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How could I have forgotten? (EC v DA...sorta)

A long, long time ago (September 2010) I wrote this very short post:

Over at Dear Author there is some noise over Red Rose Publishing and the alleged issues the company has with authors, editors, etc. The fun started here, followed by this tidbit, and it’s currently going strong here.

The quick and dirty summary: Dear Author reported some shenanigans; anonymous authors came out; sockpuppets followed; RRP’s owner wants all blog content related to the company taken down; Dear Author pretty much ignores the noise; lawyer-like threats follow; Dear Author pretty much still ignoring them.

The moral of the story: be careful who the fuck you threaten with legal action over the internetz–they may just be real lawyers who not only won’t be cowed by your barely coherent threats but who will actually know the law.  (In simpler terms: be careful you don’t bite more than you can chew.)

The links work, if you have some time, but the upshot?

EC did bite a lot more than TE/JB is gonna be able to chew, let alone digest.

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Calling Ellora's Cave authors (tangential to EC v DA)

If you are or have been an author for Ellora’s Cave since the ‘new’ accounting system started creating issues and delays with royalty payments, you may be interested in this offer:

I have made the offer to several authors but I will throw it out there again. If anyone wants to band together and request the audit included in the language of most contracts with EC, I, as an uninvolved bystander, will contribute a minimum of $500 to the frorensic auditor’s fee and will help organize a fundraiser to gather the additional resources needed. Until EC’s books are subjected to outside scrutiny I would personally doubt any and all royalty statements any author receives.

Several people tweeting in #notchilled and commenting elsewhere have wondered whether authors could band together and do something to get some straightforward answers about royalties and the general health of Ellora’s Cave as a business, backed with actual numbers, from someone who is not intimately involved with EC and therefore invested in only giving answer that jive with TE/JB party line. Here’s your chance.

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I am loving this (aka, the law of unintended consequences)

Last week I realized that one of the blogs I visit regularly had an ad for Ellora’s Cave up in the front page.

Considering the fact that EC is suing a blogger, and that the blogging community rallied around her to the tune (so far) of almost $55,000, saying I was taken aback is to greatly understate the matter.

I seriously considered dropping the blog from my bookmarks, and was getting all ready to breathe fire and stuff, when I realized a few things:

  • One, there’s another blog–very well known and very vocal in its defense of Dear Author–sporting the very same ad for EC.
  • Second, it’s quite likely that both these blogs (and probably a fair number of other book blogs) signed contracts months ago for these ads to appear this month, well before EC committed the unmitigated stupidity of suing Dear Author.
  • Third, it’s also quite likely that at least some of the money these bloggers are making off these ads is going directly to help Dear Author and Jane Litte.

Don’t you love karma?

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Edited to add: well, it gets even better (though my timing? not so good, as I had this all scheduled and then saw what follows below)

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Wouldn't it be interesting... (EC v DA)

if someone shot a video showing the entire process, from getting the check in the mail, opening it, and seeing the different dates between the check and the post mark?

I have a feeling more than one interested party would love to have such proof of the allegations that, regardless of what the books at EC (and the checks themselves) may show, the reality is that the royalty payments are delayed beyond any interpretation of EC’s ‘vague’ contract terms.

EC v DA - date disparity

Should it be proven... (EC v DA)

…that PubNut (TiNut for short) is actually Tina Engler/Jaid Black, or anyone else directly involved with Ellora’s Cave, tweets like the one below may be of particular interest to any authors and editors who have not been paid, or who have not been paid in a timely manner, or who have in any other way been penalized for not toeing the Tina line:

PubNt - should it be proven that this is actually TE...
Best part is the certainty that there are literally hundreds of screenshots of all the bullshit spewing out of both this and other TE identities, in quite a few computers in widely diverse locations. Any accusations of tampering/altering images would be laughed out of court.

Who's the liar here? (EC v DA)

As a firm believer in karma, I’m confident eventually some people will cry in court (again) while having their lying, cheating, thieving asses handed back to them by the judge.

PubNt - Jaid Black lying once more

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This is not a post (EC v DA related)

This is just a note to say that:

a) nothing has come down from the court yet, though I believe Courtney Milan when she says that at this point it’s not whether or not the case will stay in federal court, but how hard the Nut…erm…EC will be spanked,

and

b) to direct our faithful readers’ attention to Deirdre Saoirse Moen’s blog, notably this post, this post and this post.

