Ellora's Cave

Ellora’s Cave has been officially dropped from my recommended Teddypig Top ePublishers List for writers and readers.

Honestly, I do not take my list lightly.

If I know nothing about an ePublisher they will not go on my list. If for any reason I know something about an ePublisher that might cause professional issues for writers or for any reason I feel that readers are being sold bad product I will not put that ePublisher on my list.

After this particular event recently on Dear Author where I can read in black and white seasoned professional eBook writers whom I respect explaining clearly and some under their own names how Ellora’s Cave on several occasions almost undermined their professional writing careers with purely unprofessional behavior and bad business practices I can no longer recommend them in any way. Then Jaid showed up to make things even worse to seal the deal. There is further explanation of what Ellora’s Cave has been doing with everything but a Power Point presentation over at Mrs Giggles.

So this is not an easy decision and I am not saying that Ellora’s Cave is in any way evil. I am saying I would keep them at arms length in any contract dealings I had with them and walk away immediately if that was not possible. I would definitely not trust them at their own word and not beyond anything that was not in writing and reviewed by an experienced lawyer. Sorry what they are doing IS NOT DONE by every other Top ePublisher out there which is why I think they need to be dropped from that list. I for one am tired of thinking of Ellora’s Cave as the last circus for a writer to seriously consider publishing with and not saying so publicly.

There are still several authors writing for them I know and love and their back catalog is full of wonderful eBooks I still need to review but that is not good enough to not say anything. They just are not staying on my list anymore than New Concepts Publishing has stayed on my list. At this point I am simply waiting for more bad news from EC authors and not expecting things to get better and we all have seen this play out before.

As a business and as an ePublisher, in my unprofessional consumer opinion, Ellora’s Cave has crossed a line into bad behavior with their current locked-in contract clauses that seek to interfere with professional writers attempting to work with better Publishers and the selling of contract rights outside their company without the writers knowledge is all sorts of WTF? Bad behavior is NOT a sign of a Top ePublisher and sadly Ellora’s Cave is showing they are not a Top ePublisher and not a good choice for anyone who cares about eBooks in general.

I will be glad to listen if any writers out there wish to discuss this with me. Maybe other Publishers have also done these very same things and hurt their writers without consequence. I swear to you if I hear about it you won’t find them on my recommendation list for long either.

Linden Bay Romance

On the other hand I bid welcome to Linden Bay Romance who was recently purchased by an ePublisher I consider to be the best Samhain.

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"Reader Beware: Ellora’s Cave" by TeddyPig was published on January 18th, 2009 and is listed in Announcements, Ellora's Cave, Linden Bay Romance, Reader Beware.

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Comments on "Reader Beware: Ellora’s Cave": 32 Comments

  1. Author wrote,

    Frankly, TeddyP, I don’t think Samhain is the cat’s meow, either, and I’m not alone in that belief. I’m speaking both as a reader (the quality of their output is extremely uneven, to say the least) and as a writer who’s dealt with them (a whole other story).

    And just for the record, I’m NOT Ann Somerville. :-)

  2. TeddyPig wrote,

    Well obviously this whole thing with EC is around writers having contract and rights issues.

    I have honestly never heard of a problem with Samhain editors not being helpful or their contracts being too grabby. Angela has always been even handed and professional publicly and I adore her. The worst I ever heard was they turned someone’s proposal down and that is just business. Being strictly business is not a bad thing unless it is obviously being used as an excuse for bad behavior.

    Anyway, there is a whole list right there to try Liquid Silver is wonderful and Loose Id has handled many good authors. Cobblestone Press likes short stories it seems and The Wild Rose is straight M/F Romance only. Samhain is simply what I consider one of the very best that puts a lot of authors in print and provides top of the line exposure of their books and authors to every distribution channel available and I have not heard many say different and I have not seen many ePublishers do better.

    When I do I will be here to say something.

  3. vein wrote,

    The only one that looks odd in the list to me is TWRP. Like a great many presses they are above board and reasonably selective. But also like a great many their sales seem to be low at best. I am not sure why they have such a great rep when being bottom of the pack on sales. Money isn’y everything but in publishing is would have to be near the top of the list surely? I would think many other presses are similar to or better than TWRP but perhaps not so high profile.

