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Do you know the difference between...
(update at the end)

Torquere Press LLC and Ellora’s Cave? (now, stupidly enough, “EC for Books”–because nothing says “publishing empire” like a generic, forgettable name, hemorrhaging authors, and piss poor service)

No?

Well, the former are not only amateurs in the ‘let’s not pay royalties and give trite, tired, unbelievable excuses for that’ field. They are also criminally stupid–as in, ‘let’s write a fraudulent check for those royalties, see if that’ll shut the unpaid authors up!”

Say what you will about Jaid give-readers-the-finger-I-despise-romance-professional-victim Black, she’s too cunning for that.

She’ll just never write checks for those royalties and other bills.

Update: Julia Talbot, former owner of Torquere, has her say on this mess (as of today, only dog knows what’s next)

Ellora's Cave -- once more, with feeling

For the past year and a half, a number of authors with books published by Ellora’s Cave have publicly asked their readers to refrain from purchasing those titles.

The latest is Em Petrova, who writes on her blog that she’s been waiting for royalty checks since December 2015 (that’s five months, for the calendar-challenged among us), and that that last check was for royalties for March 2015 (that’s a full nine months behind).

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Mundania Press...apparently, still around?

This comment was posted yesterday to this (very old) thread:

It would be nice to have received at least one royalties statements in the last 9 years. Additionally, I’ve never received a royalties check, although their records indicate I have royalties due me. Any attempt to contact them has been ignored. One must presume that they receive so many complaints they do not release their phone number. The only way to get a local phone number is to contact the Better Business Bureau and that number they do not answer. Meanwhile, no allowances have been made to leave a message.

I have been with Mundania since 2008/2007. I first contacted them about a U.S. reprints of a trilogy originally printed the U.K. At the time, the contracts covered not only the fantasy trilogy, but one additional horror novel. Books 1 & 2 of the trilogy were released. The third book in the series never was; neither was the one stand-alone novel published. I contacted them again in 2014 to try and get the rights back on all books since the third in the trilogy and the singleton were never released. They apologized profusely and said they would re-release the first two in the series, and those that had never been released. The first two appeared in 2015.

They have never released book three and the one horror novel. Their editing is abysmal. The editor deleted 29 pages of one book and then said the books (all reprints of books successfully released previous) needed to be rewritten. I pointed out that the books were contracted as reprints and reprints required no revision unless a typographical or spelling had escaped the Pocket Books editions. Since then they have stonewalled me. E-mails go unanswered.

I personally believe a class action lawsuit should be brought against them. I contacted them because I support small press, but what I have received is equivalent to “restraint of trade.” I cannot sell these books elsewhere. No reader will buy books 1&2 of a trilogy if book three will never appear. Book three of the trilogy is so rare that it has been selling for hundreds – thousands of dollars (pounds), but my hands are tied.

Please note that I cannot vouch for what Jessica says there, but both Absolute Write and Piers Anthony (you gotta scroll down a fair bit), have been reporting on issues with this press for years.

Compare and contrast 2.0

Oh my good lord, can Jaid Black be any more delusional?

JBdelusionalagain

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Yet another update - EC v DA

Brief comments, some numbers, and a couple of links in the comments, here.

Also,  I recommend checking out this post at Zenobia Renquist’s blog. I hope she continues to update with more links–I’ve seen at least two more requests in that vein by EC authors.

EC v DA: it's over--for Dear Author and Jane Litte/Jen Frederick

Ellora’s Cave settled with Dear Author and Jane Litte, on the defamation suit the former brought against the latter.

The suit, you may remember, came about because Ellora’s Cave’s principals didn’t much like the fact that The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave put together, cohesively and succinctly, the many bits of evidence, statements, and rumors, that have been hinting at deeply troubling going-ons at the company for the last decade or so.

I have thoughts on this, and go on and on about them here.

Good luck to all the many authors who are still owed royalties, and to those who only want to finally be free of their contracts with Ellora’s Cave.

EC v DA: I now direct your attention to...

Things have been quiet on this issue for months. Basically, litigation in the US moves at the speed of frozen molasses, and a lot of the minor stuff that does happen does not get filed, so this was not unexpected.

What was rather a surprise is to have Ann Jacobs, one of EC authors who’s stated that there are hinky goings on with the publisher, to file a motion to intervene in the EC v DA lawsuit, and a counterclaim to EC’s defamation suit. Please note that EC’s contract is part of this longer document. All sorts of interesting shit in there.

Courtney Milan is hosting both filings, and has posted a brief, yet pointed, update on the case, here.

Deirdre Saoirse Moen’s take is here.

Now I have a helluva lot of rather interesting stuff to read before I post anything more.

Pot, meet the ugly kettle

For a number of years now, I have loosely followed the “poor me, I’m a victim of discrimination” act that is Jaid Black.

By this I mean, I notice when things reach my ears/eyes during my usual online rounds; I don’t spend a lot of time hunting comments down, I don’t follow her in any social media platform, and I don’t go looking for things said about her.

Frankly, I do have better things to do with my time.

Every so often, however, I’ll see commentary about how whenever there’s a dust up at or around Ellora’s Cave, Jaid Black has a health crisis.

Which is reminiscent of what has happened with any number of epublishers behaving badly, right around the time the implosions begin. (You are free to extrapolate at will, by the way.)

