Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Author

Proposal Reversions Denied, Two Series Die #notchilled

On 27 September 2014 at 11:22PM eastern (according to FB), I posted on my profile a statement about the Ellora’s Cave’s situation. I posted that same statement on my FB fan page for those following me there.

At the time I said I didn’t want to talk about it. My feelings on the matter have changed. What follows are FACTS backed up with EVIDENCE. I could rant and rave and carry-on but what’s the point?

Fact #1
14 August 2014, 10:01PM HST ~ I sent a request to Ellora’s Cave asking that the twelve (12) titles I have contracted on proposal be terminated and the rights reverted back to me. Three (3) of the twelve titles were finished and submitted in May 2014 but never edited due to my editor being in and out of the hospital. I had hoped to revert those three titles (Enticing the Curious, Surmounting the Past, and Probing the Truth) on the basis of them lapsing the 3 month editing clause in my contracts.

Fact #2
20 August 2014, 5:10PM HST ~ I receive a form letter reply from Ellora’s Cave addressed to “Dear Author,” informing me that they would review my contracts and get back with me in six months.

Fact #3
31 August 2014, 11:31PM Eastern ~ I email Ellora’s Cave a change of address notification as I moved from Hawaii to Maryland. I received an auto-reply the same day at 11:32PM Eastern.

Fact #4
03 September 2014, 12:26AM Eastern ~ I sent a follow-up email to my rights reversion request stating the titles are not published and thus shouldn’t be subject to the 6-month reversion timeline stated in the contracts.

Fact #5
03 September 2014, 9:14AM Eastern ~ Ellora’s Cave sends another “Dear Author” email stating no contracts are being terminated and Ellora’s Cave has the option to publish a LINE edited manuscript without author participation (Section 5 of the Ellora’s Cave contract).

Fact #6
17 September 2014, 12:58:46PM Eastern ~ I mail a certified letter from Ft. Meade post office to Ellora’s Cave with a follow-up, follow-up rights reversion request for the return of my proposal contracts stating I have no intention of submitting the proposal titles, which means Section 6: Termination for Non-Delivery should be in effect.

On this same date is when I check my post office box that I rent from the Ft. Meade USPS to see if my Ellora’s Cave royalty check has arrived. It has not.

Fact #7
26 September 2014, 11:37AM Eastern ~ I receive USPS return receipt confirmation that my certified letter was delivered to Ellora’s Cave on 19 September 2014 at 12:36PM Eastern and signed for by Kendra Rumschlag.

Fact #8
29 September 2014, 1:39PM Eastern ~ I receive a series of text messages from my husband who is now stationed at Ft. Meade. I have given him my post office box key so he can check my mail since he’s down that way and we are currently a single car household. He reports my Ellora’s Cave royalty check has arrived and the amount.

The pictures that follow are said check (with the account information covered), the dateless metered envelope it arrived in, and the statement of royalties earned. Sorry for the blurriness of the images. I took them with my iphone. As you can see, I’m not a high earner.

EC-check EC-statement EC-Envelope EC-FullChecks

And for those who didn’t know, the D. in D. Renee Bagby stands for Deatres. I choose to go by my middle name because people kept butchering the pronunciation of my first name.

Fact #9
03 October 2014, 3:11AM Eastern ~ I email Ellora’s Cave, Patty Marks (at her Ellora’s Cave email address), and Tina Engler (aka Jaid Black) another follow-up rights reversion request citing Section 6: Termination for Non-Delivery yet again. I also note in my request that the Ellora’s Cave contract has no specific language that pertains to the termination of proposal contracts. The contracts mention NOTHING about proposals whatsoever.

Fact #10
03 October 2014, 8:33AM Eastern ~ Ellora’s Cave sends another “Dear Author” response with a definite and final NO to my request, citing there is no contractual reason to revert them.

Fact #11
03 October 2014, Approximately 10:30AM Eastern ~ I get a phone call that wakes me up. I check my email and see the above reply. I decide it’s time to put my timeline on the Internet. I also decide to put on my website a notification in bold giant red lettering that the Daily Grind Series and the High Relief Trilogy are now on indefinite hiatus.

IF Ellora’s Cave decides to publish Enticing the Curious (Daily Grind 3), Surmounting the Past (Daily Grind 4), and/or Probing the Truth (Daily Grind 5), it is without my cooperation after repeated attempts to have these contracts terminated.

I find it funny (in a non-humorous way) that after spending almost an entire year sending certified letters and making phone calls to secure the reversion of rights for A Valentine’s Gift for Tori from Red Rose Publishing (yes, I WAS an author there as well way back when) that said book is now tied up in a rights reversion tug-of-war at Ellora’s Cave. I had planned to rework (read — completely overhaul) the title and release it as part of the Daily Grind Series.

So these are my FACTS. I’m sure posting this isn’t going to make me a favorite person with some people and I don’t care. This is cathartic for me. I need this off my chest and out of my head so I can move on to other projects that need my attention more than this.

