Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

[Admin] Comment Notifications Are Fixed

22 January 2015

[![Photo by Peter Olexa of Cruzine Design](/images/2015/01/vinretphoto09-700-700x467.jpg)](/images/2015/01/vinretphoto09-700.jpg)Photo by Peter Olexa of Cruzine Design.

Thought I’d update everyone: comment notifications are now fixed!
Turns out that, despite my thinking it was something I did at the receiving end, nope, it was at the sending end.
WPEngine’s awesome support said that basically I should use SMTP for email and recommended this plugin. I set it up and, lo, it worked.

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Ellora's Cave: About That Marriage to a Murderer

22 January 2015

I have never & would never contact the victim of a crime & ask her 2 help get perpetrator out. That is crazy 2 even suggest!

— Jaid Black (@jaidblack) January 22, 2015

For those who don’t know, Tina Engler (majority owner of Ellora’s Cave, pseudonym Jaid Black) used to be married apparently still is married to David Keen, who is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. You can see his mugshot and history here. From this case ruling:

Angela Jeffers testified that Karen Stewart (her mother) terminated a relationship with the Defendant about two weeks before the murder, that the Defendant was mad, and that they argued about it. Ms. Jeffers testified that on the day of the murder, Karen Stewart told Ms. Jeffers that the Defendant had told Karen Stewart he was “going to fuck her shit up.” Later that day, Ms. Jeffers testified that she saw the Defendant grab Karen Stewart’s hair, that he had a gun in his hand, and that she heard two shots.

With that in mind, let’s look at this 2007 2011 comment from Angela (on a 2007 post), which I am reposting in full, and keep in mind that the blog post is about Tina Engler talking about her marriage to a convicted murderer in this (archived) interview over here:

This blog hits home to me because I am also a vitcum of her husband in the case he is serving a life sentence for.
The young womans name that was murdered is Karen also! I am Angela, Karen Stewart’s daughter. One of his charges are for attempted murder against me because after shooting my mother he shot at me and thankfully the bullet wizzed by my head.
I was 14 then and am almost 32 now. That was how old she was when he took her from us (for the rest of our lives).
She was an amazing woman and mother. My daughter is 8 and my step daughter is 14 and they have more heart and brains than this Black woman. Thank you so much for taking up for the victum (my mother)and our family.
Neither of those idiots have any remorse.
A few years ago she contacted me trying any way she could to find a reason to get here low life, “Poor” and “Uneducated” husband, David Keen, out of prison. I was shocked and disgusted.
To respond to Mrs. Tina Marie Keens, AKA Jade Black’s statment, YES he deserves to be alone and have lousy medical, rotten fruits and vegetables and no family.
My brother and I were left without a mother and our children have no grandmother. His victim is DEAD and we have a hole in our lives and are consequently victims and his incarceration is of great value to us and we ALL think he is where he belongs, FOREVER, just as my mother is unfortunatly where she is FOREVER. In that lousy prison system that I am so thankful for.

Angela commented again on this post, and this is her comment in full:

Hello,
This is Angela, Karen Stewarts daughter again. I commented on the post and noticed after how the end of my comment sounded like my mother was the one, or also is in prison. I tried to edit my comment but every time I scrolled down it automatically went back to the top and I could not edit it.
Anon 76’s comment edit is just how I meant to say it. And yes, I am not a writer and am very passionate about the subject.
Karen Scott, your paraphrase is correct. That is just how I feel. This is that young girl and I am still devasted by his actions. I miss my mother very much and not a day goes by that I do not want her or need her to be here. When good things happen in my life like my marrage, my children and other good experiences I do not have my special person (my mother) to share it with. When bad things happen or life is looking terrible, I do not have that special person to help me through and/or console me. I need my mother and that worthless animal took her.
When you read or hear about something like what happened to my mother and us, you may feel sad but you will never know how truely sad it is or how it effects everyday of the rest of your life unless it happens to someone you love. By the way my brother also was there and witness the low-life kill our mother.
I do not know how Tina Engler found my number but when she contacted me I could barely speak and had to give the phone to my husband. She told him how David had changed and that he deserved to be out of prison. That I was grown up and am alright now. My husband told her that I was not alright and will never be alright for the rest of my life. That what David did will haunt me forever. And it will and has effected our children forever. He told her to leave us alone.
I did contact an attorney about it but they unfortunatly said there was nothing that could be done. I did not know anything about Engler at the time. I have recently found out she is an author. I was so suprised to find this blog and it made me feel good that people cared.
Also, my mother was not married to him as someone commented. And to let everyone know the reason David Keen killed my mother, she realized how bad of a person he was and was leaving him. He told her that if he could not have her no one else will either. Then he shot her.
He very well deserves to be where he is, among other things.
Thanks everyone for caring.

