Friday, November 30, 2012

And This is Now!

We've shared some fun memories of EC's early days. Things are still great and getting even better. How has EC grown in twelve years?

Originally, Tina was the only "employee" and worked from a corner of her apartment. As staff was added, they also worked from home, until we got our first office space in Ohio. Now we have an office building, a warehouse and a storage building for the RV and trailer. We've got about sixty staff: employees, freelance editors and artists.

A dozen or so authors published with EC in the first year. We now have over 750 authors represented on our webstore.

In the beginning, we released a few ebooks a month. In 2012, we will release 500 ebooks! We currently have 4400 ebooks and almost 1500 print books available.

In the first few months of the company, a few thousand dollars in sales was a big deal. Where are we in 2012? We sell well over 600,000 books every month! We project $12 million in net sales income in our 12th year!

We've come a long way, baby.

So, tell us about your history with us. How long have you been an EC fan? What was the first EC book you read? We’d love to know. Post it comments here, and we'll do a random drawing next Friday for winners of EC stuff.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

That was Then...

Continuing our reverie on the early days, now that we're a dozen years old today...

Crystal Giardina has worked in our Accounting department for eight years.

My most fond memory is when I started at EC. I was pregnant with Hayley and two weeks after I started I was put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was so upset because I already loved working at EC and thought it was going to come to an end so soon after starting. But Patty said, just come back after she's born, no big deal! I was very shocked and thought I wouldn't have my place when trying to return... But Hayley is now 8 years old and I'm still working for EC.  Most places would have said, Too bad. Not Patty! This is why the company is so great.

Martha Punches, Customer Service Specialist, who has now been here TEN years:

Back in the olden days, before the "new-fangled" way of sending ebooks as links, we actually sent ebooks to customers as burned CDs, mailed by USPS. The customer would have to save the book from the disk to their computer and either print out a copy or read it on the computer. This was back when we had very few releases per month, but was still a lot of work. I'm glad technology has advanced to what we are today!

Raelene Gorlinsky, Publisher--almost ten years at EC if you count the first year as a freelance editor, before being hired as Managing Editor:

I was a very early customer, before I started to work for the company. When I bought my first EC ebook (The Empress' New Clothes by Jaid Black, of course), a pdf file was emailed to me. I had a problem reading the font and didn't know how to adjust it, so I emailed "Service". I was astounded and impressed when Jaid herself (aka, our founder Tina Engler) sent me a new version of the ebook - one she had specially created in the font size I wanted! EC's reputation for incredible customer service started very early.

I moved from Oregon to Ohio to work at the first EC non-home-based office when it was still very new. There were about ten of us then in the small offices and warehouse space. There's even more of a "family" feeling when it is such a small group. Patty was really into decorating the offices. Lots of Egyptian motif. The bathroom knick-knacks were all decorated with palm trees. We had a tiny kitchenette, and I was amazed that the refrigerator was kept full of snacks and lunch foods for all. We still have lots of food-oriented holiday parties at our office!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ellora's Cave is 12!

Ellora's Cave launched on November 28, 2000. We've had a dozen wildly successful years! In celebration, we asked our old timers-- those employees who've been with us for at least two-thirds of our "life"--for some memories of those early days.

Courtney Thomas, now our CFO, and Patty Marks, our CEO, share their recall of the beginning in our first office space. As Courtney explains:

I remember working with Patty at Commerce Drive with the construction workers building walls around us.  We had one computer with dial-up Internet. One extension cord that reached the length of the building so we would have electricity. We used an old credenza that was left in the building by the previous owners as a desk. Every year on my anniversary  (Nov. 17, 2003) I think back to the good days and feel blessed for every day thereafter :)

We've come a long way, baby!

Kendra Rumschlag says her early EC days were smooth. She handled print order and dealt with our printer, LSI.

But stories. My favorites would be when Crystal got her nose ring stuck and we had to help her pull it out. We found a snake in the front office once...and not Patty's snake that later offed himself in his water bowl. My favorite memory was a little after I started when we were separated between two different buildings. [We'd outgrown that original office, so Editorial moved into rented space across the street.] An author had sent Raelene personally a huge basket of chocolates. Well, it came to the main office and we never even looked at the name...just tore into it and ate it. A couple of days later Raelene came over looking for it and we were all so stunned and guilt-ridden that Patty ordered a basket of Godvia for you guys at the other office to apologize.

Patty has her own favorite memories.

We'd get silly. One day, Kendra started typing naughty words into an online dictionary, with the pronunciation help turned on. The words would come out of the computer speaker, and we laughed hysterically--way back then, they seemed a lot more shocking.

I remember when Rich climbed up in the rafters to hide the fart machine above the bathroom.

{Continued on Wednesday and Friday.}

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday break

No blog posts the rest of this week.  (We know, you are absolutely devastated.)  Raelene took today off for her birthday, the company is closed Thursday for the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, and many of the staff are on vacation for several days.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Winners: We're Five!

by Raelene Gorlinsky
As you know, we've just celebrated our fifth blog birthday.
All the virtual suggestions were fun, we thank you. And showing that editors are a diverse group, we couldn't come to consensus on what we wanted.
Grace and Denise are headed to Jamaica, courtesy of Tracey H. Kitts. (Grace will be wreaking havoc with Arwen's anonymous Twitter account while she's on vacation.) Martha is going to join them after she has a spa day from Diane M.

Dahlia says, "I'm Team Frosting, though a Wide Selection of Sex Toys does have its merits." Thanks Kim Hugo and Wynter Daniels.

