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According to one of their authors who shall remain nameless, she hasn’t been paid properly for over a year now.

Now either her books aren’t selling well, or there’s a cash flow problem at EC.

Does anybody have any further info?

And actually, when was the last time any of you lot bought a book from EC? I never recognise any of the authors there anymore, apart from the likes of Amarinda Jones who seems to have a book out every week. *g*

Also, my favourite author Carol Lynne doesn’t seem to be as prolific over there as she used to be, I wonder why??

By the way, the pic has nothing to do with this post, I just liked it :)

41 Comments »

  • I wonder if EC is going to last the year?

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  • To be brutally honest, I have a few authors in my autobuy list that I found via EC that are still there. I still love Sahara Kelly and N.J. Walters and a couple of others … and truth be told I’d follow them wherever they published. However, I haven’t tried any new authors from EC in over two years. I don’t read as much erotic romance as I used to, either, as my taste has evolved and I have become so fastidious, that I just gave up. Of every 10 books maybe 2, if I was lucky, I found to my liking, and most of my autobuys from EC have pretty much left that company altogether.

    I haven’t heard any rumours, but just going by the rumourmill, it has always been standard over the years that some authors seem to get paid timely while others have to wait. I wouldn’t take that particular detail as a sign of anything. Regarding the cash flow issue, I think that was what drove them to auction the work of one of their most popular and marketable authors. So, I don’t think there’s anything new in this picture.

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  • My December royalties arrived in the middle of last week. I can’t talk about the payment schedule. Tales out of school and all that.

    The last book I bought from them was ABADDON from Cerridwen, because a friend of mine wrote it. Beyond that, it’s all been freebies and trib copies. (which is how I usually roll anywhere)

    My sales are in decline, with each release selling fewer copies in the first month. My straight stuff doesn’t sell well at all (300 copies vs 800-950). However, they are still selling more than any other publisher I’m with.

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  • I haven’t bought anything from there is a couple of years. And while we used to stock quite a few titles at the Waldenbooks I work at, we really don’t anymore. I do know that on paperback swap my EC titles are always on someone’s wish list! *grins*

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  • If someone hasn’t been paid in over a year, she/he needs to do something about it. I don’t know of anyone who has had recent problems getting paid. I certainly haven’t, every month like clockwork ever since they fixed last year’s bank switch problem sometime in July/August.

    Seriously, though, a year without being paid? And they haven’t gone to a lawyer? Why not? I’m assuming they haven’t because I’m sure we’d have heard about an author suing EC.

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  • You make me smile…thanks mate…actually I had all my releases shoved together. I was exceptionally pissed off and very, very vocal about this with EC. Their response? A polite ‘piss off.’ They apparently had no other books to release. Hmmmm…what does that tell us? As for cheques? Very late and wrong. Needless to say I am not submitting books to them any more.

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  • Chris Power
    March 8
    8:53 am

    I’m still waiting for an amended statement for books sold following mistakes made in last year’s 2nd quarter royalties. I have had no replies from repeated emails to the department in question and the chief editor.

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  • Terri Beckett
    March 8
    9:06 am

    I’m up to here with ECP. I asked them for a statement (for tax purposes, I told ‘em, though I haven’t got enough to pay for cat food, let alone pay tax on) back in January. Nothing. Nor have I had a reply when I queried the postal costs. ($9 for standard shipping within US? C’mon!)

    They need to get their act together. I won’t be offering them anything else, that’s for sure.

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  • Their response? A polite ‘piss off.’ They apparently had no other books to release.

    @Amarinda Ahh that may explain why they keep re-releasing previously published books. They also seem to be publishing stories separately, that were originally in anthologies.

    I haven’t heard any rumours, but just going by the rumourmill, it has always been standard over the years that some authors seem to get paid timely while others have to wait.

    @Mireya So I’m assuming that EC are still using the whole ‘If Your Face Fits’ method of selecting who gets their royalties in a timely manner?