I’ll let you figure out which story you think is true on this one. I agree with Glance:

This is a big reason why I have trouble believing JB’s other denials. #notchilled

— At a Glance Romance (@ataglanceRMC) January 22, 2015

(Note: I do not believe that prisoners should be treated inhumanely, so I do not believe they should get “lousy medical, rotten fruits and vegetables.”)

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Ellora's Cave: A Couple of Updates

21 January 2015

I’d be remiss if I didn’t post this, even though I don’t believe it.

I am not @pubnt. I do not know who pubnt is. NOR DO I CARE. I believe defense has subpoenaed the twitter account so prepare 4 disappointment

— Jaid Black (@jaidblack) January 21, 2015

Well, they haven’t.
Anyhow, I believe pubby’s a narcissism farm.

Speaking of…

Jaid: pariah pariah pariah
Pubnt: pariah pariah pariah pariah

It’s Almost 1099 Time

But that detracts from the hashtag, which documents EC’s late payments, sketchy accounting, and attacks on free speech. #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) January 19, 2015

And remember that it’s sending out vastly postdated checks… and in a few weeks, we’ll learn if their 1099s make sense. #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) January 19, 2015

Some general advice, in light of this post by Lolita Lopez: http://t.co/O112zE5j50 #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) January 19, 2015

If you are issued a 1099 that does not match your records, here is a good place to start: http://t.co/P2AtYjbBk2 #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) January 19, 2015

Also, consider contacting the Taxpayer Advocate. You can find yours here: http://t.co/Nu4dLZRU18 #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) January 19, 2015

Multiple complaints about the same business may well result in greater scrutiny. #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) January 19, 2015

Jon Stewart on Free Speech

From a few days ago.

Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support Thread

The Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support Thread is located here.

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Indie Fantasy Fiction Story Bundle

21 January 2015

StoryBundle Indie Fantasy Fiction Bundle: Amazing Deal!
StoryBundle has an indie fantasy fiction bundle right now.
Books are:

  1. Bradley P. Beaulieu’s The Winds of Khalakovo.
  2. Scott Marlowe’s The Five Elements.
  3. Sherwood Smith’s Lhind the Thief.
  4. Francesca Forrest’s Pen Pal.
  5. Judith Tarr’s Arrows of the Sun.
  6. M. C. A. Hogarth’s The Worth of a Shell.
  7. C. J. Brightley’s The King’s Sword.
  8. Blair MacGregor’s Sand of Bone.

I’ve only read one of these: Francesca Forrest’s book, and Pen Pal is exactly my kind of crack.

Pen Pal starts with a message in a bottle and ends with revolution.
Em, a child from a floating community off the Gulf Coast, drops a message into the sea. It ends up in the hands of Kaya, an activist on the other side of the world, imprisoned above the molten lava of the Ruby Lake. Em and Kaya are both living precarious lives, at the mercy of societal, natural, and perhaps supernatural forces beyond their control. Kaya’s letters inspire Em, and Em’s comfort Kaya—but soon their correspondence becomes more than personal. Individual lives, communities, and the fate of an entire nation will be changed by this exchange of letters.
Pen Pal is a story of friendship and bravery across age, distance, and culture, at the intersection of the natural and supernatural world.

It’s a fantastic book, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the bundle. I’ve read books by Sherwood Smith and Judith Tarr before, but not the other writers.

Which Titles Are 2014 Award Eligible

For those of you who are reading for award consideration purposes, only two of these were published in 2014: The Worth of a Shell and Sand of Bone. For that reason, I’ll be reading these two first.

Want to Blog About this Indie Fantasy Fiction Bundle?

If you want to blog about this bundle, feel free to grab this composite image I made.

