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Sarah, I was going to respond to your comment in the previous post, but it got way too long, so I decided to make it into a blog post of its own.

This was the point that I was originally responding to:

The thing is Sarah, I think you’re one of EC’s most talented and probably successful writers. Plus like you mentioned in a later post, you would soon tell them where to get off, if they started messing with you. You can do that because, they know you have far more options, than a newbie just starting in the business.

I’m sure that authors like Jaci Burton, Lora Leigh, and Shiloh Walker have probably never been asked to add more sex to their books, because, like you, they are in a far more powerful position than a lot of the current crop of authors. And let’s face it, it’s not like they’re releasing lots of books with EC at the moment anyway.

What I think is more worrying are the newer editors who, in my personal opinion, wouldn’t know a good book, if it got up and did the jig in front of them.

I know that one woman’s meat is another woman’s poison, but in my opinion, there is a difference between disliking a book, because it was badly written, and disliking a book, because you didn’t appreciate the storyline, and the heroine pissed you off, etc, etc.

Ben’s Wildflower, was the most inept, amateur, ridiculous, and absurd book, that I’ve come across in a very, very long time. I’m not even going to take the route of fully blaming the author, because the fact is, the editor felt it was good enough to, not only publish it in the first place, but allegedly, felt that the author was deserving of a 12-book contract. I’m still trying to get over that one.

In my opinion the editor messed up, big time. That book was so bad, that a 10 year old probably could have done a better job. It was porn in the purest sense, with a happy-ending thrown in, so that it could earn the label, ‘erotic romance’. I can’t even describe how utterly ridiculous it was.

Of course there are people who will have enjoyed Ben’s Wildflower, but in my opinion, the reason for their enjoyment would have less to do with with the quality of the book, and more to do with the high titillation factor.

I can’t think that it’s mere coincidence that things (for me at least) started nose-diving when Crissy Bashear left to form Samhain. According to a couple of EC authors, things have been on a downward spiral for a while now, and the changes that have been rung, haven’t pleased everybody, on the contrary, some of these authors have been privately shaking their heads, and discreetly making plans to change publishers.

Also, although as reader, I love it when publishers offer up more books, I’m still scratching my head at EC’s decision to release their books on a twice-weekly basis.

I’m sure it was a financial decision, but at what cost? Have they taken on more editors to cope with the number of books being released each week? More to the point, are the editors that they are taking on, able to do the job? In the case of the editor who pubbed Ben’s Wildflower, clearly not.

Admittedly, she may have been having a bad day, when she gave the thumbs-up to Ms Lynne’s second book, and maybe her next book will be stupendously well-worked. I seriously doubt it though.

I mentioned earlier that I know a few talented, (in my opinion at least) unpubbed writers, who have been refused by EC, whilst they seemingly embrace authors who clearly struggle with the English language. Harsh I know, but as a former staunch advocate of EC books, I can’t help but feel very disappointed about the quality of the books that they are spewing out.

I still recall feeling dismayed when Ashleigh Raine announced over a year ago, that EC had made the decision to not continue with their Talisman Bay series. I generally hate paranormals, but the Shadow Walker books were actually really good, and definitely a lot better than the dross that’s currently being published.

I’m aware of at least one EC author, who has one book left on her contract, and she’s been trying to get that one book released for the past eighteen months. It still hasn’t been accepted for publication. Apparently, there were massive edits, which isn’t a problem per se, but when I see the crap that’s being let through, I can’t help but wonder if there are any clear standards that the editors are supposed to be working to.

The newbie authors at EC will probably feel quite safe, and happy there at this present time, they’re still experiencing the Just-Published, rosy-hued honeymoon period. Utterly grateful for their first publishing contract. Who can blame them? Not I, that’s for sure, but sooner or later, the worm will turn, and it will be interesting to see what they have to say about EC, once that happens.

In the meantime, I hope the quality of the books improve, because if they don’t, then sooner or later, sales will probably be impacted.

Also, is it simply coincidence that Elloras Cave haven’t won any major accolades since they won Best Publisher in the Preditors and Editors poll in 2003?

Oh, by the way, if anybody has any juicy gossip for me re the happenings at EC, then you can e-mail me at hairylemony @ gmail. com. Confidentiality guaranteed. Go on, you know you want to. *g*

Amended to add:

If you are a regular buyer of EC books and feel that you’ve been getting a shoddy deal lately, the best thing you can do is to write and complain. The more readers complain about the current quality of books being produced, the greater the chance that some of the higher-ups will sit up and take notice.

If you can be arsed, their customer services e-mail address is service@ellorascave.com It would be interesting to see if we as readers are able to force them to change things up a bit.

And don’t get me started on the new crop of pornographic cover art.


