Erotica publisher Ellora’s Cave has sued the Dear Author book blog and its proprietor Jane Litte, alleging defamation. The publisher is seeking injunctive relief, monetary damages of $25,000 or more and the identity of the blog’s commenters.
The blog post in question, “The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave,” recounts the rise of Ohio-based Ellora’s Cave from email distributor of racy PDF files to successful erotica e-book publisher. By 2006, the company’s revenue was reported at $6.5 million.
FOR THE RECORD
Sept 29, 3:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled the last name of Dear Author proprietor Jane Litte as Little.
However, the company has faced problems recently. The Dear Author post notes late royalty payments for authors and a “drastic drop in sales.” The Dear Author blog is not the only place these issues have been reported.
Ellora’s Cave sales at Amazon have dropped as much as 75%, the company’s chief executive told Publishers Weekly in August. Publishers Weekly also reported on delays of royalty payments to authors -- in May, the publisher told the trade magazine that royalty payments had not been made because of problems with a new software system.
Perhaps more controversially, the Dear Author post reported a number of tax liens filed against Ellora’s Cave founder Tina Engler and Jasmine Jade Enterprises by the Ohio Department of Taxation. The 2014 lien is for more than $105,000.
The post contrasts this with what appears to be a less-than-frugal lifestyle by Engler, writing, “In the meantime, Engler boasts of her Rodeo Drive shopping trips and her new property purchase in West Hollywood on her Facebook page.”
“I’m going to fight this,” Litte wrote Saturday. “While I don’t want to spend my savings on legal bills, I believe strongly in the pursuit of truth. Unfortunately because I’m involved in the suit, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to analyze it or provide commentary, but I’ll provide status updates as best I can.”
Litte has retained attorney Marc Randazza to fight the case.
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