I hope to have something new to contribute at some point soon, but right now there’s really nothing happening.

Unless you considering the Nut spewing its particular and very peculiar brand of “logic” all over #notchilled  as “something happening,” that is.

If you find yourself in possession of some disposable income (I know, holiday season = unlikely, but still), here are a couple of good causes for you to get rid off it:

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Just in time for NaNoWriMo

Which for those of us who don’t write stands for National Novel Writing Month, a writing thing(?) for writers which is held every November, HuffPo released a post full of (bad) advice for writers.

Number 4 would have been a lot funnier had it not been for Kathleen Hale’s stalking shenanigans:
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We interrupt this program to say...

If you are a citizen of the United States, and you are woman, this 4th of November,

go vote.

(Okay, also if you are a man)

It’s a right and it’s a duty–and it matters. This is why:

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Because it's a very good cause, and a most excellent deal.

Available for one month only.

Eleven stories.

99 cents.

Last Hero Standing antho - Pamela Clare benefit
 We here at KKB really like Ms Clare’s writing, and her, because she truly is a great person.

I was very sad to learn that Ms Clare was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is presently undergoing treatment, but as many of us can imagine, it’s not an easy time for her or her family, on any front.

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Seriously?

Did anyone else laugh at this?

PubNt - self awareness, you're doing it wrong

No kidding.

Who knew? (very brief EC v DA update)

(Updated – again)

Hat tip to Courtney Milan for posting links to the latest filings in the defamation lawsuit that Ellora’s Cave brought against Dear Author and Jane Litte.

Who knew one could outright giggle while reading court documents?

A choice bit, from page 13 (please note I redacted Ms Litte’s legal name):

The public perception of the company, prior to Ms. Litte’s article, was that its founder, Ms. Engler, was notoriously difficult to work with, was a generally offensive person, who mismanaged money, who had a history of being delinquent on her taxes, who maintained an offensive and embarrassing social media profile, who suffers from severe mental health issues,who engages in nepotism at the expense of other employees, and who was generally incapable of running a large successful company

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Drinking the Ellora's Cave Kool-Aid

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.

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Black women and ebola -- let's do something about it.

This evening I received an email from author Roslyn Holcom, which I reproduce as a screen shot below:

Roslyn Holcomb - What about our daughters - black women and ebola
Here are the links: from The Washington Post, “Ebola striking women more frequently than men,” and Gina McCauley’s Africare donation page.

You can also read what she has to say about this huge health emergency, and the impact is has on women, here.

Please tell me, how is it that so many of us don’t know that three out of four human beings who have died of ebola so far are WOMEN?

Please share this, and help do something about this silence and about the desperate need of all these women–and the families they leave behind.

Personhood--what the actual FUCK?

I have no idea how on earth I hadn’t heard of this before–which is scary as hell in and of itself!

No abortion for rape or incest pregnancies? Any pregnancy that doesn’t result in a living birth would be considered a suspicious death and investigated by the cops–including miscarriages???

Are you fucking kidding me?

Please, for the love of sanity, tell me this is a prank.

What the hell is next? Where does it stop? At mandatory burkas and chastity belts?

More of Ellora's Cave authors speak up

It has been a crazy ten days, hasn’t it? Since Ellora’s Cave filed suit against Dear Author and Jane Litte, we have seen people saying, “now you understand why EC authors are afraid of speaking out?” Boy, yes, we do.

Which is precisely why the community rose so magnificently to the occasion, and raised the full $50,000 in less than four days–and the donations keep on coming. And, I believe, it’s that response that’s given more and more EC authors the courage to speak up about their own issues with the company. These authors are but a tiny fraction of the total contracted with EC–someone has mentioned 800 or 900 authors total. (more…)

Ellora's Cave v Dear Author - how low can you fall (pretty low)

As I reported elsewhere, on Saturday out of the blue–and absolutely not connected to Ellora’s Cave, no siree, it says so right in the tag line–a sockpuppet was created.

From where I sit–hey, Tina, this opinion, savvy? ergo, protected speech–said account is a sockpuppet for Tina Engler/Jaid Black, created strictly to try to intimidate those EC authors and other contractors so they won’t help Jane Litte fight the vexatious defamation suit that Ellora’s Cave filled against her and Dear Author.