  4. A. Nona Mouse wrote,

    I’m under contract to EC. I was fairly pleased until all this broke. There were the usual title problems and sex-it-up stuff and all that, but for the most part, I was pleased.

    Now, I’m really torn about it. (The Anon. is to avoid trouble while I am still under contract.)

    The idea that money I–a woman–make by writing books for other women is going to pay for the defense of a woman-killer makes me ill. It is a negation of everything I believe and practice.

    The bad behavior of Jaid Black at Dear Author left me questioning how much more I want to send them
    And my first-refusal clause leaves me wondering how much more I’m obligated to send them and what will happen if I don’t.

    The bad decisions, especially leaving the distributor and failure to market their imprints well, make me wonder how long they are going to be the top-seller. I saw one EC book in a bookstore today, not the usual 2 dozen.

    Will you still be reviewing EC books? And how do authors get you a copy to do so?

  5. TeddyPig wrote,

    Emily,

    The Wild Rose Press was a surprise to me too, but think of it this way… at the time I was comparing them to Ellora’s Cave. That is what I need to stop doing.

    Frankly, remember when I was giving them flack for the silly category names and some of things they had posted on the site? They took it well. I think they did at least. Little did I know that Ellora’s Cave would turn around and emulate that same mistake with the silly category names.

    In talking to The Wild Rose authors and reading their eBooks and checking their editing and seeing how the company works in getting good distribution for their authors and their books they actually came out looking good in my regard as a ePublisher and they seem to be working hard at becoming better. So they get my nod as a solid company.

    This is a perfect example where I am placing earning potential at a lower rung than my impression of them as a decent company and there are a couple of others in that category on my list as well.

  6. Ally Blue wrote,

    Well obviously I can’t speak to anyone’s experience but my own. But I’ve personally never had the first problem with Samhain. Anyone who’s ever dealt with me in a professional capacity knows I always have about a zillion and twelve questions about EVERYTHING. Everyone at Samhain — Crissy, Angie, Marty, Lisa, my fabulous editor Sasha, and everyone else — has answered every one of my questions promptly, completely and professionally. When I’ve expressed concerns, those have been addresed to my satisfaction. My royalty statements arrive on time, as do the checks. They are complete and correct. Samhain’s marketing program is aggressive compared to most other epubs. My sales are good, and they are steady. I know not everyone can have the same positive experience, but my own experience has been very positive indeed, and I think most Samhain authors can probably say the same.

    For those who’ve been unhappy with Samhain, I’d second TeddyPig’s recommendation of trying Loose Id. I’m published with them as well and have been quite happy there. I’ve heard good things about Liquid Silver but can’t really recommend from an author’s POV because I’m not published with them. As for EC? Er. Well. I gotta say, all the things I’ve seen and heard lately do not make me want to submit anything to them O_O

  7. TeddyPig wrote,

    Anon,

    Be careful with them but just take all that stuff that happened as fair warning because you will only see them do it all again. I don’t get all involved with what Tina does in private, it’s what she does in public that bothers me. I see other authors all the time who were big with Ellora’s Cave popping up suddenly on other ePublishers (Now we know why!) so no reason you cannot do the same. Despite whatever they think they are not the only store in town so go shopping.

    I will review some Ellora’s Cave books I have been meaning to but I am gonna keep the volume low. I would hate to have to delete too much if they start pulling any funny stuff. Because if they start jacking people on money I will drop any mention of them like a rock.

  8. vein wrote,

    I understand weighting other things, but how good can distribution be with no bookstore distribution of print and ebooks sales in low double figures a year out from release… Well. Why TWRP but not Changeling, Eternal, Wild Child, Imajinn, Lyrical, Total e-Bound, Noble, Phaze or Pink Petal. Most of whom offer distribution and sales as good or better with no black marks that I am aware of?

  9. TeddyPig wrote,

    Changeling is a packaging and episodic short stories from hell mess.
    Honestly their product does not impress me.

    Some of the rest I have read some eBooks from but obviously not a lot and as I said unless I have talked with several of the authors and enjoyed their work and got a feel for the company I am not about blindly promoting something I do not know about. I like to feel I am judging them on something more than a promotional pamphlet.

