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Ellora's Cave Blog Post Header

Some Ellora’s Cave authors have been reporting that, indeed, they have received royalties from Ellora’s Cave recently. Yay. Except that some of those same authors are reporting they have notable inaccuracies.

Update 11/18:

Hold the hoorays, though, because there are issues.

Royalty Statement and Check Mailed to Wrong Person?

Sidney Bristol reports that someone else received her royalty statement and check.

Paid for Print Book that Ellora’s Cave Never Published?

Update 11/18: I’ve added Patty Marks’s letter to the ec_biz list at the bottom of this post. This was a product type error that reportedly does not affect the royalty amount.

Shoshanna Evers reports having received a royalty statement claiming that she was being paid for a print book for her title Chastity Belt—even though Ellora’s Cave never published that title in print.

Olivia Waite reports the same issue:

If you search on Shoshanna’s ISBN, though, (see tip below), you’ll find this Google books page. Now that link doesn’t specifically state that it’s an ebook (nor does it have the correct description for the book), but it is the ebook published in 2011. Sometimes you need to look at several of these to get the full picture.

What’s important, though, is that Ellora’s Cave pays lower royalty percentages for print books due to the physical cost of producing and shipping books. Reasonable.

It seems to me that this was an error on the royalty statement for the wrong format. It’s pretty clear for those cases where only one format was ever published by EC, but less clear when both print and paper were published.

Price Column Sometimes the Total, Sometimes the Unit Price?

Robin L. Rotham reports that sometimes the price column is the price per unit, and sometimes the total.

She also reports being underpaid for a specific title for a four-month period.

Two Conflicting Statements for the Same Month?

Robin L. Rotham also reports getting two statements for March—and they disagree.

What’s Really Disheartening…

…is trying to get existing issues resolved.

Another Issue to Check

If you have a pre-mid-2011 contract where your contract says you should be paid on cover price rather than sales price (and you didn’t agree to amend the contract to sales price), you might want to double check that your royalty statement reflects the correct price.

For more information about this issue, please see Ann Jacobs’s Intervening Counterclaim in the Ellora’s Cave v. Dear Author case.

I’ve heard that some people hadn’t heard about Ann’s counterclaim (still pending in court as of this writing), so wanted to give a heads up.

The Long Tail, Redux

Assuming a constant error rate, one way Ellora’s Cave could reduce its number of errors is, as I’ve said before, chopping the long tail.

Search Tip

If you have an ISBN and want to check more information about who the publisher is and what the format associated with that ISBN is, Google on:

ISBN (number)

I find Google is a better search engine than Bing for this particular purpose as you’re more likely to find a useful result with smaller houses.

Patty Marks’s Letter re: ARE Books Showing As Print

From: Patty Marks
Date: Nov 18, 2015 2:11 PM (1 minute ago)

As you receive your royalties, you will notice that the product type under ARE (All Romance Ebooks) sales is showing as PRINT on the May statements. This should read Ebook, however, if you do the calculations, you will see that it has no affect on the royalties. According to our MAS liaison:

“when loading customer sales order file, the Store Site and Product Type is defined. the Store Site and Product Type are constants in the production of the monthly Detail Report.

all royalty calculations, Print or E Book are performed for each ISBN in the Inventory module. regardless of the Store Site or Product Type defined at the sales order load, the inventory module identifies the ISBN correctly and assigns the correct royalty percent accordingly..

thats it.”

I noticed the error when we started sending them out, but did a quick calculation and saw that it had no effect on the numbers. As that was the case, we decided it was more important to work on getting them out rather than redoing everything. I apologize that I didn’t mention it.

Sincere thanks to Jan Springer for contacting us – she had already figured the numbers were correct, but I really do appreciate her bringing it to our attention, as we should have saved her and others the trouble of figuring it out for themselves.

I’m very glad this doesn’t affect royalties and doesn’t mean EC will have to issue a bunch more checks and the authors were (per Patty) paid correctly for those titles.

Questions? Comments? More Royalty Peculiarities?

