WTFckery Afoot? All Romance Ebooks Shutting Their Doors and Only Paying Authors .10 Cents to Every Dollar

Dec 29, 2016 by

WTFckery Afoot? All Romance Ebooks Shutting Their Doors and Only Paying Authors .10 Cents to Every Dollar

 

Yesterday at 2pm I received an email in my inbox that most authors like myself, and I assume publishers (both epublished and traditional) received who sold their books at the online book vendor- All Romance Ebooks aka ARe. This email sent shockwaves through the publishing community for not only self-published authors and epublishers, but readers as well who have used ARe’s services for 10 years.

As of midnight on Saturday, December 31, 2016, the All Romance Ebooks site will go dark, aka they’re shutting their doors, and all content there, aka digital books for sale, will no longer be available through their platforms. This means authors and publishers have two days to pull their books off the site, and for readers to download their library of content before midnight on Saturday, or their books they purchased will be lost to them forever.

What has the publishing community raging, including myself is the email All Romance Ebooks, or rather Lori James, the Chief Executive Officer of All Romance Ebooks sent about the sudden closing of ARe. This section below is what has authors, and I assume publishers enraged:

All Romance Ebooks can’t pay 4th quarter commissions in full, AND you will only get .10 cents on the dollar through 12/27/16. Any sales you have from 12/28/1-12/31/16 YOU DON’T GET! They sent this statement out yesterday in an email, so any sales from yesterday, an author and/or publisher doesn’t receive! WTF???

This means any author who wants their fourth quarter royalties will only be able to get .10 cents on every dollar and not their full royalties owed to them. You don’t get any money from sales from 12/28-12/31. This means All Romance Ebooks won’t pay authors, and publishers what is due to them. And if you don’t agree to this, you’re shit out of luck because ARe may have to file for bankruptcy, “which would undoubtedly be a prolonged and costly process.

Also, authors who published through All Romance Ebooks, as in All Romance Ebooks were a publisher to sell books through All Romance Ebooks, including rights to these authors’ books will receive nothing, NADA in terms of royalties owed on all venues for the 4th quarter.

CAN WE SAY WTF?????

All Romance Ebooks had been around for 10 years, and they were a great alternative platform to sell digital books, and to buy them. I have used All Romance Ebooks first as a consumer, and then used All Romance Ebooks in a professional capacity to sell my self-published books there. My publishers I’ve published with have also sold my books there. If you shopped at All Romance Ebooks, the majority of epublishers sold their books there, including traditionally publishers.

Now All Romance Ebook won’t pay in full with authors and published are owned for the fourth quarter of this year. Why is that?? Where is the money for the past 3 months (if not longer) they own authors and publishers? WHAT DID THEY DO WITH OUR MONEY???

For myself, my loss isn’t that great. It’s under $20. But what about those authors who made a great deal more than I? Those 4th quarter royalties an author may rely on could be hundreds, if not thousands of dollars now loss to them because All Romance Ebook will only pay .10 cents to every dollar. Those royalties could have been someone’s grocery bill, money for gas, rent, mortgage, medical bills. Publishers may now have to pay out of their own pocket to cover the royalties for their authors, which could be hundreds if not thousands of authors whose books were for sale at All Romance Ebooks.

Is this fair what All Romance Ebooks is doing? H to the ELL no. All Romance Ebooks isn’t a publisher (although they did have some authors write and sell specifically to just them) Makes you wonder about those authors whose stories they sold only to All Romance Ebooks will get their full royalties or anything at all). They are an online vendor just like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords or Kobo. Can you imagine if one of those online vendors decided to shut their doors like All Romance Ebooks is doing, and only pay authors and publishers just .10 cents to every dollar worth of sales?

Also All Romance Ebooks, as of today, are still doing sales, such as a 25% off Boxing Day Special. And what does this mean for those who purchased advertising from All Romance Ebooks for 2017? Do they get refunds? What about books up for pre-order? Will All Romance Ebooks honor those pre-order sales?

Romance Writers of America has posted a statement on their blog about what All Romance Ebooks has done:

“RWA finds it unconscionable for the owner of ARe to withhold information so long and to continue selling books through the end of the month when the company cannot pay commissions. RWA contacted ARe but has not yet received a response.”

