Well, family, it looks like we got a surprise for the holidays and not the good kind.
As many of you already know if your facebook feed is anything like mine, All Romance eBooks (ARe) made a surprise announcement sometime around noon Mountain Time, that they are closing their doors for good and throwing away the key as of December 31, 2016. As in three days from now.
Readers are advised to make sure that any books they have ordered and are in their library are downloaded somewhere. Since I personally know readers who have hundreds of books on the site, you can imagine how often the site is crashing at the moment. I hope everyone is able to get their content.
Since ARe is still somehow taking orders and allowing new downloads, despite informing authors they will not be getting any royalties from sales after 12/27, which, if you are paying attention is yesterday, many authors are taking their content down from the ARe site. This is money they have earned fairly and is owed to them.
PLEASE DO NOT BUY ANY NEW BOOKS FROM ARe! Zero money from those sales will go to the authors.
Many authors and readers have been hurt by this. There is no information on the status of preorders, but one can only assume that money spent is gone. As late as Dec 24th, ARe was selling ad space for the entirety of 2017.
Victoria Strauss at Writer beware just put out a call for authors seriously impacted by this fuckery to contact her via Writer Beware: .
“Great suggestions from Tami Veldura on how to support authors who have been hit hard by the ARe closing:
“Many authors are losing money that they were relying on to pay some fundamental bills: rent, food, electricity.
Support authors you know are in trouble by joining their Patreon, promoting their books on other websites, offering any skills/talents you have toward their next book or future job search if they decide to go that route.
Some authors will be seeking advertising/marketing help, some may want legal help, some may just want to put out the next book.”
If you’ve been impacted by the shutdown, please comment here with your Amazon author page, other book website pages, Patreon, etc, so people know where else they can find you!
If you’re a reader or an author who has nothing at ARe (like me!), please comment with how you might be able to help so authors know how to find you <3″
Author C. E. Kilgore speaks for many authors when they say:
“This. THIS. This is why Amazon continues to grow. Not because ‘small vendors can’t compete with Goliath’, but because small vendors make poor choices, screw over authors and readers in the end, and scare potential authors away from giving other small vendors a chance. In 2017, I have some big decisions to make with the new releases I have planned, and right now, going completely Amazon exclusive is looking more and more like the best decision.”
Readers, if you aren’t a Kindle Unlimited member, you might want to consider it as more and more LGBT writers in particular are forced to put their books into KU in order to survive.
What you can do right now is reach out to your favorite author and see if they were impacted by this, let them know if you were impacted, and see what you can do together.
Author Jordan Hawk posted on her group page:
As of now, I’ve deactivated all my ARe titles to keep anyone from unknowingly buying from them. I’m not sure if that means the books will still be available in your personal libraries? The files are still on their servers, just the sales page is inactive, so I *think* you should be able to get to them. Can someone let me know for sure? UPDATE: The site is slow, but you will still be able to download them.
Also, if for some reason they refuse to issue refunds for the preorder, can someone also let me know that? I WILL MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS TAKEN CARE OF, I promise.
Dreamspinner Press released a notice that they will be honoring pre-orders of their books ordered through ARe.
Announcement in response to All Romance eBook closure notice: If readers pre-ordered Dreamspinner titles on ARe then you will not be able to download them upon release. If rumors are true, ARe will also not refund pre-orders. Therefore, Dreamspinner offers to fulfill readers’ pre-paid Dreamspinner pre-orders from ARe. You need to forward the ARe receipt to contactATdreamspinnerpressDOTcom and the customer service department will be sure you receive the eBook at no additional cost to you. Thank you
Here is the notice from the ARe site (which is down as I write this):
“It is with a great sadness that we announce the closing of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. Despite efforts to maintain and grow our market share, sales and profits have declined. The financial forecast for 2017 isn’t hopeful. We’ve accepted that there is not a viable path forward.
All Romance has always been a labor of love. Over the years we’ve developed wonderful relationships with the vendors we’ve worked with, the publishers whose content it’s been our pleasure to sell, the authors who supported us, and the customers who it’s been our honor to serve. On midnight, December 31 our sites will go dark. Between now and then, we encourage consumers finalize any transactions, download purchases, and back up libraries.
If you directly publish content for sale through our platform or All Romance has acted as your publisher via our Publishing in Partnership program, you should be in receipt of an email from us with additional information. If not, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
And here is the email that all publishers and authors got. ARe is offering 10 cents on the dollar for owed royalties with the veiled threat they will have to declare bankruptcy otherwise.
ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS, LLC
6252 Commercial Way #145, Weeki Wachee, FL 34613
To Whom It May Concern:
It is with great sadness I announce that we are winding down the operations of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. The financial forecast for 2017 isn’t hopeful and we’ve accepted that there is not a viable path forward.
We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you. On midnight, December 31, our sites will go dark and your content will cease to be available for sale through our platforms. This includes any content you are having us distribute to Apple. If you wish to inactivate your content sooner, you can do so by logging into your publisher portal.
We will be unable to remit Q4 2016 commissions in full and are proposing a settlement of 10 cents on the dollar (USD) for payments received through 27 December 2016. We also request the following conditions:
1. That you consider this negotiated settlement to be “paid in full”.
2. That no further legal action be taken with regards to the above referenced commissions owed.
If you are willing to accept the offered amount and the terms proposed, please hit the reply on this email keeping the history intact. Change the subject to “Publisher Settlement Acceptance” and copy/paste the acceptance statement below into your email, filling in the fields.
Upon receipt of the signed agreement, I will authorize payment of the settlement amount in full by 28 February 2016 via the method stipulated in your publisher account.
It is my sincere hope that we will be able to settle this account and avoid filing for bankruptcy, which would undoubtedly be a prolonged and costl y process.
I appreciate that you may have questions. Unfortunately, we will be operating with limited staff as we prepare for closure. We will do our best to respond to the extent possible and will do so in the order received. Our priority over the next few weeks will be processing settlement requests. At this time, there is no additional information to share.
I thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
All Romance Ebooks, LLC
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to what is going on behind the scenes. All we have in conjecture at this point. But it is another blow to the GLBT romance community for sure.