On March 29th, Tina Engler sent this email out to one of the Ellora’s Cave email loops, and I considered it not interesting enough to post. However, given the various concerns I’ve been reading in various places, I felt it was worthy of posting and commenting. Also, a Lolita Lopez update at the end.
1) We have no interest in what goes on in author loops. We don’t even monitor our own let alone anyone else’s. Closed loops are closed for a reason: so authors can vent to each other and support each other. We would never violate your space. If you could find even one credible instance wherein we’ve ever violated authors’ private spaces then I could understand getting worked up, but since no such incidents exist it amounts to worrying over literally nothing.
2) To our knowledge, there are no faulty 1099s out there. The handful of people who had questions emailed us and we responded. All replies to those responses were to the tune of “Ohhh okay. Thanks for the explanation and have a great day!” If you have a problem with your 1099 and do not bring it to our attention then we have no way of knowing. Again, and as was stated in the last email sent to this loop, if you do not receive an email reply within the specified amount of time then just call us at the author number we set up for you (last post) or send us a certified letter because chances are we never received it. To date, we have received one phone call and her call has been returned.
3) Human error and computer error are unavoidable and are going to happen. The walking-on-eggshells climate that has been created by gossips and conspiracy theorists doesn’t allow for either eventuality and it’s getting old very quickly. With over 600 royalty checks going out every month, mistakes are inevitable. Please be in the habit of checking your statements every month. Contrary to gossip, mistakes are actually more the exception than the rule, but they DO happen.
As always, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you have.
Thank You & Happy Sunday,
Point the first: Author Loops
Because no doubt some author loop information has become discoverable (see Courtney Milan’s kboards post here), there’s always the possibility that, even if Ellora’s Cave had no intention of invading the privacy of author groups, if they need to make their case based upon some of that information in discovery, I believe they will.
However, I have zero information as to whether or not that will, in fact, be necessary.
I’m one of those who doesn’t believe in premature optimization of anger, aka “don’t borrow trouble.” I think we should wait and see what happens.
That said, I find it difficult to reconcile the above statement of Tina’s with the stance in the lawsuit paperwork about anonymous commenters—many of whom were authors.
To refresh memories, that statement (which can be found on p. 21 of this document) says:
Additionally, Plaintiff request [sic] that Defendants disclose the name of the anonymous commenters on the blog so that the spreading of the defamatory statement can be stopped.
If that’s Ellora’s Cave’s stance, then why wouldn’t they be interested in discovery on author loops?
Therefore, my feeling is that Tina’s statement is meant to appease authors, but is not reflective of the reality of having initiated this lawsuit, nor the stated aims of the lawsuit.
(Though I still maintain that the lawsuit may ultimately be about Adam’s comments on TCCoEC.)
Point the Second: 1099s & Errors
Given Lolita Lopez’s story about last year followed by the August layoffs, several people were hoping there wouldn’t be big issues with this year’s 1099. To EC’s credit, that hasn’t seemed to happen. Julie believed she’d had one, but tweeted that she was in error.
The only other 1099 issue I’ve heard of was co-authors receiving 1099s for different amounts, but I believe they’d also received checks for different amounts. It’s been a LONG time on Twitter, and it’s not easy to look back for the underlying information.
As Tina says, errors happen.
Lolita Lopez Update
Lolita posted about a couple of things, including some very scary health news she’s been through. Relevant to the unfolding story here, she revealed the following:
Last week, I learned that emails from Ellora’s Cave that were meant for me never reached my inboxes. They were sent to someone else in the company’s headquarters who–curiously–never forwarded them to me or let the sender know they had gone to the wrong place. So, for six months, I needlessly stressed over something that could have been fixed with one or two quick conversations.
On Tuesday morning, Patty Marks, CEO of Ellora’s Cave, offered a very, very gracious compromise on the unwritten spec contracts for Grabbed books 4, 5, 6, and 7. These books and the rights to them and the Grabbed world are back in my hands. I can’t promise that you’ll see Raze, Terror, Torment or Cipher’s books this year (not with all that’s going on with my heart) but I will write and publish these books.
I’m thrilled that she and Ellora’s Cave have come to an agreement, and that the series will continue. I also wish her the best of health with her heart issues.