(reblogged from Deirdre Saoirse Moen)
Quite a bit of Ellora’s Cave news in this post, including:
- First quarter publications update;
- A bigger look at historical author counts;
- A comparison of author and book counts on various plaforms (tl;dr: they don’t agree!)
- Tons more!
One of the reasons I went to this effort was that there’d been something nagging at me over the months. From one of EC’s filings in the Dear Author case, Patty Marks declared:
7) […] In the first eight and a half (8 1/2) months of 2014, prior to Lampe’s bankruptcy scare, Ellora’s Cave had a total of 154 books go out of print for various reasons—mostly sales below threshold for rights reversions. In the twelve days between Lampe’s defamatory blog [post] and the filing of this suit, Ellora’s Cave had requests for reversion of 404 titles.
8) Since Lampe’s defamatory blog, Ellora’s Cave has reverted over 1250 more titles and still have requests that they are working on. In the one year since the defamatory post, Plaintiff has had almost double the number of rights reversions than it has had in its entire previous 14-year history. […]
I could see this as a word problem where the problem is phrased to carefully skate around holes in the data proffered, e.g.:
- How many reversion requests were there pre-TCCoEC (“The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave” published September, 2014) in 2014?
- What percentage of the 404 requests immediately post-TCCoEC were for books below reversion threshold? If all or most of them, then there was no damage.
- How much did Ellora’s Cave make off selling rights reversions? (Because I’m betting that the 404 and 1250 numbers included those, and if the price was right on those, there was no damage.)
- What percentage of EC’s total catalog did the 154, 404, and 1250 numbers comprise?
It was the 1250 that stuck with me. Ellora’s Cave had published around 500 books (thumbnail I had) over the prior year, so 1250 would be 2-1/2 years of work. Based on the assumption that they’d very recently hit their peak (in 2012 and 2013, then there was the 2014 reported Amazon sales drop), I expected that other years would have fewer books published.
That expectation turned out to be in error on my part…which I’ll get to after I update the usual.
Essentially, I sucked in publicly available data from various sources.
- Archive.org scrapes of EC’s site from various time periods, including when EC’s site was on Jasmine Jade (dot com).
- Ellora’s Cave’s site for more recent time periods.
- Fictiondb’s publisher series pages.
- All Romance Ebooks.
Historical Author Counts
Up until now, I’ve only had author counts going back to 2013. Before then, Ellora’s Cave’s site was different, and was hosted for years on jasminejade dot com rather than ellorascave dot com.
Thanks to archive.org, I’ve got author counts going back to early 2004.
A bit later, I show that the current active (per Amazon) data is 737 authors, so Ellora’s Cave has lost nearly 200 authors since the peak screen grab in September 2014, back when it claimed EC had 933 authors in print.
This last month, EC published three new authors, bringing Ellora’s Cave to a total of seven new authors published this year.
Summary of the differences between my author numbers and Ellora’s Cave’s:
- I count 22 authors from in-print Amazon ebooks who are not included on EC’s site. One of them is Tia Isabella, a pseudonym of Tina Engler’s.
- Ellora’s Cave’s site shows 42 people whose only books are paperbacks, or paperbacks and ebooks (and the ebooks are not on Amazon), or no books at all. All but a handful are authors whose books are in the process of reverting.
- The remaining differences are data issues of various kinds:
- Not all authors are listed on multi-author books on Amazon. Notably, the 72-story boxed sets of Cavemen stories show one author each.
- In cases where all authors are listed on multi-author books, not all authors of those books are listed on EC’s site. Example: Doreen DeSalvo.
- Author is new to EC and doesn’t yet have books on Amazon (or EC’s site for that matter).
- Author is listed more than once on EC’s site.