Open letter to Jane Litte (EC v DA)

6 Oct

Ellora's Cave sues Dear Author

Dear Jane,

By now you know just how important the work you do for the online reading romance community is.

We have shown it with blog posts, tweets, donations, and support.

Many of us are deeply outraged that you should incur any cost whatsoever due to what we believe is a vexatious lawsuit, the aim of which is not just to cause you stress and put you in a difficult financial position, but also to intimidate anyone else who has any knowledge that may prove the case you posit here, that Ellora’s Cave is indeed on shaky ground.

I am not the only one who admires your stance–you are putting forth the first $20,000 of the cost to defend yourself against this attempt by Ellora’s Cave to silence critic and intimidate authors, editors, cover artists, and anyone else who may have signed a contract with them for whatever work.

Through SBSarah, you have stated that, should the total cost of the suit be less than the amount raised $20,000 of your own money you are putting aside, you’ll see that the remainder all the funds raised are returned to the donors¹. Again, a most admirable, ethical stance to take.

But see, many of us don’t want that money back. We consider your standing up to someone seeking to silence free people to be something you are doing for all of us. For every blogger who doesn’t want to be afraid every time s/he speaks about a movie, a book, a restaurant, a hotel, a car service. For every author who wants to know more about the publishing house s/he’s considering submitting to. For every freelance cover artist or editor seeking to work with the same.

You are upholding our right to speak. You are standing up for all of us.

And it’s utterly unfair that, on top of the stress, you should also bear the brunt of the financial cost of doing so.

I am asking those who agree with me on this to comment below, to add your names, and to let Jane know that we see the bigger picture here.

Thank you.

*

¹ Corrected, sorry about that. Also, per SBSarah, “If the cost of the suit is less than the total amount raised, she’ll donate the remainder to the Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund”

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73 Responses to “Open letter to Jane Litte (EC v DA)”

  1. Julaine 06/10/2014 at 11:03 AM #

    I will add my name proudly. What Jane Litte and Dear Reader is doing is standing up for the rights of all of us. Whatever you choose to spend the remaining funds on is up to you, I am sure it will be as wise, considered and principled as your words are. (Even if you decide to blow it all at the blackjack tables in Vegas, I will consider it money well spent.)

    • laurakcurtis 06/10/2014 at 11:19 AM #

      I’d also be happy to have my $ donated to Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund if Jane doesn’t need it to fight the suit. As far as I am concerned, that $ is gone from me to a cause I support.

  2. Courtney Milan 06/10/2014 at 11:17 AM #

    I’m happy to have Jane do with my money as she sees fit. No need to refund my donation if this is under $20K.

    • Terri 09/10/2014 at 5:36 PM #

      I would rather see the balance held in trust to support the next blogger, or worse author, that is attacked by EC.

      • Mirtika 10/10/2014 at 2:13 AM #

        I think Jane should use the donations first and if the 33K isn’t enough, then use her own money. But a refund: nope.

        Edit to clarify: Mirtika, the $20,000 that Jane has set aside for her defense out of her own money are not included in the total raised that shows in the GoFundMe page. What Jane has so far said, is that she will use the ful $20,000 of her own money before she touches one dime of the $53,000+ raised so far.

  3. Carolyn Jewel 06/10/2014 at 11:23 AM #

    Yes.

  4. Julaine 06/10/2014 at 11:25 AM #

    Again I hit enter before I proofread. That should be “Dear Author”. Can you tell that I would make a terrible writer? My thoughts run way ahead of my limited typing skills. I better stick to just supporting all the kickass writers that have fueled my life with wonder and insights.

  5. Bree Bridges (@mostlybree) 06/10/2014 at 11:25 AM #

    My donation is hers.

    Jane: I don’t want it back. If it doesn’t go toward court bills, put it toward pizza, wine, or–if you really don’t feel comfortable–donate it to charity. But don’t give it back to me. And please consider using some of it before your $20k is up, because this is enough of a burden on you in ways that we can’t carry for you. This is the one thing we can.