EDIT 03 October 2014 at 5:49PM Eastern — Fact #12
03 October 2014, 5:01PM Eastern ~ Tina Engler/Jaid Black replies to my 3:11AM Eastern email (with Patty and Contracts included in the reply) saying Ellora’s Cave’s email is backed up and they will get back to me about my request as soon as possible.

Since the email from Ellora’s Cave Contracts email (Fact #10) sounded pretty final on the subject, it’s interesting to get this reply from Tina.

Also, I’m not the only author who is walking away from a series. Lolita Lopez, who has an agent, ran into the same answer as I did with a quote to buy the rights back and came to the same conclusion — the series is dead.

EDIT 04 October 2014 at 5:32PM Eastern — Fact #13
04 October 2014 at 10:45AM Eastern ~ Contracts sent another resounding NO. I have no clue who is replying to the Contracts email address, but said person felt the need to tell me I cannot publish the books in any form or under a different title. I hadn’t planned to. It suits me well enough to let them die, like my subject line says.

This matter is closed until the day comes when I get my rights back or not. Naomie and Dane from the Daily Grind Series were fun characters that I hope to work with again one day. Until that day comes, they are buried deep under my ever-growing To-Be-Written pile.

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17 thoughts on “Proposal Reversions Denied, Two Series Die #notchilled

  • […] Zenobia Renquist goes into detail about her request to get rights reverted to her for two of her series. […]

  • jeanjoachim says:

    So sorry to read about your trials and tribulations with Ellora’s Cave. But BRAVO to you for speaking out and spreading the truth!! I take my hat off to you for your honesty. I hope this helps other authors avoid this publisher. Well done. Crossing fingers you get your rights back. Best of luck.

  • Desta says:

    I hope you are able to get your rights. I heard that Jaid Black was very sick, but now I’m so sure of this since I have read of authors not being paid properly. I heard that Ellora’s Cave has made quite a lot of money but is not being fair to their writers. I hope everything will work out for your good. Be blessed.

  • Mirtika says:

    🙁 I hope they change their minds. Hey, miracles happen.

  • Such a shame. All that hard work. Keep documenting everything you are doing. Karma has to catch up to EC at some point. ((Hugs))

  • Welcome to the club. It’s growing every day. Glad you spoke out. Maybe you should send a link to this page to Jane at Dear Author. Every bit of evidence she can get is helpful and, like DA or not, she’s going toe to toe with the powers that be for all of us. If they win this thing, we’re all next.

    • Renee says:

      If she wants to use my story, she’s more than welcome but I’m not contacting anyone about anything. I’m also not trying to appear in a court case, either via an affidavit or in person. I put it on my blog. That’s as far as I’m taking it.

  • JM Madden says:

    Wow…I truly hope you get this straightened out. I wonder if they actually have ANY happy writers there anymore? Stories like yours are becoming a daily occurrence almost.

  • kelli says:

    I got the same 6 month response when I asked only for my non-erotic titles returned. They make very little revenue for EC.

  • Thanking my lucky stars I never got messed up with any publisher. They all seem to be in self-destruct mode these days. Trust me, Renee, it’s time to start a new series. Self-publish it. (Read “The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing” if you need guidance in modern-day self-publishing.) Even in the dire days we’re all going through now with the onslaught of Amazon KU, I am sure you’ll sell better than you ever did with Ellora’s Cave. Even if you sell the same, you’ll get almost 70% of earnings, compared to the pittance any publisher would give you.

    Good luck! I hope you do get your rights back, as well, but it’s time to move on and get busy with other things right now.

    Kally

  • Kastil says:

    That’s a shame that you’re going through this.

  • Andrea says:

    Just adding that seeing this makes me feel awful for you and all the others trying to get out. What an awful mess. This is why I went the self-pub route also. For a full year, I was competing with myself on Amazon with books I had released/expanded/revised and books still selling through my old pub. At least I get paid on time every month and no one “owns” my work.

  • […] D. Renee Bagby/Zenobia Renquist has quite the post on her attempt to get reversions for twelve propo… […]

  • Cat Grant says:

    Well, now I know it’s not just me. They treat everyone equally shitty. (My sympathies, btw.)

  • Becky Lower says:

    Writing is hard enough, but when hard-working authors have to fight for the pittance of royalty they are entitled to, it’s doubly hard to support the many good small presses out there. Self-pubbing looks better all the time.

  • […] EC for a while, served the company and its owner public notice here. Zenobia Renquist details the trouble she’s having getting her rights back here. Paige Thomas has reached the point where she’ll rather walk away than continue fighting. […]

  • Cinquetta says:

    I am in your corner all the way. You are amazing talent brilliant author. Don’t let their stupidity get in your way. You do what you have to do to stay strong. I believe in you and support you 100%.