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Elloras Cave Are The Worst Episode 666...

I received this email from author Roslyn Holcomb yesterday with regards to Elloras Cave delaying royalty payments:

So here’s the story: My book, Drawing the Stud was published by them on July 26, 2013. It went up on the third party sites (Amazon, B&N, ARe) shortly thereafter. My first checks from them were paltry, which isn’t surprising because I know the third party vendors pay in arrears. So, for a book that came out in July, they would pay EC in November, which means I should’ve gotten my money in December.

That didn’t happen. Supposedly it takes them two months to process it. Fine. January then. No checks. No fucking explanation. So they say wait two weeks after the end of the month to inquire. That was January 14, I sent an email to them. No answer. Next day I sent an email to the address for contracts. No answer. I emailed my editor and she gave me a third email address. No fucking answer. Finally by Saturday I’d had enough of this shit, so I emailed all the addresses and told them if I hadn’t heard back from them by noon on Monday I was going public with this bullshit. In response I got this email:

Please see the message posted on ec_biz/ec_biz2. That is our official and announced communication method to authors – all authors are expected to be subscribed and check all postings promptly. If something is posted there, we do not send individual emails. If you do not maintain active reading of that announcement list, you are missing important information. (And please do take the time to read the Cave Communique newsletters for lots of good info.)

Kristen Wiig

Apparently, there was nothing on the Elloras Cave loop addressing the late checks business that morning, however they finally got round to posting some information on the loop. The gist of the posts were as follows (I’m paraphrasing folks):

‘Sorry for the delay in posting the October royalty statements, we have a new accounting system and we’ve have been experiencing technical difficulties.

We are also short-staffed in the accounting department so please be fucking patient. You’ll get the checks as soon as possible. Pinky swear.’

There was also a reminder that they aren’t obligated to pay the royalty checks monthly, as the official contracts say that they pay quarterly. In other words ‘Listen you whinging fucking bitches, we don’t have to pay you motherfuckers monthly, we choose to, so sit the fuck down and be grateful for what you get, even though there’s been an unspoken understanding that the checks will be processed monthly, for years now.’

There was then a reassurance that once the system starts working properly again, and the new staff are fully trained, they will endeavour to mail out the checks asap.

Reassuring huh?

Apparently then, there was also another communication, this time from Raelene Gorlinsky (the publisher) who basically apologized for the delay in responding to the issues, but gee golly, she’d been at a conference all week and hadn’t managed to check her emails because there were so many, oh and by the way, she’s still not going to be able to deal with the crap because she’s got some personal stuff that needs to be handled so it might be a few weeks before any of these issues can be resolved, so yeah, fuck you and your problems authors. Or something like that.

Anyway, Roslyn obviously wasn’t happy, she wrote to me:

Now seriously, do they think I rode over on the motherfucking Mayflower? I know bullshit when I’m reading it. Nobody in their right mind tries to implement a new accounting system in December, or even in the fall of the year. That’s year end closeout and they back right up on having to have tax forms out in January. Nobody’s that fucking stupid. These bitches are broke as all hell and holding on to people’s money so they can rob Peter to pay Paul.

It’s like they’re playing directly from the disintegrating epub playbook. Accounting systems. Dead people, etc… So knowing your authors hadn’t been paid you went off to some goddamned conference (who they hell has conferences in January?) Shouldn’t paying your authors be consideration number one. I’m so pissed right now I can’t see straight. So I sit here now without my fucking check. Money they’ve had for two goddamned months now. I’ve got a special needs child who needs a $600 tricycle and these bitches playing fast and loose with the cash.

Of course it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that EC are struggling, I’d love to see their financials. It’s clear thought that they give nary a fuck about their authors, because if they did, they wouldn’t be so lax with regards to paying them in a timely manner.

Anybody else having issues that you want to share? If so, you can email me at hairylemony @ gmail.com, (minus the spaces of course)

Honestly, I’m bleeding surprised that they’re still in business.

