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Tina Engler / Jaid Black / Ellora's CaveAuthor, Litigious Owner of a Failed Publishing Company

Discussion in 'Beauty Parlour' started by Broken Pussy, Jan 2, 2017.

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  1. Ladies and ladies, this is Tina Engler:

    tinaenglerjabba.jpg
    Tina here used to be well-known for being a success story in the world of romance novel e-publishing. Not only was she a successful author under her pin name, Jaid Black, but she founded an e-publishing company called Ellora's Cave, which became popular by publishing what they referred to as "romantica": romance with heavy elements of erotica. Or, for the uninitiated, stories where people not only have emotions for each other, but they also like to fuck a lot. Engler is quoted as saying about the genre,"[it] legitimizes the female sexual experience. Women read these books and it makes them feel normal about their own fantasies." Apparently Ellora's Cave filled a niche that needed filling, and I'm not just talking about women's vaginas. By 2004, Ellora's Cave was reported as making a million dollars in sales, and Engler herself was lauded as someone who had managed to go from being a welfare recipient to being a successful entrepreneur. However, it doesn't take much effort to spot the signs of cow that emerged over the years.

    Ellora's Cave prided itself on being-in-your-face sexy, a trait which manifested itself in some odd ways. There were the "Cavemen", male models who were paid to stand around and look sexy for public appearances, including conventions. One convention go-er who wrote for a popular romance blog described a Cavemen performance thusly:

    "Picture a throbbing sound system playing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” while the individual Ellora men lip-synched a verse."

    Did I find a video of that? Unfortunately not. However, here's a video of a Caveman doing an acrobatic performance to music by Marilyn Manson. You're welcome.



    In 2014, during the Ebola scare, two of the Cavemen were on a plane with the nurse who flew to Ohio while infected with Ebola. They had to be quarantined. Jesus wept.

    Ellora's Cave also invested in an Ellora's Cave branded bus, and, at one point, developed an Ellora's Cave e-reader with a vibrating function. You know, for helping with the reading. Whether it also came with wet wipes, I cannot say, but the COO of Ellora's Cave had this to say about it, "It’s a tactile feedback function, like the clicking sound you get when you tap keys. We chose the vibration rather than the usual click mostly just for fun. We are, after all, primarily an erotic romance publisher, and we like to have fun with that, so we often inject a note of fun around the sexuality of our content."

    What was Tina Engler doing while her company was hitting the big time? Ballin'. She moved from Ohio to California, to a house with a pool and a nearly naked manservant. She also found time, during this period, to acquire a new husband, a convicted murderer named David Roy Keen, who she met while doing research for a book. Engler, a self-described prisoner's rights activist, thinks that her husband shouldn't be jailed forever because he unthinkingly committed a crime when he was young. Keen, when he was 23, shot and murdered his ex-girlfriend. He also shot her fourteen year old daughter in the head, but the daughter survived. The daughter's comments to Tina on Facebook can be read here. Tina, who allegedly suffers from fibromyalgia and agoraphobia, appears to be a bit of an SJW. She claims to be an activist, but seems to only care about causes that affect her and don't require her to leave her home in order to champion them.

    Back at Ellora's Cave, even though the e-publishing business was booming, the effects of being a company owned by an inexperienced lolcow started to show. In 2008, former COO and minority stake-holder Christina Brashear sued the company for, among other things, defamation and distribution of profits. In 2009, Ellora's Cave sued Borders for a million dollars for purposefully buying more books than they intended to sell. Around 2013, the company's sales started to fall dramatically.

    In 2014, a romance blog called Dear Author, run by an attorney who went by the pseudonym of Jane Litte, published an article about the financial straits the company was in, and addressed claims that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and not paying its authors royalties, all while continuing to spend irresponsibly. Ellora's Cave/Tina Engler responded pretty quickly with a lawsuit for defamation, demanding the post be taken down and asking for 25,000 dollars in damages. Also, Tina was pretty butthurt.

    tinaenglerfinger.jpg

    While it would seem kind of counterproductive to sue someone for telling the verifiable truth, the lawsuit was filed in Ohio, the state where Ellora's Cave is incorporated and, more importantly, a state that doesn't have anti-SLAPP legislation. Jane Litte, obviously not a dummy, hired noted first amendment rights champion Marc Randazza to defend her, and a campaign to help pay her legal fees raised tens of thousands of dollars. Because even if you end up not having to pay what the plaintiff is asking for, in a lawsuit, you still have to pay your attorney's fees, and lawsuits can take a long time to be resolved.