    If I have a bias it comes from writers I have talked to and information they provided and what I thought of the eBooks I have bought.

  10. vein wrote,

    As it should be for a personal recommendation :)

    I lean the other way as I see their authors (really quite a few times) aggressively recommending the press to novice authors as better than Harlequin at el, without mentioning the earnings differential and even implying there isn’t one. This bothers me rather a lot. Their authors also used to share sales figures but by some coincidence, all stopped doing so.

  11. TeddyPig wrote,

    Well, they do have a couple of authors whom I read and liked. One being Jo Barrett. They seem to be doing well and making some sales lists and getting good reviews. That to me looks good and I would guess it to indicate they are working on growing their authors which to me is another good sign.

    But Harlequin huh? Wow, did they keep a poker face saying that?

    You know, I would love to see those Harlequin eBook sales figures.

  12. vein wrote,

    It seems to vary but Brend Hiatt has:

    HQN……………………………………………………………………………………………………………9
    Average advance (first book): $8500 Median: $8500
    Average advance (subsequent books): $20,500 Median: $21,000
    Advance range: $8500 – $25,000
    Standard royalty percentage: 8%
    Average earn-out: n/a

  13. A. Nona Mouse wrote,

    I have been subbing around to Emily Veinglory’s best selling pubs and deliberately writing stuff that is wrong for EC to escape the First Refusal.

    I am shopping around. I write too fast for their Only Three Things in Process At A Time rule anyway.

  14. A. Writer wrote,

    I’ve noticed TWRP authors encouraging novice authors to submit. Personally I would run a mile from them. I don’t doubt that the publishing house is financially secure – have you seen the size of their author & back list? Literally in the hundreds. However sales really are nothing to write home about. You get onto their best seller list by getting into the low tens (I mean low). After a year you still don’t get over a hundred. If you go to print you may manage to sell some more. I’m sure they are very nice to work with. Fact remains they have been in business almost the same amount of time as samhain and they don’t even have a quarter of the name recognition or distribution.

    Take a look at the Brenda Hiatt entry on them and ask yourself is this what you want to spend a year writing a book for?

    Wild Rose Press………………………………………………………………………………………….3
    Average advance: none
    Standard royalty percentage: 30-35% digital / 7% print
    Average earn-out: $135 Median: $135

  15. TeddyPig wrote,

    Right, now Branda Hiatt’s data is interesting and relevant but I think I need to state that I do not look at eBook Publishing for a writer as linear or silo’d.

    In fact I in no way shape or form recommend using only one ePub to publish your books. So a BIG NASTY RED FLAG should be any ePub that tries contractually to stop you from doing this.

    I think good eBook authors like Ally and Emily and J.L. Langley and Josh Lanyon and Jamie Craig and and and so on and so on prove that it is not a good idea just to have one distribution point for your work. It is not a good idea to ever PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET!

    So from my knowledge of that being the case would I equate in any formula comparing a Modern eBook Author who publishes with several ePubs to someone who only publishes with one? NO!

    I think a smart eBook author who is published with say Cobblestone Press would be less effected by the lack of visibility of say deciding to publish other material with another decent ePub like The Wild Rose Press so that would not be a horrid idea. In that case I would ask myself if I thought their distribution of eBooks and print was sort of equitable and then decide. They actually might be increasing their visibility with a whole new group and effectively bucking the low averages we see in Branda’s data.

    I personally think that people should use resources like Brenda’s or my list or Emily’s data as a starting point for a plan.

    I think like this… You have readers who buy all your eBooks from Amazon Whispernet on their Kindle right? So they see another eBook from you from another publisher listed on Whispernet also available on their Kindle so they will buy it irregardless of the publishers name. Distribution channels and reader format become more important and that takes away from publisher association. That does mean though that the writer’s name recognition becomes more important and so the product had best be of the same quality.

    I wish there was more reporting of figures out there so we could also see if sales were increasing or decreasing at the bigger ePubs like you can with Bookscan most of that data remains hidden.

  16. Just sayin' wrote,

    (Xposting)

    My take per the Dear Author blog…

    I have written for Ellora’s Cave a couple years now. I also have written for several other epublishers as well as print publishers during this time. I continue to write for both EC and NY houses WITH NO CONTRACT ISSUES.

