Sunday, February 18, 2007

Is There Something Rotten in the State of Ellora's Cave?

Ellora's Cave must be acknowledged as the tallest poppy in the erotic romance epublishing garden. And there is a saying in New Zealand, that the tallest poppy is the one that tends to get its head cut off. That is, people tend to knock and criticise the most successful companies.

However, I cannot help but notice a trend in reader's blogs such as Karen Scott's mentioning disatisfaction with the content and quality of EC's recent output. Both Karen Scott and Mrs. Giggles have mentioned Liquid Silver Books and the relative newcomer Samhain as favorable by comparision (full disclosure, I am an author with Samhain).

Mrs Giggles says: "I don't care much for Ellora's Cave books anymore due to the overkill of the whole "BDSM alien/furries/vamps" formula."

and Karen Scott: "I have tried the new authors, but most of the newbies that I’ve read, have sucked in a big way..."

And yet Ellora's Cave books continue to sell well and fill the trade paperback shelves. Do they really need to change the way they do things, or just have a website make-over and show some signs of listening to readers? They did (finally) open to m/m submissions and it wouldnt hurt to have more works outside the bondage vampires and so on--although this rather depends on writers submitting quality work in fresh areas? There has been criticism of EC's branding from the beginning and the Ellora's Cave management proved to know what they were doing each time.

While their sales are way ahead of the others I think Ellora's Cave have great cause for complacency, but the pack may just be closing in on them?



Stacia said...

I think the problem is, for every reader who is tired of reading a particular subgenre (BDSM, vamps, etc.--although this is nothing against Mrs. Giggles because the woman rocks), there are dozens who aren't. EC's biggest sellers are those types of books. Things may change--I'm going to start doing a couple of historicals for them hoping that the new acceptance of historicals elsewhere means there will be more room for hot historicals as well--but they buy what sells, then that keeps selling so they buy more.

And I really hope Karen doesn't give up entirely on new EC writers, because I am one--I'm hoping to have at least three releases with them this year.

Anonymous said...

Ellora's Cave was my favorite epub for a while even though I bought from many other websites. As I discovered my erotic romance preferences I realized that EC really doesn't sell much of what I like. Looking at their website, I can only assume that there must be a huge market for male dom BDSM erotic romances. A market that EC has decided to concentrate on, apparently. Since I detest male dom I'm happy to shop at the many other epubs with more variety.