Please feel free to leave comments below.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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ellora's cave blog header

This post includes the bodies of several emails from Tina Engler to Ellora’s Cave’s business list (hosted on yahoogroups). Note that where there are email addresses listed in the body, I’ve reduced it to the part in the front of the domain name (e.g., website@) to not be a source of spam.

Aug 12: Website & New EC Active Author Group

Date: Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 7:26 PM
Subject: [ec_biz] a new group for active EC authors & site update

After the past couple days I’m starting to feel like the town crier so (hopefully!) this will be my last post for at least a week :)

Website

  1. search engine done
  2. author pages done
  3. made “coming soon” section our current priority as of today
  4. new front page after that
  5. series search is next
  6. adjusting book pages so the cover isn’t stretched out

*any errors for points 1 & 2 should be sent to website@ as they are completed

New Group Loop

This week I’m going to be sending out invitations to a private, closed group for active EC authors! The new group is voluntary and participatory; it’s not an announcements-only loop. The group’s main foci are: brainstorming, blurb help, strategizing, maximizing sales, and maintaining communication. If you are an active EC author with a professional reputation (i.e. no history of making private business matters public fodder) then you will receive an invite so long as you meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Had an EC book release within the past 3 months
  2. Have an EC book that hasn’t yet released, but has a scheduled release date
  3. Signed a contract with EC within the past 3 months and are in good standing with your editor by turning in your revisions/edits on or before the agreed upon due date
  4. Are a full time EC employee.

*Please remember this is NOT mandatory. If you receive an invitation but feel you’ve already got too much on your plate to deal with, simply decline it. You will NOT be frowned upon for doing so!! Alternately, you can accept the invite then opt out of individual emails so you can check the loop when time, energy, and desire allows. It’s totally up to you.

And finally, inactive authors who still have books under contract at EC will continue to receive all announcements that pertain to them here on the biz loop. You are not removed from our biz loop (unless you choose to unsubscribe) so long as your books are contracted at EC.

Tina, whose typing fingers are getting sore :)

(end email)

Except, of course, quite a few people were silently shoved off of (or never added to) the ec_biz list, so this blog is the place they get those emails. Call it a public service.

August 12th Addendum to Email Contact List

Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 3:38 PM
Subject: [ec_biz] Addendum to Email Contacts

Per Raelene:

  1. The main email for authors to use for anything you hadn’t listed, and actually for anything if they don’t remember the other addresses, is AuthorInfo@. Anything they send there (including stuff for contracts, royalties, whatever) will be routed to the right place for them. So if they can only remember one EC email address, that’s the one to use.
  2. And for rights buybacks, authors should cc contracts@ when emailing patty@.

August 12th A Final Post for Now

Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 4:22 AM
Subject: [ec_biz] a final post (for now) with a thank you

First of all, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we get over this hump. I am humbled and sincerely warmed by the outpouring of positivity and graciousness the overwhelming majority of you have sent our way. You make all the hard work and long nights very much worth it :)

Secondly, after speaking with an EC author who’s been with us for a while but who I hadn’t met until recently, I realized that we’ve been far too silent this past year. This person pointed out that the majority of EC’s authors are good, professional people and therefore shouldn’t be punished because of a few bad apples. While it was never our intention to punish anyone, we have come to realize that we have indeed been far too silent over the course of the last year. The bad apples are going to do what bad apples do regardless to whether or not we maintain transparency or cloak ourselves under a veil of silence. Gun shy though we may be, s/he is correct. Therefore we will do our very best to be more communicative on a regular basis.

I often wax nostalgic for the old days when I was able to be 100% transparent with our authors and never once have to worry someone would leak private business information onto public forums and social media. While I realize those days can’t be relived due to sheer growth, I would remind those of you who have been with EC for over a decade that I am the same person now who I was back then. What you see is what you get. I have no hidden agendas and rate 0% in the “poker face” arena. I have always kept my life an open book and that will never change. My goal both then and now is to maximize your profits and make you proud to be an EC author. While the current market has turned the publishing world on its heels, we will continue to reinvent ourselves as we’ve done a plethora of times before. We got through the Borders debacle and bounced back stronger than ever thanks to the business acumen of our CEO, Patty Marks, during a time when many publishers went under. Amazon is merely another bump in the road and, as always, we can and will endure and end up stronger because of it.