    That, right there, should call into question the validity of some of the comments being made on these recent blog posts.

    I find it really disturbing that the authors in complaint are willing to reflect their irresponsibility on this publisher in such an unprofessional manner.

    But first off, EC, if you are listening, there is one valid point in these recent blogs: YOUR PRINT PROGRAM NEEDS SERIOUS RETHINKING. From nonsensical book scheduling to poor customer service to not distributing through Ingrams, you’ve made bad decisions. Enough said.

    I urge authors and readers alike to email EC directly and let their concerns be heard so EC can give this problem due consideration. EC is a company that is always growing and changing and I’ve no doubt they will once again strive to make their company the best it can be.

    Now, per the badmouthing I saw on the Dear Author blog regarding Jaid Black’s personal life. For those that did it, I am ashamed for you. What inexcusable, immature behavior. It’s no one’s business what Jaid does with her life or her money. Do not judge lest you be judged.

    And btw, I would dare, double dog dare, anyone of those blasting Jaid Black to so rudely do the same to any other prominent New York editor or publisher publicly. You wouldn’t, would you?

    Why does Jaid and Ellora’s Cave deserve less respect?

    A couple other points:

    #1. Let’s talk about option clauses. An option clause gives the publisher the right to review your next book and make an offer. It’s about respect. You give your current editor first read. Does this mean you can’t shop the book? NO. Does this mean EC has the absolute right to buy books that fall under said option clause? NO. An author fulfills an option clause by allowing her editor to review the manuscript. The author must then decide whether to accept or negotiate a contract offer or outright reject it.

    Point A: EC absolutely negotiates option clauses. As I stated, I happily write for more than one publisher.
    Point B: Any NY publisher is going to expect an author to uphold her end of the contract and fulfill option clauses. If an author blatantly does not, I’ve absolutely NO DOUBT any NY house would take necessary action. For an author to ignore an option clause is absolutely unprofessional and very few NY authors would dare behave as such. It would be silly too—because again, it’s just a matter of letting your current editor read your material and make an offer if they so chose.
    Point C: For those EC authors who’ve made claims to receiving cease and desist letters—good for EC! Please explain to me why, just because EC is an epublisher, you should be entitled to unprofessional behavior?

    And there’s that word again. UNPROFESSIONAL!

    And #2… The question of Ellora’s Cave selling/auctioning the print rights of books to other NY houses. Does anyone actually believe they did this illegally? That, for example, St Martin bought books from EC that neither had a legal right to? Uh, NO. The fact is, EC was fully within their rights. It was in the contract and the AUTHOR SIGNED AND AGREED TO THIS CONTRACT.

    Now, let’s be clear about another thing—this isn’t some sort of new or unusual or shady practice. Big, NY publishers do it all the time. When I sell a print book, the publisher typically also takes rights to foreign books, hardcover editions, audio, possibly even movie rights, etc, etc. Does this guarantee my book will be a big cinema hit? NO. But it gives the publisher the right to sell it as such and believe you me, if they can make money, they will.

    So why are these EC authors mad about the sales being made? Well, hmmm. Maybe they didn’t review the contracts they agreed to. Maybe, years later, they regretted signing away those rights. But sign them away THEY DID, even though it may be inconvenient. Even if, now that they are bestselling authors, they want their full rights returned. After all, who wants to split profits?

    And maybe that’s what it’s all about. Yep, let’s get this straight. These authors are making a big stink over money, then badmouthing EC in the process and then calling them greedy? Ehem.

    As for the issue of EC’s professionalism with authors. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-issue. Like I said, I’ve been with them over two years. Never had a problem. Have I always been happy with their decisions? HELL NO! Uh, that’s called life. I always keep my business relationships professional, so maybe that explains why.

    On the other hand, I’ve certainly stomached my share of bad behavior from editors in large NY houses. Learned long ago it’s part of the business. Publishing is all about money. If you aren’t the current hot ticket, editors don’t hesitate to neglect and abuse you.

    And that’s another reason I like EC. Hot ticket or not, it seems they treat all authors pretty much the same. No red carpet.

    Maybe that’s really what this stink is about.

    As for the Borders lawsuit, I won’t comment. Why? Because I don’t know the details or understand them. Doubt most of you do either, to say whether it’s right or wrong. Always a good idea, if you ask me, not to bigmouth about things you don’t full comprehend.