  6. Lea 06/10/2014 at 11:27 AM #

    Please donate my contribution to the charity of Jane’s choice if she doesn’t require the monetary support for her defence.

    Wishing her well.

    Thank you for posting this thoughtful letter.

  7. Jody W + Meankitty 06/10/2014 at 11:29 AM #

    I don’t want my money back. If DA doesn’t end up needing it, I vote for finding a charity that does!

    • Sirius 06/10/2014 at 11:38 AM #

      Me too!

      Sirius.

      • bamaclm 06/10/2014 at 12:29 PM #

        Me three!

  8. Evaine 06/10/2014 at 11:39 AM #

    My donation is no longer mine – it belongs to Jane and I trust her to do right by it. I might not always agree with her, but I do always trust and respect her. I agree totally with what Bree said, so consider it echoed. 🙂

    Thanks Jane!

  9. janicu 06/10/2014 at 11:55 AM #

    Agreed.

  10. kmc1952 06/10/2014 at 12:04 PM #

    Of course I don’t want the money back. This isn’t just about one blogger, it’s about anyone who has an online presence.

  11. Ekatarina Sayanova 06/10/2014 at 12:11 PM #

    As owner and CEO of Red Quill Editing LLC, I’d like to state emphatically that I do not want that money back. It was a minuscule price to pay to help protect free speech. Take yourself out to a nice dinner and have a drink on the RQE Team. Thanks, Jane

  12. sandraschwab 06/10/2014 at 12:15 PM #

    What Bree said.

    I don’t want my money back either, Jane, and I, too, wish you would consider using the donations before your own $ 20,000 are up. You’re already bearing the brunt of the emotional stress caused by what is in effect an attack on all readers and all bloggers and all authors, and it doesn’t seem fair that so much of the financial burden is also placed on your shoulders.

  13. Readsalot81 06/10/2014 at 12:16 PM #

    Same here, I trust Jane to best decide where my donation goes. Whether it’s to a charity or buying yourself lots of wine and ice cream.. You’re doing this for every single one of us Jane.. so it’s the least we can do for you 🙂

  14. suziedanks 06/10/2014 at 12:23 PM #

    I don’t need my money back. I wish that Jane would use the money raised before dipping into her own savings, actually.

  15. KarLynP 06/10/2014 at 12:31 PM #

    I don’t want nor expect a refund either. As far as donating any proceeds I do like the charity Jane picked, and I know she will feel obligated to fulfill the promise to donate the money to them. But as others pointed out, I am OK with however it is spent.

    Personally, my biggest wish is this does ends quickly and that there is a surplus of funds to be used on anything but legal fees. If the opposite happens, I will happily donate more.

  16. Tyler Alexander 06/10/2014 at 12:35 PM #

    Yes, I’m happy for my money to be donated, as well!

  17. Karen A. Wyle 06/10/2014 at 12:35 PM #

    I know Jane feels she can and should make her own investment in her defense,and that’s her call — but for my part, I don’t need or desire the refund.

  18. MrsJoseph 06/10/2014 at 12:38 PM #

    The money I donated s Jane’s to do with as she pleases. I’m happy I am able to help in my small way and I thank Jane for standing up for all of us.

  19. Susanna Kearsley 06/10/2014 at 12:41 PM #

    I don’t need, or want, any of my donation returned to me. Jane has my full support and trust, and I know she’ll allocate that money well and wisely.

  20. cleo 06/10/2014 at 12:55 PM #

    Agreed. I don’t need a refund, if it comes to that.

    I do respect and admire Jane’s desire to return the money if she doesn’t need any of it, and if it’s really, really, really important to her, I will graciously accept the refund. But as far as I’m concerned, I donated what I could afford to give because I wanted to give it, and if the suit costs less than $20K, I don’t need a refund. I’d rather the money go to the Journalists Legal Defense Fund.

  21. Shayera 06/10/2014 at 12:56 PM #

    Jane can do what she sees fit with my donation. It’s my privilege to be able to donate in support of her.