Honestly, what can RWA do to All Romance Ebooks? Probably nothing. But it will be interesting if publishers, and perhaps some authors decide to sue All Romance Ebooks for what is owed to them.

Readers are victims here also, because what if they can’t grab their books from the site before the Saturday midnight deadline All Romance Ebooks has set?

Some authors have started to speak out about this, like Lilith Saintcrow and Marilyn Vix.

So much rage and disbelief over this. I could say so much more. I could rage so much more.

Rage.

RAGE.

 

17 Comments

  1. [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    I’m so disappointed in ARe. I thought they were one of the good ones. 🙁

    • KTGrant

      You and me both! They always paid on time and gave me some of my biggest sales behind Amazon.

  2. [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    Really shady that they are withholding 9/10 of royalties from the largest spending quarter of the year.
    Also that they would give a two day’s notice that 1) they are shutting down and 2) btw we’re not paying what we owe you.
    The fact that they are still selling titles after informing authors that they will not be paid anything for these eleventh hour sales is bullshit, and probably illegal.

  3. [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    I have four publishers who distribute via ARe. One received the email about the closure. Two didn’t. The fourth I have not heard from, but presumably didn’t get notified either because the anthology I have with them is still up for sale. The rest have all been taken down.

    I see you comment about those who publish via ARe. They apparently got an email stating that they could have their rights back but no money at all.

    Absolutely disgraceful.

    • KTGrant

      I had 3 publishers there with ARe, including any of my self published works there. The majority of my books I published with epubs and myself have been sold at ARe since I started publishing in 2009.

      This entire situation is illegal. How can ARe not pay their own authors royalties due to them, especially when they offered contracts to these authors only a few weeks ago???

  4. [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    SFWA members with books there should mail Griefcom at griefcom@sfwa.org.

  5. Very disappointed in the closing of ARe. I truly saw them as one of the “good” vendors, and used them often. I’ve heard from one friend who received her ad $$ refunded already (waiting on the credit card confirmation), so that’s a slight positive.

    But the royalty issue has me very worried about smaller publishers who do right by their authors. I also know readers who bought exclusively through ARe. The entire situation is screwed.

    • KTGrant

      I thought they were one of the good vendors also. Also we see this time and again with epubs, but not with vendors. What does this mean for any online store were products are sold, not just books?

  6. [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    I had some pre-order sales for a new release yesterday but can kiss that goodbye. I also took out a costly ad package for 2017 in which they charged my credit card on 12/4 for. However, they told me yesterday that I will receive a full refund for that. I liked ARe but am very disappointed like the rest of you.

    • KTGrant

      🙁 The owner or owners knew that they were doing. They think they can cut an wrong and disappear. Did they think no one would care?

  7. catherine rush

    [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    What about the customers. I have been working peak hours for a month and just read about this. I have been sending emails for the last half hour. I just want the books I already paid for but haven’t had Toronto download. I buy on a budget so this is beyond bullshit.

    • KTGrant

      Customers don’t deserve this either because ARe is stealing from them also. If the readers/customers don’t get their books, then it’s theft by ARe.

  8. Ramona

    [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    What ARe did was clearly not fair to its publishers and also to its customers. All of its publishers who are disappointed, you should consider choosing PublishDrive, which offers better financial terms and pay you out even if they have not received the fund from the retailers yet. They distribute books to iTunes, GooglePlay, Kobo, Scribd and to many more globally.

  9. En.

    [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    The ARe closure is a much bigger story than at first appears. There are suspicions that sales have not been properly or honestly reported for several years, ever since Lori James ousted her business partner in what appears to be a pretty ruthless and unpleasant coup. I do hope the full truth of the ARe business comes to light eventually. Anyone who ever trusted their business or custom there deserves to know what really went wrong. At the moment it’s all speculation and rumours. I hope once the anger dies down that investigations will be undertaken with a cool head and any wrongdoing will be properly investigated and those responsible brought to account. Incidentally, many authors and publishers are offering to replace books and fulfill preorders if customers affected write to them with proof of purchase, such as email confirmations of sale.

    • KTGrant

      I’ve heard in 2014 Lori threw out her partner and that’s when things became questionable in terms of sales. Also Lori published under 2 pen names, one of which is published with a traditional publisher. I wonder what deal she gave them? Hm.

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