I received a surprise when I went out to the mailbox today after my day job. There was a check inside from Ellora's Cave. I've heard in recent days of checks trickling out to authors, and I kept wondering if one would hit my mailbox. Now, just shy of a week after my initial post, there it was, my payment.
There was something odd about the check, though. Same as many authors have noted, my check was also dated for August 29th and the envelope had an meter mail stamp with no date. Seeing the actual date on the check brought numerous questions to my mind. I live in Ohio, only about 2 1/2 hours away from the Ellora's Cave offices in Akron. Had the check really been lost in the mail all this time? Had the check been cut in August, but sat on for a few weeks...for whatever reason, perhaps until there were sufficient funds to cover it? A troubling thought since it wasn't very large. Did EC's royalty department finally get around to my email they'd previously ignored and realized they hadn't sent payment? Is Ellora's Cave working to get their accounting books in order for their lawsuit against Dear Author? Are they trying to turn a new corner and get caught up on payments?
Other questions came to mind, but all I have are speculations for answers and speculations aren't facts. What is a fact is that they've issued payment to me. I do thank them for that, but it seems there are still many authors, editors, and cover artists still waiting for their back payments. I'm not sure what system is used for distributing payments, but I'm hoping that this is a sign everyone who is still owed soon finds a surprise in their mailboxes, also.
I also wanted to address briefly that there seems to be a misconception that authors who have requested their rights back are doing so to get a book that was edited for "free." For me, that most certainly is NOT the case. In fact, I've had numerous concerns and complaints about the editing with my books published by Ellora's Cave. One in particular, I had even requested for it to be pulled from sale because it desperately needed a re-edit. I hadn't been included on the copy editing or proofreading for any of my works, and this book seemed to have shot through editing to release. Unfortunately, my concerns and requests never went anywhere, and the editing was a point I mentioned in my first request to get my rights back.
But hey, I'm woman enough to take responsibility for the errors in my books. It's my name on the cover, after all. I had gone into Ellora's Cave expecting a higher quality of editing, but had I been aware of things ahead of time, I would've put measures in place to ensure my books were more extensively edited before going to editing...if that makes sense. And that really wasn't brief, but more of a long way of saying, no, having a "free" edited book to then turn around and make a profit on is not my reason for requesting rights back. Should I ever get those books back, they'll have to be entirely re-edited.
The payment issues, the lawsuit against Dear Author, the demand in said lawsuit for anonymous commenters to have to reveal their identity, the lack of communication from Ellora's Cave on many issues, the fact that there's hardly any editing staff left and I have no editor assigned to me, have all equaled to the reason I want my books back; trust has been broken.
In any relationship, it doesn't do either party well if one side has lost trust in the other. To continue to force that relationship does nothing but build animosity. For this, I still hope that in an act of good faith, integrity, and professionalism, Ellora's Cave will revert my rights back to me and to all the authors who want their rights back.
There are still many questions and unknowns regarding the entire Ellora's Cave situation, and as it continues to progress, I'll keep hoping for all the best to everyone involved.