think my eyes bled a lot little.

    ReplyReply

  128. AReader
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 13:10:15

    Haven’t bought anything at EC in years. The whole Owner married to a Murderer kerfuffle kinda put me off.

    ReplyReply

  129. Reading Rose
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 13:15:23

    There is something I don’t understand. As a publishing company, whether ebook or print, the authors imo are your bread and butter. Why, as a publisher, would you risk burning bridges with so many wonderful authors? Doesn’t make good business sense.

    I’m part of a group of about 40 women from all across the USA and UK who are avid readers of romance, erotica, paranormals..and any combination. A few others have posted messages here as well (*waves to her girls*) We have read, and I personally have read books from every author named in the above conversations and probably those of you who chose to remain anonymous as well. Let me just say this…as readers, we are exceedingly loyal to our favourite authors. It sucks when the first half of a series is published under one company and the sequels never come out. However, it’s YOU who have our respect and YOU who provide our reading enjoyment. Regardless of how many times you have to change publishers, we will find you, we will buy your work, and we will recommend it to others. Do what you have to do – just keep us posted via blogs and groups.

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  130. Emmy
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 13:20:55

    LMAO @ “pantyhoes”. Well, have you seen some of their covers? It certainly applies!

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  131. Karen Scott
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 13:56:53

    @Karen Scott Carol Lynne has a new book out today with EC according to her website

    I got word that she’d had an argument of sorts with the powers that be at EC, because they refuse to put her work in print. Which I don’t get, because apparently she’s one of their best sellers.

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  132. Valerie O.
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 14:00:24

    OMG!!! Just ….WOW. This is almost like reading the script to a soap opera.

    I agree with readingrose. Most readers are loyal to authors not publishing houses, but we hate to have series interupted.

    I have to say that EC was the first e-pub I found about 6 years ago when I started buying e-books. I loved a great many of their authors and bought religiously a couple of times a week either by checking new releases or by topic searches, whatever interested me at the time. Lately I have noticed that many of my favorite authors like Lora Leigh, Cheyenne and J.C either are no longer with EC or are releasing fewer books through them. I still buy from EC when I find something that looks entertaining and well written, but I find myself spending much more time on Samhain, Liquid Silver or Loose Id lately. Not that they don’t still have some absolutely wonderful authors like Maggie Casper, Rebecca Airies and Lori O’Clare, all of whom I would buy books from daily. I guess I never thought about the other aspects of publishing or being published. To give EC their due even long established houses in NY are having trouble with Borders.

    I guess my point is that there are as many sides to a story as there are people involved and each one is right from their own point of view and wrong from someone elses. JC, Chey I’d love to know where you are publishing through now so that I can continue to buy you books.

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  133. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 14:57:16

    Hi, Valerie!

    Thanks so much for reading my books and asking about them and who I’m published with now. :o) If you click on my name it’ll take you to my website. I’ve been with St. Martin’s Press since 2004; my first book with them came out a year after I signed, in 2005. (My first book with EC came out Jan. 2003)

    I did continue to write for EC on the side, mainly for fun because I had a ball writing those bondage stories for their niche market. I never wanted those to go beyond that market, though, because that’s not what I write as Cheyenne in mass market. I don’t want my readers who aren’t familiar with my bondage books to totally freak, so a collection sold to St. Martin’s from EC is being published as C. McCray. Inside it says Cheyenne McCray–I’m not hiding it’s me. I just want there to be a CLEAR distinction that these novellas are EROTICA, different than what my mass market readers are used to. I write extremely erotic sex scenes in my St. Martin’s books, but they’re not erotica. Far from it.

    Well, aren’t I the talkative one this afternoon!

    I haven’t eaten today and I’m light headed. My mom just called while I was writing this and told me I need protein and to go eat a couple of eggs! Mothers. :-D

    Thanks again for asking about my new publisher and books!

    Chey

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  134. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 15:00:04

    P.S. to Valerie:

    In case J.C. doesn’t get on, she writes for Samhain and has several books published with them. Here’s her page on their website:

    http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/j-c-wilder

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  135. Valerie O.
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 15:36:34

    Thanks for the info Chey. I’ve seen C. McCray books, but didn’t realise it was you, since I’m on a book allowance (my husband Scrroge keeps me on a budget.) I usually won’t try a new author unless they pass through my lending group. I have so many favorite authors that when there are several who are releasing books around the same time it’s hard to choose which to buy.

    as for “pantyhoes” ( clearing throat and swallowing back chuckles) I have to agree that I have seen some very unusual spelling and grammar, not to mention sentence structure, in some of the e-books I’ve read. Not all of them are from EC, so I have to say that in the industry as a whole, there is a desperate need for proof readers with a decent working knowledge of written english.

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  136. Joy
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 15:48:07

    Valerie -
    I think there is another C McCray – so make sure you are getting Chey’s St. Martin books.

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  137. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 15:51:14

    Hey, Valerie,

    Actually, my only C. McCray book is “Total Surrender.” The other person appeared after the TS collection was put up on Amazon, or I probably would have thought of something else. :o) TS is the one with the very “hot” cover with the gal in the black bra and the hunk. Hot pink, too. :D It’s tastefully done, the St. Martin’s cover artists are great!

    Chey

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  138. mysterious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 15:51:28

    Haven't bought anything at EC in years. The whole Owner married to a Murderer kerfuffle kinda put me off

    Jaid Black’s hubby is a convicted murderer? WTF? Really? Do tell.