  22. Elyssa Patrick 06/10/2014 at 1:01 PM #

    My donation is Jane’s. There is absolutely no need to refund my money.

  23. gracewen1 06/10/2014 at 1:04 PM #

    Jane can do whatever she wants with my donation. I don’t need a refund because I know the money will be put to good use no matter what.

  24. Annika 06/10/2014 at 1:16 PM #

    I don’t want my money back, if Jane doesn’t need the money for the lawsuit she can spend them on books for her daughter, a vacation to celebrate her win or anything else Jane wants. It’s hers now. Her daily deals section has saved me a lot more money than I was able to donate 🙂

  25. Jules Jones 06/10/2014 at 1:27 PM #

    I don’t want a refund. My preference is that my share of any surplus goes towards Jane’s 20k, then to any reserve fund to defend future suits if Jane wishes to have one, and then to the charity Jane’s chosen. But it’s Jane’s choice.

  26. reginadee2014 06/10/2014 at 1:36 PM #

    Reblogged this on Regina Puckett.

  27. Dena 06/10/2014 at 1:40 PM #

    Truthfully I’d prefer Jane to use my money before she dips into her savings. And I’d rather any remainder go to a worthy charity than be refunded.

  28. Barbara W. (@Lindt_Ninja) 06/10/2014 at 2:00 PM #

    I don’t want my donation back. If it isn’t used for the EC suit, then I trust SB Sarah and/or Jane to donate it where they think it should go.

  29. Amy L. 06/10/2014 at 2:13 PM #

    I told Jane via email this weekend that I don’t want my tiny contribution returned even if her legal bills don’t exceed $20K, so I’m adding my name here as well. Seriously, $20K is a lot of money, especially for someone with a family; and I really don’t want to see the founder/contributor of one of my favorite blogs suffer such financial harm for the writing the post at issue. I have read DA for 7+ years now. DA is the only blog that I visit almost every day. DA is where I discover new authors (as well as new books from authors that I had stopped following for one reason or another); and DA is where I learn about the latest ebook gadgets, publishing news, and other fun stuff. I don’t want to see DA go away one day out of concern for the possibility of defending additional future meritless lawsuits. If your legal expenses don’t exceed $20K — which seems unlikely — and you don’t want to keep my money for the lawsuit, please use the money to buy a few books for your daughter.

    (Identified as “Anonymous” on GoFundMe — contributed ~8:23 am on October 3.)

  30. Jaime Wurth 06/10/2014 at 2:16 PM #

    I’m also happy to have my money to go Jane, or to charity, regardless of what happens. I’ve gotten enough out of DA over the years to consider it money well spent, no matter what she does with it.

  31. Make Kay 06/10/2014 at 2:33 PM #

    I wish Jane would use the donations first, rather than using her own $20,000. Jane should nay have to bear the cost of this frivolous lawsuit when all of us are rallying around her with our own contributions.

  32. bookdaze 06/10/2014 at 2:38 PM #

    Totally agree with everyone here – I don’t want my money back, trust Jane to do what’s right with any leftover funds, wish she’ll use the donations before touching her personal funds, and the value/enjoyment I’ve had from DA over the years is more than any donation I could make. I think I’ve covered everything…

    Li

  33. sonomalass 06/10/2014 at 2:41 PM #

    Cosigned.

  34. Janhavi Nilekani 06/10/2014 at 2:54 PM #

    I am very glad to see this open letter as I have been thinking much the same. I definitely don’t want my money back even if its under $20,000. I understand Jane would also want to contribute but everyone has given because we genuinely *want* to, so she shouldnt have to use *that* much before accepting the donations.
    Also, suppose the costs are something like 40000, and hence the remaining 10000 of the fund goes to the selected charity, then again I hope that Jane doesnt feel she still needs to put in 20,000 and thus send 30,000 to the charity. People were glad to contribute- if legal threats damage the vibrancy of the online romance community, then this hurts all of us.

  35. Linda Mooney 06/10/2014 at 3:07 PM #

    Keep the money, Jane. And thank you for that beautiful personal thank-you email you sent.

