My name is Lissa Matthews and I’m an Ellora’s Cave author.
Sounds like an Anon meeting of sorts, doesn’t it? Maybe it should be. It’s not a pleasant thing to be right now, an Ellora’s Cave author. Where once it was for some of us, for others of us, it no longer is.
No doubt you’ve heard about everything going on with Ellora’s Cave. How they aren’t paying on time. How they’ve laid off all the freelance artists and editors, and there’s only a handful of office staff (2 of those handle royalties for all 800+ authors). How there’s a lawsuit that’s been filed by them against Dear Author and it’s owner Jane Litte for defamation. (Links below)
It’s a fucking mess, y’all. That’s the only way I know to put it. I’ve shared my opinions in a very abbreviated fashion, but I’ve received emails, and private messages and instant messages and text messages and direct messages from all walks of social media and well, it’s my blog so, I figure I’d address several things here.
This email is personal to me and full of my own thoughts and opinions and interpretations.
For one, the lawsuit pisses me off to the point that it’s comical. And not in a let’s laugh it up at Jane’s expense comical. It’s a horrible move on the part of Ellora’s Cave and I’m afraid it will push more authors back into the closet in regards to speaking up when they feel they have been wronged by a publisher. Not to mention the artists and editors who are involved as well. I am not a fan of the blog Dear Author. Haven’t been since before I was published and definitely not afterward when I received a big fat ‘she doesn’t know what she’s talking about’ review on one of my first books. But every person who posts on that blog or on any blog has a right to their own opinion and has a right to state it. Jane said nothing that hasn’t been written about in an Ellora’s Cave email or in Publisher’s Weekly or any number of other press outlets. That the emails were suppose to be remain private… Well, yeah, there is that. But when you find out that such drastic changes have been made or are being made and that people you work with are not being treated in a professional manner, yeah, some of that proprietary privacy goes out the window. (more…)
It’s been a long year and yet the months have flown by so fast that I’m still trying to catch up. A lot has changed in the publishing world over the last few years and I have even fewer answers now than I had when I first started out. I feel like I’m always running under caution laps while most others are running at 200mph…
I’ve been working, trying to learn what many of my peers already know, but it’s a slow process. I’ve had several releases this year already, but my royalties don’t look like it. They are the lowest they’ve ever been and like other authors I know, I’ve had to re-evaluate my books, and my publishers.
There are those of you waiting on the next book following Stick Shift. It’s coming. I promise. The issues at this point is Loose Id, the publisher of the first book. I love them. I have enjoyed working with them and adore my editor. I’ve felt a very strong sense of loyalty to her and to Loose Id, however the money I am *not* making isn’t worth my sending them any other books. At least not at this point. This is a business and I have to look at it that way. I may not be paying my mortgage with what I make off books, but what I do pay is no less important and the $100 or less/month royalty checks, even with new releases, aren’t worth it.
What does this mean? It means that book, Drive Shaft, will be self published next year. But there are other things at play right now and that’s all I can say.
There are those of you waiting for the next Simple Need book. I’ve got it started and I will be sending it to Ellora’s Cave when it’s finished. Ellora’s Cave takes several months to get books out, between the reading, contract process, editing, etc… 6 months, at least. After release, there’s another 2 months before any royalties are seen from it. That’s a long time.
There are those of you waiting for the next book in the Denali Heat series. That book is bound for Samhain Publishing. But, when I submit a book to Samhain, it’s roughly 10-12 months before release.
I can’t make a living like that. I wish I could.
Writing books take a while. We all write at different speeds, we all have different responsibilities above and beyond writing. I used to write a lot and write quickly. I am not in that place anymore. I am writing. I am revising. I am learning. I am progressing. I am changing.
So, how does this affect you, the readers? Books are coming. Maybe not what you want right now. Maybe not what you’re expecting right now either. But books are coming. The following is the schedule I’ve been working on for releases through February and it’s pretty set…
October 22 – Love and Tattoos
November 19 – The Cupcake Cowboy (Lone Star Sweets)
December 31 – Eli’s Promise (The Bar Next Door, Samhain Publishing)
January 21 – The Sticky Cowgirl (Lone Star Sweets)
There’s more, lots more (Exposed (Masked 4), The Tattooed Barista (Lone Star Sweets), In The Corner, Drive Shaft (Stick Shift #2), to name a few, but the dates aren’t set yet), including Slide Down On Me (Ellora’s Cave) but I don’t have a date on that one yet either. I’ll also be revising and re-releasing Arrested Holiday as soon as the book rights revert back to me in December.
You’ll get the books you’re wanting, I just have to be a little smarter in how I approach things. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me. I hope you’ll enjoy all that I have planned for your reading pleasure…