    Is this why she has that whole thing on her website about how she’s a “prison activist?”

    Married to a murderer. Ewwwwwwwwwww.

    One more reason for me never to sub there!

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  139. Nonny
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 16:14:00

    Mysterious:

    A quick google search turns up this article/interview on Karen Scott’s blog back when it was on Blogspot: http://karenknowsbest.blogspot.com/2007/06/tina-engler-founder-of-elloras-cave.html

    I think that should probably clarify matters.

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  140. Mysterioustoo
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 17:00:45

    The links to her husband’s mug are broken, but here’s a fresh link.

    David Roy Keen

    http://www.dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=139495016

    I hadn’t read the interview before, and I have to tell you I am absolutely sick to my stomach. I don’t know why it’s affecting me this way but it has made me feel ill.

    He’s even listed as having a tattoo that reads:
    “Property of Tina Marie Keen”

    I feel an urge to take an icepick to my head to get the images and what she said out of my brain.

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  141. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 17:31:15

    It’s all so Lifetime Movie of The Week. Ugh.

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  142. mysterious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 17:45:30

    According to the Dept. of Corrections site, this guy has multiple charges against him made at multiple times—–murder, attempted murder (so he tried to kill 2 people, and succeeded at killing one) as well as aggravated assault w/ a deadly weapon (looks like he committed that against another inmate while incarcerated).

    Doesn’t look at all to me like somebody who is “not inherently violent.” If he’s truly remorseful now, good for him. But that doesn’t mean he belongs on the outside.

    Again, ewwww.

    Most people (with the exception of nonviolent drug offenders or the wrongfully convicted) who are in prison _belong_ in prison. I’m not at all in favor of letting murderers out on the streets, no matter when they did it, or why. (I’m not in favor of the death penalty, either, but that’s another matter).

    I wonder what would happen to Ms. Black if this guy ever did get out. He probably has a very short fuse. I shudder to think what might happen to her if he ever got too angry on the outside.

    Choosing to marry a murderer is her business, of course, but going around saying that murderers don’t belong in jail—-yikes.

    Again, I’m glad I’m not an EC author. Especially now that I know this!

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  143. mysterious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 17:53:06

    also looks like he already had a rap sheet prior to committing the murder/attempted murder: burglary, aggravated assault, and prison escape.

    So, he’s basically a career criminal. Not a nice guy who just freaked out one day and killed as a youthful indiscretion.

    I applaud people who go into prisons to volunteer/minister to prison populations for humanitarian reasons, but advocating letting career criminals run amok in society is just crazy.

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  144. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 18:06:39

    Reading Rose wrote: As a publishing company, whether ebook or print, the authors imo are your bread and butter. Why, as a publisher, would you risk burning bridges with so many wonderful authors?

    RR, I’ve asked myself the same question at least 100 times over the past three years. My inability to contort my brain to understand their logic was what held me in place long after I should’ve left. As an author who signed with the company almost at its inception – I’ve seen the rise and fall and the only thing I can say is they began to believe their own press.

    In short – the more money they made the more ‘infallable’ they believed themselves to be. The money came in faster…the money went out faster…lack of publishing knowledge spawned bad business decisions…rather than try to understand the system they sought to circumvent it because they wanted to call all the shots…they wanted all the glory…all the headlines etc.

    You can’t go into business making chicken pot pies without understanding where the chicken comes from.

    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. After that we were labeled as trouble makers and once you make that list you can just hang it up because they work on emotion not logic.

    Now we’re seeing the fruits of that decision – lower royalties, bad editing, buying books that aren’t anywhere near publishable, declining cover quality – you name it, quite a few of us Old Broads called it. You cannot double your releases without doubling staff, authors etc and that never happened. The infrastructure simply wasn’t there. We were pushed for more sex, more sex and simple plotting and characterization fell by the wayside. In short, the romance was squeezed out and all that was left was Tab A into Slot B.

    Once the releases increased we ceased to be artists and, in their eyes, turned into content providers. The mentality morphed into – if you ask questions you are a troublemaker and if you’re a troublemaker then you’re dead to us. It didn’t matter if we brought in good money because they could replace us with three new authors who would be So Grateful to be with the company that they’d never question the decisions…or point out that the Empress not only had no clothing but she had toilet paper hanging out of her behind.

    Thanks for the lovely words, RR. As Chey so graciously posted, I’m with Samhain and I have something out with Berkley. For me writing will always be about the romance and the sexy bits – not the other way around. :)

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  145. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 18:12:22

    The husband – All I have to say is a Maya Angelou quote – When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

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  146. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 18:26:19

    After that we were labeled as trouble makers

    I don’t think I publicly earned that title until this thread. LOL. On the inside, though, you just aren’t allowed to question the system or ask questions. When they sold my print rights they wouldn’t even talk to me. Wouldn’t hold a conversation over the phone with me. They totally blew me off, like I didn’t exist, that I was dollar signs to them, a way to make quick cash. It’s not a good feeling. The least they could have done was talk with me. My only contact was the nice editor who stumbled over her words when I called and said they were selling the books to bring in a stream of cash, and that it was a certain “executive” I needed to talk with. But that particular person never would call me back. How they handled it all contributed greatly to how I feel about this publisher.

    Chey
    Who now shares the crown of Troublemaker with J.C.