Those of you who know me are aware of the fact that I (a) don’t bullshit people and (b) never, ever give up. Because of our small but mighty team at EC, we WILL put you back on the map and make sure you rule over it. THAT IS A PROMISE!!

Again, thank you for your kindness, generosity, and belief in EC. I allowed myself to behave reactively toward the negativity for a year, but that is over. I love EC and I love the vast majority of our authors both new and old. Here’s to reclaiming our stronghold.

Warmly,
Tina

(end email)

A few bad apples? That’s how you’re choosing to characterize authors making you money who are upset about (purported) slow/no pay and/or underpayment?

August 11th Contact List

Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 9:41 PM
Subject: [ec_biz] EC emails

I apologize in advance for inundating you with an uncharacteristic amount of notices! I want to make various issues easy to find by having their own subject lines rather than grouping them together in one large email. I’m trying to become more conscientious where that’s concerned, though sometimes I do forget. But I’m digressing…

VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR YOUR BENEFIT

When you need to email EC please email ONLY the appropriate address and nobody else. Otherwise everyone included in the email occasionally assumes someone else addressed the issue. This happened recently which is why I’m addressing it now.

CONTACTS

contracts@ – new contracts, new contract questions, and rights reversion requests that meet the criteria (sold less than 100 copies in time frame specified in contract)

royalties@ – royalty questions that can only be answered by the accounting department, missing statements (you should ALWAYS receive a statement with each check,) and discrepancies between statements and monies received (this is rare, but it does occasionally happen.) For the next couple of months please only email royalties@ for missing statements and discrepancies between statements & monies received. This kindness on your behalf is greatly appreciated as Courtney is working 7 days a week (literally) to catch up.

patty@ – questions pertaining to rights reversion requests wherein the author knows they don’t meet the criteria for free reversions and are asking for a buy-back price. As an FYI, the prices are straightforward and are based on anticipated loss of income over a 3-year period. (I’m pretty sure it’s 3 years, but I’m not 100% on that and I don’t want to wake her up to confirm!) Point being, we don’t hijack the prices. Each and every request is calculated the same way.

website@ – issues with the new site.

jaid@ – when you have exhausted yourself of all proper channels and feel that your question and/or issue hasn’t been sufficiently addressed then I’m the one to contact. (It doesn’t matter which department this pertains to.) I’m also the person to contact for anything that has to do with marketing, creative PR, or just project ideas you have that would require me to give the green light before proceeding. Example: authors X, Y, & Z would like to put together a niche anthology (which we don’t typically do anymore) bc they think it has sales potential based on (insert reason.)

josem@ – social media issues/questions/ideas.

IN CLOSING

It’s important we work together; emailing only the proper address is a vital part of that. It’s especially crucial for general email addresses (contracts, royalties, website) because multiple people access those boxes so never assume you’re reaching one specific staff member.

Thanks in advance!
Tina

(end email)

“We don’t hijack the prices.” I disagree. So does Victoria Strauss:

One last thing: a publisher should not put a price on rights reversion. Charging a fee for reversion or contract termination is a nasty way for a publisher to make a quick buck as a writer goes out the door. A termination fee in a publishing contract is a red flag (for more on why, see my blog post). And attempting to levy a fee that’s not included in the contract is truly disgraceful.

August 11th Updates

Subject: [ec_biz] updates
To: ec_biz@yahoogroups.com

We’re extremely and genuinely sorry for the delays you’re experiencing. I understand and empathize with your needs and worries, but I promise it’s getting better. Please hang in there while we catch back up, which we will and always do.

As an FYI: the fewer emails sent to accounting, the faster we can get royalties processed and mailed. Courtney recently had a family emergency and went to [visit a family member with a hospital emergency], but she is back in Ohio and working feverishly to catch up. I understand this is not your problem, but I hope you can lend your understanding.

Sincerely,

Tina

(end email)

Note that I edited out the specifics of what Courtney’s family emergency was to protect the privacy of that family member.