It’s not working–donations, which had slowed down a bit, saw an uptick as soon as the toxic egg started posting how the authors had sued Ellora’s Cave (have screenshots, will share). As I type, the amount raised for Jane Litte’s and Dear Author’s legal defense is $47,503. Not bad for a relatively small online community to raise in less than three full days, huh?

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Words to sign contracts by

As many of you know, I have been following the Ellora’s Cave v Dear Author thing closely–and quite likely will until it is resolved one way or another.

On the one hand, it is absolutely popcorn worthy entertainment. In a much smaller scale, it brings to mind Charles Carreon v The Oatmeal (beware, this is an utter time suck–don’t go too far down the rabbit hole unless you have a day or two to spare).

On the other hand, the resolution of this case will help set a precedent for book bloggers, reviewers, authors, editors, etc. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by threats of vexatious lawsuits by the bullies of the world.

I do pray rather fervently that the court forces EC to show its books and explain why they are sending checks through the mail in a way that violates USPS rules (undated metered mail–see this post)

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On that note, isn’t romance a beautiful thing? The fundraising was made public in the morning on Friday October 3rd. Not even 12 hours later, the community had raised over $38,000.00. People, learn from TC/JB delusions and do not piss your target market off. They’ll band together and bitch-slap you. Hard.

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But, back to the point of this post.

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Dear Author / Jane Litte Defense Fund

Edited to add alternatives to contribute to the Dear Author/Jane Litte legal defense fund for those who are boycotting GoFundMe.

Yes!

Since the news that Ellora’s Cave has sued Dear Author and Jane Litte broke out, many of us in the romance reading community have asked for a way to help Jane financially–because lawsuits are used as a threat, to silence critics, precisely because they are expensive. And usually more expensive to the defendant, particularly in states where there is no provision to refund them even if the court rules in their favor.

Well, now we can.

Smart Bitch Sarah created the Dear Author / Jane Litte Defense Fund using crowdfunding site GoFundMe. Here’s the text on the donation page:
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Ellora's Cave v Dear Author - wanna help?

The saga continues. Jane posted a brief update on the suit today:

Today there was a temporary injunction hearing.  During the hearing the judge did not grant the injunction, but did request that we come back for a more thorough hearing, where we would be able to provide evidence  in our defense.

Truth is an absolute defense to defamation.

Therefore, If you are willing, I need help with the following:

Individual authors, editors, cover artists willing to testify, either in person, via telephone or in an affidavit to payments made/not made.

It would be best if you could testify in person, but a sworn written statement will be adequate.

Additionally, if you have any Screenshots of any public statements regarding Ellora’s Cave, those would be helpful too.

You can reach me at jane@dearauthor.com.

Thank you in advance.

Now, I know that there are a lot–quite a lot–of current and former EC authors who follow this blog. Just this past February one of you reported, anonymously, on shenanigans there. So, hi there, still not getting paid?

I hate being harsh, but chances are you are not going to see much–if any–of that money (see this post by Carolyn Jewel explaining what’s likely to happen here).

In the meantime, many of you feel gagged by a confidentiality clause in your contract with Ellora’s Cave–plus, scared of a defamation lawsuit for say, reporting on matters of public record and imminent interest.

Well, never fear–there are still ways you can help Jane. First of all, the screenshots of public statements? You, those who have worked for EC in any and all capacities, are the most likely to know where those might be, and snap them up. Go, hunt them down, email them to Jane.

Or, if you want to put a second layer between you and her, let me know in the comments and we’ll figure a relay system.

But if you really, really want to speak up and say your piece, both because you are frigging tired of the injustice of having the company that hasn’t paid in you however long, spending money in retaining an attorney to sue a blogger for speaking out for YOU…well, there’s a chance you can.

Check out this post on confidentiality clauses by the ever amazing Courtney Milan, where she says in part:

If you are an author, an editor, or a cover-artist who would testify as to the truth of the statements Jane made, but for the confidentiality clause, contact me. If there is enough interest from those who would testify but are afraid for confidentiality reasons, I will look into finding a lawyer to accompany you to the hearing–someone whose job it is to represent your interests, and to make sure that you’re speaking up to the maximum allowed without putting yourselves at risk.

And to all of you who are already speaking up, boosting the signal, and standing strong against this effort to silence us and chill our speech…Thank you.