    And the last thing I want to say? I make really good money at EC. I’m happy there, so readers, please do ME and numerous other authors a favor and don’t take your business away from a good publisher because of some authors acting badly. Every author has opportunity to review a contract, to get an agent, to negotiate, and to walk away. All these authors whining are whining about things they agreed to.

    Even more troubling is how many authors and anonymous posters are publicly complaining about issues that aren’t affecting them directly, or in areas they have no business complaining about in such a public forum and yet, people are putting stock in what they say. So please, don’t.

    Finally, for those who are going to immediately make cheap shots at *my* anonymity, let me explain why–it’s because I have this bad habit of acting professionally…

    Try it on for size.

  17. TeddyPig wrote,

    I have written for Ellora’s Cave a couple years now. I also have written for several other epublishers as well as print publishers during this time. I continue to write for both EC and NY houses WITH NO CONTRACT ISSUES.

    That, right there, should call into question the validity of some of the comments being made on these recent blog posts.

    Sorry, but from my experience in these matters and my respect for those authors willing to step out in their own names I strongly disagree with you. They have professional writing careers and are still willing to put their reputations on the line to say something about their actual experiences with Ellora’s Cave to inform other writers.

    To negate their experience just because YOU have never run into issues with Ellora’s Cave and YOU are happy grabbing that money while watching Tina harass and bad mouth writers who have supported and made Ellora’s Cave what it is on the Ellora’s Cave loops and now in public is your thing and tells me more about what YOU will put up with to make a buck.

    They obviously feel otherwise and are explaining exactly what they saw, how they have been treated and how they handled it to counter the “we are all a big happy family and they are lying” bull by making valid examples.

    I don’t see your excuses in defense and “everybody does that” when obviously “everybody does NOT DO THAT” (No sane person in my opinion would be involved in this business or signing contracts.) carrying as much weight in this case.

  18. Just sayin' wrote,

    Sorry, but I, like many other authors, have signed an confidentiality clause. I won’t publicly violate it, not for this. And even if I did post my author name, would I then receive a warm welcome? Would you want to listen and respect what I said then?

    Ha! Seems to mean, these blogs are started for one reason—to badmouth EC. Period.

    As stated, I’ve been with EC two years. And I have never seen any such thing on the business loop! I cannot speak for before then. So I’d say these authors are bringing up some pretty old news, holding some pretty long grudges…

    Money does that to people, I suppose.

    Whether you want to take stock in what I say or not, an option clause is what an option clause is, no matter the pub. The terms may change, but regardless… Get a book, read about them. These authors in complaint either don’t know what they are talking about or point blank violated them.

    And a contract is a contract. If EC did anything illegal, they’d get sued. Pocket and St Martins wouldn’t be buying from them. That’s fact. The author signed away their rights–that’s their own fault!

    Signing off now, bc this could go on forever…

  19. kirsten saell wrote,

    An author fulfills an option clause by allowing her editor to review the manuscript. The author must then decide whether to accept or negotiate a contract offer or outright reject it.

    And if an editor wants to sit on the submission for a year? Not saying this happens, just saying it could–especially with pubs who have typically long wait-times for submissions.

    There’s no way in hell I would sign an unlimited option clause–next book, or next couple books in the genre, maybe. Because even if I went out of my way to write stuff my publisher didn’t want, they could still fuck with my ability to shop my work around in a timely manner.

    Again, not saying EC, or any other publisher, would or has, just that they could.

  20. TeddyPig wrote,

    Wow!

    First off whoever you are I have promoted and reviewed books for Ellora’s Cave writers. Just look… Sarah McCarty and Samantha Kane right there on the list to name a few. So your whole negating my website is a really cheap shot. OK?

    If I had only two years under my belt I think I would want to research and maybe check out just who J.C. Wilder or Cheyenne McCray were before showing my ass.

  21. TeddyPig wrote,

    Just because something is not illegal (Which I never stated anything Ellora’s Cave did was illegal.) does not make it right or good business or something a Top ePublisher should ever be caught doing.

    Just like… because you can make a quick buck off of someone’s lack of experience with contracts does not make you betraying their trust right.

