Tag Archives: ellorascave

Publishing is a business, people.

Or at least, it’s supposed to be.

Back in the days when I thought an MFA would help my career, I attended a talk by Bruce Coville, one of my absolute favorite writers of all time. In a talk full of gems (“If America valued children, teachers would be paid like ball players, and ball players would be paid like teachers,”) Coville said that one of the greatest tricks the “establishment” (my word, not his) had pulled off was convincing artists that they are not business people.

This stuck to me, and while I fall pray to moments of being an artiste when I’m writing, I’ve worked hard to always be a businessperson when it comes to the work of actually getting my stuff in print and out into the world. Because when I’m at home and writing, and it’s just me and my fountain pens, it’s all about whether or not *I* think the paper and the ink are worth it, but once I try to push those words outside of my house, there are business decisions to be made. I get that, and I try to be understanding when my artistic whims have to flex to other people’s business decisions.

Perhaps this is why I lose patience when publishers do not run their businesses like businesses, but instead like sledgehammers they can use to get their way.

When I signed with Ellora’s Cave this summer, I signed a three book contract, essentially. The first contract was for Sweet Mistake, and the second and third were “To Be Determined.” My editor and I discussed some ideas for what those other books might be, but nothing was firmed up, as I wanted to see how Sweet Mistake did. I ended up writing and sending them a longish Quickie to fill out the second contract, and am still waiting for a response from my editor for that.

Today, in light of all that’s happened, in light of the impossibility of promoting a book through Ellora’s Cave in light of the (correctly!) agitated atmosphere in the book blogging community, I sent notice to EC Contracts division that I would be unable to complete the third contract.

The response I got back had no salutation (Dear Ms. Croteau) and no sign-off. What was in the email didn’t even relate to my situation, as it specified that there was no contract language for rights reversion at this time.

I emailed back saying yes, I was aware, and that was what I was trying to tell them.

They informed me that they were not terminating *any* contracts at this time, and that I was contractually obligated to write that book for them, and that I could not write it for anyone else, or write it and self publish it.

Since the contract was for a TBD concept, that means they have claim on the next piece of erotica or erotic romance that I write. My choices are to write it for them, or to stop writing erotic romance entirely.

Because holding authors hostage is a totally valid business model.

I am beyond enraged, and anything I write from here on out is just going to be an angry rant, so I think I’ll just drop the mic here and walk out for today.

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Today was supposed to be…

…the most exciting day of my writing life to date.

I’ve actually been planning today for years. What I was going to say, how I was going to do the Big Reveal. The cutesy things I’d reveal about the story.

I don’t get to do that.

I got this in my inbox last night.

SweetMistake_HiRes

I’m not going to link to the publisher. I’m not going to tell you where to buy it. I don’t feel right asking you to purchase it, because it seems fairly obvious that profits from that publisher are going to silence free speech and reduce blogger rights (IN MY OPINION, lawyers, go the hell away). But I couldn’t face letting it just die in my inbox.

I just wanted you all to see.

I want to say as well that my experiences with my cover artist, my editor, were amazing, and everything this was supposed to be. I’m quite proud of this little story, and the work that went into it. But I said it on Twitter last night, and I meant it: some things are more important than our individual sales or even our careers. This is one of those things.

Thanks for sharing this moment with me, even if it’s not what it was supposed to be.

Sweet Mistake releases on 10/10

So. Ellora’s Cave.

If you visit the romance-author blogosphere pretty much at all, I imagine it would be hard to miss all the current goings-on. If you have missed it, Dear Author┬áhas a very detailed sum-up of what’s happening, along with the most recent developments.

Here’s where things get interesting for me: I signed with EC right before the most current dust up. I signed a three book contract. I was over the moon with delight.

A few days after I sent in my edits on Sweet Mistake, the news broke that the company had ended contracts with the vast majority of their freelance editors and cover designers, leading a lot of people to question whether or not the company was going to remain solvent for much longer.

I’m fulfilling my contracts with EC, and I’m not in a place where I feel comfortable urging people not to buy my new book. But I also don’t feel right pretending like I don’t know this is a controversial place to be published right now. I don’t want to disrespect authors who’ve gone the go-round a lot more than me and who are asking their readers to buy something other than their books through Ellora’s Cave.

I am moderately peeved that it’s 14 days from when my book is set to release, and the website still has a “coming soon” cover, instead of the cover that was chosen for it. I am more than moderately peeved that the company has not officially responded to the news of the COO and the Managing Editor resigning, and then the company owner expresses her frustration with “witch hunts” on her Facebook page. I wish that I’d paid more attention to the Absolute Write forums, and this company’s history of non professionalism. But can I go from there and say “Don’t buy my first book”? I don’t know.

So. I’m apparently taking a very firm stance of not standing. I’ll be sitting over here in the corner, writing.

And here’s where I find myself.

Six months ago, I quit my day job to embark on a career as a freelance writer.

It wasn’t my first choice, if you can believe it. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid, but I always figured I’d have to maintain a day job, squeezing the words in between dinner and bedtime. I actually started freelancing in 2012, making enough income in that first year that I needed to claim it on my taxes.

But then, life happened, as it is wont to do. My husband and I had been piecing together childcare for a lot of years, and too many pieces came apart at once. The logical solution became for me to leave my job, and see what I could do about making this writing gig go full time.

license free image downloaded from pixabay
it would be better if it were a fountain pen.

I’ve been moderately successful at it for six months now. By moderately successful, I mean that we’ve mostly managed to pay our bills with his job and my writing. I mean that I have stories in two anthologies, one published and one forthcoming, and that I have a book contract with Ellora’s Cave. I have feelings about Ellora’s Cave based on the rumor mill that is churning fullsteam right now about the company, but I’m still excited that Sweet Mistake will be available on 10/10/14.

I hope to be here every other day or so, and I hope you’ll join me.