Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

The Twitter SJW Auto-Block List

03 December 2014

Traitor-to-the-Mens-T-shirt-dark
Update (Mar 19 2015): Access to this repository has been disabled by GitHub staff. Thus, I’ve deleted the dead link in the next paragraph.
I was given a link yesterday that included over 120,000 Twitter names of SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) to auto-block.

Takes a list of the supposed ringleaders of SJW, looks at their follower lists. Generates a list of sheeple following more than one account, as well as a list of your followers that might be questionable.

So. Guess who’s on the list?
Though, honestly, I fail to see the point of GGers blocking people like @mistressmatise, who’s a dominatrix.

I’m on the Social Justice Warrior block list, which I find amusing, given I’m often also called a threat to society. https://t.co/MjiqwWyQCk

— mistressmatisse (@mistressmatisse) December 3, 2014

And also: I do not play games, I have never written about games, and I don’t identify as feminist. So, whatever with that.

— mistressmatisse (@mistressmatisse) December 3, 2014

The maker of that list seems to have missed a fair number of the most strident anti-sexworkers, which seems like a lapse on their part.

— mistressmatisse (@mistressmatisse) December 3, 2014

Good point. I read her tweets (though I don’t follow her) because she’s an interesting person to read about sex workers. I consider myself a pro-sex feminist including sex workers’ rights.
Why am I on this list? I follow a lot of people who are writers of science fiction and fantasy and readers of same. I tend to follow people who engage with me (as I don’t auto-follow), and I don’t necessarily follow them because I agree with them on SJW issues.
I don’t believe I’ve taken a public stand on GamerGate; I think there is some nuance there, and it broke when I was absolutely miserable with my hip injury. And, frankly, stoned to the gills on medication to control the pain. I’ve never done the level of reading on the whole issue where I’d feel comfortable planting a flag and taking a stand.
What I have taken a stand on, though, is when Brianna Wu was threatened, I considered that horrific. However, and this is just my take, she said it was GamerGate behind that right when it was happening, and I don’t know that that is borne out by the facts, or that she had that information at the time of the accusation.
On a professional level, I admire some of the things she’s done, though I am no longer a gamer of anything but games that can be completed in under 15 minutes.
I don’t follow Brianna, and I don’t even like her. In fact, she rubbed me the wrong way so hard out of the gate I unfollowed Frank Wu, and I’d been an early fan of his. Sure, I follow people who follow her (and vice-versa, I’m sure). But I don’t support death threats. Full stop.

Second Time I’ve Been Added to a Block List (That I Know Of)

In the 90s, Scientology secretly installed censorware on its members computers under the guise of installing web site creation tools for pro-Scientology websites. My first name was one of the proscribed words. I’m one of the very few who was added by first name alone (that wasn’t a handle).
You can draw your own conclusions, I suppose.

Traitor to the Mens

I suppose one of the reasons I’m on the list is the Traitor to the Mens T-shirt (and prints) I designed earlier this year for John Scalzi.
The overwhelming majority of the extremely modest amount of money I’ve earned this year has been from royalties for this t-shirt and related products.
Thanks, John.

Update: Wow, Ashe Dryden

Ashe Dryden comments not only about the block list, but also about its creator.

4 months ago I filed a police report against a man who had been stalking me for months and had threatened to rape and murder me. This man lives in the same small city that I reside in. The stalker erroneously received the police report I filed against him and chose to further harm me by posting it online – in doing so, sharing my home address and phone number.
Recently this person has gained attention, again, for having created a github project blocking “SJW’s” on twitter. Myself, along with a handful of other women this man has stalked and harassed were who he seeded the list with.

The post is worth reading just to really bring home what being a target of harassment is really like. I’m so sorry, Ashe.

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Out:think's Upcoming Free Course: Hacking Amazon

02 December 2014

10386837_10152940943884665_5156859456087816102_n
Tim Grahl of Out:think has a new free course coming up called Hacking Amazon. (Above graphic is from Tim.)

A few weeks ago, I published an article about how to launch your book with 25+ Amazon customer reviews. This article really exploded, and it got me thinking . . .
I know a lot of little hacks and tricks that make Amazon work better for authors. So I’ve decided to put them all together into a course titled “Hacking Amazon.”
I’m putting the final touches on it over the next couple days. It launches on Thursday at no charge so watch your in-box!

Here’s that blog post Tim referred to.
He’s also got a free book and author marketing course, and you can sign up for that on his Out:think site.