Anyway, Elloras Cave…

Suckage

18 Comments »

  • I demanded my rights back from Ellora in August. Waiting until Feb, like a good author, and then getting in their faces.

    I quit EC over the “Life of copyright” clause in the contract. There are ways to get out of it, so it’s not ironclad.

    My sales have been (reported) as being 1/10th of what they were 10 years ago. I released a short story 5 days before the end of October 2007. The brutal BDSM m/m short, by an unknown author sold 147 copies in the first month+5 days.

    I released a m/f urban fantasy/paranormal romance at the same time five years later, 26 Oct 2012. I sold 80 copies in the same span. IN WHAT WORLD DOES HETEROSEXUAL PARANORMAL ROMANCE BY A KNOWN AUTHOR SELL LESS THAN KINKY GAY STUFF BY AN UNKNOWN?

    The m/m SF romance in May? 24 copies in the month+5 days.
    Those aren’t EC numbers. I’ve suspected chicanery for a while.

    My blog on it is here:
    http://angelsparrow.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-dear-john-letter-or-maybe-declaration.html

    They also saddled my last book with a warning label that insulted readers’ intelligence, ensured no same-sex-romance blog would pick it up, and turned away a lot of our usual readers.

    ReplyReply


  • sb
    January 26
    2:59 am

    IN WHAT WORLD DOES HETEROSEXUAL PARANORMAL ROMANCE BY A KNOWN AUTHOR SELL LESS THAN KINKY GAY STUFF BY AN UNKNOWN?

    Um. In this one.

    That’s how it always works. I’m surprised you don’t know that.

    I gave up a long time ago on finding anything at EC that wasn’t the same old same old. Amazes me that the good authors there don’t go elsewhere.

    ReplyReply

  • @sb:

    Being Ellora, I thought the straight stuff would sell better. (I have yet to find a publisher who can market my straight stuff and get any good sales)

    ReplyReply

  • @Angelia Sparrow:

    Angelina,

    Come see me at Frolicon. I just took over as the imprint editor at Assent Publishing.

    ReplyReply

  • @Sascha Illyvich:
    Sasha, I thought we had a date for some single tail as it was. Especially since last year was so miserable for me. Here’s hoping I don’t need my cane this year.

    I’ve got three publishers already and nobody can move the het stuff. I’m pretty much giving up on it.

    ReplyReply

  • I don’t recall a single time when any of my EC checks came the same time each month. I also wasn’t aware that some authors and EC staff get direct deposit which seems should be much easier for everyone. I’ve been posting on the author’s loop and some of the authors don’t like that I’m vocal in my displeasure, telling me I’m not making any friends by complaining. Basically, shut up and sit down. Which I will not. My granddaddy always said the squeeky wheel gets the grease. Pretty sure staff is going to punish my complaining ass by not sending my check until March. But if they’re 1 day past the quarterly date, I will sue for breach of contract.
    Anyway, I’m done with EC. Will submit one of my throw away stories and if they decide they want it, then I’ll negotiate a new contract, one that benefits me, and if they won’t negotiate, then I’ll refuse and I’m done with any contractural obligations to them. And I’m going to try and get the rights back to my work.

    ReplyReply

  • Yeah, I have a bad feeling about their fiscal health. And the new accounting system. Really? What kind of fuckwit starts a new accounting system during the holidays. And sense when does a business go dormant when the head of the company goes out of town or has a personal tragedy to deal with? I emailed contracts with a question and got an auto reply that they were out of the office until the 27th. Really? There’s no other work for you to do while Raelene is gone? Personally, I am done with them.

    ReplyReply

  • Interesting about some authors being paid by direct deposit. Wonder if they’re all the rainmakers? I suspect that they make sure they pay their big money authors on time and the rest of us are irrelevant. Fortunately I have only the one book, and I’ll be stunned if I get a check before March as well.

    ReplyReply


  • Peter
    January 28
    7:24 pm

    Haven’t whispers of EC’s financial ruin been going on forever? Remember the bounced checks a few years back? And when did Raylene purchase EC? Jaid’s no longer the owner?

