What Stace had to say on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
Stuff, Things, and a Farewell to Ellora’s Cave

Well! I’d expected to be back here on the blog sooner, sorry–the girls went back to school, we all got sick, and I’m working my butt off. (Also, I’m allowing myself one hour three days a week to play through the Batman Arkham games on the PS3; I’ve finished Origins and am now halfway through Arkham City. I think City is a little more fun so far, but Origins has more fun things to do. Except for the Bird side mission, because that glitched for me and I never got to finish it grrr. I really wanted the damn “Disarm and Destroy” skill! Anyway.)

I have a couple of review for MADE FOR SIN that I didn’t blog before! First, a really lovely one from B&N:

Stacia Kane has a knack for writing damaged characters. …Kane draws her Vegas with all the casual depravity the city is infamous for, with aging Mafiosi, pick pockets, safe-crackers, fences, compromised cops, chorus girls, and thieves rounding out the cast…. I love Kane’s characters: they manifest a deep and riveting moral ambivalence, acted out in dark and magical worlds.

(It’s actually quite hard to pick an individual quote or two from that review, but the full thing is definitely worth a read.)

It’s About the Book has this to say:

If you like urban suspense with a twist, this book has it in spades. And while it might start off slow and gentle, it silently crawls under your skin and haunts your dreams. I know I’ll be thinking about it.

From All About Romance:

…the chemistry between Ardeth and Speare worked for me. They circle one another suspiciously, come to reluctant truces, and move from begrudging respect to sexually charged friendship in scenes that had me not wanting to put down my reader. This book has elements of romance to it, but it’s definitely more urban fantasy than traditional HEA romance and as with many an urban fantasy series, the ending of Made for Sin leaves things rather open-ended – and left this reader wanting to read the next book in the series right away.

And speaking of my books etc….

I imagine many of you have already heard about the closure of Ellora’s Cave Publishing.

When I started writing seriously in 2005/2006, EC was the biggest name out there in erotic romance. Everyone wanted to be an EC author; it was a goal of mine, and I’ll never forget the day I got that acceptance email from them. I was thrilled.

I know a lot of authors did not have a great experience with/at EC. I’ve heard (a few of) their stories. I know many people felt honestly cheated and betrayed by them, and those stories, those feelings, are valid; their experience was their experience, and just because mine was different doesn’t mean theirs was or is untrue. It’s the nature of publishing, to some degree, that different writers can have wildly different experiences with the same publisher. While I honestly saw/heard nothing that led me to believe EC was being malicious or deliberately mistreating authors, again, that does NOT mean that A) it didn’t happen; and B) that those authors are wrong to feel that they were maliciously or deliberately mistreated. In other words, if there are authors out there telling stories about their ill treatment at the hands of EC, I believe them–I absolutely do–and I’m not at all saying they’re lying or exaggerating.

However. That was not my experience. Not at all, not remotely. My time at EC was–truly!–nothing but pleasurable, professional, and fun. One of the first “I loved your book!” emails I got for UNHOLY GHOSTS came from Raelene Gorlinsky, EC’s publisher, and that was very typical of the way I was always spoken to and treated by everyone at EC. I always felt valued. I always felt professionally treated and like I mattered. EC went out of its way (seriously, out of its way) more than once for me, and I was and am grateful for it. I stopped actively writing for EC because I’d moved in a new direction with my work and didn’t have the time (or the option clauses) that would allow it, but that is the only reason I stopped. I made good money at EC. I loved being, and was proud to be, one of their authors–I always will be proud to have been one of their authors.

Again, I’m not saying others didn’t have different experiences, or that their experiences didn’t or don’t matter or aren’t valid. For them this news is either a sigh of relief or a moment of bitter pleasure, and I understand that, and am happy for them. But for me, EC was a great place. It was a house I loved working with and writing for, and I’m genuinely very sad to see it close down. I wish all of my former EC associates, from writers to cover artists to layout designers to editors (my editor Brianna St. James was, IMO, the best editor at EC, and I adore her and adored working with her) to management the very, very best in future.