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Ellora's Cave: Some Google Trends

01 December 2014

EC_self-publishing_indie-publishing

It is interesting to compare EC with self publishing search trends (Google trends) #notchilled

— Wylie (@oldCalicoJack) November 30, 2014

So I decided to pull up the map, then got on searching a few combinations of other interesting things.
There are a few things we can glean from this chart.

  1. Google searches for “Ellora’s Cave” peaked in 2006. Note that I don’t disambiguate between the publisher and the caves in India, so this is combined.
  2. Interest in self-publishing has been in a slight decline over the last few years, but EC’s Google trends are in a far more marked decline.
  3. Indie publishing as a search term is now also about as common as Ellora’s Cave.

ec_vs_da_trends
Even though search trends for DA start two years later, DA’s been consistently more popular since 2012. Which is interesting.
EC_erotic-romance
Erotic romance had a dip, and during that dip, it was occasionally a less popular search term than Ellora’s Cave. However, it’s stratospherically more important a search term than Ellora’s Cave is now.
erotic-romance-map
Erotic romance is a popular search term in the Philippines.
It does surprise me that the second most popular country for this search term is Pakistan. Anyone have any theories on that?
elloras-cave-map
Meanwhile, Ellora’s Cave is only of trending-quantity interest in the US and the UK. Not Canada, Philippines, Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, or India (the other popular countries for the search term “erotic romance”).
self-publishing-map
Self-explanatory popularity map for self-publishing as a search term.
EC_Jaid_and_LaurannDohner
So I looked into several EC authors and this chart including Laurann Doehner is particularly interesting. She’s far more famous than her publisher. (This does tend to happen when an author becomes particularly popular.)
EC_vs_JaidBlack
Taking Laurann out of the equation, EC and Jaid Black have tended to trend similarly over the last three years.

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My Favorite Indie Type Foundries

28 November 2014

IndieFoundriesI know you know I love type. And fonts.
Here are my favorite indie type foundries in alphabetical order. I seem to have a thing for Latin American foundries.

Albatross

Jay Hilgert’s an Oklahoma designer with some cool fonts like Altus and Boom! Featured up top is Oil Change.

Artimasa

Artimasa’s one of several Indonesian type foundries. Up above is Hipsteria, but I also love Zakia, Casually, and Prada.

Borges Lettering

If you’re going to start doing historical romance covers and want a great cover font, investing $99 (currently on sale for $89) in Borges Lettering’s Desire will go a long way. Sadly, I’ve not personally been able to justify it yet, but I do paw at the monitor every now and again while the page is open.

Cruzine

Peter, a designer from Bratislava, Slovakia does some great design, but he’s also done some great fonts. Up top is Brooklyn coffee. My personal favorite is Rocknroll, and when I look at Memento, I always think it’s an Indonesian design.

Dai Foldes

Dai’s font, Eubie Script, is fun and bouncy, and you really need to see the demo site for it. It has an amazing try me box (better than any other I’ve seen). Nicely done, and I’ve just picked it up. (Naturally, after I finished the header graphic.)

Dexsar Harry Fonts aka Majestype

One of the interesting Indonesian font designers, of whom there are several. Dexsar Harry has several lovely designs. Featured up top is Roverd. I haven’t yet picked up Bandung, but I’m looking forward to getting it soon.

Fenotype

Emil Bertell from Finland produces some lovely swashy faces like Alek (shown in the sample above).

Kimmy Design

Kimmy Design is based out of Santa Monica, California, about ten miles from where I’m typing this. (Away for the holiday weekend.) I have most of her fonts and some of her non-font graphics. I reuse this watercolor template frequently. Up top is Lunchbox Slab

Latinotype

Latinotype’s based in Chile and has lots of great fonts. Shown in the header image is Macarons. Up at the top of the page, my name’s in Courtney, and blog post headlines are in Four Seasons Pro. (So yeah, this entire site uses South American fonts.) I also use Showcase on desamo.graphics

Laura Worthington

I’m so pleased I got to meet Laura at Typecon. Awesome experience. I was tongue-tied and everything. I couldn’t remember the name of a single font when I was trying to tell her how many of hers I had.
One of the cool things about her fonts is that she has font families that are coordinating but dissimilar fonts, all designed to go together. Adorn, in particular, is a brilliant collection. Shown up top is Voltage, one of her newest.

Nicky Laatz

Nicky’s a designer from Cape Town, South Africa, who does awesome hand-drawn things including hand-drawn type. Here’s her shop. Shown in the pic above is Vanilla Frosting.

