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Ellora’s Cave, Dear Author & Lawsuits – Oh My!

One upon a time, as a younger but still voracious reader, I stumbled upon Ellora’s Cave, an Indie publishing company, and so my love of both ebooks and erotica was born. Back then they only offered PDF, and I STILL have some of those. But over the past few years EC has become stranger and stranger. All I can say is I’m way past disappointed and right into appalled. EC actually has the temerity to SUE a blogger for posting things that by all accounts seem to be true. I don’t know what the goal is, but for me, all I can say is they’ve lost a reader.

The post that spawned the lawsuit can be found here.

But the problems within Ellora’s Cave are deep and broad and should be brought into the light of day, not only for those existing authors and creators but for future ones. In internal emails, the CEO admits that “the drastic drop in sales has resulted in large net short term variable production losses and slow and often negative return on investment for ECon almost every new book we publish, with the exception of a handful of the highest sellers.”
There is a set of authors who have not received royalty payments in over six months. EC has blamed this repeatedly on a new accounting system installed in December of 2013.
CEO Marks admits that “already submitted finished books” will be paid but that “payment may be delayed.”
For editors, any partial work would not be paid, only finished work and that by finishing the work, they must accept the terms of the late payment.
Partial work that is completed should be sent in to be finished by an in house editor and no partial work will be paid for.
Failure to turn in either partial work or finished work will result in a 25% deduction of overall payment for that project.
The author portal has been shut down where a select few authors could check their royalties.
Authors request for return of their rights have been rejected and some are told that their books will be published with or without their approval.
The total sum of unpaid royalties, editor fees, cover artist fees is in the several thousands, perhaps approaching six figures.
EC has held warehouse sales advertised via online forums and through eBay.

Authors are now asking readers to not buy EC books. See Avril Ashton and Cat Grant.”


(Formatting issues in this excerpt are my own and not the results of DA)

And here’s the link for Dear Author’s response about the lawsuit.


All I can say is that Dear Author has shown a lot of class, I wouldn’t have been as nice, and I think EC is behaving childishly and throwing a whining tantrum. I hate to wish ill on someone, and I’m sad for the authors, editors, cover artists et al who are being hurt by this, but Tina/Jaid needs to be stopped.
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Sale – Nora Roberts: The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy

Nora Roberts: The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy is currently on sale at Amazon only for $4.99. Since that is the price of the current cheapest book in the trilogy, it is an excellent deal. Hopefully some of the other retailers will price match. But for now, if you haven’t read them already, or you only have paper and are looking to pick them up in digital, it is a steal.

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Review – Frozen

Frozen
by Meljean Brook

Meljean Brook had been teasing us with the idea of Frozen for quite some time, and eventually she gave into the shame and got herself to finish it by posting it in serial format on her blog until it was finished. Her blogs of shame were a very clever stick to beat herself with, and was an excellent reward for those who have been waiting. It is currently still $0.99 in digital formats (that I understand may be subject to change). It is billed as a novella, but frankly, at 163 or so pages, that is really almost a novel.

Frozen relies heavily on the snowbound trope to keep the word count down and still leave us with fleshed out characters and conflicts, since there aren’t really mother people or places to devote word count to. It has a really interesting mythology, which makes it one of the fresher stories I’ve read in quite a while. This is categorically NOT your standard vampire, werewolf, ghost, or Fae story. I really, really enjoyed it. My one issue, is I am not a huge fan of first person narratives, particularly when I am in the heroine’s head. I like to get a bit more insight into the hero’s thought processes, and while we got to know Olivia rather well, Erik remained largely opaque even at the HEA. Overall, 4 stars, and more than worth the dollar price tag.


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3.5 star review

Review – Mine to Have

Mine to Have

Mine to Have
by Cynthia Eden

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This is book 5 in Eden’s Mine Series. While I suppose most of these could be read as stand-alones, really, this is sort of a saga of the most villain-beleaguered group of friends and family I think I have ever read. These are insta-hots and insta-obsession type books and are rather predictable, but they are so filled with drama that they are really kind of fun to read too. So here is a general breakdown of how they connect (minus any spoilers).

Trace (hero of book 1 & 2) is friends with Noah (hero of book 3) and Drake Archer (hero of book 4). Archer falls in love with Jasmine, who brings to the group her brothers Saxon (hero of book 5) and Victor (hero of book 6?).

Mine to Have is no exception to the rule of danger, bullets, blood, and betrayal. Saxon has been undercover for so long he doesn’t know precisely who he is anymore, but he has a definitive plan for who he wants to be and an exit plan that he is on the cusp of obtaining. Elizabeth is the ubiquitous woman in danger, but she is pretty feisty so I liked her quite a bit. Book 4 seemed to be the conclusion of the original set of villains and book 5 seems to set up this next arc of villains, and while I enjoyed the book, Victor kind of stole the show to me (as he did in the previous book as well). And while this does seem to set up the next book, he wasn’t just sequel bait. I think the biggest difference in this book, from the rest of the series, is how isolated the main couple felt from the rest of the group. I can’t tell if that was just the on the run aspect, or the fact that we have branched away from the original group, but it should be interesting to see how the rest of the series shakes out.

Overall, Cynthia Eden is an auto-buy for me because of the non-stop action and over the top instant devotion. I am not here for intricate world building or deep characterization; these are kind of the romance novel equivalent of Bruce Willis action films.

3.5 stars

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