Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Best Defense--veinglory

Karen Scott has been discussing the latest kerfuffle at Ellora's Cave. In a nutshell JC Wilder (who writes for Ellora's Cave and also works for Samhain) mentioned some questionable behavior by the Cavemen at the RT convention (as did Smart Bitches and others). Fellow Ellora's Cave author Anne Jacobs has a go at her for telling tales out of class. This might simply be an effect I describe as 'defenders of the faith' whose first law seems to be 'thou shalt never say anything negative about thine publisher or person associated with thine publisher'. Personally I don't pay too much attention to that unless the author is somehow claiming to speak for the publisher as their representative. Most epresses have a hundred or more authors so at least one of them is likely to have this kind of attitude.

However it seems JC was also removed without any explanation from the Ellora's Cave authors list. Now this is an action by the publisher. On this post Ann puts the boot in with "My guess is, no other EC author who writes for more than one publisher has gone out of her way to diss the rest of us, our mutual publisher and the cover models who grace the covers of our EC books." I don't have to agree with everything my publishers choose to do, but if you are an author with a press having access to the author list seems like a reasonable expectation and any eviction should be explained. And as for the men who 'grace' covers, I would not want them gracing my cleavage without permission and neither should Ellora's Cave.

My bottom line is, if it's true you can say it. Every single industry out there has to keep improving just to hold their own--so if it's true they should want you to say it even if they aren't going to enjoy it (just as authors should appreciate thoughful but negative reviews). They have to own the good and the bad that happens under their brand. JC also addressed this issue directly with her publisher which I think was 'going out of her way' to be considerate to them and the right thing to do. And if Ellora's Cave actually did deliberately de-list an author because of an accurate and, by my judgement unmalcious, blog comment that is a big, fluttering incarnadine flag. If a publisher is okay with sexual harassment either by or of their models that is not good--and for the record the two do not cancel each other out. My 'love of the genre' or so-called romance community of any kind does not extend to even the mildest form of the omerta. What makes us better is not loyal and unquestioning silence, it is transparency and improvement.

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