However, their closure does mean that the rights to all of my EC books revert to me. For a while I’ve been toying with the idea of getting them all together, re-editing them (mostly to remove stylistic quirks put in place due to EC’s rather specific house style, which I admit to never being a huge fan of), and releasing them all–except, of course, for the two I co-wrote with the always-awesome Anna J. Evans–in one big omnibus edition, for a couple of bucks. That would be:

BLOOD WILL TELL
THE EIGHTH WAND
ACCUSTOMED TO HIS FANGS
DAY OF THE DEAD
BLACK DRAGON

DAY OF THE DEAD was a novella (which I loved; it was written as a Halloween story [if the title didn’t give that away] and has a big hot-sex-in-a-graveyard scene, heh), but the others are all full-length novels; BLACK DRAGON is my medieval romance, which isn’t erotic per se but still has explicit sex scenes in it, of course, and, in addition to being only the second book I ever wrote, was my attempt to write an old-school-type of romance (so the voice is a little different). I actually re-read BLACK DRAGON recently; I was trying to remember a specific thing in it, so opened up the file and began perusing, and ended up going back to re-read the whole thing start to finish. That was pretty fun–I’ve always had a real soft spot for that book and its characters anyway–and I was pleased to see that, despite the many things about it I would probably do/write differently now, a dozen years or so after I wrote it, I still think it was a pretty good book.

Anyway. The point is, I’ve been considering compiling all those together and releasing them myself, and this is an opportunity to do so. The only hesitation I have, really, is wondering if that’s even something you guys would be interested in. All of the books (except BLACK DRAGON) are paranormals, and BLOOD WILL TELL has lots of action in it (and not just in a that’s-what-she-said kind of way but genuine fighting and car chases and such), but they’re still romance, not UF. ACCUSTOMED TO HIS FANGS is a MY FAIR LADY spoof, even, which has what I still consider to be one of the funniest lines I’ve ever written (my vampire hero, who’s been in hibernation for a hundred years or so, is making toast; he muses to himself that sliced bread is “in his opinion, the greatest invention since the seed drill.” Yeah, maybe it doesn’t sound as funny written out here like that, but I giggled like a loon when I wrote it, and I still giggle at it now). Point is (again) the book is written as a comedy and is supposed to be at least amusing. So none of these books are what you would typically think of when you think of me/my work.

The other hesitation, of course, is if it’s worth doing simply because if you’re interested in my erotic romances, you’ve probably already read them.

So, what do you guys think? Is an omnibus like that something you’d be interested in? Something you’d pay three or four bucks for? Let me know. It wouldn’t take a long time to put together, really, so doing it wouldn’t take me away from any of the other projects I’m working on (aside from Downside [both Book 6 and the second Terrible-POV story], I’m finishing edits on a gothic that my agent and I are both excited about, and toying with an idea for a sort of episodic story, and working on a sexy early-twentysomething [is “New Adult” still a term?] paranormal adventure romance, and considering some options for the dystopian YA whose concept–and thus its chances–that show “Penny Dreadful” completely shat upon, sigh) so that’s not really a concern. It’s more just curiosity/uncertainty if it would sell enough copies to be worth the effort at all.

Soooo…that’s it for today, I guess. I have lots of other stuff to blog about in the coming weeks, but for the moment we’ll end it there.

Goodbye, EC, and thanks for the memories.

Note: Since I wrote this post, I learned some things that, having been away from the romance/erorom genre for seven years, and having deliberately distanced myself from online drama for the sake of my fucking sanity, I was not aware of. Please see my follow-up post here.

19 comments to “Stuff, Things, and a Farewell to Ellora’s Cave”

  1. Diana Grubbs
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    1
    · October 5th, 2016 at 8:08 am · Link

    I would buy it! For some reason, I am out of touch with your work. I had a brain tumor last Dec, lost eyesight for awhile but it is all good now-but I do not know how I have become so disconnected from one of my favoritw authors. I think it has something to do with Facebook hiding them from me. Methinks I need to follow more webpages and ignore FB. It seems I read somewhere that you ended the Downside series (sob) but it sounds like you have two more coming (woot!). I am off to purchase your newest release and I look forward to anything you publish. P.S. I think you should allow yourself at least two hours a day with your PS3.



  2. Stace
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    2
    · October 5th, 2016 at 9:41 am · Link

    Goodness, Diana, I hope you’re doing okay now!