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  147. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 18:37:26

    if you ask questions you are a troublemaker and if you're a troublemaker then you're dead to us. It didn't matter if we brought in good money because they could replace us with three new authors who would be So Grateful to be with the company that they'd never question the decisions…or point out that the Empress not only had no clothing but she had toilet paper hanging out of her behind.

    Not that I think EC sounds well run or anything, but this mentality isn’t unique to them. And it’s not just the presses in trouble who have it. Authors who raise concerns, get dumped, no matter which e-publisher it is. The attitude is, there are plenty more where you came from. And I guess there are. Authors don’t matter to epublishers. All they care about is volume.

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  148. Persephone Green » Blog Archive » Ellora’s Cave Sues Borders, Gets the Smackdown from Angry Authors
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 19:16:00

    [...] 4. Allegedly, EC has let its relationships with several authors, both popular and less known, suffer over the last three years because of various unsound, unexplained, or seemingly arbitrary decisions. Some anonymous (and a few not-so-anonymous) authors have aired their complaints in the comments sect… [...]

  149. Disgusted
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 20:23:54

    Dear Chey,

    I’m friends with another EC author that has been mistreated and I have known about what was done to you for some months, Let me first congratulate you on finally saying something publically, I dont think your a troublemaker I think you did well not to say anything till now.

    Also I think you are making light of what they did to you, from my understanding they auctioned your books off for some quick cash, Of which you don’t see much if any of that money. But in my opinion thats not the most distructive thing to your career.

    No, what I think is horrific is that you have to basically rewrite them so they are up to NY publishing standards. This takes time away from your books that you could be writing and making full royalties on. I’m sure Jaid will never apologise but on my behalf I would like to say how sorry I am that something like this happend to you.

    Wear your crown proudly sweetie.

    Now

    Dear Jaid Black.

    Thankyou for showing your true personality in this blog, You really have opened up the eyes of many old customers and future ones. I’m sure they wont be shopping at EC after this.

    When I read a great book, I fall in love with the Author and if they continue to impress me then I am a LOYAL fan for life. It absolutely disgusts me how you treat my favourite authors.

    I really dont know how you sleep at night, I know of more things you have done and I have not bought a EC book in 18 months. I believe in karma and I firmly believe your company will reap what you sow.

    I’m off to buy a Jaid Black voodoo doll so I can stick pins in it, don’t worry I wont aim for the heart, you dont have one.

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  150. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 20:55:42

    Wear your crown proudly sweetie.

    ::adjusts new crown::

    Thanks, D. :-) ACK, the whole thing is so hard to talk about and to go into detail… The whole situation is something that I should be able to let go of and just accept. I can’t change one tiny bit of it except to accept it. I’ve been trying to do that since the beginning–I suck at it! I don’t want to be a whiner or be bitter and let it affect me or allow it to have power over me. Not doing a good job of that.

    Now that I’m single, can anyone send me a gorgeous hunk who cooks, cleans, is affectionate, understanding, and extremely passionate? That would sure provide me with some pleasant distraction! :D

    Thank you again for your kind words. :-)

    Chey

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  151. Emmy
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 20:59:30

    'm off to buy a Jaid Black voodoo doll so I can stick pins in it, don't worry I wont aim for the heart, you dont have one.

    oh, are we on the voodoo dolls and chicken entrails part of the show? wait! I’m fresh outta kettle corn. brb.

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  152. Disgusted
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 21:22:19

    Now that I'm single, can anyone send me a gorgeous hunk who cooks, cleans, is affectionate, understanding, and extremely passionate? That would sure provide me with some pleasant distraction!

    –You know, that description sounds like a guy out of a book I read once *wink*
    .

    Emmy, Im thinking of selling the JB Voodoo Dolls on ebay, I should make a killing.

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  153. Gennita Low
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 21:46:53

    Chey,

    I just sent you my personal assistant via email ;-). Enjoy.

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  154. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:09:22

    I just sent you my personal assistant via email ;-). Enjoy.

    I LOVE you, Gennita!!!!! Oh, man, thank you for the loan. How long can I borrow him?

    Chey
    ::returning to Gennita’s personal assistant and giving him special assignments::

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  155. JenB
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:18:11

    The whole Owner married to a Murderer kerfuffle kinda put me off

    Wow. This has gotten ugly, and not just from the EC side.

    No matter how this woman is running her business, she does not deserve personal attacks such as this one. This type of comment is hurtful and, quite honestly, just plain tasteless.

    Whatever happened to “taking the high road”?

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  156. liz...
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:44:27

    OH MY!! As a reader…I stopped buying EC books about a year ago. I noticed less and less books really striking my fancy. I also hated how they would start a series and then not publish any more books in that series. Jaid Black being one of the worst cases. I loved her Trek series that she won’t finish!! She owns the company and can’t get the book published??? But I realized after reading several of her newletters, (which just stopped coming ??) that I don’t think I wan’t to read her work. From her posts on this loop she sounds like a huge bully!! I did not order any books during thier big print sale, but know several people who did. They have ALL had problems getting thier orders every single one…

    I know that they have problems doing orders. I would get jipped everytime i ordered a download and payed with paypal. I use paypal all the time and only ever had problems with them. At first they would send me my book, but then they started to not answer emails. (Paypal would charge me, transfer the money from my account, but strangly enough ellora’s would not get it and not let me download the book)

    I also think that while it is great that they have all the different lines and sites, I think it confuses readers and they should have everything under one name. When they added the lotus site it seemed like they were just spread to thin. IMOHO

    Sorry to all the authors who had troble with them.

