Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, e-book publishers behaving badly?, E-publishers Behaving Very Badly, Elloras Cave, Tina Engler AKA Jaid Black
Tags:Courtney Milan, Dear Author, Elloras Cave
Reader beware: I am not a writer, I’m just a fed up reader and blogger.
Also, I’m not feeling particularly nice at the moment, as I’m pretty enraged at the utter disregard some people have for the very real risk they put people when they continue to engage an asshole who keeps. doxxing. a person.
A person with a family, the members of which a) have nothing to do with anything, yet b) are put at risk as well. every. fucking. time. that asshole replies to said people.
So if you want measured, impartial commentary, do your blood pressure a favor and go elsewhere.
For those of you following along the shenanigans around the vexatious defamation lawsuit that Ellora’s Cave filed against Jane Litte and Dear Author, some of what follows is old-ish news.
For those just catching up, you can read the Ellora’s Cave tag here at Karen Knows Best for background information on past to-dos (give yourself some time, some of the comment threads are gold), and/or this summary post over at my place.
All caught up? Cool.
Anyway, on to today’s point.
When Jane posted her Curious Cave of Ellora’s Cave post–the same well researched, backed by public record facts that’s the center of the suit–there was a long tail of comments. Once the lawsuit was announced, there were yet more comments.
Among these there were a couple by one Suz de Mello, a current Ellora’s Cave author who, I gather, is getting paid well, or on time, or both, and therefore was not pleased with the tenor of the commentary. Which, predictably, was mostly along the lines of “fuck that noise, never buying/reviewing another EC title again.”
You can find her comments over there by scrolling–a lot, currently comment threads at DA are not numbered. Or you can read them here in their full glory, in screenshot form (click on them to embiggen):
Understandably, she was even less pleased with the response to her own comments:
After flouncing off Dear Author, Ms de Mello posted this comment over at the SmartBitches’ post on Ellora’s Cave suing Dear Author (emphasis mine):
Seriously, did you read that line in bold?
Because it’s not as if Jane is being sued in a state that has no antiSLAPP law, which means that as defendant she has to pay for her defense and it’s unlikely she’ll get any of that back. And it’s not as if the suit–on the very last page–sneakily asks her to reveal the identity of anonymous commenters. Gee, whyever should EC care about that, huh? (Hint for those who have trouble reading between the lines: some of those commenters are likely Ellora’s Cave’s authors, editors, etc confirming that they have not been paid, or that their royalty statements are late, or iffy or both.)
From where I sit, it looked as if Ms de Mello didn’t much care what else was going on with EC, so long as she got paid–it’s everyone to him/herself in this world, after all. Other EC authors not getting paid? Oh well. Editors and cover artists being shafted? Oh well. What’s that, readers, reviewers and bloggers being sued by my publisher? Not my problem, keep buying my books from that same publisher, ’cause I am getting my money from them.
Despite such comments, it would seem not too many days later she changed her mind and asked for reversal of her rights, going by her comment on Deirdre Saoirse Moen’s EC Authors Exodus thread.
And that was my cue to let go, right? We can all be rash, self-centered and lack empathy on occasion, just as we are allowed to learn, grow up and own up to our screw ups.
However, in between that comment and now, Tina Engler/Jaid Black has started drumming the “it’s all amazon’s fault!” drum ever louder.
— Jaid Black (@jaidblack) October 6, 2014
(with bonus screenshot, because things tend to disappear when they prove to be stupid)
My head would meet my desk if I weren’t jaded–this ain’t my first e publisher being a shit rodeo.
“No, authors, it’s not that you are not getting paid because we suck at managing the business and prefer to throw thousands of dollars at lawyers to file vexatious lawsuits against–duh!–lawyers; and we are firing personnel and cutting down necessary expenses such as oh, I don’t know, promotion not because we truly suck at running a business in the current changing environment. No, no, all our problems are because amazon is teh eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil.”
(Again, for the tone deaf, the above paragraph is my interpretation of TE/JB’s blatherings, not a literal statement made by her. Oh and Tina? Interpretation = opinion, which is protected speech.)
And what do you know, Ms de Mello is now writing such things as this: Is amazon a threat to our First Amendment rights?
Are you fucking kidding me?
Can someone rational explain to me what the fuck does the fact that amazon is a big business that takes every advantage to increase its market share and reach–just like Walmart and other big corporations–have to do with the First Amendment? How the fuck is amazon preventing Ellora’s Cave, or TE/JB, or Suz de Mello, or anyone else, from speaking their piece? Isn’t she exercising her freaking right to free speech right there, with that piece?
So please do enlighten me, how are these two things even remotely related?
And before the “you don’t understand” comments come down: hate amazon all you want, I don’t give a rat’s turd.
I am not a vendor there, I do not have affiliate links at my blog (hint: this space here is paid for by Karen Scott, and those links on the sidebar? Yeah, nothing to do with me.)
My loyalty as a consumer is to my wallet and my convenience, not a company or a brand, and I’m smart enough to fucking shop around, so don’t give me any of that “you are so misguided, can’t you see the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil that is amazon?”
The vexatious defamation suit filed by Ellora’s Cave against Jane Litte and Dear Authors?
The demand to learn the identity of anonymous commenters at Dear Author?
The implied threats to doxx EC authors who don’t keep their mouths shut, whether they are paid or not, whether those authors are within their rights–per fucking EC’s own contract–to receive reversion of the rights?
The continuous threats by the sockpuppet twitter account that by supporting Jane in any way we are all party of the suit and subject to pay Tina Engler and Ellora’s Cave damages if Jane loses (which, fat chance)?
All those things are very much related to Ms de Mello’s and my right to free speech.