PintassilgoPrints

PintassilgoPrints is an amazing foundry from Brazil. If I had to describe their type collection, it’s of the type of fonts you’d expect to see on small label mid-century jazz covers. Some of their stuff draws from earlier (30s) and some later, but always with a fresh new twist.
The font I used above is called Brush Up, though I keep wanting to call it Olio because of one of the promo photos.
As a bonus, the bird is from a different font, Card-o-Mat Buddy Birds.

RodrigoTypo

Rodrigo Typo is from Chile and specializes in unusual and fun typefaes, especially display faces suitable for children’s work. Another aspect that may come in useful is that they always include Greek and Cyrillic letters, which is quite unusual for most indie foundries. Shown up top is Pequena.

Thinkdust

Thinkdust is based out of the UK and has made some pretty popular modern fonts. Shown is Nanami HM.

Tipotype

Tipotype’s the first type foundry in Montevideo, Uruguay. It produces, among other things, Quiroga, the typeface I use for the body face on this site. (Meaning: this paragraph is set in Quiroga as you read this if you didn’t override styles.)

Yellow Design Studio

Ryan Martinson’s Yellow Design Studio is the only foundry where I own all the fonts. I love them all. Shown is Veneer, one of my favorites.

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Happy Thanksgiving

26 November 2014

happy-thanksgiving
I’m thankful to people preserving traditional knowledge, especially languages, as they encompass different ways of thinking. Here’s an article about young Native American women working to preserve their culture. (Hat tip to Juliette Wade.)
I’m also thankful for libraries. This tale of the Ferguson library gives me some hope for humanity. They’ve also published a third wish list if you wish to contribute more specifically.
There are many other things I’m thankful for, but those two seem particularly important today.
This post by Chuck Wendig about -ists is an excellent read. I’ve been meaning to write a response to Faruk Ateş’s post What Being Cis Means to Me because I can go to a different place. Maybe if I say this in a blog post, I’ll actually write it.

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Make Your Own Story

24 November 2014

When-People-Undermine_700
(Product link on Redbubble.)
I wrote this piece in July after a particularly frustrating week.
One of those pieces of writing advice came back up (like vomit) again this week, and I’ve been in more discussions than I’d ever hope to be about it. I’ve reduced it to two things that really annoy me.

Failing to Respect Other People’s Writing Processes

I wish I had an easy process. I’ve tried. It’s not some moral failure on my part that I can’t outline then write a book. It’s that the energy of the book fizzles when I do it that way, and then I can’t actually write anything interesting.
Your process is your process. You can fuss with it a bit, but not that much. I still think Karen Joy Fowler is absolutely correct.

Dumping One’s Frustration with the Business of Writing on Others

All that advice about what’s “easier” or “harder” to sell onto people? (Anything can sell if it’s done well enough. Sometimes even if it’s not.)
Telling people that won’t sell? (Is that useful in this day and age?)
Telling someone their story is fatally flawed? (All story structures have flaws.)
Anyone who’s been around the block more than a few times will have had some hard knocks along the way. They hurt, and they shape the directions we turn, because we turn to avoid the pain. Sometimes, like I did for years, we just stand frozen in place, paralyzed.

The Responsibility of Teachers

It’s the responsibility of teachers not to stomp all over fragile creative processes or invalidate them.
It’s also the responsibility of teachers to not dump so much of one’s own pain about creative endeavors that one quashes a fledgling voice.

And Now for a Word from Lady Gaga

Song starts 2:30 in.

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My Day in Federal Court

21 November 2014

federal-court-header
After my first husband died, my credit files got mixed. That and my identity was stolen. On top of that, there is about a year during that time where I was lucky to remember my name. Some balls were legitimately dropped, and I was also taken advantage of.
I got involved in a web forum that no longer exists, and several people there had sued to get their credit files sorted out. In federal court. Pro se.
For many plaintiffs, pro se equals whackjob, but these were people who knew and respected not only the letter of the law, but the voluminous case law. Add to that the fact that Fair Credit Reporting Act cases and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases are typically for teeny amounts of money (FDCPA cases max at $1,000 plus actual damages, costs, and attorney’s fees), and you’ll see that except for the most egregious cases, it’s hard to find a lawyer to take them. There are just so many possible cases, and most litigants aren’t willing to go to all that effort for so little reward.
Plus, courts occasionally gave grudging approval to pro se parties in such cases, like this footnote in Oppong v. First Union:

Though not formally schooled in the law, Oppong has proven to be a resilient and sophisticated litigator who for years has battled the defendants to a draw in both the federal and state courts.

