Jaid Black: The Queen of Steam

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Female Sexuality Under Fire... Again

August 24, 2014

Updated 8/25/14:

(original post has been revised to reflect the most current information available)

 

As many of our authors are aware, Amazon has been pulling down titles with content that explores the "forced seduction" fantasy and other content they subjectively consider to be too adult. Additionally, we have been told to redo covers they consider racy, but racy has been vaguely defined.

 

I'm not certain why or when this trend toward the prurient began, but I strongly advise my authors to NOT bow to censorship. As the self-published titles at Amazon are not being held under the same levels of scrutiny, I wonder at the motivation. Interestingly, Google has now jumped on the censorship bandwagon and removed 45 85 of our titles from their store. Again, I am advising my authors to NOT bow to censorship. 

 

Update 1: I've received emails and posts from erotic romance authors at other publishers that complain of the same treatment from Amazon. I received one FB post from an Amazon-published author also complaining of the same things. Censorship? The left hand not talking to the right one? Color me baffled.

 

Update 2: I erroneously reported that Google removed 45 of our titles; at the time I initially posted the count had reached 85.

 

Jaid

 

"Fear, once acquired, is very difficult to rid yourself of." - Robert Fisk

 

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Disclaimer: every proprietary email sent by EC to our authors is invariably leaked to blogs and online forums so there is little point in making them private. Any and all inquiries about topics posted here should be sent to theeternaltubthumper@gmail.com.

 

Rumor Control: Advances

August 23, 2014

Ellora's Cave does NOT pay advances to ANY author, be they unknown or famous. We experimented with that once many years ago and ultimately found that our business model was all around more profitable. 

Jaid

*****

Disclaimer: every proprietary email sent by EC to our authors is invariably leaked to blogs and online forums so there is little point in making them private. Any and all inquiries about topics posted here should be sent to theeternaltubthumper@gmail.com.

 

The McNopolization of the Book

August 23, 2014

When I got into the publishing business fourteen years ago, readers paid more for novellas than they typically do now for a full-length novel. While the price of everything has steadily increased with inflation over the years, the value of the book— a writer's work of art— has steadily diminished. We've gone from being the Picassos and Warhols of the written word to the guy who created the cliché painting of dogs playing poker.

 

Let's take a look at the current prices of Amazon's top 3 selling books. For the paycheck of NOTHING you too can become a bestselling author. Unfortunately, it's not just their top 3 books that cost a whopping zero dollars and zero cents... I stopped there only because of my laptop's screen shot capacity. There is page after page after page of books that don't cost a cent to buy. What does bestselling even mean when the author isn’t getting paid for their work? 

 

Perversely, even the self-publishing authors who actually charge money for their stories have been in such a mad rush to make the New York Times list that they've sacrificed all of our earning potentials by debuting their novels from around 99 cents to $1.49 per copy (sometimes going so far as to stash 14 novels under the umbrella of 1 title!) in an effort to sell enough copies to hit the list. The effect I'm seeing, which I'm basing on public reviews, forums, reader mail, etc., is an overall expectation by consumers that a book... something it can take an author weeks, months or even years to create... now carries less value in their eyes than a cheeseburger from McDonalds. 

 

I refuse to devalue my work (and by extension myself) in that manner. My readership hasn’t suffered for it and continues to climb. My backlist has exploded in the last 6 months and I don’t even know why. Maybe because the McNopolization of the book is resulting in the realization that you get what you pay for? Maybe because readers aren’t the idiots people take them for and have caught onto the fact that a 99 cent novel is being sold for 99 cents because nobody would buy it otherwise?

 

I’m sorry if I sound overly harsh—actually no I’m not. I know my critics will say “I wouldn’t read her work if it was free!” because really, what else can they do besides take it to an emotional level rather than a logical one? They don’t value themselves so they will not value anybody else, period. Happy, well-functioning people place importance and pride in their work and are therefore readily able to appreciate the hard work of others.

 

So, no, I will not be putting my work or my authors’ work up for sale to the lowest bidder. Quite frankly, EC’s pricing strategy has nothing to do with our sales at Amazon. What does it have to do with? Go to Amazon, enter “Laurann Dohner” (a multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author) and see how many of her books pop up with ease. Enter my name and you’ll get a lot of the same thing and none of my highest grossing titles listed first. This “algorithm” farce has been going on for several months now. Coincidence that Amazon’s free titles and self-published ones pop up first? You be the judge.

 

In the meantime, Ellora’s Cave will continue to carry on and thrive because I’m a scrapper who’ll allow for nothing less. The good news about the slow bleeding we—and many other publishers who aren’t willing to publicly admit it—have suffered over the past several months is that we’ve all had to adjust our structures to the point where we have very little loss in income to make up now. And you can best believe I won’t be making it up by devaluing the work of my Picassos and Warhols.

 

Jaid

*****

 Disclaimer: every proprietary email sent by EC to our authors is invariably leaked to blogs and online forums so there is little point in making them private. Any and all inquiries about topics posted here should be sent to theeternaltubthumper@gmail.com.

 

Correction to Previous Statement

August 23, 2014

I previously, and apparently erroneously, stated that EC has never paid outside of the contractual time frame. It was brought to my attention this morning that there are a handful of authors we've been paying on a quarterly basis for a long time because otherwise it would cost more to process, print and mail their checks than their checks are worth. That said, it was also brought to my attention that we've had this verbal understanding with those authors for a long time and nobody was upset or offended by it until a proprietary business email was publicly posted a few days ago and the internet pundits started looking for "ammo."  

 

We have always encouraged our lowest selling authors to keep their titles up and available for purchase because (a) we believe in their work or we wouldn't publish it and (b) sometimes backlists take off and suddenly make money as trends change. We've seen this happen many times, most recently with our lesbian titles.

 

At any rate, my apologies for making an erroneous statement. 

 

Jaid

***** 

Disclaimer: every proprietary email sent by EC to our authors is invariably leaked to blogs and online forums so there is little point in making them private. Any and all inquiries about topics posted here should be sent to theeternaltubthumper@gmail.com.

 

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