I'm sad to see this crapolafest that is Ellora's Cave VS D.A.
There's plenty of indignation and anger and long articles about freedom of press and first amendment rights and ... sure, sure, I understand.
I'm probably not going to give money to defend DA but that's not because I don't agree. (It's because my EC books aren't making any money -- and I have a kid in college and I'd rather give to Doctors Without Borders or Urban Oaks and my dumb dog is sick again and ohgodtheregoestheclutchonthecar. again.)
I'm sad because I remember seeing how outrageous Jaid Black seemed...and yet look! She was an entrepreneurial genius! And she apparently was, for a while. That someone so very, very far outside the standard business model could make a successful bid in the world of publishing made me happy.
I first published with them almost ten years ago, just about the time EC went big. I remember the calendars and the touring buses (or was it one bus?) and the kinda eerie guys with the hairless bodies. Mostly I remember the shelves and shelves of EC books in Borders.
I never went to RT when Ellora's Cave ruled the roost, but I read The Stories and sure, later on there were a lot of muttering about how tasteless it all was, but I mostly heard about women cutting loose for the first time ever. And there was something so amazingly out there and fun about the whole idea of women, regular women, being caught up with reading, talking and thinking about sex. The word "shameless" comes to mind but at the time it felt like the right kind of shameless, as in operating joyously without a smidgen of shame.
It was the first time I'd witnessed such a raunchy party attracting middle-class, middle-aged women and I thought it was, as one old lady said, a real hoot. Their reader loop was HUGE and people enjoyed the hell out of it.
That's what I think about when I think of Ellora's Cave. The fact that Jaid and her mother** were an amazing success without being trim professional-seeming businesswomen--that they let it all hang out and were emotional, eccentric and not even a bit mainstream -- yet made their business work. I really liked that. A lot.
Until it all stopped working.
The party ground down a while back but it hurts to watch the end go so pear-shaped now.
**not that anyone asked, but I have never witnessed Raelene behave in any fashion
other than totally professional. Ever. I have no behind-the-scenes
experience, but I have witnessed a couple of melty-downy events and she
always seemed to stay calm and mature. Plus her hats.