You know what? Rick and I have both worked as temps for Accountemps. There are plenty of temp/contract agencies that could have covered this.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

scrivener-marketing-tips

A while ago, I was about to change a cover for a book, and wanted to re-examine the Amazon keywords and the blurb to see if I could strengthen them.

I realized that, off the top of my head, I couldn’t remember exactly where I’d put that info for this particular book.

Then I realized: this stuff should go in Scrivener. You know, right along with the manuscript itself.

Add a Marketing Folder to Your Scrivener Project

Next to the Research folder, I created a Marketing folder.

What goes inside?

  • Blurbs
  • Amazon keywords (relevant only if you’re self publishing)
  • Any other marketing copy used
  • Relevant URLs (for where to buy the book)
  • Excerpts (for longer work)

Note that, apart from Amazon keywords, these work for traditionally published authors too. If you are publishing in multiple languages, it may make more sense to break out these files by language.

Speaking of which, other languages may also have substantially different covers. I wouldn’t keep these in the main language’s Scrivener document; instead, I have a directory on my hard drive for all the original image files (i.e., the Photoshop PSDs). I only put the current, final JPEG in Scrivener. Otherwise, the Scrivener documents become unmanageably large. Since I work on a MacBook Air with an SSD drive, it also allows me to store rarely-used resources on an external hard drive.

Also, it may make more sense to create a separate Scrivener project for each language if you’re self publishing.

Blurbs

This file’s not just for current versions of blurbs, but also for previous versions.

If you have A/B testing data for whether one blurb is more successful than another, you can also keep notes about that in the blurb file. (Personally, I use a spreadsheet for this, and I don’t keep the spreadsheet in the Scrivener project.)

Amazon Keywords

Amazon keywords are a dark art: without them, your book isn’t discoverable through organic search. I talk about KDSPY, an Amazon keyword research tool, here.

Once you’ve done your research, you’ll need a place to save your notes about that research as well as what your current keyword string is. And why.

Also, over time, market conditions change, and it’ll be easier to revisit how you might want to tweak your Amazon keywords if you can easily re-review why you made the choices you did before.

Other Marketing Copy

Long description, descriptions you’ve used on blog tours, etc. Anything that mixes it up and offers fresh takes.

Relevant URLs

Perhaps you’ve got a blog tour.
Perhaps your book’s available on 27 (or more!) different sites.

Sometimes it’s useful to have all that information handy. If I asked you what your Powell’s link was, how long would it take you to find that?

Excerpts

Especially if you’re doing a blog tour, you’ll want to have different excerpts for different sites. That way, people won’t be seeing the same old same old every time they go to read a different post about your new book.

Don’t Have Scrivener?

Scrivener’s regular price is $45, and it’s available for Mac and Windows. If you use both platforms, it’s worth noting that the Mac version is usually significantly ahead of the Windows version feature-wise.

Got Other Ideas?

What else would you put in your marketing folder for your writing projects?

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

bowker-trying-to-scam-indie-authors

Speaking as someone who’s bought a block of 100 ISBNs….

Don’t let Bowker (the exclusive US seller of ISBNs) take your money for stupid reasons.

Bowker recently sent out an email with a “sale” notification, and the ad had the following text:

Most publishers produce at least five versions of a book (in print and electronic formats), each of which requires an ISBN.

THIS IS PATENTLY FALSE.

From the latest Author Earnings report:

30% of the ebooks being purchased in the U.S. do not use ISBN numbers and are invisible to the industry’s official market surveys and reports; all the ISBN-based estimates of market share reported by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen are wildly wrong.

Further on:

In the January 21 dataset, we found that:

20% of Amazon’s overall Top-10 selling ebooks did not have ISBNs.

16% of Amazon’s overall Top-100 selling ebooks did not have ISBNs.

34% of Amazon’s overall Top-1,000 selling ebooks did not have ISBNs.

37% of Amazon’s overall Top-10,000 selling ebooks did not have ISBNs.

But…Don’t E-Book Vendors Require ISBNs?

No.

Exactly zero of the major e-book vendors require an ISBN. Even Apple, which used to require one, no longer does.

So When Do You Need an ISBN?