    I did NOT end the Downside series. Someone made a comment on FB about the end of the last book, and for some reason it seemed to be taken as a statement from me that the series was finished. I’m not sure why that happened, but it is definitely not ended. :)

    And heh, I would totally take two hours a day if I could! I’m a little less than half done with Far Cry 3, as well, which my husband and I agree is the greatest game we have ever seen or played. So I’ll be going back to that soon, too–I’m not as good at it as I am at the Batman games, sigh, so I tend to play the Batman games more simply because in Gotham I’m not constantly being killed by tigers, and not dying all the time makes the game more fun.

    Thank you!



  3. Diana Grubbs
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    3
    · October 5th, 2016 at 9:47 am · Link

    Happy Dance going on over here about the Downside series!! I am well, long hard struggle, but Life is Grand! I used to spend houirs (way back when I had time) playing video games…just did get back into it with Lost Odysea and a pc game Pillars of Eternity…there is not enough time in the day! Thank you!!



  4. Connie
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    4
    · October 5th, 2016 at 12:03 pm · Link

    I’m glad to hear the Downside series is not over!!! Is there a new book in the works?



  5. Emily Vincent
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    5
    · October 5th, 2016 at 1:31 pm · Link

    I’d def be interested in buying. I currently write for a couple of smaller ER publishers, but I aspire to write less erotica. So far though, only ER publishers have picked me up and they always ask for more sex, more details etc. I’d love to read your erotic work and see the progression into UF. I find your work profoundly inspiring. I love that your heroes and heroines shatter the mould.



  6. Ashley
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    6
    · October 5th, 2016 at 2:01 pm · Link

    I would love to see these collected and would buy, but I don’t do electronic books at all. Paperback? Please? *blinks eyes*

    Soooooo looking forward to any more Downside stuff.



  7. Pony
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    7
    · October 5th, 2016 at 4:15 pm · Link

    Honey, if you write it, I’ll read it. You’re one of my few “instabuy” authors. :)



  8. robin
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    8
    · October 5th, 2016 at 4:16 pm · Link

    I will buy ANYTHING you publish! So, hurry up and get me something good to read!



  9. Stace
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    · October 6th, 2016 at 4:30 am · Link

    I’d really like to do a paperback edition, but it would depend on the price; I make barely 25 cents/copy on the ppb edition of STRUMPET, because I just couldn’t bring myself to charge more than I do for a short book like that (especially since it’s still available for free on my blog–it just felt like cheating people to charge more than that). Those four novels and a novella (with notes, because of course I’d write some sort of brief commentary on each story) total close to 400k words; that’s a lot of pages and thus an expensive book to print, which means charging a higher price.

    I don’t know; I want to do a ppb (I love ppbs!) but I’d feel kind of sleazy charging $20 (or whatever) for it, even if I’m barely making a dime on each copy, and that’s if anyone would even be willing to pay $20. I mean, I’m sure there’s a price point beyond which you’re just not willing to go, especially when the ebook will be fairly inexpensive.

    Goodness, I ramble. Short answer: I’d love to do a paperback, and hopefully we’ll be able to for a reasonable price. :)



  10. Christine Rains
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    10
    · October 6th, 2016 at 6:49 am · Link

    Yes! I’d totally love an omnibus like that. I’ll eat it up!

    I was an EC author too, and like you, my experience was wonderful. I got paired with an editor who was immensely professional and got all my geeky jokes. My sympathies go to all the other authors who didn’t have good experiences.



  11. Paul Sadler
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    11
    · October 6th, 2016 at 9:04 am · Link

    It’s not my genre for reading, I stumbled over here from Passive Voice as I’m more interested in the “I got rights back, what do I do?” question than the EC background or the genre quirks you mentioned.

    What interests me most I think, or rather puzzles me most, is why you seem only to consider an omnibus? Certainly for existing readers who might want a roll-up copy, could be of interest…but for new readers, why wouldn’t you bundle the full-length ones singly and just leave them running up there at whatever price you want to charge ($1.99, $3.99, etc.). In the old business model, there were issues of “new release price” vs. “discounted over time”, but in the long-tail, I would think putting it up in single format forever (even if you only charge $.99) would be the semi-obvious path. Which doesn’t make it the right path for you, hence my curiousity — what about that option makes you prefer to go omnibus instead?