    Seriously, though, a year without being paid? And they haven’t gone to a lawyer?

    @Fae I believe the author has had some money, but she seems to feel that she’s been way underpaid. I think she feels that EC are trying to shaft her or something. I know, shocker, right?

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  • Hey Shelly, long time no ‘see’, welcome back!

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  • I wonder if EC is going to last the year?

    @Katiebabs If the shower of shit that are New Concepts Publishing, are still in business, then I can’t see how EC can go under before the end of the year.

    I think they’ll still be around, but it seems that less and less people are buying from them, which serves them right seeing as they majorly shafted most of their big name authors in one way or the other, authors like Lora Leigh, Cheyenne McCray and Sarah McCarty.

    I’m pretty sure that they must have shafted Carol Lynne in some way, because I just popped over to her website to see if she’s still publishing for other epubs, and she seems to have millions of books out with Total E-Bound and other pubs that I’ve personally never heard of.

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  • Can’t speak for anybody else, but I haven’t had any problems getting paid.

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  • No issues getting paid in this corner, and I’m in Canada, albeit a major city. I’m guessing the timeliness issue is greatly affected by the postal service. Also, I only write straight stuff and my sales numbers are half decent.

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  • Cindy
    March 8
    2:30 pm

    Not an author here, well, not published, and since EC is no longer on my list to be submitted to, I can tell you customer service stinks there. The last time I tried to buy an E-book was when they still had both websites (and I hate the new site by the way, very customer unfriendly)and the purchase wouldn’t go through. Took two days to get a response. They charged my card, couldn’t get my books.

    Last summer a friend had me order for her from there in print, there was a book missing, it took two months for resolution on that. Plenty of ignored emails. And last I looked, your purchase had to be $1,000,000 to qualify for free shipping. Yes, the 0’s are correct. Don’t know if that changed or not.

    My boss used to order in their books (it’s a bookstore) and suddenly they wanted him to buy like 500 books a pop to be considered a bookstore or he had to pay full price so he quit selling them.

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  • hootchiekootchiwriter
    March 8
    5:05 pm

    Brutally honest. I’ve been with EC quite a while. I was never a best seller on my best day, but the royalties were adequate and I told myself I was building a backlist.

    Then despite nice reviews and some nice fan letters, royalties steadily decreased, even on release months.

    I’ve had conversations with other authors from top sellers to bottom of the barrel sellers at EC. My observation is this: top sellers get their checks until they are no longer useful to EC. Bottom sellers get their checks late. Mid sellers may not get their checks unless they make a lot of protests and noise.

    Newbies are given the “rush” for the first few months. If their sales don’t pan out, they are suddenly dropped and find themselves in la-la land. Not a place I would ever recommend to a new author.

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  • I’ve never had a problem getting paid: Always on time and no bouncing checks.

    I’ve never had any major issues with the company. I do know, however, from personal experience that sometimes a publishing company and an author just don’t mix well. Been there, done that with another publisher years ago. It happens. It’s part of life.

    I’m not doubting others are having issues. I’m simply stating that I have never experienced what others are complaining about. Nor am I jumping to the company’s defense, because they can defend themselves without aid from me. Just saying that there’s never a case of everyone being happy in any situation. Someone is always feeling shafted, disgruntled and just plain unhappy.

    I’m not a new author over there nor am I anywhere near the top. I’m not even sure I hover near the middle since it’s been a while since my last release. I can’t complain about new release checks because they’ve been quite good and the monthly checks for books that are several years old have been going up lately, not by a lot, but up is up, so I can’t complain about that either.

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  • Rosemary Laurey
    March 8
    5:41 pm

    I’ve been with EC (along with my alter ego Madeleine Oh) almost since the dawn of time, and can honestly say I’ve seldom had a late check- giving reasonable allowance for the vagaries of postal delivery.

