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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):

I want writers to be able afford to write–because I like to read. If authors cannot afford to write, there won’t be shit for me to read (and yes, it’s all about me).

But guess what?

There are plenty of creative types who never manage to live exclusively–or even mainly–off their art.

Even if they are incredibly, awesomely, fantastically, fucking GREAT at what they do.

There are a number of series I liked (if not loved) that died on the vine because they didn’t sell well enough.

It sucks, but it happens.

It’s called life.

However, it’s a lot harder for authors to afford to write if the publisher they have signed with is not. fucking. paying them.


Deirdre Saoirse Moen commented, very politely, and asked Ms Guillone a couple of questions, pointing out some of the more troubling things from the Dear Author piece, which were being discussed in other places as well–such as Absolute Write.

Jaid Black happened by and posted this:

Deirdre, my impression of you is that of a person who deeply cares about her fellow authors. For that reason I respect you despite the fact you believe I’m guilty of doing pretty heinous things. You have good intentions, but then you know what they say about those…

Have you ever considered that you might be wrong, though? As Sedonia pointed out, every author has the contractual right to an audit, yet not one has exercised that right. Doesn’t that at least set off even the smallest alarm to you? If I truly believed I’d been scammed I would exercise my right in a heartbeat.

As to the tax liens, the state gives them to me every year despite the fact I’m on a payment plan. I suppose that sounds bad to the average person, but there’s nothing insidious about it. I’m self-employed, I pay anticipatory taxes to the state & federal government, but I can’t predict exactly how much I’ll owe until I owe it. Some self-employed ppl take out loans to keep from getting liens, but I’ve not. Some ppl overpay in anticipatory taxes, but I don’t. If I’ve had a lien every year, why is this only an issue now?

As to the lawsuit, I cannot comment on that for obvious reasons.

As to Amazon, I’ve had way too many publishers tell me behind the scenes they’re feeling it too to believe it’s just EC. Choosing not to accept that as the truth makes it no less true.

Ms Deirdre has a post up with her reaction to this response by Jaid Black.

Here’s mine:

It has been pointed out in several places that authors who have not been paid–or whose checks are barely enough to buy a Happy Meal at McDonalds–can ill afford an audit, so having the clause there would seem pretty useless for the long tail of authors who do not make more writing than they would flipping burgers.

(Which is why, by the by, if you are an Ellora’s Cave author and would like to exercise that clause, you may want to follow the breadcrumbs from here.)

Bringing the fact that the clause is there as a reason to trust Jaid Black in the face of EC suing a blogger for putting together publicly available information and then pointing out the obvious seems…well, disingenuous at best, wouldn’t you say?


Screenshots, as promised:

Sedonia Guillone 1

Sedonia Guillone 2

Jaid Black - have you ever considered that you might be wrong

Also, can anyone tell me why the hell are all these people doing the fucking black background? Are they trying to turn people away or what?


  • Ex EC Fan
    January 14
    6:26 pm

    Wow. Just…wow. Sedonia’s now at the tippy-top of my do not buy EVER list…


  • Amarinda Jones
    January 15
    4:34 am

    I went through this non payment/missing mail crap several years ago with EC and pulled out so I have no love for them. I will never agree with what EC has done and is doing with DA but I’m not going to shoot Sedonia Guillone down for having an opinion and putting it out here whether I agree with it or not. She’s entitled to it. No, I barely know her but I respect anyone who speaks their mind regardless which side they stand on.


  • @Amarinda Jones: Absolutely, Ms Guillone is entitled to her opinion, and kudos for her for speaking up about her experience.

    It’s a lot harder to do so when people are piling up on the other side of the discussion.


  • Jeff Erno
    January 19
    8:18 pm

    I do not have an opinion about Ellora’s Cave or about their dispute with their authors, nor about the Dear Author lawsuit. I haven’t ever purchased a book from EC and I don’t know the parties involved personally.

    However, I do know Sedonia Guillone quite well. I have a few books published through her small press, Ai Press. I’ve gotten to know her on both a professional and personal level, and I greatly admire her. She’s someone who not only demonstrates unflagging integrity, but she also is a kind, compassionate, non-judgmental person. She’s one of those people who never seems to have a bad word to say about anyone and is always looking for the good in people.

    I wholeheartedly respect your opinion concerning the EC/DA dispute, and I support your right to post this opinion on your blog and elsewhere. And you very well could be spot on. Perhaps Sedonia is a bit too trusting. I honestly cannot say one way or another. I have donated to one of the authors who was trying to raise money to buy rights back from EC. It breaks my heart to see any publisher go under, and after what happened with Silver Press, I think we are all leery of that possibility.

    But what makes no sense to me is that someone would categorically dismiss Sedonia as an author and flat out say they will never buy her books simply because they disagree with her opinion. Well, obviously, they have the right to do that, but I think it’s kind of shitty. And one thing I’ve believed for a very long time is that Sedonia Guillone is an exceptional talent, definitely under-rated within the mm genre. And no, I’m not one of her sock puppets. I’m saying this as a genuine fan.

    I don’t fault Sedonia for having the courage to speak up for someone she believes in. I think it speaks to her character. And even in the screenshots you shared, I did not see any disparaging remarks toward those on the other side of this dispute.


  • @Jeff Erno: Please do read again.

    I am not, and did not, dismiss Ms Guillone as an author.

    I disagree with her about Jaid Black being professional or truly kind.

    And it’s each reader’s right to use whatever criteria they like to select which authors (or publishers) they purchase their books from–so I’m not going to call Ex EC Fan “shitty” for deciding not to buy Ms Guillone’s books, whatever his/her reason for doing so.

    YMMV, obviously.


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