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  157. Amanda
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:46:12

    Jen,

    I think the high road disappeared the moment authors (and their readers) became worried over the image that EC has for them. After all, the head of the company is the figurehead of the company itself. When the figurehead has bad press, so does the company.

    We’re in an age where actors are criticized for every little thing they do, and it affects movie sales and the like. Jaid is the celebrity in this situation, and EC is her movie. It’s not good press for either.

    I’m not going to say I agree airing out her dirty laundry, but it sets a presedent for her attitude and her behavior. Or, that is my personal opinion.

    *lurking begins again, now*

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  158. liz...
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:48:39

    Uhmm…I think that if you give an interview and put your personal life, and beliefs out there for people to respond to, then it’s fair game…. When her hubby gets out of prison, then maybe hae can half-way house at your place….

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  159. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:53:04

    I don’t think her family relationships are the least bit relevant to her business practices and don’t belong in a discussion about Ellora’s Cave. There’s more than enough to discuss without bringing personal histories into it.

    However, she’s the one who’s given them public exposure and it is the kind of detail that will put people off an author. Hell, everything puts readers off – it’s a wonder the only books that sell aren’t written by the Sound of Music version of Maria von Trapp (not the real one because she was a bit of a weirdo).

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  160. Jane
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:58:59

    @Ann Somerville: How can you determine whether her personal life is relevant to her business practices?

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  161. mysterious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 22:59:28

    When her hubby gets out of prison, then maybe hae can half-way house at your place….

    —He’s never getting out. He’s sentenced to life without parole, plus two more sentences on top of that. Which is probably why Ms. Black does public interviews proclaiming that prison inmates don’t deserve to be behind bars.

    I agree w/ liz—this lady airs her dirty laundry out in public herself. Indeed, she flaunts it. Anyone who marries a convicted murderer and career criminal and then BRAGS about it to the press probably deserves any resulting negative press attention that she gets as a result.

    Again, EWWWW. Bleach. Yuck. (shudder)

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  162. JenB
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:05:01

    I don't think her family relationships are the least bit relevant to her business practices and don't belong in a discussion about Ellora's Cave. There's more than enough to discuss without bringing personal histories into it.

    We don’t always see eye to eye, Ann, but I’m with you on this one. I think there are plenty of issues to talk about here without discussing the woman’s spouse.

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  163. Curious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:06:39

    I wondering the same thing.

    I mean some of the things she has said really makes me wonder about her as a person, It also makes me wonder how she runs her business.

    I remember in another blog about EC and Christina Bradshaw where it claimed that EC never has a third party come into verify their accounting.

    I mean, How would the authors really know that they sold 2203 books that month, they could of sold 4593 ….. but if EC doesnt get a independent third person in to verify that once a year then how is the Author to really now.

    Im just curious.

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  164. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:08:23

    How can you determine whether her personal life is relevant to her business practices?

    Isn’t the burden of proof on those bringing it into the discussion? The words ‘I don't think ‘ indicate it’s my personal opinion – unless I did it while napping, I didn’t write to you off list demanding all comments about Black’s personal life be removed forthwith on pain of pain.

    The worst you can say about her marriage to a convicted felon and murderer is that she’s shown spectacularly poor judgement in her choice of partners. I’m sure there are any number of divorced or separated authors who could have the same thing said about them, if they’re not saying it about themselves.

    Put it another way – if she was happily married to a fine upstanding preacher, would that be relevant to her business practices? Would it mean we should abstain from criticising her behaviour at and on behalf of EC?

    You and I have a difference of opinion on these kinds of matters. I’m not going to get into yet another argument with you about it. I respect your right to disagree with my assessment.

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  165. Jane
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:18:15

    @Ann Somerville: You are applying legal terms to how to conduct blog discussions?

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  166. Robin
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:20:19

    The worst you can say about her marriage to a convicted felon and murderer is that she's shown spectacularly poor judgement in her choice of partners. I'm sure there are any number of divorced or separated authors who could have the same thing said about them, if they're not saying it about themselves.

    Part of the problem in Jaid Black’s case, though, is that she has blurred the boundaries between professional and personal by using certain professional outlets to talk about her personal dedication to what she sees as prison reform and to talk extensively about her husband’s situation and about how unfair it is. And I cannot remember exactly where I read it, but I thought I saw somewhere her talking about money she raises and donates to the cause (I may be wrong about this, though, since I am too lazy to track down the source, and some of the public statements on this issue have since been wiped clean — so if anyone knows this to be incorrect, please comment and say so). So IMO she’s opened to the door to people wondering where their money is going and whether they agree with that or not.

    There were also many details brought up in the comment stream on both Karen Scott’s and JaynieR’s blogs that were very, very discomfiting, one, in fact, from a victim’s family member, which really made the issue tough to ignore.

    Had Black remained quiet about the situation and used only personal venues to talk about the situation, I would totally agree with the hands off policy. But she obviously thinks the issue is important enough to warrant wide exposure in the same community where she operates as a professional publisher (and business owner), and that’s what she’s gotten, for better or worse.

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  167. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:21:03

    @Jane:
    “You are applying legal terms to how to conduct blog discussions?”

    Yeah. Sue me.

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  168. Curious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:26:29

    Ahhh but Ann, I would still speculate if he was a preachers wife.