    Not so flush with cash were the authors who claimed Ellora's Cave was not paying them their royalties. The fear of frivolous lawsuits kept some of them quiet, but some of them, and other members of the romance reading and writing community started using a twitter hashtag "#notchilled" to discuss details of the case and to again air their grievances with Ellora's Cave about not paying them.

    Again, Tina was not pleased.

    In a comment on a post on The Passive Voice, she had this to say, "My question to all of you is this: if the evidence provided in court doesn’t uphold your speculative predictions will you apologize to us as publicly & aggressively as you have with jumping to conclusions & spreading the rumors? I don’t believe for a second that any of you will. I’d love for somebody… Anybody… To prove me a liar, but history shows me it’ll just be spin-doctored and swept under the rug by the Courtney Milanos of the world. And lastly, as to us trying to suppress freedom of speech… That is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard. I have been a passionate civil rights activist for the most marginalized ppl in the US for 20+ years. I may not like what a person has to say, but you can bet your last buck I’m the first one to defend their right to say it."

    She also started her own anti-cyberbullying website, where she referred to people saying meany-mean things about her on social media as "The Cyber Witch-Hunt of Ellora's Cave", complete with art depicting the Salem witch trials and newspapers from the McCarthy era.

    Eventually, after over a year of legal wrangling, the defamation suit settled out of court. The terms were confidential, but the offending post was not taken down, so one can only conclude that it was not deemed to be defamatory. People in the community were like, "so, huh, that's it, then?" Plenty of EC authors were still claiming to be unpaid, and they had hoped that discovery in the lawsuit would force EC to open their books. It didn't happen, but there was definitely a resolutions, of a sorts.

    About a year after the lawsuit was settled, Ellora's Cave sent out an email to all of its authors that it was closing at the end of 2016 and that anyone who wanted their rights reverted could have them, only if they agreed not to ask for the royalties they were owed. So, the company that had sued a blogger for saying they were in financial trouble and weren't paying their authors decided to end the year by ceasing operations and attempting to avoid owing money to their authors by holding the rights to their books hostage.

    Sounds about right. For a lolcow.
     

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    #1 Broken Pussy, Jan 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
    Broken Pussy

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  2. A well-done OP, 10/10 worthy of the main 'cow board. Lady definitely seems crazy, but I don't really see a road-map to go from here with her company gone and all.
     
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    Tranhuviya

    Tranhuviya Mercy is not dispensed here, fools - only lols!

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  3. Thank you! I doubt she'll go away. She likes the idea of being a victim too much. And she'll probably still keep complaining online about being bullied, once she wipes the egg off her face.
     
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    Broken Pussy

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  4. :story: Did you check out Courtney´s blog and Deirdre´s (deirdre.net) as well? They have a shit ton of info about the lawsuit against Jenn as they we´re keeping close tabs on EC. Both are actual lawyers who know their stuff, and esp Courtney had great breakdowns of the legalese into normal speak. Deirdre is also buddy-buddy with Winterfox lol The #NotChilled hashtag was always a great source of ... amusement ? hard to tell, since there were multitude of authors claiming they were never paid by EC and/or troubles getting emails answered, their rights reverted back etc. Yeah, Tina is a scam artist even she once certainly paved the road in e-romance.
     
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    Ambivalenz

    Ambivalenz Rat King Queen

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  5. Yeah, I followed all of the stuff while it was happening. Once the lawsuit was over, I stopped following either of them as closely because they are a little too stridently SJW for me. Courtney, especially, because I love her, she's a really smart woman and I enjoy her books immensely, but she constantly involves herself in sjw twitter drama and I would rather not develop a tired attitude toward one of the few romance novelists who doesn't write things that make me roll my eyes at the stupidity of its heroines.

    I was going to include more about them and the scandal over Jane being an author herself, but this OP got so, so long!
     
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    Broken Pussy

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  6. Yeah, I know what you mean. :) I am not much a fan of Courtney myself but I´ve always liked Jenn´s books. :oops: Totally agree with the SJW drama, there was plenty and some more of it, and again, not a fan of it in any way, shape or form.

    There was also the ridiculous "Stocking Stuffer" series last Christmas published by EC. Are you familar with it? Lots of lols about it. Also, like 90 % of the Amazon reviews are fake of it. There were people duggging into it, and those EC authors were - under socks - reviewing each other. At least two authors (Emma Paul and Kevin Weinberg - both were also heavily involved with Melissa Douthit´s STGRB) only got an EC book deal because they were Tina´s attack dogs. Both are stupid as shit and drama is their middle name.
     
