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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.

  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 . . .

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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?

  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.

  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.)

  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.

  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 . . .

  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.

  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.

  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. :(

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

    I was at that same meeting as J.C.

    Ditto.

    x 5

    Cheyenne

  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.

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

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

    Ain’t that the truth!?

  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.

  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.

  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).

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

    gotta love all these anons with their deep opinions.

  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…

  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.

  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.

  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. ;-)

  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…

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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*

  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.

  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 ;-)

  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.

  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

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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.

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

    Wow.

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

    Mysterioustoo wrote: I almost snorted my chai over this.

    Sounds painful. :)

  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

  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.

  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.

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

    omg

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

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

    Jane, agreed.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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]

  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?

  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?

  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…

  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.)

  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?

  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?

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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]

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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

  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…

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

  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.

  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…

    ;)

  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

  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

  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.

  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

  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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.)

  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.

  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. :(

  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

  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.

  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.

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

    /subscribing to comments.

    >_>

  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

  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 :)

  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.

  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.

  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

  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

  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!

  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

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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. :)

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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.

  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.

  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

  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

  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.

  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.

  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

  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!

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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!

  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.

  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. :)

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

  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.

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

    Chey,

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

  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::

  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”?

  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.

  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*

  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….

  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).

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

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

  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)

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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.

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

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

    Yeah. Sue me.

  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?

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

    :)

  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.

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

    Thanks Chey,

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

  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.

  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?

  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.

  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.]

  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.

  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*

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Let’s all be real here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    RT mag. has been giving awesome reviews too.

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

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

    – Is EC still a major advertiser in RT?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @Ana: exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You are invited to read more about this on my own blog at bookmarketing.agiopublishing.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Totally off topic here, but

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sigh (one of the uneducated masses, I guess)

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

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

    Hi, CJ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Chey

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Author: same game: no name
    Comment:

    RT mag. has been giving awesome reviews too.

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

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

    – Is EC still a major advertiser in RT?

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

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

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

    Chey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Taylor Tryst

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

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

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

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

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

    Sigh, Taylor

    You wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks, Anon76. That is so nice of you!

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

    Chey

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

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

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

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

    I mean, get real.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    OT: Yes, noticed that.

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

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

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

    @AReader:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Chey,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    and its MY personal opinion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for listening.

    AQ Fredrichs

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

    This is off-topic.

    @Taylor Tryst:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I looked at some Ohio decisions dealing with civil conspiracy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DS and Jane,

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

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

    Hmmm,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Taylor Tryst

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

    No one is free from sin.

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

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

    Hello, for the last time. :o)

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

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

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

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

    THANK YOU to all of you.

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

    Hugs,

    Chey

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

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

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

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

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

    Behler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Just thought you might like to know that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jane, a question re the topic of the post:

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

    Or am I just REALLY confused?

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

    @shirley That’s a multifaceted question. LOL.

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

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

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

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

    Does that answer your question(s)?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I’ll be eagerly awaiting your masterpiece.

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

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

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

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

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

    We’ll see how long that lasts.

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

    Who are you again?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @ Ann Bruce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @ Ann Bruce

    http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2007/06/05/bestseller-lists-demystified-readers-we-are-following-the-wrong-leaders/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Please don’t take me to task.

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

    @jasper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Yes, I know…it’s just business.

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

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

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

    Best selling –

    NYT Best Seller – Top 20

    USA Today Best Seller – Top 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You know why?

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

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

    Some prefer character driven books and some action driven.

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

    It would seem that your opinion differs from many reviewers.

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

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

    So off topic, I want to have a fangirl moment

    ilona andrews

    I LOVE YOUR BOOKS

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

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

    I will go back to lurking now LMAO

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

    @Jess

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @jaid black:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @ Tanya.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jaid/Tina

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

    @RUBlind: Jory has some new material coming out from Berkley. Check out her website for details. http://www.jorystrong.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    AWESOME AQ Thankyou

    @ Jaid Black

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

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

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

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

    Tanya asked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @Tina / Jaid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @ jaid

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

    I also have to agree with what #79 said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Okay, here is my thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (Xposting)

    My take…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A couple other points:

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

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

    And there's that word again. UNPROFESSIONAL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Maybe that's really what this stink is about.

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

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

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

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

    Try it on for size.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Amen Jaci, and well put.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thankyou Jaci and Lauren.

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks again to Jaci and Lauren

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

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

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

    @Jaci Burton:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And lastly, in regards to this…

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

    Try it on for size.

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

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

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

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

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

    Melissa

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

    :-)

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

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

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

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

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

    Free read? Oh, please. Let’s see…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CK

    My Opinions

    Samhain Publishing is the best all round quality at the moment

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

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

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

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

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

    @CK Reader:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Nobody wins here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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