    As for not getting paid, or believing they are being underpaid. both major concerns, then the author in question should exercise her right to have the company audited. She owes that to herself. It’s hard enough to make a living writing at the best of times but at least we deserve to receive what we do earn.

    About reissues my formerly-in-anthologies novellas are being reissued at EC- to my delight as it’s generating extra income which is always welcome.

    Seems to me many publishers are reissuing backlist books these days. Kensington are doing the same with some of my out of print books and I know other authors who are having older books reissued.

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  • This is all such a shame, really. When I first signed with EC several years ago, my first two releases did remarkably well. The size of those first-month royalty checks have yet to be matched, much less exceeded, by any other e-pub.

    Then…well, everything sort of went to hell, for all kinds of reasons I needn’t get into here. I fervently hope some much-needed changes are made. Sad to see an e-publishing pioneer that was once a giant in the industry keep losing stature.

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  • @Amarinda Ahh that may explain why they keep re-releasing previously published books. They also seem to be publishing stories separately, that were originally in anthologies.

    @karen – That could be because the other author(s) in the anthologies requested their rights back. If the remaining author(s) want to keep their book there, then they re-release them as individual titles.

    Personally, now that I’ve taken a “I’ll get my check between now and when hell freezes over” attitude, I am pleasantly surprised when a check does arrive. I also know that I received my check this month a week earlier than someone else who lives CLOSER to Ohio than I do. So it definately is a mish-mash system.

    I also know that they tried to release NEW editions of books after rights had reverted to me (we were in the “six months to sell off remaining print copies” time period). I received no responses to any of my emails, not even to my editor (as in can you please help me?). All of a sudden the new editions were poof!gone! They also arbitrarily changed the time frame when they’ll release books (as in my first two were, rights reversed within a couple of weeks, but six months to sell off print copies, and electronic only books with the same contract are now six months to get any rights back, HUH?), and I suspect their new third party distribution program will make it even harder for authors to get their rights back based on my experience.

    It’s very much hit or miss. My advice to authors is simply keep your eyes open and don’t believe that because it hasn’t happened to you, or anyone you know, that it won’t. Because the truth is, if this has happened to even ONE author, it can happen to all of them. Being an ostrich or a pollyana never helped anyone.

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  • Widget
    March 9
    2:54 am

    I trolled through the Secretary of State web site for Ohio and came up with the conclusion that EC is not doing well. I posted this on Dear Author.

    Tina Engler is involved with five entities that were incorporated in the state of Ohio between 2002 and 2005. Three of these had their articles of incorporation canceled and put on hold by the state in 2009 for failure to file annual reports and pay franchise fees and taxes.

    These were: Gothik Grounds (a coffee shop chain, according to an article I found on Google), Lady Jaided, Inc. (Don’t know what this was) and AWBRIDGE, HANWELL & HARTLEY, INC. (a shop that was supposed to specialize in high end art and books). There appears to have been at least one coffee shop called Gothik Grounds in Cuyahoga, Ohio. A limited liability company, Jasmine Jade Enterprises, LLC, doesn’t show up anywhere except as having a tax lien placed against it in 2008 for almost $12,000 for failure to pay state withholding taxes.

    Being in financial hot water is not a moral failure. But if I was one of EC’s authors and had any doubt, I would ask for an audit.

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  • So, is that the only penalty they will get according to Ohio law? No penalties in terms of paying fines or interest over the owed back taxes?

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  • Thought so
    March 10
    2:40 am

    I thought something might be up when I kept seeing more and more releases that were just reissues from anthologies. I used to buy up to a dozen books a month from EC but for more than a year there’s been almost nothing that looked interesting.

    As for the back taxes, I work for a small business – less than 40 people time- and we all manage to get paid on time. All business grade accounting software automatically calculates your quarterly taxes you just have to transfer the funds. Not paying your state taxes is next to insane- in my state they can not only shut you down they can also freeze your accounts and seize and sell off your holdings to satisfy the lien.

