After months of claims and counter claims about its financial situation, erotic romance publisher Ellora’s Cave has filed suit in Summit County, Ohio, against Jennifer Gerrish-Lampe, aka Jane Litte, and her blog, Dear Author, claiming libel and defamation. The suit asks for injunctive relief from the blog for posts regarding Ellora’s Cave, and its owners. Ellora's Cave is asking for “no less than” $25,000 in damages.
The suit has been filed by Ellora’s Cave CEO Patty Marks, and Tina Engler, who is Marks's daughter and the founder of Ellora's Cave. Engler owns Jasmine-Jade Enterprises, one of the other entities that owns and operates Ellora's Cave. Engler is also a popular Ellora's Cave author, who writes under the pen name Jaid Black.
Ellora’s Cave has been plagued by financial problems since late 2013. Among other issues, authors began complaining about late, or missed, royalty payments. More recently, complaints have surfaced about a decline in authors' book sales and the layoffs of many of the house’s editors. Marks has blamed the royalty payment problems on the implementation of new accounting software. Addressing the decline in sales, Marks has acknowledged that the publisher has been moving fewer titles through Amazon, but she has not been able to identify why this is happening.
On September 14, Jane Litte, on her writing and publishing blog Dear Author, posted an article called “The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave,” which provides a history of the house and its recent troubles. The post includes claims about Engler’s personal finances and behavior, mentions the publisher’s past legal disputes, and payments to editors who had been laid off.
Ellora’s Cave, in it suits, is saying those statements are “false,” and “defamatory,” and have “irreparably damaged” the company. On her blog, Litte says she will “fight” the suit.