    I would be thinking Whooo Boy now that would take some explaining to the congregation, Some of EC’s books are a little over sexed and naughty, I would then demand a book about how they good little preacher wife went bad

    If she was married to Brad Pitt I would speculate all the more, I would speculate about the size of his…………………………shoes and bug her for deets.

    Shes famous and under the watchful eye of us the public, we can speculate about her all we like. The fact she openly talks about her ”unusual” personal life and seems so happy about it totally creeps me out. (im allowed to think that ;)

    So Ann, your in the public eye, you married to a rock star?

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  169. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:29:03

    @Robin:

    I’m just uncomfortable with the ‘married to a criminal==must be a criminal one’s self’ logic. I already said the woman herself had dragged it into the public eye, but I *personally* don’t like a discussion about Ellora Caves’ dodgy business practices turning into a rip apart someone’s personal life session.

    If only because, as I’ve said before, most people’s lives don’t bear close examination.

    She sounds like a fool, and a bully, and honestly, I wouldn’t do business with her or her company. But I’ve known a good person who married a killer, got completely screwed over by him because he was a manipulative shit, and suffered the consequences. It doesn’t follow that marriage to a criminal means you’re necessarily evil. It doesn’t follow that all the smug married people in Romancelandia with the loving husbands and the 3.2 Christian children are good decent folk either.

    Jane’s demanding I justify my opinion, and I see no reason to. It’s my opinion. I’m only one person out of three who said exactly the same thing, not even the first to say it, and yet the attack is at me. Gosh, how…familiar.

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  170. mysterious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:29:19

    It seems to me that if the reports that Ms. Black uses a lot of the money earned on the backs of Ellora’s Cave’s authors to support her very questionable ideas regarding “prison reform” (and also to pay for her convicted murderer hubby’s appeals) are true, then that should be of interest to EC authors, as well as authors thinking about submitting there. I know for sure I don’t want my work being handled by someone who I think has questionable morals. (and advocating the early release of mass murderers/career criminals is very, very questionable).

    I don’t necessarily have aproblem w/ her being married to a murderer, but I DO have a problem with her using her media platform and $$$ (both directly derived from EC) to advocate her very bizarre ideas on criminal justice. If I were an EC author I sure wouldn’t want my publisher publicly proclaiming that murderers don’t belong in jail.

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  171. mysterious
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:33:04

    and furthermore, I think her questionable ideas regarding prison reform arise out of selfishness. _She_ made the choice to marry a guy who’s in prison for life, and yet she obviously seems to have a problem with the fact that he’ll be in prison for life, to the point that she publicly attacks the prison system as “unfair.”

    Well, maybe that’s just her way of venting frustration about the fact that her hubby lives behind bars and there’s not a damn thing she can do about it.

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  172. Jane
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:33:45

    @Ann Somerville: If you think I’m so unfair toward you then why do you continue to post here?

    You obviously weren’t privvy to the discussion that went on online when the information became public by Ms. Black herself regarding her marriage, her desire that her husband be freed, and her active efforts on his behalf to see that he is freed. You see, Ann, had you been there, you would have read that Ms. Black married the man while he was in prison. That she pled for his release because he had made just a mistake and that he didn’t deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his girlfriend and shooting at her child.

    It was terribly distasteful and terribly offputting and I don’t blame anyone for saying that they wouldn’t want to do business with EC because of it.

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  173. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:39:47

    I DO have a problem with her using her media platform and $$$ (both directly derived from EC)

    @mysterious: How do you know other publishers and authors aren’t using their money for unsavoury or unwise things?

    Prison reform in the UK is considered a very fine and noble cause. The fact Black has a personal and rather warped interest in it, doesn’t mean it’s a lousy cause per se (oh noes, I used Latin in a blog discussion!) Please don’t write it off because of one cracked individual. When you have system in the USA which means 1 in 9 black men are incarcerated, there’s something desperately screwed up with the way the punishment process works.

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  174. Amanda
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:40:31

    Slight change of discussion here, so please don’t roast me.

    I worry about the authors currently attached to EC. These hardworking writers are about to be pulled into a power struggle with EC helming the battle, and I wonder what stunts EC will pull. If they are going to pull any more “auctions” that have been mentioned, or something worse.

    The authors attached to EC seem to be props that EC uses for their own means. This is about to get truly ugly, I think. And I truly hope this doesn’t go the way I am imaging it.

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  175. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:47:17

    @Jane:
    “If you think I'm so unfair toward you then why do you continue to post here?”

    If my opinions irritate you so much, why do you let me continue to post here?

    I don't blame anyone for saying that they wouldn't want to do business with EC because of it.

    Obviously the bit where I said I respect your right to disagree with me went right over your head. I don’t *blame* anyone at all. I don’t like the direction some of the discussion is taking, and I’ve said why.

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  176. Robin
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:48:30

    It seems to me that if the reports that Ms. Black uses a lot of the money earned on the backs of Ellora's Cave's authors to support her very questionable ideas regarding “prison reform” (and also to pay for her convicted murderer hubby's appeals) are true, then that should be of interest to EC authors, as well as authors thinking about submitting there. I know for sure I don't want my work being handled by someone who I think has questionable morals. (and advocating the early release of mass murderers/career criminals is very, very questionable).

    Has this been reported anywhere? I’ve seen people talk about it, and I know that Jaid Black describes herself as a prison activist who has taken an active role in fighting for her husband, but has anything been said affirmatively and specifically about her using money she’s earned from EC authors to support her cause?