I wound up reading not only the entirety of the laws multiple times, I read all the case law. Thousands and thousands of pages of minutiae.

The First Federal Lawsuit

The first federal lawsuit I filed (C 04 5223 MEJ in California’s Northern District) was against Portfolio Recovery Associates and Capital One Bank. Essentially, a credit card in my name (which Portfolio and I discussed after the case was settled—it genuinely was not my account) had been sold to Portfolio with an alleged $1671 owing.
The offer letter was for a credit card issued by Capital One. (front) (back)
Apart from the fact it wasn’t my account, there were three things I was torqued about:

  1. The FDCPA generally doesn’t permit disclosing information to third parties about debts except in extremely narrow circumstances, e.g., credit reporting. The letter made it sound like illegal disclosure had occurred. There was no legally permissible reason for Capital One to have had the capacity to send the letter, and yet Capital One had.
  2. All communication from a debt collector must be accurate and non-deceptive. And this wasn’t. Two paragraphs from my complaint:

    When Plaintiff read the body of LETTER, however, she realized that the terms offered were not as the boldface item indicated. The terms state: “Your account will have an initial credit limit of $1 that will increase to $50 after you make your first payment to Capital One. Plus, for every $100 of charged-off debt you repay to Capital One, you’ll receive a $25 credit limit increase up to a maximum credit limit of $800.”
    Plaintiff asserts that this language is deceptive. The $800 credit limit is approximately 1/2 the amount of the alleged debt (rounded down to the nearest $100). The terms of the credit limit increases, however, are approximately 1/4 ($25 per $100 paid) of the amount of the alleged debt. Exhibit B shows Plaintiff’s calculations, showing a maximum possible credit limit of $425, far short of the $800 with which LETTER attempted to entice Plaintiff.

  3. I wasn’t even sure which of the two companies had sent the letter, because the front and the back gave different answers.

So I sued and it was settled pretty quickly. (Capital One took about a week, iirc.)

And Then There Was Merrick

Chuffed by early success, I decided to take on a bank where I’d owed the money (and paid it), but then got a deceptive letter after the fact. Specifically, I received two separate letters on two separate days thanking me for my payment in full on that date. They couldn’t both be true.
I’d had adverse action taken because they updated my credit report and I was feeling pissy about it, but this is the one bank that wouldn’t settle before more litigation steps were taken.
I’d never actually written a motion. I’d had a civil procedure class in paralegal coursework, but that was really more basic stuff. Motions were in the next class.
And yet, now I had to actually do it.
I kept telling myself, “You have a master’s degree in creative writing. You can do this.” Sure, it’s a different kind of narrative, more like an essay in an English class than like a novel, but a motion has a narrative structure, too.

The Weakness in My Case

The FDCPA only applies to third-party debt collectors, though there is a California state law that copies many of the provisions of the FDCPA and holds original creditors to those, too. So, worst case, I had a prima facie state case claim, and I had two letters, at least one of which was deceptive on its surface.
Except I’d filed in federal, so it was important that I prove that the FDCPA applied to this case. I was missing a piece of paperwork in my initial filing, which I eventually found. (That’s underlies the Order to Show Cause part of the ruling that’s in the header image.)
There’s another factor, though: the judge ruled one thing in error, and I wound up calling FDCPA attorneys in my district to see if they’d take an appeal. It was terrifying enough to write a motion for a federal judge to rule on, but the 9th Circuit? That was an order of magnitude scarier.
If you ever need a consumer law attorney, NACA is the organization for them. I’d found one, spoke to an attorney over the phone. He looked up my case and called me back.
“Your cites are better than 95% of the ones I see and you understand the case law,” he said. “You’ve got this.” He agreed with me that I had the law right and the judge had missed one point, and we talked about that.
I had no idea what I was doing as far as the mechanics of civil procedure went, but apparently I’d figured out how to write a motion. Go, me.
I filed a motion for reconsideration after my day in court.