Short version:

  1. Some people who know their ebooks may land on major bestseller lists use them to make their books more trackable for said list maintainers. And then there’s the rest of us.
  2. Print books sold in bookstores, as they are ordered by ISBN.
  3. Library books (print, not e-book).
  4. Audiobook if you’re going to sell physical media.

For most print books, you’ll need an ISBN from somewhere in order to get into libraries or bookstores. If you only ever intend to sell direct, then you may not need one.

However, there are nuances.

  1. If you want to make your book available to libraries and you intend to publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace, you’ll have to use their ISBN to use their service to market to libraries. I’m not sure this is the best route, frankly, because CreateSpace only publishes trade paperbacks, and libraries strongly prefer hardcover.
  2. If you publish through CreateSpace and also publish an e-book through Amazon, you can get real page numbers. This is very useful if your book has any sort of academic interest (even if it’s fiction), because that allows for better citations in homework and papers.

  3. If you publish through Ingram Spark, you can get hardcovers, and they have great distribution through bookstores and libraries.

Let’s Use a Classic Publisher Example

Let’s say you want to publish in hardcover, audiobook (digital only), and e-book first, then release trade paperback. How many ISBNs do you need?

Outlet/Format Need ISBN? Notes
Ingram Spark (hardcover) Yes 55% discount (45% royalty to you, less production costs) for widest distribution
Ingram Spark (softcover) Yes 55% discount (45% royalty to you, less production costs) for widest distribution
CreateSpace (softcover) Yes 40% discount (60% royalty to you, less production costs) for within-Amazon distribution, can use same ISBN as Ingram Spark softcover
Kindle No 35%-70% royalty
iBooks No 70% royalty
Nook No 40%-65% royalty
Kobo No 45%-70% royalty
Google Play No 52% royalty so long as they don’t discount your retail price, for which they are famous

So, how many ISBNs do you need for that scenario? Two.

I honestly haven’t looked into audiobooks enough to know what the situation is there, but I’m guessing that Amazon covers what you need if you want to sell through ACX.

Should You Use an ISBN Provided by a Service?

If you don’t buy the ISBN yourself, you are not the publisher of record.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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P1070897

Even if you’re not selling something directly, these may help you. It’s related to a few comments I’ve gotten about this post.

  1. Sites that load faster get higher search engine rankings.

    There are a few things you can do to improve load time. Specifically:

    • If you don’t need PNG’s transparency, use a JPEG.
    • If you want to produce retina graphics without significant pain, save a double-size image at a low JPEG quality. Usually a 30% quality JPEG is smaller than a high-quality JPEG or PNG that’s half the resolution.
    • Use a WordPress (or whatever) theme that is optimized for load time. For WordPress, that’s StudioPress’s Genesis, which was developed by CopyBlogger. The entire point of their themes is to provide a quick-loading site highly optimized for making Google ad revenue.
  2. Don’t bother with a slider. Or, if you do, it shouldn’t take up most of the vertical part of the front page. Notice that Amazon’s doesn’t. I was going to praise Creative Market’s use of sliders in categories—only to discover that they’d eliminated them.

    Why not bother? Because anything that takes more time to load, as sliders typically do, means that the most important part of your page is blank while the client’s browser is waiting for the information to render it.

    You may have a great internet connection, but you can’t expect everyone looking at your page to.

  3. Put the most important items above the fold because people will spend four times more time above the fold. Not all people are willing to scroll, especially if the page takes time.

    If you’re a publisher, new titles, preferably all the newest titles, should go above the fold. If you can’t make that work, put the titles you expect to be bigger first.

  4. When adding colors to your site, remember that some people are colorblind, and not just in the ways you expect. Take a snapshot of your site and desaturate it. Can you still see the differences?

  5. Aging eyes need higher contrast. Is your content sufficiently high enough in contrast to be read by them? Also, reduce contrast for less essential elements (I de-emphasize meta information about a post such as categories, tags, and date and time.)