    If only because, as I've said before, most people's lives don't bear close examination.

    She sounds like a fool, and a bully, and honestly, I wouldn't do business with her or her company. But I've known a good person who married a killer, got completely screwed over by him because he was a manipulative shit, and suffered the consequences. It doesn't follow that marriage to a criminal means you're necessarily evil. It doesn't follow that all the smug married people in Romancelandia with the loving husbands and the 3.2 Christian children are good decent folk either.

    I agree with you about the fact that no one’s life could withstand a microscopic look to determine perfection and purity. And also that it’s very possible to be married to a murder convict and be an overtly good person. I have no idea what kind of person Jaid Black is. I know that she has given interviews about her past, about how she rose from Welfare mother to successful author and business owner, and how she did that on her own. But I have no idea what *kind* of person she is, and honestly, I don’t care.

    But I do know from the example you give here that her situation *as she describes it* is very different, and it’s something she has herself pushed from the private to the pubic space, making it not just about her personal life as Tina Engler, but also about her life as Jaid Black, founder and executive and author of Ellora’s Cave.

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  177. Ann Somerville
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:53:56

    it's something she has herself pushed from the private to the pubic space

    Typo FTW!

    I don’t have any more to offer on this. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, or saying Black herself hasn’t brought this into the public (or pubic) domain. I would just like one discussion in Romancelandia to occur without ad hominem attacks. (ooh, naughty Ann, Latin again.)

    Although it makes it hard when the lady herself comes over and acts like a spectacular twat.

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  178. Robin
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:55:09

    Prison reform in the UK is considered a very fine and noble cause. The fact Black has a personal and rather warped interest in it, doesn't mean it's a lousy cause per se (oh noes, I used Latin in a blog discussion!) Please don't write it off because of one cracked individual. When you have system in the USA which means 1 in 9 black men are incarcerated, there's something desperately screwed up with the way the punishment process works.

    I am extremely critical of our penal system in the US and don’t understand how anyone who looks at the statistics can support the way we are basically funneling so many young men of certain racial backgrounds into prison rather than school, creating a whole host of social problems. And I admire people who are actively trying to change things. I cannot comment on Jaid Black’s intentions or her actions; all I can comment on is the way she came across in her comments, and I understand why people have an issue with her because of them.

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  179. Robin
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 23:57:56

    LOL, I do that all the time, but mostly I catch it. I’m not even going to bother changing it here, because, well, it’s kind of funny — sick, but funny — and since you’ve already pointed it out, what would be the use.

    I don't have any more to offer on this. I'm not accusing anyone of anything, or saying Black herself hasn't brought this into the public (or pubic) domain. I would just like one discussion in Romancelandia to occur without ad hominem attacks. (ooh, naughty Ann, Latin again.)

    IMO there’s a difference between commenting on a factual situation and making an ad hominem attack. IMO the comment about the Jaid Black voodoo doll was much more personally directed than anything said about Black and her husband’s legal status.

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  180. Ann Somerville
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:07:01

    IMO there's a difference between commenting on a factual situation and making an ad hominem attack.

    Yes. I think mysterious‘s comment was the latter:

    Jaid Black's hubby is a convicted murderer? WTF? Really? Do tell.
    Is this why she has that whole thing on her website about how she's a “prison activist?”
    Married to a murderer. Ewwwwwwwwwww.
    One more reason for me never to sub there!

    That’s a remark from someone who was not privy (oh dear, legal French now) to the original discussion, who made a snap assessment based on zero information.

    It’s a bit like that unedifying crap on the Takenouchi thread where I said I suffered from depression, and a nasty little creature popped up to state that was why I had assumed she was a sockpuppet for Kira, and that my judgement was suspect because of my illness. One is fact, one is a grossly bigoted attack.

    So to say Black is married to a murderer, is fact. To say she’s a lousy person to do business with because of that bare statement, is nothing but uninformed insult.

    IMO the comment about the Jaid Black voodoo doll was much more personally directed than anything said about Black and her husband's legal status.

    Agreed, but certain people in Romanceland don’t have a problem with wishing personal harm over matters they’re not even personally involved in, so I’m afraid I saw that as par for the course in this kind of discussion. Unsavoury, but what can you do?

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  181. Jane
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:07:24

    @Ann Somerville Because this is my blog so you are obviously making an effort to come here and participate at a place where you feel you are treated unfairly and it begs the question why. I haven’t banned you despite repeated requests to do so because despite your constant snotty comments to me and nearly everyone else who has the slightest adverse opinion (because yeah, I have never read Latin before), I generally believe in allowing people to have their own say and show their own ass to as many people as they care to. And for the record, I have taken shit from all sides over this and am pretty tired of it.

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  182. Curious
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:11:41

    I was wondering why Ann wanted to keep posting as well? If you feel your being attacked (i think they are just no agreeing with you)

    I also think your acting like a total prat over it all, That makes me wonder about ever reading your books.

    Your kind of doing what Jaid did, your making a total ASS of yourself.

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  183. Robin
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:13:15

    Ann: I think there’s a big difference between the comment on the Kira thread you refer to and mysterious’s comment. In one case, you’re being accused of sock puppetry, and in the comment here, IMO, Black’s judgment as a business person is being questioned based on the IMO blurring of public and private issues. That questioning may not be something you support, but I do think it’s of a different character than the other you describe.