  36. Lisa J 06/10/2014 at 3:18 PM #

    Add me to the list of people who don’t want the money returned. Apply it to the first $20,000.

  37. Kat 06/10/2014 at 3:23 PM #

    Happy to add my name to this list.

  38. Estara Swanberg 06/10/2014 at 4:02 PM #

    Endorsed. Although I donated anonymously because I didn’t realise they didn’t want my real name on the first page, heh.

  39. jo bourne (@jobourne) 06/10/2014 at 4:19 PM #

    Heck. I don’t want the money back.
    (I want anti-SLAPP laws in every state.)

  40. Bronwyn Jameson 06/10/2014 at 5:24 PM #

    No refund required and I hope, if the cost is less than 20k, Jane will reconsider using the fund.

  41. Janine Ballard 06/10/2014 at 6:04 PM #

    Just found this and same here! I don’t need a refund. I donated gladly and would give more if I could.

  42. kaetrin 06/10/2014 at 6:27 PM #

    What Cleo said.

  43. LenoreJ 06/10/2014 at 6:32 PM #

    I have donated $250 and don’t want the money back. I loathe people who use the legal system to bully others and am happy to support your case from dollar one.

  44. LILinda 06/10/2014 at 7:01 PM #

    I have already expressed to Jane I do not want a refund-I also would like her to replace her own funds and trust these ethical women to know what to do with the remained.

  45. mitzireinbold 06/10/2014 at 7:23 PM #

    Jane:
    Use my donation for whatever you need.
    As a sometime blogger, I respect and value what you do. I want it to continue.
    Mitzi Reinbold w/a Mitzi Flyte

  46. Raine 06/10/2014 at 7:24 PM #

    My very small donation stays with Jane to do with as she chooses. Now back to the highly tense book -DA recommended- that is going to keep me up until I finish it.

  47. Jennifer @ BookShelfery 06/10/2014 at 7:28 PM #

    Also adding my name to this list.

  48. Jessica 06/10/2014 at 7:29 PM #

    Agreed 1000%. $20,000 is a year (or a semester) of her child’s college education… a needed new roof for the house … money for a medical emergency her family’s insurance doesn’t cover … an emergency fund should Jane or her partner lose a job … part of a retirement nest egg… whatever (I really don’t care!). I think it’s more fair for a few hundred people to pay a much smaller amount each than for one person, Jane, to pay $20K, since her fighting this suit benefits so many other people, readers, bloggers, and authors alike. It’s up to her, of course, but I’m glad you’ve create d a space for us to share your sentiment Azteclady.

  49. Alison Packard 06/10/2014 at 7:39 PM #

    No refund for me. 🙂

  50. Terri Meeker 06/10/2014 at 7:39 PM #

    Jane, please use the donations for your defense. Don’t use your personal money. I don’t want a refund either. Just the thrill of being on a blacklist was worth the donation. I feel all Red Scare/McCarthyesque now 🙂 I can’t wait to say to the Bad Egg “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

    Thanks for fighting the good fight, ma’am. 🙂

  51. amousie 06/10/2014 at 8:11 PM #

    I trust Jane’s integrity and her judgment.

    I like the charity chosen.
    I think Dear Author and Smart Bitches should have a permanent legal defense fund and some type of journalistic insurance coverage.

    and I trust Jane’s integrity and her judgment.

  52. Mara Allen 06/10/2014 at 9:40 PM #

    I asked her to use our money first in her defense. I hope she’ll do so.

  53. Linda 06/10/2014 at 10:03 PM #

    Count me in, too. I won’t even editorialize; everyone else has done if for me! 😉

  54. Kimberley Nash 06/10/2014 at 10:04 PM #

    No refund for me, thanks. I donated because I enjoy DA and support Jane, and because I believe in the cause of free speech. I applaud her choice to pass along any leftover funds to another free speech defence organization. I agree with everyone here: Jane, use the money in whichever way you feel it would be most effective, and please use the donated funds before tapping into your savings.