    It just sounds a lot of juggling is going with the money.

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  • writertype
    March 10
    1:14 pm

    The fact that Carol Lynne is going hot and heavy with Total E Bound might just be a reflection on how good TEB is, rather than how bad EC is.

    I have had books with both publishers and, while my only TEB title didn’t sell well, it came out when the company was new. At the time, I was completely impressed by the company and their communication skills, and their ability to change when they see change is needed. I’m still impressed by them. EC seems less flexible.

    But yeah, I’m worried about EC. My pay has gone way down there–I’m gobsmacked by my recent books’ sales. I thought it might be because of me, but my sales are up everywhere else (Samhain, Loose Id).

    I think part of the reason books suffer is because EC is slow to put titles up on other sites. They wanted to be the One Big Power with One Stop Shopping and that doesn’t work any more.

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  • FantasyWriter
    March 10
    4:32 pm

    I think one of the problems with EC is they keep making it more and more difficult for an author to get from proposal to release. Used to be just submit your book to your editor and if she likes it, you get a contract. Now, you have to go through a proposal that must be written in a certain way. If the proposal is accepted you submit the manuscript. If your editor isn’t having a bad day, PMS, or the raving loons, you get a contract. Your title must be approved. Then you go through something arbitrarily called pre-edits. Then you go through first round edits. Then second round edits. Then third round unless the editor isn’t a martinet who thinks she knows all there is to know. Far be it for you to question her, though. You’re basically told to piss off. When she deems your work ‘finished’ then you submit the blurb and the cover request…which must be a certain way…and then the excerpt. You get to see if the editor approves all that. If not, you do it again. All the forms get changed about once a year so you have to make sure you keep up with that.

    I’ve been with EC since the beginning but I won’t be subbing anything else to them. When they went to the twice a week releases and started putting all these new authors on contract and ignoring the rest of us, I saw the light. I’ve never gotten paid late and to my knowledge got what was owed me but the attitude there has gone downhill. Along with that, my confidence in the company. I don’t like my editor and her attitude sucks so it won’t be a great loss for me. My new publisher is a much better fit for me now.

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  • Katharina
    March 10
    6:06 pm

    FantasyWriter, I am just a simple reader and have in the last years only sporadically read a book from EC. If there are really so many rounds and procedures regarding edits, it’s even more horrible that I as a non native speaker have found in each book spelling and/or grammatical errors.

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  • @FantasyWriter: Uh…I just had something accepted. My editor read it, liked it, and instructed me to get an updated contract, sign it, and send it in. I don’t do proposals; I only submit finished work and I submit the cleanest copy I can. It kills me anytime there’s a spelling or grammatical error in something I turn in. I know I can’t catch everything, but I try to keep it under ten per ms.

    Or am I not supposed to be sharing this info because my editor’s willing to put up with my quirks?

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  • Used to be just submit your book to your editor and if she likes it, you get a contract.

    Um…that’s still the way it works, at least with my editor. Nothing about proposals (unless you’re proposing a new series) and all that about mandatory rounds of edits…not the case in my experience. Some books get many rounds, others needed only the briefest touch of editing before they were deemed ready to go to management for a release date.

    And you should *always* be able to question your editor. It’s your book, she ought to listen if you really feel an edit is wrong for some reason. If you’re getting ignored on that front or told to piss off, you need to bring that over your editor’s head. As far as I’m concerned if it’s not a “This is house style and non-negotiable, sorry” then everything in edits is negotiable for me. I rarely accept every change made, I often will dig my heels in about a few things and I’ve never had any problem getting a reasonable compromise from my editor.

    I don’t know who your editor is, but not all of them do it that way. I’d look to your editor as the problem, not the whole of EC. This is why it’s important for authors to talk to each other about these things, because otherwise how will we know what everyone else is thinking is normal compared to our own experiences? How can we know whether or not we’re just being divas or if an editor really is being unreasonable?