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Ellora's Cave: The Extended Self-Pub Argument

19 January 2015

My point in writing this post: I’m going to document why I believe Jaid Black is primarily a self-published author, and then, at the end, I’m going to let irony kick her ass.
Last year, when I was talking about a small digital-first publisher, Nick Mamatas referred to it as “an extended self-pub play.” Which, given what he meant, is true.
That’s how Ellora’s Cave got its start, too, as documented in this famous Dear Author interview with the awesome “trash can full of rejection letters” quote:

Jane: Tell me a little about how Ellora’s Cave was conceived.
Tina Engler aka Jaid Black: I was an unpubbed author with a trash can full of rejection letters. As a writer I had reached an impasse: either I was going to have to conform to NY standards and sex down my manuscripts or I was going to have to start my own publishing company. I chose the latter (doh!) and never regretted it 😉

So, for a publisher, one wants to advertise what’s newest and/or what’s the biggest expected seller on the top of one’s site, right? One wants to make the best business decisions that will increase shareholder value, right?
EC-banner-jan2015
Well, okay, it’s Jaid Black’s book, and Jaid, aka Tina Engler, is the majority owner of Ellora’s Cave. She’s sold a lot of books, right? So this one must be doing pretty well.
Right?
sporked-in-time-sales-ranking
I uploaded that image on Jan 4, two weeks ago. The Amazon ranking has fallen since then to #661,149.
Just two months old and an abysmal sales ranking.
How about the other rankings for her books? Here’s the first page. (Note: not all titles pulled; I’ve had some network hiccups today.)

ks_jb
Therefore, the only thing that justifies Sporked‘s placement at this point is narcissism, though that word seems inadequate.

And Then There’s the Other Book (Series) Highlighted

Micah BlackLight’s Serpentari series. (Note: not all titles pulled; I’ve had some network hiccups today.)
ks_mbl
Where there’s a zero in the right-hand column? That means no Kindle sales. Any other number means there’s been at least one Kindle sale.
I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice person, but his sales don’t warrant being at the top of the home page.

But Wait, There’s More!

Let’s see, it’s January, 2015, right?
See the upper left? Don’t miss our best event yet: ROMANTICON 2014!
Which was almost three months ago. You may recall my virtual visit, as well as the post-Romanticon ebola quarantine for Axl and Taylor.
So, since Romanticon was over before Sporked in Time came out, mere tardiness can’t be the justification for the convention notice still being there.

How Other Peers Handle Their Home Pages

I thought I’d highlight how some other presses handle their home pages. Heat map studies show that many people never scroll down on a web page, so I’m just looking at “above the fold.”
Samhain’s slider features all the week’s new books, then past that the last week or two’s.
samhain-slider
Riptide features a recent release up top, then starts the new items just above the fold (as I browse, anyway). IMHO, they’d be better served shortening the second row of items and moving the first row of new books up.
riptide-home
Amber Quill’s rather generic home page features a slider with small images of books in various lines, and the most recent books below that.
amber-quill-home
Circlet has a blog format home page, with images of some of their publications.
circlet-home
Changeling Press has dated feeling art and border use, but the layout features the newest releases right below the masthead.
changeling-press
Bold Strokes Books doesn’t have a lot of new releases. The shading on their nav bar and behind the new release slider feels a tidge dated, but it’s a beautifully functional home page layout. The slider, though, is the best of any of the sites so far.
bold-strokes-books
Side note: I haven’t read any of their titles. Yet.
Highland Press lacks modern whizzbang, but it does highlight new releases.
highland-press
Loose ID’s design features a slider with their main categories, and each category highlights new work. Below the slider are all new releases. Their genres are clearly spelled out on the left, offering easy navigation to your books of choice.
loose-id
Last, but not least, Entangled, which has a really nice slider that showcases their lines and themes. It definitely has the best artwork of all the sites mentioned.
entangled-home
And, while I’m on the subject, I’m fond of how Jackie Ashenden uses a slider on her home page.

So, Now That We’ve Taken This Long Walk, Let’s Return to that Tiny Pier

I wanted to showcase that:

  1. Ellora’s Cave does not showcase their authors fairly. As an author, you’d have a better shot at getting a prime home page spot with any of the other publishers.
  2. What’s showcased on their home page does not appear, from available data, to be favorable to EC’s bottom line.

Meaning: that space could be better used for something that was likely to sell more books, helping both EC’s bottom line and that of its authors, rather than to continue to push a book that’s failed in the market.