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Finally, an update in the EC v DA vexatious defamation suit.

(Even though I’m not on twitter, I monitor #notchilled pretty regularly, because it’s the only way I have to get updates on the case, not having a PACER account or the like.)

Today, Courtney Milan posted a quick update/analysis of the latest happenings in the case.

Using a few more characters: judge John R Adams denied TiNut’s motion to quash the subpoena, in a rather snarky manner too.

I can’t copy and paste directly from the document, but the judge basically¹ says, “you claim that your identity should not be made available to the defendants, because you know nothing about the case; however, both in your letters and in your tweets, you have proved without a doubt that you know all parties involved, and all sorts of facts of the matter at hand, intimately. Your not-quite-a-motion to quash is hereby denied.”

The moral of the story: don’t brag about all you know and can prove, and above all, don’t offer to testify in favor of one of the parties, lest you discover the legal system is not that easy to manipulate.

*

¹ I think, for an extrapolation, it’s pretty close.

EC v DA shenanigans and filings

Deirdre Saoirse Moen has a number of recent posts on the amazingly tasteless behaviour of Ellora’s Cave principals and staff.

Check out Double Entry Divas and The Sunken Queen for more.

The Defense filed its objection to TiNut’s motion to quash the subpoena, and Courtney Milan explains both that and what the gag order meant for the parties, here.

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Calling people formerly associated with Ellora's Cave...

If you were at some point in the past associated in any way with Ellora’s Cave and happened to download a copy the video I describe below, please contact Ms Deirdre Saoirse Moen as soon as you possibly can.

The video:

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Signs of life... (EC v DA)

…but not here.

Go there.

*

(Sorry about that, but there’s only one of me to create content for two blogs and a forum–plus work–which means something’s gotta give at times)

Charming? (aka, old business is current business) (EC v DA)

I was reading #notchilled when the always entertaining TiNut spewed erm…tweeted, this particular witticism:

TiNut - EC and company are charming as witnesses and clients
Oh yeah, I see how charming it is to have Tina Engler/Jaid Black giving the finger to everyone on her facebook page.

 (embiggen at your own risk)

FIRST result, people, top left!
Very professional, indeed. Befitting the owner of a *cough* massive *cough* company.

(Please do excuse me while I laugh myself silly over here in the corner for a moment)

Okay, I’m back.

So charming as clients and on the stand that the judge in the Brashear case spanked them every which way till Sunday, tears and all.

A taste, because I just can’t resist:

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A bit of news (EC v DA)

New document added to the docket. You can see it here.

I parse it out over here.

Thanks again to Deirdre Saoirse Moen and to Courtney Milan.

Color me flabbergasted!

Apparently, after firing most of the experienced editing staff a few months ago, Ellora’s Cave has been *cough* busy *cough* hiring a handful of editors.

One of them happens to be Jill Noelle.

I do not know if this is the same Jill Noelle Noble from Noble Publishing, but I confess that my first reaction is speechlessness, and amazement, and bafflement, because I have a feeling that, yes, yes, indeed, this is the same woman.

Talk about publishers behaving badly, yes?

Jill Noelle - the same as Noble
Hat tip to #notchilled again.

 

Jaid Black on "being wrong"

While I would prefer that people following #notchilled stopped engaging TiNut, the hashtag is still a great source of previously unknown to me snippets of wisdom from Tina Engler/Jaid Black.

For example, back in early October, EC author Sedonia Guillone wrote about how proud she was, being an author for Ellora’s Cave, and…no, let me quote, lest the post gets memory holed and then readers may suspect I made this up. (Screenshots at the end, click to embiggen).

Here we go:

I have communicated personally with Jaid Black and she has always been kind to me, responding to my concerns and queries promptly.

Jaid Black has been kind, people.

It’s not like this is a business relationship where what is essential is professionalism or anything. Kindness is always good–who wants to deal with assholes? but where there is no professionalism, overt kindness may hide all sorts of assholeishness.

She is not the first intelligent person I have seen become the object of people’s hostilities online and the mood behind what i see as yet another witch hunt feels again like a mass hysteria in which the truth gets buried.

The other thing I find upsetting is the clamor by some to boycott EC books. Whatever the rationale for that action, I can feel nothing but upset. One cannot try to break the publisher without injuring its authors.

Yeah, because fellow authors, plus editors and cover artists, speaking up about not being paid is a witch hunt. It’s not like facts backing up the allegations matter, right, so long as you’ve drunk the EC Koo-laid.

I, course, cannot leave out this:

We authors work hard. We have written our hearts and souls into our books, praying that readers out there will buy them not only so we can earn a living but so that the reader will enjoy them. Now there are people trying to get others not to buy these books and make an already difficult career to make a living in even more difficult.

Hearts and souls…can “my babies!” be far behind? And oh, look, the whole “we need to make a living” thing.

(This makes me angry for a whole ‘nother host of reasons, so I’ll leave it alone. Expect: many an avid reader also would like to make a living doing whatever it is, and many don’t, no matter how hard they try.)

Look, I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it many more times (and I believe most readers agree with me):

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Not a post: leaving breadcrumbs (EC v DA)

Courtney Milan has a brief blog post about the denial to remand the case back to state court. Go, take a peek.

(Comments off on this one, but feel free to comment in and to any of the previous real posts.)

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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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.