My Day in Court

In May, 2007, I had my initial case management conference in the courtroom opposite Merrick’s hired litigator. I arrived early, and there were trial lawyers gathered outside the courtroom, each in suits more valuable than the entire amount of money I’d spent on every piece of clothing I owned. Most were involved in a huge medical class action case.
One of the attorneys, a woman, came over, curious about who I was. I’d told her, and she seemed genuinely excited for me despite me having this little case. It felt like being a minnow in a pod of friendly whales.
Many of them were gawking at the class action next door for Celebrex.
My courtroom had five cases for a case managdment conference. One of the lawyers for another case didn’t show up, so the judge put him on speakerphone. I felt SO mortified on his behalf (worse, he sounded like he’d been woken up by the call).
EDWARD BORACCHIA et al vs BIOMET, INC.
AIWA TROUTMAN vs UNUM LIFE INSURANCE CO et al
TOM SPEAR vs INTL UNION OF BRICKLAYERS et al
BARE ESCENTUALS BEAUTY, INC. vs L’OREAL USA, INC.
WILLIAM R. KLEMME M.D. vs NORTHWEST AIRLINES, INC
Doesn’t sound like a job that would ever get boring, really. Lots of interesting variety.
Anyhow, the judge was funny. She told lawyers who came before me, “You might want to invest in a rubber stamp that says CHAMBERS for your file copy. Marking the chambers copy is a part of local rules.”
When my case was called, I was afraid that I’d fall over in front of the judge. I was relieved that I managed to walk up to the podium without falling. When I had to speak, I had to grip onto the podium firmly lest I crumple at the knees.
I was terrified. I don’t think I’ve ever been that frightened.
The judge asked if I were computer-savvy. I allowed that I was. She suggested that I do electronic filing if defendant’s counsel agreed.
I wasn’t even chided for not having a rubber stamp. 🙂
Anyhow, the schedule issues came up, and she asked if we could really have our alternate dispute resolution that soon, and I realized I had to tell her that I was filing a motion for reconsideration.
That’s when I had the image of a pile of slippery pebbles, and a small panic attack. I was seriously afraid for a moment that I was going to fall over onto the floor, and wouldn’t that be fun. I held onto the lectern a little harder and made it through.
Merrick’s lawyer said he didn’t see the point of discovery, because the defense had submitted everything they had. The judge said, “Ms. Moen saw that something had been reported by a third party, and the inference was that the information was provided by Merrick. The plaintiff has the right to know what your client said about her to third parties, and I’m not going to deny her that.” (this was related to the way they credit reported after I paid them.)
I will tell you, there is something completely awe-inspiring about someone with that much power saying that little old you are actually important in some way.
She so rocked! (Aside from the part about the wrong ruling on one point, anyway.)
As we left the courtroom, the attorney I’d spoken to before the courtroom open gave me a fistbump, and I smiled. After exiting, opposing counsel asked, “Do you want to get rid of this?” Then he flew back to SoCal. (There’s also something awe inspiring about the other side flying someone in as opposing counsel.)

The Resolution

Given that a) the bank wanted to settle, and b) I was about to go on a long trip (Rick and I went to Greece, Egypt, and Turkey not long after the hearing), and c) I wanted to settle after I came back, we wound up settling. I never did find out what the 9th Circuit would have said or what the resolution of my reconsideration motion was.
Oh well.
The whole process was worth it for that one moment.
Oh, and Portfolio and Capital One changed the format of similar kinds of letters they sent in the future, apparently complying with the law. So, that’s a good thing I did.
IMG_0393-Edit

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Ellora's Cave Author Exodus Reminder

13 November 2014

[![Greek Sphinx, Delphi](/images/2014/09/greek-sphinx-695x700.jpg)](/images/2014/09/greek-sphinx.jpg)Greek Sphinx, Delphi

It’s been almost six weeks since I first posted it, but the Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support Thread now includes 29 authors, several editors, and a cover artist.
Each of them have spoken out in some context about Ellora’s Cave.
If you’re looking for books to get you through the holidays (or to get other people for the holidays), they could use your support.

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Ellora's Cave: Tenses and Figures

12 November 2014

elloras-cave-blog-header
This post discusses phrasing of the initial lawsuit filed by Ellora’s Cave and Jasmine Jade Enterprises against Dear Author and DA columnist Jane Litte. In Courtney Milan’s thread system, this is Thread A.

The Tense Thing

My most frequently overlooked problem when critiquing other people’s work is tense wobbles. So, while I noticed the change of scope in this section I’m going to quote, I’d missed some potential implications of the tense shift.
I was talking about the case with a friend of mine, and he said:

I notice they’re playing silly buggers with the tenses.
“have not” and “are”
and they don’t dispute that in fact they hadn’t been paid in six months.