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    #6 Ambivalenz, Jan 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
    Ambivalenz

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  7. I don't read much contemporary. I like Regency/Victorian. Which is why I like Courtney. She writes historicals where the heroines are neither dish rags nor total 21st century inserts. If I really like a writer and they write contemporaries, I'll give them a try, but I usually don't like them as much. It's especially irritating when they think writing a contemporary means having to write in first person present tense. There is nothing cringier than a first person present tense sex scene.

    I'll totally have to look into this Amazon drama, though. Sounds promising.
     
    Broken Pussy

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  8. So anyone knows the financial situation of Tina herself? From the information on the OP regarding how poorly she is managing the company plus the example of her lavish spendings I guess it'd be a safe bet she's close to rock bottom after her company failed but I'd like to know if there's hard evidence for that fact.
     
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    keksz

    keksz Verified nobody

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  9. Ellora's Cave put its headquarters up for sale in the later half of 2015 and the speculation on the closing at the end of 2106 was that it was in advance of the company filing for bankruptcy some time this year, but that's just speculation based on the email. I read on another forum that the company was being sued by a bank in Ohio, and it looks like Tina was also personally mentioned as a plaintiff. I don't know how indicative that is of her personal finances, though. It's possible she has money that wasn't invested in the company and that money is somehow safe from creditors.
     
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    Broken Pussy

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  10. so this is who published a trilogy of erotic novels by the "16 & Pregnant"/"Teen Mom" star, frozen yogurt store owner, "not a porn star" who got railed on camera by James Deen, "Couples Therapy" solo player and most amazing singer on planet earth.

    50 shades of farrah 1.jpg 50 shades of farrah 2.jpg 50 shades of farrah 3.jpg
     
    CervixHammer

    CervixHammer Internet ist Krieg

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  11. The woman on those covers looks like Huma Abedin and Kim Kardashian's love child and I am so uncomfortable with that
     
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    Blake Bumbleby

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  12. this was an article i saw on Forbes. im not sure if anyone already mentioned it, but its an interesting read. it was written by Chana R. Schoenberger.. idk who that is


    Tina Engler pitched her first romance novel seven years ago. All the big publishers spurned her. Her tale of a woman kidnapped and ravished by a lusty, strapping alien was too explicit, they said. So she started her own publishing company, Ellora’s Cave, in Akron, Ohio, which last year netted an estimated $600,000 on revenue of $6.7 million, up 11% from 2005. Its specialty is raunchy taboo fare for the ladies. One new title, Date With Destiny, tells of a woman and her friend who take up with gorgeous identical twin werepanthers on a cruise ship.

    Most of Engler’s titles never see print. Her customers download them as e-books. The e-book, once hyped as the replacement for the printed page, has been a dud. Since their emergence a decade ago e-books account for less than 1% of the $24 billion U.S. book market, according to the American Association of Publishers.

    Except, that is, in the romance category, which is singlehandedly saving the electronic Gutenberg from extinction. A year and a half ago Harlequin, the romance giant in Toronto, was digitizing only 10 of the 100 books it publishes a month. Now it uploads nearly all its new books as soon as they are released in print. “We saw immediately how interested romance readers were in the format,” says Pamela Laycock, executive vice president of strategy. Sales of e-books at Harlequin, though still small , are growing at double-digit rates.

    The reasons, says Laycock, are entirely practical. Female fans of romantic erotica get instant gratification, clutter-free digital storage and the ability to carry dozens, or even hundreds, of books at a time on a handheld gadget that fits in a purse. And it’s discreet. Michelle Buonfiglio, who writes a romance blog for Lifetime tv’s Web site, says women were clamoring for hotter novels but are too embarrassed to ask the booksellers to start carrying them. E-books, she says, are “the 2 a.m. booty call for women.”

    This is good news for Sony , which is trying to drum up sales of its Reader, a $350 tablet that debuted in 2006 to mixed reviews. At the invitation of Romantic Times publisher Carol Stacy, Sony sponsored a booth with Harlequin at the magazine’s Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, held in Houston this April. Sony’s staffers, who hadn’t brought any gadgets to sell, were stunned when more than 100 fans stopped to ask if they could buy the Reader on the spot.
     
    acceptable

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  13. Ahh, Ellora's Cave. Honestly, they had some of the worst covers in the business for a while. Love those dead-eyed models.

    Also, Christina Brashear's own company, Samhain, is currently crashing as well. I wonder if they both launched their nukes simultaneously.
     
    Slowboat to China

    Slowboat to China That would be an ecumenical matter.

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  14. Ah yes, this trainwreck. Not surprised she wrote something for this company. They seem like they'd attract trashy people

    Are there any other 'notable' authors who published under Tina's company? I do wonder how the meetings with Abraham went, she's a lolcow unto herself
     
    Country Matters

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