  • Anonymous
    May 5
    8:00 am

    Briana St. James was the worst editor I ever had. We had completely opposing styles, and I think she is/was a frustrated writer stuck working as an editor. Had I made the extensive changes she requested, it would have been her book with my name on it. We didn’t even make it through one book together, and I am a very easy author to work with. Usually, if my editor requests a change, I make it without argument

    Having said that, I still think the “fatass” comment was cruel. The size of your ass has nothing to do with how well you edit. Raelene is an awesome editor, and I think she has an ample gluteal endowment.

    I wish the size of your ass corresponded to how well your books sold–I’d be richer than Nora Roberts. LOL.


  • Shiloh Walker
    May 5
    1:15 pm

    But this is what I’m saying! Don’t go with a publisher who disagrees with your vision. And don’t submit to the one who disagrees in the first place. Do your homework.

    And if your book is already erotic and you’re requested to put in more sex? Isn’t that what many of the disgruntled people are talking about?

    I can’t say one way or the other if that is happening at EC or at any other publisher because it’s never been an issue with me. But if a book was erotic enough to be accepted at an ER publisher, then why does more have to be added?

    You used mystery… okay, say a writer submitted a book to a mystery pub and it was accepted and then the editor came back, there isn’t enough mystery…. WHY was it accepted? If it was a good book, had potential, then wouldn’t a wise editor send it back with a rejection letter, discussing what needed to be fixed and a request to resubmit after the issues had been addressed?

    If it’s a great story and has potential but the editor doesn’t feel it’s erotic enough, shouldn’t that be discussed with the author before it’s accepted and a contract is signed?


  • Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 5
    3:03 pm

    Revisions are a given in this industry. Publishers hand out contracts on unwritten books expecting the author to revise. And authors know this. It’s in contracts as well as being one of those unspoken rules.

    Why should sex scenes not apply? Of course an editor should never ask for gratuitous sex, nor should the author offer it, but there is almost always room to up the emotion in a sex scene, thus expanding it organically.


  • K. Z. Snow
    May 6
    12:17 am

    Ann, you’re truly fortunate. I mean it. You must have a great editor. “More emotion” has never been something I’ve had a problem with. But, as you also said, “Of course an editor should never ask for gratuitous sex.”

    But some do! They want sex scenes that do nothing to advance the plot or “dimensionalize” the characters. And, keep in mind, this is after the contract has been signed and the book has gone into edits. Too late for the author to have a diva hissy-fit as this point. Maybe certain editors make these demands because they feel an E rating will boost their incomes. I don’t know; obviously, individual motivations are undisclosed personal issues. I just know that even after my first book was accepted by EC, and even after I injected it with a whole lot more sex than I felt was appropriate for the story, it still got an S rating.

    As a result, I’m now hyperaware of the “steam” level in my books. Maybe, because I’m an EC author, I should be. But I nevertheless find myself often being more aware of the frequency and intensity of the sex than of other, more important fictional elements.

    Don’t get me wrong–I love writing sensual romance–but I don’t like feeling pressured into short-changing other aspects of the story simply for the sake of making hot hotter. I’m really trying my damnedest to strike a balance…and I suspect other authors are doing the same.

    Again…readers, if you don’t like this trend, PLEASE let publishers know how you feel. The bottom line will always be in the bucks.


  • Ann Wesley Hardin
    May 6
    12:59 am

    K.Z–I do have a wonderful editor. No question about it. Don’t think I don’t make blood sacrifices at the altar in my closet, either *gg*.

    I too am hyper aware of such things as sex scene page count and verbiage, but so far, have not let that get in the way of the main story. It’s hard. Very hard. But the truth is, while I love hot, hot sex in my books, the satirical comedy comes first.

    However, the more books I write, the easier it gets to incorporate all the elements. Since EC has no word count restrictions, adding sex shouldn’t mean a removal of story, but should mean an enhancement.

    You can email me if you need advice/counsel/listening ear/drugs…


  • Diana
    May 13
    3:31 pm

    Okay, coming to this particular post a bit late (grr Bloglines for not putting it in my viewer sooner!), but need to clarify one point regarding that theoretical 12-book deal with Ellora’s Cave by this particular author.

    Now, I’m not management. But to my knowledge, EC does NOT offer advance contracts to ANYone. I have published twelve books with them and each one was taken on it’s own merits…or refused on its own merits until it met the high standards both my readers and my publisher has come to expect from me. I’ve never been told to add sex for sex’s sake. Every comment my editor has given me has been because I was getting lazy and she knew it. 🙂

    But a contract for twelve stories sight unseen? THat strains my credulity when it comes to EC. This does NOT sound like the company I know and love and I highly suspect it is not true.


  • Karen Scott
    May 13
    8:20 pm

    But a contract for twelve stories sight unseen? THat strains my credulity when it comes to EC. This does NOT sound like the company I know and love and I highly suspect it is not true.

    Well, there was more than one author who told me about the multi-book contracts that have been awarded to newbies. Also this was a question that I posed to Tina Engler, I’m waiting for her to confirm or deny.


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