Here are two of Jane’s allegations in the Curious article:

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.
[…]
The total sum of unpaid royalties, editor fees, cover artist fees is in the several thousands, perhaps approaching six figures.

In EC/JJ’s lawsuit, here’s what they allege:

[…] Such false statements include:
[…]
That the Authors have not received royalty payments in over six months when in fact they are being paid.
[…]
That unpaid royalties, editor fees, and cover artist fees amount to several thousands of dollars perhaps approaching six figures when they do not.

In my Proving Substantial Truth post, I’d talked about the size of the data set in proving that “a set of” is untrue.
But I hadn’t talked about the fact that what EC claimed was defamatory in the lawsuit paperwork wasn’t actually what Jane Litte wrote. Courtney Milan talked about this some in the interview she did on the SBTB podcast.

Hypothetically Speaking

Let’s say the following are true:

  1. An article, published mid-September, states “a set of authors who have not received royalty payments in over six months.” Past tense. There are over 500 authors, but the article’s author knows the claims are true for at least three. a = {Fred, George, Mark}
  2. After the article was written, the publisher in question writes checks for all its authors due royalties for a given accounting month. Let’s say the royalties being paid are for May, the checks are dated August 31, and they are mailed in late September.
  3. After the checks are mailed, the publisher in question files a defamation lawsuit abut the blog post. In said lawsuit, the publisher claims, “That the contract authors (Authors) have not received royalty payments in over six months when in fact they are being paid.”
  4. Note that there’s no claim that said Authors are fully paid. Or that they had been being paid. In fact, it’s present continuous tense, making it sound like the checks are being written even as the paperwork for the lawsuit is being typed. (Lest one think I’m being harsh on this point, remember that we’re discussing a publisher. Tenses and nuance are their core competency.)
  5. After the lawsuit is filed, Fred, George, and Mark each receive a check for the most recent month’s royalties, but this does not change the fact that the language in the blog post was correct as of the date it was published. They are still owed back payments, however.

So, hypothetically speaking, it’s entirely possible that there was a set of authors who hadn’t received royalty payments in over six months, and for whom between the time of that post and the lawsuit being filed, checks had been cut for at least some payment, making the present-continuous-tense statement also true. (It’s probably also not necessary for every single author to be paid to make the present-continuous-tense statement true, either.)
Yes, well, that’s all well and good, but there was a second part to the article’s claim, and how could that work? Here’s a hypothetical.
EC claimed: “That unpaid royalties, editor fees, and cover artist fees amount to several thousands of dollars perhaps approaching six figures when they do not.”
This really hinges, I think, on nitpicking two phrases: “several thousands” and “perhaps approaching six figures.”
I’ll just throw this out there: if the amount owing is known to be in excess of $100,000….
No, I can’t finish that sentence. I can’t rationalize the verbiage.
Remember, “unpaid royalties” as of mid-September includes not only May’s royalties that were reportedly received at the end of September or early October, but also monies received—for hundreds of authors—for June, July, August, and so far in September. Not just amounts that may be past due.
When one looks at, say, the amount Lolita Lopez didn’t receive in December 2013 that was on her 1099 (tl;dr: $13,354.79), and realize that there are (or were) several big-name EC authors who were making that kind of money monthly, royalty amounts owing in excess of $100,000 doesn’t seem that big a stretch for 4-1/2 months, even if the dramatic drop in Amazon sales were true.
Even without including editors and cover artists.
However, claiming that someone owes less than they actually do isn’t defamatory.
I have no personal information about the actual facts of the Ellora’s Cave case, so I have no information about the veracity of my hypotheticals.

So…?

The point of the above: if what Jane Litte wrote weren’t true, why not file a lawsuit claiming that specific language was untrue?
Why bother using different language in the filing when Jane’s post is right there to copy/paste from?
I’ll leave you to ponder that and end with a throwback moment.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve read a great deal of the documents involved in the Brashear case where EC/JJ were defendants.
As a fascinating aside, one of the items EC submitted in their answer and counterclaims was a snippy email by Brashear to complaints that payments were, once again, late. That was in October 2003.
It was in response to an email that said this (and then some):

Look, I KNOW you guys work hard at keeping everything together at EC and this new accounting system has been trouble — BUT, don’t promise that checks are going to be mailed on a certain date and then fail to deliver. OK? (This is not the first time this has happened.)

Two. Thousand. Three.

It’s Chestnut Season

In addition to the above, I note that we should seasonally switch from popcorn to chestnuts—especially given the subject matter.

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