    You might get away with it for a while but how people will talk.

  22. Another anon wrote,

    There’s no way in hell I would sign an unlimited option clause–next book, or next couple books in the genre, maybe.

    Very true, I agree with you, and unless my contract is significantly diff somehow, I only owe them the first look on my NEXT book (not first look at every single book hereafter), and they have 90days to act (pretty std timeline in the contracts for ePubs that I have seen thus far).

    I can only say it worked for me at the time. Had I known a year ago about some of this stuff it would have made my decision rather more difficult — in fact I probably wouldn’t have even submitted. When I say I can sympathise with KZ’s sentiment ( not so much her execution) over at DA, and with A non amouse above, it’s because feels very belittling to be cast onto the “the trash from THAT publisher heap”, regardless of how well received or reviewed my story is. It has rather tainted the feeling of success I had at making into the ‘top’ erotic romance ePublisher.

    I’m horrified on behalf Ms McCray that EC actioned their particular rights the way they did (along with the other crap with other authors), and it shakes my trust in the company. No, EC were not out of bounds with the action (yes, we signed those contracts giving them those rights), but the way it appears it was gone about…*shakes head*

    I will have to take it as a lesson learned that no matter how much research you do, you can make a mistake, and be thankful that at this point I’ve been treated fairly well.

  23. Lauren Dane wrote,

    I said this to Just Sayin at DA and I’ll say it here:

    The way a logical argument works is this: You have a premise, an inference and a conclusion.

    Your premise is that you personally have no problems with the EC contract or EC in any way. Your Inference is that because you have had none and others say they have, the fact that you have had no problems means – conclusion – everyone else is lying because you have had no problems.

    That’s simply illogical. The only thing you can say is that you haven’t had any problems. And for that, I’m happy for you. The issue here, is that you state that everyone else’s experience should be questioned because of yours. That’s stunningly ridiculous.

    Your assertion that X doesn’t happen to anyone else because it never happened to you is either totally naive or purposely blind. I’ve never been hit by a car when I crossed the street but it happens to other people every day. I’m not questioning your experience any more than I’d question the experience of any other authors who’ve posted here. Each one of us has different objectives and goals in our careers.

    For example: I’d never, that’s right, never sign an option clause for an epublisher. You would and that’s fine. I happily sign my NY option clauses because I receive something EC does not give – an advance. An advance means they’re giving me consideration in advance for the world I’m creating. They’re paying to lease part of my future, EC doesn’t do that and so they wouldn’t get that right in return from me. Options have not one damn thing to do with respect. Respect means I turn my books in on time, that I respond to correspondence in a timely and professional manner and that I make my book the best I can.

    Options are not about respect, they’re about leasing a future right to something. Rights are about money for both parties. That’s a logical business choice, no more or less valid than yours. But your career is not mine or anyone else’s. Choices you would make are not choices I would make.

    Do not think to extrapolate out your experience as a generalization. There’s a very big difference between personal experience and general circumstance. That doesn’t make you more professional, by the way, not any more professional than attacking other authors and calling them liars anonymously makes you more professional.

    Not all houses work for all authors. Moreover, a house that may have been a wonderful place for a certain author at any given time may not be the best place for her later on. For a whole host of reasons you or I may not be privvy to. Any assertions that your experience (or mine, or Jaci’s or anyone’s) is the one true way and all others are invalid are simply stupid. Your experience is simply that, your experience.

  24. TeddyPig wrote,

    As I said above there are several authors I know and love (Lauren Dane is one of them.) that have done good work for Ellora’s Cave. I am trying my hardest not to dump any mention of EC in this blog and I will review them as I planned.

    So no, I have never and will never throw a writer into the trash or blame a single one of them for any of this. It is not their fault they as a group got put into this position. I respect the writers and want to do what I can to warn those who have not been involved with Ellora’s Cave what they may face if they do.

    I just do not respect Ellora’s Cave or the way THEY are trashing writers and their careers.

  25. Another anon wrote,

    And I, at least, thank you for that TeddyPig.

  26. Lauren Dane wrote,

    Oh and as for Samhain, I can only say what my personal experiences have been with them – they’ve been open in the negotiating process, they’ve answered my questions quickly, the editing I receive is top notch, my books come out on time and are on bookstore shelves when they’re supposed to be. My royalty checks have grown very nicely over the years, they’re on time and I’m very happy there.

