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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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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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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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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.

I would now like to direct your attention to...

this cool Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support thread, created and maintained by writer Deirdre Saoirse Moen.

See, a number of authors currently under contract with EC are asking their readers NOT to buy those books. Apparently, they are either not receiving royalties, or are not convinced those royalties actually reflect their sales, or quite simply want the rights to their books back (for which they need sales below a certain number for a period of time). For whatever the reason, these authors are publicly–and quite courageously–asking their readers to support them by NOT buying any books of them currently published by EC.

However, many of these authors have books elsewhere–either under a different pen name with another publisher, or perhaps even self published–and those books? Oh yeah, they would love it if any of their readers were moved to purchase those other books.

So what are you waiting for? Go on over there, check that list. I’m betting you’ll find something there you’ll want to read.

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If you are a book blogger, I ask you to consider posting this information for your readers as well.

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And for those of you who are on Twitter, Courtney Milan of the iron cast balls and awesomesauce writing is exercising her right to speak about Ellora’s Cave using the hashtag #notchilled, and she invites all of those who want to continue to be free to express their opinions about facts to participate.

Dear Author / EC suit update

Dear Author posted an status update regarding the lawsuit filled late last week by Ellora’s Cave: Jane Litte has retained the services of Marc Randazza, First Amendment Badass. You can visit Mr Randazza’s website to check out his credentials, or follow the previous link to see what Ken White of Popehat’s fame has to say about him.

I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one online, but I do have a feeling that this example of legal thuggery will be stomped in short order like a disgusting New York cockroach.

I also believe that this whole thing is a blatant attempt at intimidation of Ellora’s Cave authors, editors, cover artists, and any other contractors and employees who have not been paid–either at all or in full–so that they keep quiet about it.

Which is why I applaud all the different authors and bloggers who are actually doing their bit to stand up against EC, to speak out, and to spread the word about what is going on–both right now with the defamation lawsuit against Dear Author and Jane Litte, and generally within Ellora’s Cave.

Particular kudos to Courtney Milan, who is going a step further. Madam, you have stones.

 

Edited to add: I just learned that The Los Angeles Times has picked up the story.

The Streisand Effect in all its glory, baby!

I Heard That Dear Author Was Getting Sued, So I Thought I'd Remind Everybody That Tina Engler Married A Convicted Murderer

Elloras Cave get worse and worse. What fuckery is this?

The following was originally posted on KKB on June 15th 2007: Here’s the link.

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JaynieR posted an interview with Tina Engler, AKA Jaid Black on her blog earlier today.

The purpose of the interview appears to be two-fold. Firstly, it seems to be an opportunity for Black to give her side of the story, in terms of her marriage to a *convicted felon, (if the link is broken, search for a David Roy Keen) serving time for shooting, and killing an ex-girlfriend; and secondly, to discuss her feelings, on the failings of the current U.S penal system, and its bias towards the poor, and the uneducated.

Ms Black’s decision to marry a prisoner, serving a life sentence for murder is her affair, and I feel that it would be remiss of me to publicly comment on my personal feelings relating to this matter.

In actual fact, what disturbed me most was Black’s assertion that locking up prisoners is tantamount to human trafficking, and that a person who deliberately takes a life, cannot be blamed for their actions.

When one reads the interview in its entirety, the delivery of her message is staunch, and unflinching, whilst her belief that she speaks a universal truth, appears to be unshakable. (more…)