  6. There is a sharp divide between the links should be underlined people and the underlining makes links less readable people. I’ve previously used underlines (or a dotted border) on hover, but I’m a no-underline person. Just: be consistent, whatever you pick. These days, you could use a much less intrusive method like:

    a:hover { border-bottom: 1px thin dotted #bbb;
      border-bottom: 1px thin dotted rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.25);}

If You’re an Author, What’s Your Number One Design Goal?

I’ll let Tim Grahl of Out:think Group take this one.

Your #1 goal in building out your website, and in everything you do to market your books online, is to grow your email list.

Here’s Tim’s post about building an author site in an hour.

(Yes, really, I’ve done it in an hour.)

People Spend More Time on the Left than on the Right of Your Page

This assumes left-to-right reading, so those of you with Hebrew or Arabic pages should reverse this.

For this reason, I personally dislike putting sidebars on the left.

However, if you’re going to put a sidebar on the left, then at the top is where your email signup form should go.

People Read in an F shape

Mostly headlines, spending less time on content.

So, use headlines in your posts. If you enable Markdown on your WordPress site (it’s a Jetpack plugin feature, and you absolutely should be using Jetpack): ## at the beginning of a line is an h2, ### is an h3. Easy peasy.

(I published this post accidentally, so I guess I’m done. Anyone want to read up on how SEO-optimized sites, making $ off Google ads, work theory-wise? I find it fascinating, even if it’s not my cuppa to produce them.)

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

elloras-cave-blog-header

From the eternaltubthumper rolling my eyes:

1) All past and present freelance editors and artists have been paid in full.

2) Many of you received 2 royalty checks in December; More of you will receive 2 royalty checks in January & February.

3) The accounting department will continue to focus on getting the new royalty system online by the end of February and processing royalties on the old system while paralleling them against the reports of the new system to insure all software bugs have been fixed. At some point in the next couple of months expect to receive 2 different royalty statements so you can compare the old way to the new way and make a smooth transition with it.

4) Nothing has changed at Amazon, though more publishers and authors are finally becoming vocal about how Amazon’s business practices are affecting them. Here’s a recent article; note the parallels between what others are reporting and what we’ve been saying all along: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/technology/amazon-offers-all-you-can-eat-books-authors-turn-up-noses.html?_r=0

5) Elisabeth has reacquired 2 of our former freelance editors who remained on positive, professional terms with us and we’re excited to have them back. Also, Susan Edwards is now editing full-time for us, which is excellent for our authors and thereby EC. (FYI: contrary to rumors Susan never left EC; She simply decided she wanted to edit instead.)

6) We still have a few tough business decisions to make, but overall 2015 is going to be a solid year.

Tina/Jaid

My Commentary

Let’s take them one at a time.

  1. If I’m reading this right, Tina’s admitting that, as of the time of the lawsuit, the freelance editors and artists were not paid, and have not been until just recently.

    http://twitter.com/ataglanceRMC/status/545715918827831296

    http://twitter.com/jaidblack/status/547452878458466304

    And yet, at least one of the checks was reportedly dated Christmas Eve. The day after that tweet. The ones I’ve heard of arriving all were postmarked after Christmas.

  2. Several authors have reported receiving checks for July and fewer still for August. One reported receiving June and August, but no July. Some have had no report (or check) for months.

  3. So EC’s still using the “old” accounting system? After more than a year? Right.

    If it’s still that fucked up, why sue Dear Author/Jane Litte instead of the software vendor?

    I remain unconvinced that there ever was a new accounting/royalty system.

  4. “Nothing has changed at Amazon.” And then links to an article about how indie authors are affected by Kindle Unlimited—which has exactly zero to do with what happened before Kindle Unlimited came into effect? That article’s about stuff that happened after DA’s post, not before. H. M. Ward’s post was at the end of November about the prior 60 days.

    Let’s put it this way: H. M. Ward, all by her lonesome, has sold six million books in three years. I’m a huge fan of her work. It is my crack.

    My point here is that Holly’s revenue from said six million books puts her in EC’s ballpark, sales-figure-wise.

  5. “positive, professional terms with us” I’m guessing that means they didn’t complain when they weren’t paid.