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  • hootchiekootchiwriter
    March 11
    3:32 pm

    My experience mirrors fantasywriter’s and I’ve been shuffled to more than one editor. I suspect the “new procedures” are used to discourage writers they no longer are interested in and in my case, they’ve certainly succeeded.

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  • Although I only have a single novella with EC, it continues to make money and I am paid each month, more or less on time. No check has ever bounced on me, big or small. My old editor has left and I was recently contacted by the new one assigned to me to see if I had any material to submit. Since I’ve moved to NY pubbing, I’ve kind of let ebook writing slide. But I would consider subbing to them again if the timing and project clicked.

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  • Maddie
    March 11
    5:36 pm

    I think one of the problems with EC is they keep making it more and more difficult for an author to get from proposal to release. Used to be just submit your book to your editor and if she likes it, you get a contract. Now, you have to go through a proposal that must be written in a certain way. If the proposal is accepted you submit the manuscript. If your editor isn’t having a bad day, PMS, or the raving loons, you get a contract. Your title must be approved. Then you go through something arbitrarily called pre-edits. Then you go through first round edits. Then second round edits. Then third round unless the editor isn’t a martinet who thinks she knows all there is to know. Far be it for you to question her, though. You’re basically told to piss off. When she deems your work ‘finished’ then you submit the blurb and the cover request…which must be a certain way…and then the excerpt. You get to see if the editor approves all that. If not, you do it again. All the forms get changed about once a year so you have to make sure you keep up with that

    I find this hard to believe (being snarky here) because you would think this would be a good call, but I have bought less and less from EC because the writing has changed big time, this one the one site that I didn’t mind giving them my money.

    Now I still do go there but the writing and some of the plots I can’t seem to get into, most of the authors that I used to read have left the building, and those left behind (authors that I used to read) seems to be phoning it in, some do the bad borderline brown paper bag porn stories, that you the reader have to question the so called happy ending.

    Not sure where she went wrong, but some where she took the road to bad businessville.

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  • “This is why it’s important for authors to talk to each other about these things, because otherwise how will we know what everyone else is thinking is normal compared to our own experiences? How can we know whether or not we’re just being divas or if an editor really is being unreasonable?”

    I have found there is always much talk between authors, I’m certainly and particularly a ‘diva’ – I insist on this – and my EC editor has never been the issue. Like in many businesses it’s upper level management that sucks

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  • Widget
    March 12
    12:16 am

    I don’t know about penalties, but I do know that the judgment is accruing significant interest. It was filed in 10/2008 which would be consistent with the rumors that have been floating around. Brashear filed her law suit in 4/2008 and EC filed against Borders and Baker & Taylor in 1/2009.

    If Brashear receives a substantial judgment it may be a tipping point for EC. I’m thinking reorganization rather than dissolution. However, I would advise authors with books there to keep an eye on the Summit County, Ohio’s web site for further legal actions and on the Ohio Secretary of State’s web site.

    @Thought so: I agree with your final paragraph.

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  • rm2h
    March 13
    5:21 am

    I am a reader and not an author.

    I have followed Carol Lynne since she started writing and now I find her stories to be almost the same as if she uses a set outline which she changes names, locations, type of book whether MM, menage, shapeshifters etc, sex scenes the same most of the time and different series. She has 8 series that she is currently writing for the multiple publishers. Her publishers include EC, Total-e-bound, Resplendence Publishing and Torquere Books.

    Her Men in Love series which started with EC with 6 books she has published the 7th with Total-e-Bound. I noticed also that she has started to self publish with 1 Romance Ebooks for the continution of the series “Saddle Up and Ride ” the previous 2 were published by EC which I do not see as a good sign.

    I call the pattern I am seeing with her as the Barbara Cartland effect.

    It frustrates me that I have bought all those books which I will probably not even read.