    Poly
    the lurker who likes to learn from others’ choices



  12. Keri
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    12
    · October 6th, 2016 at 11:05 am · Link

    I would be very interested in an omnibus and I haven’t read any of those books you listed. I didn’t even know you had written books other than Downside Ghosts & Megan Chase and now your new book. I would even be interested in purchasing the books if you sold them individually. I love your writing. And I’m always interested when books are available in audio. I love, love, love audiobooks.



  13. Mandy
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    13
    · October 6th, 2016 at 10:54 pm · Link

    Even if you published them individually I would be interested. It would be nice to pick the stories that appealed to me.



  14. Stace
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    14
    · October 7th, 2016 at 5:42 pm · Link

    Huh. Honestly, Paul–and thanks for the question!–I really hadn’t considered releasing them individually, I guess because they’ve been out for so long; it seemed like anyone who wanted to read them probably already had. I figured an omnibus would just be the quickest and easiest way to offer them, and would provide enough value for the price that they’d be worth it even for people who–like my current readership–aren’t big erotic romance readers.

    The books were all pretty successful on their initial release(s), but that was eight-ten years ago. I guess I felt like it might be seen as money-grubbing to release them individually? Plus, the current erotic romance ebook market is so glutted, with full-length novels going dirt cheap, that again, I figured a collection would be added value.

    And since I no longer write in the genre, and since my current readership isn’t the same/doesn’t have the same tastes, I figured they might not be interested in buying them individually because it’s just not their thing; they’ll spend a few bucks to read my old work but maybe wouldn’t want to spend that for each book alone, since their reading would be more for an interest in me (for which I’m eternally grateful) or out of curiosity.

    To be honest, this probably wouldn’t be a project I’d do on my own anyway; I haven’t yet spoken to my agent about it, but I figured he’d have some thoughts on the best way to go about it and that we’d decide together what the best thing to do would be. I just thought it might be good to gauge interest now, so I have as much info as possible when I do speak to him.

    You’ve certainly given me some food for thought, though! Thanks again!



  15. Paul Sadler
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    15
    · October 7th, 2016 at 6:35 pm · Link

    Hi,

    FYI, Lawrence Block has been working through his back list, and he published hundreds of things over the years under other names, including some early erotica under female pen names. And he’s releasing them individually. Sure, he has a larger base than most writers, but someone is always finding you for the first time…

    Might not be an either / or Q for the omnibus, maybe just another option. One challenge though if you are not doing much of it yourself is revenue/cost estimation. New covers and e-formatting when farmed out could run as low as $400 per, but that’s still $400 that has to be recouped eventually.

    Good luck either way, and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Poly



  16. Becky
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    16
    · October 7th, 2016 at 7:30 pm · Link

    Honestly, I’d be interested in reading them as well! I read your Megan Chase series and Downside is my favorite!

    I seriously didn’t realize you had written more than those two series and the new one you started. I guess I never really did a bunch of research to see if there were more….

    I found out about you on audible for Downside and checked Amazon for more books and that’s what I got… I never realized there was more!

    I am not a fan of E-Books either, but I did buy all the short stories you have for Downside.. but for some reason reading electronically hurts my eyes more than print so I barely use the Kindle I bought.

    I am always up for paying more for print…. it’s cheaper and less awkward than going to the library and attempting to print an ebook on paper….. lol.

    Anyways, point is, I would be super interested!



  17. Maggie Gillet
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    17
    · October 12th, 2016 at 12:59 pm · Link

    I would love to have them however you can publish them.



  18. Stace
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    18
    · October 25th, 2016 at 6:24 am · Link

    Goodness, I don’t know how I missed this comment before. Thank you so much; what a lovely thing to say. I really appreciate it.



  19. Raelene
    Comment
    19
    · November 13th, 2016 at 12:02 pm · Link

    Oh, definitely republish them! Give them new life and readership.

    Why one big omnibus? Maybe make two collections instead of one, group them by audience type. It would still be super-cheap for readers to charge maybe $1.99 or $2.99 for each collection.

    You could slightly revise them if you want to tone down the erotic content if you feel that would be more appealing to readers. (I have to admit that after a dozen years of dealing with super-explicit erotic, I now skip the sex scenes in books I read — I go for the plot and characters.)

    A quick copy edit/proofing is always a good idea.

    And thanks for the kind mention. Keep writing!

    Raelene
    https://pubparlor.wordpress.com/freelance-book-polishing/



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