    Also anyone ever heard of authors getting books published with changes they didn’t consent to?

    ReplyReply


  • cjl
    January 28
    8:21 pm

    @Peter My one and only book with EC had several lines changed. Two of the lines that got changed actually changed their meaning. Other lines were rewritten so that their voice was no longer mine. I’m still obligated to hand in two more manuscripts to EC before I’m free of them. I’m trying to get over the emotional shock of having my story published as not quite my story. I had one author give me a subtle warning last fall that this might happen. She hadn’t wanted to come right out and say anything because she wasn’t sure it was happening to anyone else but her. Obviously, it is.

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  • India
    January 28
    8:30 pm

    I think Jaid still owns EC. I do recall there were some problems back in the day which is probably why Raelene was brought on board and there’s no denying she turned it around. She’s a hardass but she has to be I guess. The thing that gets me the most is the arrogance.The whole…we’re the premire romantica publisher. Yeah, once upon a time but not so much anymore. So don’t be throwing that shut up and sit down shit at me. I’m damn pissed off. I’m disabled and I depend on that income. Couple arrogance with (clearly) incompetence and you’ve got problems you need to fix because it’s just bad business all around, IMHO.

    ReplyReply


  • Flippity
    February 6
    3:36 pm

    Check the Summit County Ohio Court Records.

    In December 2013 Tina Engler-Keen paid off $247,000 in state tax liens on her property. Some had been filed since 2009.

    In September a nearly $8,000 tax lien was filed against Ellora’s Cave which hasn’t been released.

    There’s also a couple of state liens against Jasmine Jade Enterprise, about $12,000, that haven’t been released.

    Not the way I would choose to operate a business, but I’ve seen worse. The problem for authors is that they don’t have a secured interest in their royalties.

    ReplyReply


  • Nonny
    February 16
    6:43 pm

    There’s a message on December 16 on ec_biz saying the royalty payments are going to be mailed later than usual, but still within the time frame on our contracts. Seems like a non-story mixed with some exaggeration to me.

    ReplyReply

  • Where is the exaggeration? I related my, thus far, sucky experience with the publisher. Experience that unfortunately mirrors my very similar experience with another sucky publisher. Which also mirrors a lot of other people’s sucky experiences with various e-pubs. Bottom line is this, when you start missing payroll, by MONTHS there is something wrong. I don’t care if you’re an epub or any other type of business. Whether they’re in trouble, or just poorly managed is up for debate, but there is definitely something wrong.

    ReplyReply


  • Amarinda Jones
    March 19
    9:36 pm

    Has there ever been a time when they weren’t in trouble and yet people keep subbing to them.

    ReplyReply


  • Anon Y. Mous
    August 21
    6:31 pm

    @Peter:

    It happened to me and I know of others it happened to too.

    ReplyReply


  • "Anonymous"
    September 11
    2:59 am

    I know this is an older post, but just wanted to share that I still haven’t been paid for September 2014 (which would be July’s payments the way they used to operate, but are actually for May, since they never bothered to catch up on those two months their accounting software “glitched”. *wink, wink*) Fortunately, they represent less than 1% of my income (when they used to be about 99%), but I feel sorry for the authors who rely on them for most of their money. I’ve requested the rights back to everything I can get, but I got a “we’ll get back to you after we sort out our latest fiasco” email essentially.

    If EC files BK, all the authors are screwed unless/until the trustee of the case decides to release the copyrights. Some authors will likely get them back, but some of the better known authors might be “sold” or passed off to another publishing house that will pay the trustee toward EC’s debt, NOT the authors (if I understand the way it works correctly).

    I jumped ship years ago, and I strongly advise all authors to do the same. And, new authors, do yourself a favor by avoiding EC. Once upon a time, they were the best/only game in town, but times have changed.

    ReplyReply

  • […] payments have been late. Not once, not twice, but on an ongoing basis. Roslyn Holcomb speaks out. Avril Ashton and Cat Grant have asked people not to buy their Ellora’s Cave titles, hoping […]


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