Full Metal Irony

@Jeaniene_Frost @pubnt @CoraCarmack Self-publishing worked well for @hughhowey The Big 5 came to him after that. Trad Pub not always the way

— RoseannCaputo (@RoseannCaputo) January 19, 2015

@RoseannCaputo @Jeaniene_Frost @CoraCarmack Yes. And he did not drop his publisher and go indie afterwards. Still with SS. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 19, 2015

@katiebabs @pubnt @RoseannCaputo @Jeaniene_Frost @CoraCarmack I enjoyed working with major publishers, but I prefer to self-publish.

— Hugh Howey (@hughhowey) January 19, 2015

@katiebabs @pubnt @RoseannCaputo @Jeaniene_Frost @CoraCarmack I published one book (print only) with S&S. After that, went back to indie.

— Hugh Howey (@hughhowey) January 19, 2015

@hughhowey @katiebabs @RoseannCaputo @Jeaniene_Frost @CoraCarmack Well, I respectfully say that’s a bad decision. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 19, 2015

@hughhowey @Jeaniene_Frost @CoraCarmack And we say that with less respect than when we believed you’d stayed with S&S. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 19, 2015

@RoseannCaputo @hughhowey @katiebabs @Jeaniene_Frost @CoraCarmack Because we don’t respect self publishers. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 19, 2015

Maybe Tina should stop acting like a self publisher riding on the coattails of other people she’s publishing.
And maybe learn to respect self publishers, including herself.
Or maybe she should just, like she thought Hugh Howey should do, return to publishing only through Berkeley.

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Modern Hand-Made Value Fountain Pen with Dip Pen Nib

19 January 2015

New+Section+and+Full+Appearance
P1010660
Desiderata Pens is a modern American maker of inexpensive fountain pens. Breaking tradition with other modern makers, instead of a traditional fountain pen nib, they use a dip pen nib. A Japanese dip pen nib.
Specifically, they use a Zebra G nib, often used for manga.

My Own Issues With Modern Steel Nibs

Generally I hate modern steel fountain pen nibs. Why? They tend to be super hard and scratchy. I’ve famously hated on the Lamy Safari, as I find its nib worse than most in this regard.
Yes, you can tune modern steel nibs to be less scratchy. (But why should I have to?)
They can even be tuned to be a tidge less hard, but not enough for me without some real expert work. At that point, you might as well have bought a better nib from the start.
There is, so far, only one modern steel fountain pen nib I like: Pelikan’s 200-series nib. I think it’s brilliant. It has some give and a tidge of line variation.

And Then There Are Dip Pen Nibs

Note: for dip pens, the pen is what fountain pen people call the nib, where the pen holder is what fountain pen people call the pen. Because a nib doesn’t provide the fountain part, the feed/ink reservoir does.
Famously, dip pen nibs have more line variation than all but the most prized vintage fountain pen nibs. However, they’re not intended to be used with any of the methods that fountain pens feed ink.
This is both an advantage: dip pens work well with inks that’d clog fountain pen feeds, e.g., India ink, white inks, and metallic inks.
It’s also a disadvantage: you’ve also got to work with an open bottle of ink.
I don’t know about you, but I do not lead an open bottle of ink kind of life. If you’ve ever seen my hands on the day I’ve refilled my fountain pens, you’d understand. I use Amodex Ink remover, but it’s not perfect. And neither am I.
If you do want to learn more about dip pen nibs, here’s a great post to start.
Now, granted: dip pen nibs tend to be scratchier than fountain pen nibs, and many are known for catching paper. When I’m writing with a fountain pen, I want the attention to be on the words in my head, not on the awareness of the nib’s interaction with the paper. Drawing, however, is different, so my standards are different.

What Desiderata Has Done

Desiderata’s figured out a way to put a dip pen nib onto a fountain pen feed, add a sac at the back, and make a fountain pen. Most of their pens run $100-120, but their matte black delrin pens run $50 plus shipping.
I haven’t spent a lot of time playing with my Desiderata pen yet, but so far, so good. I am trying to learn how to draw, and the line variation I get, even with the bog standard Visconti fountain pen ink I have lying around here in droves, well, it’s incredible.

Desiderata Has YouTube Videos

Here’s a very short one. You can hear the scratchy.

For dip pen people, this much longer video review may also be of interest.

