Ellora's Cave Compendium

Monday, September 15, 2014

For those of you following along:

[Aug 19]

[Aug 20]
[Aug 21]
  • PublishersLunch:  Acknowledging Big Drop in Amazon Sales, Ellora's Cave Cuts Staff, Expenses
[Aug 22]
  • PublishersLunch: Ellora’s Cave Cuts Staff, Blames Big Amazon Sales Drop  
[Aug 25]
[Sept 10]
  • Christina Mandara: Ellora’s Cave Book Sales down by 75% due to new Amazon Algorithms 
[Sept 14]
[Sept 15]

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Market: Strange Flesh

Strange Flesh is a publisher of lesbian erotic fiction.  Unlike many lesbian presses they seem to treat lesbian, f/f/ and femslash as synonyms. The editor-in-chief is Teresa Wymore.

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New: Entertwine Publishing

Monday, September 08, 2014

On their Facebook page Enterwtine publishing states: "Help Indie Authors make their dreams come true." Which makes me assume they are not a full publisher but some kind of self-publishing assistance company, or something? Honestly, I wish people would be clearer about what their companies actually do.

I spotted three typos on their index page which were fairly minor, but then I am a terrible proofreader so there may be more. Their website is offered via a free service.  There seems to be pretty heavy overlap between staff and authors suggesting a self-publishing co-op, but they are soliciting outside submissions. 

Overall, there is not much to suggest this would be a good place to send your manuscript.

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Forever Romance Publishing Group

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Forever Romance continues to be a bit of and odd duck.  

  • Either they did not know about the much larger 'Forever' imprint of Grand Central Publishing, or they did not care about the similarity.
  • And then there is Craiglist add asking for a resume and romance fiction writing sample. Not an actual manuscript and... who out there has an author resume? I know I don't, but perhaps I missed a memo somewhere along the line. And their 'no manuscript, no problem' attitude is not just for their series but also general submissions.
  • They have yet to splash out and buy their own website domain or hosting. Or a logo. Or... anything.
  • "...we treat all our staff and writers like family"
No books yet and I am not holding my breath.  IMHO there is a different between an erotic romance publisher and a generic content producer treating 'erotic romance' like an SEO cash grab opportunity.

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Cleis enters the erotic romance fray

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Venerable GLBT/sexuality press Cleis launched an erotic romance imprint Tempted Romance earlier this year.  Normally seeing another press jump on the band wagon makes me roll my eyes a bit, but Cleis has always struck me as a quality press with a clear scope and a lot of integrity.  Yes I do have one short story in a Cleis anthology but that is more a side effect of being impressed by their output than a biasing factor.

When I go to their Tempted site I see a refreshing lack of red, pink, and tacky symbolism (hearts, lips, heaving bosoms in corsets etc). In fact the simple branding fits easily into the greater Cleis website. And their opening line up includes familiar names such as Delilah Devlin and  Mitzi Szereto. They started off a line up of five professionally edited anthologies.

What I like about this erotic romance imprint that sets is apart is that erotic romance is a logical area for them to expand into, the branding is clean and professional, the books are a type they have a proven record with, and their editors are top professionals.  I feel this is a great cook trying a new recipe, not th3 more common scenatio a greedy amateur offering me mystery meat.

See Also
 Cleis Launches Erotic Romance Imprint

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When educational articles... aren't

Monday, August 18, 2014

Some highlights from an Examiner article entitled: "From eHarlequin to Ellora’s Cave: Where to find the best romance e-books" (Beware, multiple popup and popover ads on that site).

"No longer would a soccer mom have to scuttle shamefaced up to the counter at Barnes & Noble, eyes averted, as she handed the cashier a book with a cover featuring inflamed buttocks and a title like Spanking Sarah."
How many cliches and stereotypes can you get in one sentence? I count three. Other groups mentioned in a patronizing way include mom's, Christians, Christian moms, and denizens of the Midwest. I am none off these things but still found it cloying to equate them with prudery. Also not neglected: the usual mention of Fabio and "bodice rippers".

 " a plethora of specialty romance e-book sites have cropped up"
If by "popped up" you mean: for people who look at the internet once every decade or so, sure.  (The three examples given being: AllRomanceEbooks founded 2006, Ellora's Cave founded 2002, Harlequin-E was admitted later at around 2012--still, and average age of 6 years at the time this article was published).

"All Romance E-books carries an impressive selection of lesbian and gay e-books, so if you’re a straight gal, don’t just assume that the rippling six pack on a book cover means it’s for you."
Because no straight gal would want to read about teh gay, obviously. Sigh.

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The Rise and Fall of Ellora's Cave

Ellora's Cave has been on with a long and wandering journey.  From illustrious trail blazer, to eccentric player, to what looks like a dramatic but surprisingly slow decline.  They have remained an important part of the erotic romance publishing community for fourteen years and rumors of their impending doom have proved incorrect for at least half of that time-span.

Jaid Black -- grooverotica / Foter
So, is it possible that it is finally time to prepare to bury Caesar?  Rumors have started to swirl that Ellora's Cave have fired essentially all of their offsite editors.  Meanwhile Jaid Black (a.k.a. EC founder Tina Engler) reports having lost interest in writing erotica and is planning to open a second publisher for other genres.

While there remains very little that can be verified or found online, this currently flurry of speculation does suggest a new low in the slow decline of the once-proud flagship of erotic romance e-publishing.

Edited to add: see the official Ellora's Cave communique here. Now available here.

See also reactions from:
[Aug 19]
[Aug 21]

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