    I buy mostly from Fictionwise. But I like a lot of people have been effected by the recission that the US is currently in. I got a mailing from my US representive who stated that one city in my state has 21% unemployment and my state is at 12.4% overall. I know that this is effecting sells for authors as people are cutting back on purchases as they need to pay their housing, food and medical costs first.

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  • Coopie
    March 14
    9:12 am

    *follow up on Widget’s post * I’m just an lurker and don’t get the opportunity to read your genre, but if you want dirt/details – here it is:

    Tina Engler/Jaid Black has the State of Ohio chasing her for over $100K in Personal Income Tax. She’s married to a murderer in Florida – he’s got a life sentence, she has at least 2 houses and a commercial building in Ohio (EC’s home), and yes, she chose not to show up in court and has had a default judgement entered on her behalf for the Plaintiff, Christina Brashear.

    If y’all want to have a look, go to the Summit County (OH) Court Records and have at it, you may find it fairly interesting reading!

    They way I see it, she’s made some pretty damn poor choices in business and in her life.

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  • cherelle
    March 14
    12:06 pm

    I don’t much care about who she’s married to but I do agree that this doesn’t look good. I also don’t read EC books anymore. I find it hard to find one that clicks with me. EC is all I used to read. Now I don’t read any ebooks.

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  • I’m with Cherelle – her life choices are irrelevant, but her business and financial decisions are looking worrying. Three out of five businesses losing their Inc status, $12k for withholding taxes, $100k in personal income tax owing, not turning up to court with the Christina Braeshear thing (and according to DearAuthor, going through several lawyers in the process)…

    I’m quite glad EC rejected my manuscript (though to be honest it wasn’t up to scratch at that time).

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  • awriter
    March 14
    10:21 pm

    I disagree in this case it is actually relevant. I was around when the whole husband murderer thing came out. Engler does not cover herself in glory. She has gone on a one woman crusade about the evil criminal justice system, locking up innocents blah, blah, blah – never mind they have this guy bang to rights. Last I heard Engler had hired a fancy lawyer to get her murder hubby out of jail on a technicality. She has funded more than one appeal. Lets hope that this doesn’t come back to bite her and her kids on the ass. So if you’re buying anything from EC that is where the profits are going. Personally I couldn’t get past that. I stopped buying EC books because of that and the quality taking a real nosedive. If her business and financial choices are poor, you’ve got to wonder if some of EC’s capital isn’t being funnelled into personal accounts to cover various little expenses like expensive defence attorney’s…

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  • I haven’t written for EC for years but I never had a late check, and my ongoing royalties are always timely. I get fast responses when I have a question as well, which I did recently about rights to a book. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but it was a good experience. As for declining sales, the competition is so much bigger now. When many of us started with EC there were no Kindles and ebooks for all the NY sales. Sexy books were not as much the norm in the genre as a whole either. There are simply more choices so that has to have an impact. I can’t say first hand because I haven’t released with EC since the new choices have been around.

    Hate to hear people have had troubles. Ebooks were good to me and helped me achieve a lot of goals. And EC certainly helped me pay bills.

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  • Wow, I’m just now discovering this post and comments after clicking through from Dear Author. I am a brand new author with EC and so far things have been professional and smooth. But I’ve only received two payments and I love my editor. I send complete manuscripts in and we usually go through a couple of rounds of revision. I try to make my work as polished as possible before sending it in, but there’s always something that gets missed, no matter how many times I go over it, my husband goes over it, my crit partners, etc. But still, I write what I love to the best of my ability, and hope it translates to my readers.

    So far, the responses to my emails have been prompt and considerate. I fervently hope things continue as they have because I love writing my stories, but this discussion has been disheartening to read. Thank you for posting.

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  • @Kama: Just take care of yourself and your interests as an author and you should be fine. Don’t feel bad. There have been tons of rumors about them (and the owners) for years. If you google a bit, you’ll find some of the stuff I am talking about. Just remember that it is a business relationship what you have with them.

    Best of luck to you in all your writing endeavors.

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