The Big Wrapup

I’m trying to learn how to draw, so this seemed the perfect accessory for the analog portion of that endeavor. I can carry it around. It’s a dip pen, except it’s not.
Desiderata’s least expensive model is $50 plus shipping.
Sounds like a great deal to me.
Just want a dip pen for manga-like drawing? JetPens to the rescue. Don’t forget the brush pens. (JetPens has an amazing variety of pens and stationery, many of those items from Japan.)

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Ellora's Cave: Another Editor Gone, Big Merger/Sale?

17 January 2015

(Note: if you link outside of Tumblr/DW/LJ, please link to the deirdre.net version of this post. Thank you.)
Former Senior Content Editor Kelli Collins announced yesterday that she’s out:

5:01 p.m., and I’m officially unemployed. Authors…it’s been a true honor, and a genuine slice of heaven. #10years #360books #onward

— Kelli Collins (@EditMeThis) January 16, 2015

You can see from the replies (if you visit that link by clicking on the timestamp) that she was much loved.
Best of luck in your next venture, Kelli.
I pointed out today that, six months ago, Ellora’s Cave had 15 editors and 5 artists (I incorrectly said earlier was 20 editors) plus one editor on the leadership page. After Kelli’s departure, EC lists eight people on the editor page plus two on the leadership page.

Speaking of Editors, EC Has Some New Ones

(Note: I’ve added commentary at the bottom of this post that’s a partial correction.)
And then people started looking at who was on the page, latching onto Jill Noelle, aka Jill Noelle Noble. LinkedIn ties the names together.
Jill was previously involved in Noble Romance Publishing (NRP), a publishing effort that had some interesting failure modes, as The Passive Voice highlights. She’s also the author of Not Your Mother’s Publishing Model, published by NRP toward the end of her tenure. There are so many places to go with that tidbit of information….
#notchiller Gianna Simone wrote two posts of her own about her experiences with NRP: one, which links to even more posts, and two.
And then there’s Jill’s note of departure from Noble Romance Publishing that was posted on AbsoluteWrite.
Here are a bunch of Dear Author posts about the Noble Romance debacle.
Let us return to the land of the current affair: Ellora’s Cave.

A Sale? Or a Merger? You Decide.

@tejasjulia @pubnt @CatGrant2009 Thing is, JB said “I’m not selling EC.” Therefore, Pubby claims “it’s a merger.” #notchilled

— At a Glance Romance (@ataglanceRMC) January 17, 2015

Well, we heard it from Peanut, so who the hell knows?
For those who haven’t been following along, many of us #notchilled regulars believe that @pubnt (aka TinaNut and other nut nicks) is none other than Tina Engler/Jaid Black. More discussion of that in this older post. For that reason, I refer to Pubnt as TinaNut frequently.
However, there’s a lot of deliberately obfuscatory rhetoric in Peanut’s tweets, so one can’t rely on what’s said.

@ataglanceRMC A merger is not a sale. JB & PM will be running EC as an imprint of the big pub. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 16, 2015

JB = Jaid Black, pseudonym of Tina Engler, EC’s primary owner.
PM = Patty Marks, CEO of EC, aka JB’s mother.
But our Fallacious Filbert keeps referring to “BigPub.” See, a merger is of equals, and, frankly, Ellora’s Cave isn’t that big. How big? Hard to say because there is more than one company. Jasmine Jade has a tax lien for $29,679.52 from the City of Akron for the 2012 tax year. That translates to $1,319,090 in profits (or more, since some of the taxes may have been paid prior to the lien). Dear Author’s Curious Case post

@ataglanceRMC Not messing with anyone on either. As our source says one is in the works & the other is being considered. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 15, 2015

@ataglanceRMC That’s why the cleanup of the trash, the trimming of the fat, and other preparations. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 15, 2015

Charming, referring to former staff and authors as fat and trash.
So, maybe some contract sell-off? Chicken feed, says peanut. (Sorry, link because pasting the link in WordPress doxs JL.)

@ataglanceRMC those chicken feed sales are just to get rid of the junk – EC doing a cleanup. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 15, 2015

@ataglanceRMC In a merger EC will be forced to dump bad books, bad authors, and bad employees the merger partner hates. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 15, 2015

Oh. Really. That’s a charming way to refer to the people who helped build the company.

@ataglanceRMC Good riddance. No point in rewarding rubbish books and authors by giving them a free ride into 1 of THE BIG FIVE. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) January 15, 2015

Big Five? You don’t say.