Beverly is taking Kathy Kulig up on that offer of a month in her alternate universe. Denise will join her there when she leaves Jamaica.
Violet's choice? "I'm totally voting for the duct tape/cavemen combo. Is that TMI? LOL"

Victoria is the practical one. She wants the three meals a day served by Cavemen, followed up by the gift basket delivered by the super spy or superhero. Thanks to Marianne Stephens and Missy Jane.

Bree is also going to take Barbara Elsborg up on her offer of champagne, chocolate and naked men. She has agreed to give me the duct tape if I'll let her pet the pony.
I really, really wanted the pony in the unicorn get-up from Ju Dimello, but realized I just don't have the space for it. So I'll just have it for a short visit, then give it to the children next door (I haven't told their parents about this yet). But what I really want--so appropriate for an editor--is N.J. Walters' red pen with a diamond set in it. (How did you know I love fancy pens, N.J.?)

So, as promised - gifts to those who gave us gifts! Since we couldn't agree on best gift, I did a drawing. N.J. Walters, Missy Jane and Tracey Kitts! I'll email you about your prize.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cases and Ends

Yet more items for Raelene's obsession with weird or wonderful bookcases.

2012-10-24-shelf8_rect540          2012-10-24-shelf8_rect540          2012-10-24-shelf8_rect540

 And some great animal bookends:

Bookends1_rect540       Bookends1_rect540      Bookends1_rect540

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: Dialogue Tags

Dialogue tags identify who is saying what in a conversation between characters and keep the reader from getting lost or confused. But some writers generate confusion by using incorrect punctuation or capitalization with their dialogue tags. Here are three dialogue issues to check for in your manuscript.

(1)  The dialogue tag is a continuation of the sentence and is separated from the dialogue by a comma, exclamation point or question mark, but not by a period. Unless the word following the punctuation is a proper name, it is lowercase. Here are examples of dialogue tag punctuation:

Incorrect: “Nancy, you are so naughty.” Her friend said. [One of the most common dialogue format errors editors see.]
Correct: “Nancy, you are so naughty,” her friend said.
Correct: “Why are you so naughty, Nancy?” her friend asked.
Correct: “Nancy,” her friend said, “you are so naughty.”

(2)  If a character talks for more than one paragraph (without interruption of dialogue tags), each paragraph of his or her speech starts with opening quotes, but there are no close quotes until the character is finished speaking.

(3)  Do not use two dialogue tags for one continuous piece of dialogue. Either remove one dialogue tag or split the dialogue into two parts.

Incorrect:  With a heavy heart, he said, “Had I known, I would never have eaten that last cookie. I didn’t know your blood sugar would drop and you would need a snack,” he whispered sheepishly.

Correct:  With a heavy heart, he said, “Had I known, I would never have eaten that last cookie.” He whispered sheepishly, “I didn’t know your blood sugar would drop and you would need a snack.”
Correct: With a heavy heart, he whispered sheepishly, "Had I known, I would never have eaten that last cookie. I didn’t know your blood sugar would drop and you would need a snack."


Friday, November 9, 2012

We're Five!

We had a birthday and were too busy to remember! This blog launched five years ago, October 23, 2007. We hope you’ve found our 584 posts since then to be entertaining and informative.

So what would you give a group of opinionated editors for their blog birthday? Post your gift in Comments, and we’ll select the most fun and imaginative for a gift from us. What will it be? Hey, you’ll just have to wait to unwrap it.

Happy belated birthday to us.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: Common Errors

EC editors keep lists of the most common errors, things they regularly correct in the books they work on. Here are some items that hit the top of editor checklists, we encourage you to put them on your own proofreading checklist.


aid / aide
aisle / isle
baited / bated
borne / born
course / coarse
discreet / discrete
duffle / duffel
embed / imbed
enquire / inquire
gray [US] / grey [UK]
hoard / horde
lightning / lightening
passed / past
phase / faze
rack / wrack
reign / rule
'til / till
vice / vise
who's / whose
you're / your

Acronyms--Common ones that should not have periods:


And of interest to romance authors:
HEA  [happily ever after]
ms  [manuscript]
TSTL  [too stupid to live]
WIP  [work in progress]

Is there a homonym you know you regularly have trouble with?

Monday, November 5, 2012

EC at Emerald City and GayRomLit

Only a day after our own RomantiCon convention, EC Editor-in-Chief Kelli Collins hightailed it to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for GRL. The only thing warmer than the weather was the reception from GRL staff and EC authors at the event. This was our first year at GRL, but hopefully will not be the last. It’s an amazing conference fully devoted to the support of GLBTQ authors and their work, which means support for the erotica/erotic romance genres at large. Next year’s conference is in Atlanta, Georgia.

Emerald City Writers' Conference
EC Editor Carrie Jackson spent the last weekend in October hobnobbing with the Pacific Northwest’s best at the Emerald City Writers' Conference. From the second she arrived at the lovely Westin-Bellevue hotel, the conference organizers went out of their way to make her comfortable, plying her with coffee, lip balm, so many books she had to buy a new suitcase to get them all home, chocolate and more coffee. Oh, and ginger ale. On Saturday, Carrie listened to pitches from some very prepared writers. Everyone was kind, professional and brought their A games. The biggest highlight of Carrie’s weekend? Getting the chance to hang out with writers, including EC authors Anna Alexander, Olivia Waite, Sabrina York and J.K. Coi. The Emerald City Writers’ Conference had about 300 or so attendees, great gift bags, tons of workshops and inspiring speakers.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sunflower Reading Chair

Continuing my love affair with bookshelves... How nice to have books within easy reach while relaxing in a unique chair.

Created by He Mu and Zhang Qian of the Shanghai University of Engineering Science.

Sunflower Chair by He Mu and Zhang Qian