    This doesn’t mean Samhain is a good fit for every author or that every book would be right there or every editor would be right for every author. It’s all very individual but I personally have been very happy for whatever that’s worth.

    There’ve been other epubs where authors have been blissfully happy at where I’ve been miserable – a lot of it is about your own direction.

    If a noob asked me about how to choose (and I get asked from time to time) – I encourage authors to not rush into signing any contract and to really think about things carefully. I’m a lawyer and I signed contracts that have put me in a place where I am stuck with some books. It sucks beyond sucking, but it was a powerful lesson not to take the word of any publisher, even if it’s currently working a certain way. If you want it in two years, you should be sure it’s in writing or you have a way to escape.

  27. Juliana Stone wrote,

    Hello Teddy. followed the breadcrumbs over to your site. I just want to echo what Lauren Dane says. This entire business is both subjective and an individual journey. What is good for you, may not be great for me. It’s just when it comes to EC there is such a rabid response to any topic posted. I understand the authors who write for them are passionate about their work and their employer. That’s great. But please, don’t tell me I’m stupid or ill informed because I view their contract in a negative way. The options clause is there and not something I was interested in signing. The “rights” clause is there as well and again, not interested. They refused to remove or change the wording in both of these items, so for me the contract had to be refused. Period. I have other things going on and wasn’t willing to sign with these restrictions.
    This is the truth. Unblemished and totally what was going on with me. No one else.
    I’m neither stupid, nor ill informed.

  28. TeddyPig wrote,

    I fully agree with what Lauren said too.

    Outside the whole contract mess which sure if the authors hurt had not signed away a long time ago they would not be hurt but the fact that Ellora’s Cave executed parts of those contracts without communicating fully what they were doing to the writers involved tells me a lot of their attitude towards writers in general. Now let’s add what comes out of Tina’s mouth.

    That’s a pretty sad picture to me.

  29. Sarah McCarty wrote,

    I used to write for Ellora’s and enjoyed my time there. But I had an advantage in that, even though Ellora’s was my first publisher, I was very careful with my contract. As someone else pointed out, it matters what’s in those contracts because a publisher is fully entitled to to exploit to the max all rights granted them therein.

    I am the same way with my NY contracts which. I know I’ve said this 100 times before, but I’ll say it again: pay for a literary attorney to review your initial contract with a company because even if you think you understand legalese, there are very likely industry standard interpretations of clauses (and this carries the day in disputes) that take a seemingly innocuous straight forward clause and make it into an entirely different animal. Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate. No publisher is going to say, “Oh, s/he wants changes, drop him/her.” If they do, you DO NOT want to be writing for that house anyway.

    Just remember, for writers, there’s nothing more important than that contract. It’s their career on paper. That being the case, if they are aspiring for a professional career, in some ways, even the books they are producing aren’t as important as what’s contained within those pages because those pages control all subsequent career steps forward.

  30. TeddyPig wrote,

    Sarah,

    Lisa Bea and I were just asking each other if we had seen you anywhere online.
    How are you doing?

  31. Lynn West wrote,

    Hello!

    I’d like to introduce you to Dreamspinner Press at http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com. We specialize in M/M romance. I wanted to give you a few links so you could check us out. Our books have been reviewed in many of the bigger sites recently, and we’re very proud to be part of the industry.

    > A Review by Smart Bitchy, Trashy Books
    http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/weblog/comments/caught-running-by-madeline-urban-and-abigail-roux/
    > Reviews by Elisa Rolle
    http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/tag/dreamspinner+press
    >Rainbow Reviews
    http://rainbow-reviews.com/?tag=Dreamspinner+Press
    >Also Romance Junkies, Whipped Cream Reviews, Coffee Time Romance, Fallen Angels Reviews, Mrs. Giggles, and more.

    I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have or refer you to some of our authors for commentary.

    Thanks!
    Lynn West
    Dreamspinner Press
    lynnwest@dreamspinnerpress.com

  32. Creative Accounting the Publisher Way | J W Manus wrote,

    [...] another, Reader Beware: Ellora’s Cave. The comments are very [...]

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