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  184. Persephone Green
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:21:04

    I’m tired, so…basically:

    It was not wrong to bring up the using of profits to support Jaid’s convict husband. It was lame to bring up voodoo dolls.

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  185. Cheyenne McCray
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:23:54

    Hey, as a pleasant distraction that will make you laugh out loud, watch Demetri Martin’s “Jokes with Guitar”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiFrfeJ8dKM

    For anyone who could use a smile right now. :-)

    Chey

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  186. Hipkarma
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:29:55

    Chey, how graceful of you to try to get us all to smile.

    I’m happy to say I’ve read and enjoyed your work and won’t have to buy it from EC again.

    :)

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  187. Ann Somerville
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 00:30:07

    @Jane:
    “It begs the question why”

    Because I live to get up your nose, dear Jane, obviously. Every time I participate in a discussion, my first and only thought is, how can I make sure Jane Litte hates my guts by the end of it. I am never motivated by intellect, curiosity, justice or amusement. I am made of malice, and the only reason I do anything is to hurt people. Especially you.

    because yeah, I have never read Latin before

    You were the one making an issue over legal terminology, as if no one else has ever used it in any discussion on DA never ever at all before. You were trying to make me look stupid and small. Is it any wonder that remark got turned back on you?

    I generally believe in allowing people to have their own say and show their own ass to as many people as they care to.

    Then you should consider me your favourite poster since my ass is constantly on display, and if I fail to display it, I can rely on any number of friendly chums here to point it out.

    I have taken shit from all sides over this and am pretty tired of it.

    Sorry to hear that, but I don’t control how other people interact with you. I’ve taken a lot of shit from you personally, and yet I try very hard to see your point of view, and the value in what you say, even though I know you will undoubtedly make the most hostile interpretation of any comment I make. As you have done here.

    I keep commenting because so many people are working so very hard to shut me up. Call it pig-headed, but when people I don’t value above wombat poo – and that does not include you, believe it or not – are desperate to make sure I don’t have a voice, it makes me more desperate to use it.

    I value the work you and DA do. I respect you and the rest of the DA team a great deal. I value the comments you and they make elsewhere as lonely islands of common sense in a morass of stupidity. I don’t value a number of other prominent bloggers because they routinely abuse their position.

    That’s the other reason I post here, despite your very obvious dislike.

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  188. Jess
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 01:30:50

    Thanks Chey,

    I just watched your youtube link, Thank you for the Laugh, it was classic.

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  189. Emmy
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 02:25:42

    hey everybody! I’m back with my popco…oh, shiyt. Just another episode of the Ann Somerville show. Meh.

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  190. no names, please
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 04:23:14

    I’m an ebook author, not with EC. Every time those reportedly high average earn-outs at EC start to look tempting and I start thinking submitting something might be worth the year-plus wait to hear back from them, a thread like this pops up and reminds me why I like their closest competitors: professionalism.

    Professionalism in a publisher obviously means a lot to writers since so many of EC’s best authors have pulled up stakes and opted for smaller epubs which may or may not sell as many copies as EC.

    The thing about these EC Drama threads that sours me on the company is not the anonymous posts or the individual authors who have problems with the company. It’s the snippy, totally unprofessional responses from EC bigwigs.

    These people don’t have the self-control to keep quiet and let their PR person handle public relations. Why should writers trust EC with the much more important charge of handling their intellectual property and their royalties?

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  191. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 04:40:47

    Just my opinion – I never had an issue with the marriage because they’re both grownups. The reality is he’s in jail for crimes he committed years before ever meeting her. How is this any different from marrying a man convicted of involuntary manslaughter from driving drunk ten years before you ever met him? He doesn’t drink now and he’s done his time so should he be judged upon a mistake from years before?

    Can someone ever escape from the mistakes of their past?

    That said – I’m not defending him, I’m just throwing out some food for thought.

    My concern was the light that was cast upon the company. Once they started making real money people came out of the woodwork to criticize everything from business practices to personal lives. Once this began it was like a snowball rolling downhill – it increased in size until it became impossible to stop.

    Add in frenzied controversial remarks, public meltdowns, bullying, threats – the list goes on and on, and you’re left with a not very enticing image of the person or the company. Then comes the kerfuffle with bookstore chains refusing to carry the books, severing relationships with distributors – all of this madness has an impact on the company, its staff and the authors. In Jan of 05 my pbk checks were in the four digits – 14 months later…two digits and they never recovered.

    I’m not saying if you own a company you have to be a saint but you do have to keep in mind that anything you say or do can and will be held against you. In this particular case, it was the authors and staff who paid the price for all the foolishness.

    Lesson learned – don’t ever enter into a business arrangement with someone who cannot keep their business and personal life separate.

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  192. Ann Somerville
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 05:15:31

    @J.C. Wilder:

    I’m still confused as to exactly what position Jaid Black (or whatever her real name is) holds with EC now, and are there co-owners? Crissy Brashear was a ‘share holder’ I believe, so is it a public company? Why is there no oversight on its finances and so on?

    Since I started reading romance blogs in 2007, I have yet to hear EC mentioned even once in a favorable light by authors or bloggers, other than in terms of sales volumes. And yet they still sell and still have some kind of rep. What I can’t tell as a non employee and non-customer is how much is bad press and how much is the company actually on its knees. The delivery to customer problems mentioned above would indicate the company is close to going bust. Is that true or is it perception?