    On Susan. Well. It wasn’t a “rumor.” Susan Edwards’s LinkedIn page still says she’s freelance. Ellora’s Cave’s Leadership and Staff page doesn’t list her. EC’s Editors and Artists page doesn’t list her.. In theory, those sites are self-reported and authoritative for both parties in question.

    Sounds more like a rumor that Susan is working at EC.

  6. Only a few?

    I have a suggestion. The only lawsuit that makes any business sense is the accounting/royalty system vendor. Everything else is a distraction.

    Pay to settle the DA suit and move on.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

elloras-cave-blog-header

Not a surprise that Ellora’s Cave lost their motion, but I was hoping for more of a judicial smackdown.

Since it’s been two months, here’s the summary. After Ellora’s Cave/Jasmine Jade filed against Dear Author/Jane Litte in Ohio state court (EC/JJ being in Ohio; DA/JL in Iowa), defense filed to remove the case to federal court. EC/JJ filed a remand motion at the end October, and it’s just been ruled upon today.

Five-page ruling here. I’ve also updated the copy of the federal court documents I have on Dropbox.

What’s Next?

The Case Management Conference Scheduling Order specifies that Plaintiffs must make a settlement demand two weeks prior, and Defendants must make an offer one week later.

At least fourteen (14) days prior to meeting with the Court, Plaintiff(s) shall have made a demand with a written description and monetary breakdown of the damages claimed, and no later than seven (7) days thereafter, Defendant(s) shall have responded with an offer. This is to be included in the Parties’ Planning Meeting Report.

Obviously, I don’t expect this to result in an actual settlement unless EC/JJ folds.

Then the Case Management Conference

Main discovery is stayed until after the Case Management Conference on January 26th.

That’s not a meeting that’s public, but this particular judge has very specific instructions for the CMC. From the CMC Scheduling Order:

Lead counsel, parties with full settlement authority, and a representative with full settlement authority of any Insurance Carrier must be present and have calendars available for scheduling.

From his Judicial Preferences Page:

Judge Adams is of the view that the Case Management Conference is of extraordinary importance. He expects counsel to be prepared with the factual predicate from the standpoint of counsel’s client. Judge Adams expects the client to be present; where the client is a corporate entity, he expects a person to be present who has the greatest knowledge of the relevant facts. This is probably NOT in-house counsel. Judge Adams tailors the Case Management Plan based on the information supplied at the CMC by counsel and parties.

Given those two quoted paragraphs, I can’t see how both Tina Engler (as settlement authority based on her majority ownership and the subject of one of the claims) and Patricia Marks (as EC’s CEO of record) can avoid being there. Also, obviously, Jane Litte needs to be there.

How’s This for Irony?

Hat tip to tejasjulia.

Ellora's Cave Advertising on Dear Author

Lest you think this is old, the blog post is dated January 3, 2015.

What does this mean?

  1. EC has been recently advertising through Google.
  2. At least one of those ads was served to Dear Author, who makes ad revenue from Google ads.

  3. So, indirectly, Ellora’s Cave is paying Dear Author.

Note: I’ll link to Courtney Milan’s promised post about the remand decision once it’s up.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)
If you are a writer I don't know, and you ask to be on programming, I will use the power of Google.

1) If you say your book is award-winning from an award I haven't heard of, I will assume it's self published. I do follow most of the major awards in the field. If you say your book was a winner from an award factory that has an entry fee, I will take my eyes out, give them a good roll, then pop them back in. Especially, as in this case, if you claim to be a winner but were only a finalist. That means that out of N suckers who paid in that category, you weren't the best sucker.

2) I will look your book up on Amazon. If there's a circle jerk of good reviews and the one two-star review has zero of N people who find it helpful, I'm going to assume you lobbied some of your friends. I have seen people I know do this and it's always painful to watch.

3) I will look your publisher up on Google. How many other authors do they publish? What are their submission policies? If there is no contact information for submissions and there's only one author, I'm going to come to the obvious conclusion: you're being coy about being self-published.

4) At this point, it's probably moot, but I will ask you point blank: "This appears to be a self-published book. Is it?" Then wait to see what happens.

This year, I'll let you know what the count is. So far, it stands at one.

Sleazing legitimacy doesn't impress me, though.

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