    And if, in the course of the whole shebang, part of the money goes to a [few] bottle[s] of wine for Jane’s sanity’s sake, I wholly support that, too 🙂

  55. julia 06/10/2014 at 10:04 PM #

    Adding my name to the list.

  56. Kris K. 06/10/2014 at 10:16 PM #

    Dear Jane,

    I don’t want my money back. What I do hope happens is, you win, the court awards costs to you, you recover them from the plaintiff, you keep the $20,000 of your own money spent plus any punitive awards (you’ve earned them) , and you donate the donation money to the Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund, which sounds like a kick-ass organization. But maybe you should hold onto the donations for a while until you’re sure the SLAPP-happy aren’t going to come after you again. That would be fine, too.

    Keep up the good fight,
    Kris in FL

  57. Tymber Dalton 06/10/2014 at 11:13 PM #

    I not only vote for her using the money as she sees fit, whether for donating to a charity or other legal fund, but also that she dip into it first before using her own funds. She was trying to stand up for authors to start with. I’d rather her not have to spend her own money on that when this is an issue that impacts so many others. She’s the one with her neck on the line. The least she can do is use the community support for that. And when she wins, if she is granted damages (that actually end up getting paid to her) then she should use that money as she sees fits, towards the legal defense fund charities, or whatever charity she wants to donate to, or even use it for helping EC authors enact audits and put it toward paying forensic accountants. I applaud her for using her own money first, but I also don’t want her to face any extra burdens over this if she doesn’t have to. This is a widespread issue and the result will be a case precedent to help future bloggers. Not to mention, if this is dragged out to appeals by EC, she’ll need that money for that as well. I have no doubts whatever she does with it will be a responsible and valid use of the money.

  58. Andrea Wenger 06/10/2014 at 11:26 PM #

    As others have said, I’d rather see Jane use my contribution before dipping into her personal funds. And if the full amount isn’t needed, I’m happy to see it go to charity. This is about free speech and protecting bloggers from harassment.

  59. Jen Barker 06/10/2014 at 11:51 PM #

    No refund for me. Use my money however you please. Go get ’em!

  60. Andrea D. 07/10/2014 at 3:23 AM #

    Jane is welcome to keep my donation and do with it as she sees fit. I hate the idea of her being put out of pocket any money by a suit intended to harass and intimidate her and others.

  61. sarah mayberry (@MayberrySarah) 07/10/2014 at 6:06 AM #

    I’m on this wagon with everyone else. Use our $$ first, Jane, then your family’s savings. Let us help you carry this load.

  62. Jennifer Kettell (Jenna Kendrick) 07/10/2014 at 9:26 AM #

    I’m with everyone else here. Use the Fund first, before tapping into your personal resources.

  63. Phoebe Chase (@Phoebe_Chase) 07/10/2014 at 12:23 PM #

    I will echo everyone encouraging Jane to use this money instead of her own funds. Regardless of what she decides, I would like to see any money remaining sent to a charity of her choice.

  64. snarly 08/10/2014 at 7:19 PM #

    Don’t want a refund. Kick ass, Jane.

  65. Maree Anderson 14/10/2014 at 5:59 PM #

    Coming late to the party but I need to say I absolutely agree with all the previous comments… and I’m kicking myself for not thinking to reiterate this in my emails. Jane, please use my small donation however you see fit — I have every confidence the money will be put to good use (and in my book, easing the personal burden of the cost to fight this suit is very ‘good use’ indeed!). Sending you and your family more hugs from way down here in NZ…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. To even the scales (GoFundMe) (tangential to EC v DA) | Her Hands, My Hands - 07/10/2014

    […] decided to use up to $20,000 of her own money before even dipping into the fund (please note: many of us don’t want a refund, we want Jane to use the funds raised before she touches any of her own […]

  2. Not quite an update (EC v DA) | Her Hands, My Hands - 13/10/2014

    […] community, and c) someone who is both committed to stand their ground and who has the means–by themselves and/or with the support of said community–to do […]

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