Ongoing Acquisition Talk

It seems so odd to be talking about an ongoing acquisition. If the ink were dry, I’d expect that it would be announced. Given that it’s not, I don’t even know what to say. (I’ve worked for firms in the S-1 quiet period, as has my husband, and so that’s the culture we’re used to.)
It wouldn’t surprise me if EC were entertaining offers, but hearing about them like this, especially from an anonymous Twitter account, seems incredibly weird.
Julaine really has the killer point, though:

@deirdresm @pubnt @Gianna_Simone @ataglanceRMC Isn’t it interesting that Pub that was willing to risk sanctions by withholding #notchilled

— Julaine Peters-Stone (@julainestone) January 17, 2015

@deirdresm @pubnt @Gianna_Simone @ataglanceRMC Fin. info during discovery in previous lawsuit is generously open about finances #notchilled

— Julaine Peters-Stone (@julainestone) January 17, 2015

@deirdresm @pubnt @Gianna_Simone @ataglanceRMC 3/3 with an anonymous Twitter account that claims to be completely unaffiliated? #notchilled

— Julaine Peters-Stone (@julainestone) January 17, 2015

Julaine’s referencing the 27-page judicial smackdown against EC (et al) in the Brashear case. Two excerpts from that document:

Adding injury to insult was Defense counsel’s bad faith production of the tax returns and general ledgers to Plaintiff at the conclusion of the two days of depositions of the named Defendants. While Defense counsel was in compliance with the latest court order as to the tax returns, his decision to wait until the conclusion of the two days of depositions to produce these discovery documents, which addressed the heart of the claims in this case, impeded Plaintiff’s ability to fully depose the Defendants and was clearly done in attempt [to] hamper Plaintiff’s case and thus done in bad faith. This was plainly gamesmanship: a tactical move to ambush and sabotage the Plaintiff.
[…]
Defendants’ conduct as detailed above is nothing short of contumacious: stubbornly disobedient and a flagrant disregard for the Court’s orders. Defendants’ maneuvering during the two-year discovery phase of this case has been plotted to undermine the progression of theis case. This is evident by Plaintiff’s need to file two motions to compel, three motions to show cause / sanctions and two trial continuances, all arising from Defendants’ discovery abuses in the last two years. Defendants willfully evaded the production of discovery, resulting in unnecessary delays of this case and increased legal fees. Defendants’ actions in this case have crossed the line from a zealous defense to malingering, malfeasance, sabotage and delay.

How’s that compare to recent behavior?

Ex Post Facto Justification

Let’s rewind to Christmas Eve.
One of the things the Nut has gone on about is why former EC staffers weren’t paid. In a letter last week, Tina/Jaid said that all were paid.

@julainestone @jaidblack In our independent opinion EC is entirely withing its legal right to wait till the end of the case here.#notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) December 24, 2014

@julainestone @jaidblack EC is being too nice in not waiting till the end of the case. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) December 24, 2014

Too. Nice.

@julainestone And we’ve repeatedly told that motion to add them can come at the right point in this proceedings or the next.#notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) December 24, 2014

So, they can withhold payment for former contractors in case they will defame? And then they can file that motion any old time? Or a successor case?
There have been multiple comments about suing other people, too, e.g., this one.

@julainestone @jaidblack As legal bloggers we present valid legal arguments. Only the Judge determines if our legal arg. applies.#notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) December 24, 2014

@julainestone @tejasjulia @deirdresm Different if EC feels Defamation has already happened, not yet to happen “next month”.#notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) December 24, 2014

@tejasjulia @julainestone @deirdresm Yes, until a Judge decides EC is within its legal rights to wait on the payment. #notchilled

— Pub Net (@pubnt) December 24, 2014

As usual, Courtney Milan just nails it.

The nut believes EC can suspend legal obligations any time,and justify it ex post facto in proceedings with unrelated parties. #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) December 24, 2014

That’s such a peculiarly EC-centric view of the world that I can’t imagine an unrelated party could ever believe it. #notchilled

— Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) December 24, 2014

And then there are the tax liens. That really needs its own post. It really does.
Until then, if you’d like to read more pubnuttery, here’s the PDF of all its surviving tweets. (Some tweets have been deleted, but I believe that’s relatively few.)

I Need a Fangirl Moment

I can’t wait for Courtney Milan’s new book. Already preordered it.