    [On the husband - he's hardly a reformed individual going by his prison record, and he killed or tried to kill twice. I believe in redemption for everyone, and second, third and fourth chances, but his story sounds uncomfortably like the case of James Finch, who deluded a dying, wheelchair bound woman into thinking he was innocent. She campaigned tirelessly to set him free, and when she succeeded and they moved to England to where he'd been deported, he announced he'd been guilty all along. Laughed in everyone's face. Women who marry serious criminals are capable of quite astonishingly blinkered thinking despite their intelligence and education, and the men are perfectly capable of exploiting that.]

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  193. Nonny
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 05:20:52

    Reading the information out there on the guy, I think there’s a very big difference between this situation and an involuntary manslaughter due to drunk driving. I’m not defending drunk drivers by any means, but I don’t think anybody that drives drunk is actively thinking that they want to kill someone. What I’ve read of this guy — very different.

    I think she has every right to marry whoever she wants, even if I personally think it’s a stupid choice… but she’s also put the information out very publicly and taken up a cause. Her interview does read to me like people should take pity on felons that have committed heinous crimes and are in jail for a reason. I don’t believe the human equivalent to a rabid animal should be let loose on the public, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Like it or not, Ms. Black is a public figure and her actions are thus going to reflect upon her business. Unfortunately, I think it harms her authors/staff more than it does her directly, even though she is an author herself… which is really a pity.

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  194. Karen Scott
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 05:47:36

    I'm sure they wont be shopping at EC after this.

    Of course they will, they’ll just do it whilst holding their noses.

    and it's something she has herself pushed from the private to the pubic space, making it not just about her personal life as Tina Engler, but also about her life as Jaid Black, founder and executive and author of Ellora's Cave.

    None of the info would have come out about JB and her hubby, had she not done the interview in the first place. As I recall, there were several of us who received the same info as JaynieR did, but even I wasn’t about to touch it with a ten foot pole. Once she went pubic public though (sorry couldn’t resist), she didn’t do herself any favours.

    I even think that had she shown just a bit more empathy for the victims of the poor misunderstood murderers, a lot of people would have perhaps just felt that she had sucky taste in men and left it at that.

    The funny thing is, until that point, I actually thought that Jaid Black was a savvy businesswoman. Now I just think she got lucky + the timing was right, and she had Chrissy Bashear.

    By the way, whilst we’re talking about EC, can I just say that Samhain’s book-buying process rocks on a huge scale? I love the fact that I can go back and download books in different formats once I’ve bought them.

    Just thought I’d point that out.

    Gotta go now, I’m gonna get some vodka and start on Ye Olde Drinking Game. *g*

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  195. AReader
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 07:08:47

    Wow. This has gotten ugly, and not just from the EC side.

    No matter how this woman is running her business, she does not deserve personal attacks such as this one. This type of comment is hurtful and, quite honestly, just plain tasteless.

    Whatever happened to “taking the high road”?

    I’m sorry exactly how have I personally attacked her? How is it hurtful? She is married to a murder. It’s a fact, one that she was at great pains to share with the entire world. There are tasteless comments in this thread, mine isn’t one of them.

    If she had taken the high road and not discussed her personal business in such a frankly tasteless and selfish manner, I would not have had a problem. To be honest I was already not buying that many books from EC due to the decreasing quality, that little episode was just the final nail in the coffin.

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  196. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 07:11:17

    Can someone ever escape from the mistakes of their past?

    Not when it’s premeditated murder, no. Call me callous but when someone purposely ends another person’s life, then no, they don’t ever get a “Can’t we just call the past the past?” card. Never.

    There are any number of things I think people can be reformed and make reparations for. Cold blooded murder is not one of them.

    And for Robin? Yes, she spends her EC money, hard earned on the backs of her authors, to hire the best (and most expensive) lawyer Florida has to offer to try and get her killer out on appeal. Which failed. Nice to know my love stories helped pay for a cold blooded murderer to try and weasel out of jail on a loophole.

    Stay classy, Jaid bb.

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  197. Sandra Cox
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 07:18:43

    This isn’t about the lawsuit, but about comment #94. Helen Woodall is my editor and I couldn’t ask for a better one. She is thorough and helpful. She is also a compassionate and caring person. I feel very fortunate to know her.

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  198. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 07:49:21

    Ann wrote: I'm still confused as to exactly what position Jaid Black (or whatever her real name is) holds with EC now, and are there co-owners?

    I couldn’t tell you because EC kicked me off all their lists even though they still publish 20-some titles of mine. I’ve had very little contact with the company since this time last year.

    Ann wrote: Women who marry serious criminals are capable of quite astonishingly blinkered thinking despite their intelligence and education, and the men are perfectly capable of exploiting that.

    I agree.

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  199. J.C. Wilder
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 07:54:41

    Nonny wrote: Reading the information out there on the guy, I think there's a very big difference between this situation and an involuntary manslaughter due to drunk driving. I'm not defending drunk drivers by any means, but I don't think anybody that drives drunk is actively thinking that they want to kill someone.

    True but my point is this, thanks to the media, law enforcement and a variety of other sources, everyone is aware that drunk drivers can and do kill people unintentionally. They are also aware that getting into a car with the keys in their possession is illegal.

    While they may not get into a car with the intention of killing someone, they are getting in the car with the intention of breaking the law. The question is how many laws will they break in committing the crime.

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  200. Anon Writer
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 08:31:07

    …I can remember when EC fired Crissy Brashear and my first thought was, “Oh, shit, there went the brains of the company.”

    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?

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