A Note of Update

Per my source, Jill Noelle was an editor at Ellora’s Cave before the layoffs last August. To the best of my source’s recollection, she started in March or April, just didn’t wind up on EC’s Editors and Artists masthead last July. And since archive.org hasn’t taken any snapshots of that page more recently, hard to know when she was added, exactly.

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A Few Tweaks on the Blog

16 January 2015

[![Ice Flowers](/images/2015/01/FDE-IceFlowers-700-700x525.jpg)](/images/2015/01/FDE-IceFlowers-700.jpg)Ice Flowers, by [Thom Bouman](http://freshdesignelements.com/shop/ice-flowers-close-royalty-free/)

For people who read on deirdre.net (as opposed to tumblr, dreamwidth, livejournal, or Google+), I’ve finally made some long-overdue changes. 1. Lists (ol and li) in comments now show the list style. Because I allow Markdown in comments, you can just start bullet lists with a * on the left of each line in the list. Or 1. etc. for a numbered list.

  1. Tightened up the white space in the comment area.
  2. Added a thin border on the left of comments so it’s easier to track nesting of comments.
  3. The Leave a Reply and other comment-related items were still black text on navy. Not very readable. Now fixed and with better padding.

I’d like to thank my former colleagues’ work on the Web Inspector as being extremely helpful to getting this done quickly.

The Comment Notification Issue

I believe I’ve addressed the outstanding comments (though, as always, sometimes I’ll respond to a comment and a reply to that comment together). If not, I really can’t spend the time to dig further on it. It’s better to spend it addressing future notifications. Hence, if I owe you a reply on a comment, I’m declaring comment bankruptcy. Sorry.

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Update on Kindlegen and PNG Rendering

15 January 2015

As an example of the classic “always ensure your software is updated” mantra, I had the latest kindlegen installed, but Scrivener was pointing to an older version of kindlegen I’d installed Somewhere Else.
The specific PNG rendering bug I showed was fixed in between those two versions.
All other points remain valid, though.
So, feel free to include PNGs in your Scrivener projects. You’ll get a nasty ugly background, but at least it’ll be one that doesn’t look like a bad frame freeze of a logo from an early episode of Soul Train.

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There's Bad Rendering, and There's Atrocity

14 January 2015

So, having admittedly not gotten the memo about transparent PNG graphics on Kindles, I tossed a transparent PNG into my Scrivener project.
And compiled for Kindle, which meant massaging the whole thing through Kindlegen.
Et voila.
kindlegen-atrocity
What. The Actual. Fuck.
Compare with the PNG I added to the project:
duchess-title
I can kind of see what it’s doing: it’s creating a non-transparent background out of the nearest adjacent colors.

Transparent GIF: Also Nope

I thought, “Haha, well, there’s always GIF, right?”
Nope. Transparent GIF renders with a black background. Which, since I read with a black background, I thought I’d won the internet at first. Then I switched to a white background. Oops.

So What Are Your Options, Then?

JPEG, which has no transparent background, is probably your best bet if you want to stick with images. Generally, a JPEG file will be smaller than a PNG anyway.
Catch is, most e-reader apps offer: white background, black background, and some ivory background. There is no standardization, however. One app’s white may not be another’s.
So my recommendation for that would be to look at using a background color that permits high contrast (for the non-color e-ink devices) but still looks good on white, black, and sepia. A pale warm grey, for example.
Your other option is not to use an image at all for Kindles.

But If I Don’t Use an Image on Kindles….

Yes, that’s exactly right. Your compile process will be more complicated.
So let’s look at the workaround for, say, an image title on the book’s title page.

  1. Duplicate your front matter folder (or document; some people put most of the typical front matter at the back).
  2. Edit the Title so that the non-Kindle version uses an image. (Yes, you could also make a different image for Kindle, that works too.)

EPUB Title Page

epub-title-page

Kindle Title Page

kindle-title-page

Compilation Step

For Kindle, select the Kindle frontmatter folder:
kindle-compile
And for EPUB, the EPUB frontmatter folder:
epub-compile

But…Complicated!

In an ideal world, you’d have a backmatter folder for each different market, too, but I’ll go into that at a later time.

One More Tip

If you keep the names of certain files the same across multiple projects, e.g., your interior title pics always have the same filenames, then you can save those compile settings once and use them across multiple projects.
Not so complicated after all, right?

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