1. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Attention Romance Authors: All Romance eBooks Closing Dec. 31

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Laurin Kelly, Dec 29, 2016.

    According to the Romance Writers of America and pretty much everyone on my Twitter feed, today All Romance Ebooks (allromanceebooks.com) gave three days notice this afternoon that they shutting down their site completely and screwing over the authors and publishers who sell through their portal. I can't get on to their website now (I'm sure it's flooded with authors and publishers pulling their books and readers frantically downloading their libraries), but according to the RWA here:

    • All Romance eBooks is unable to remit Q4 2016 commissions and is proposing a settlement of 10 cents on the dollar for sales through 12/27/2016.
    • By accepting, authors consider the settlement as “paid in full” and they agree not to take legal action against All Romance eBooks.
    • There is no offer to pay commissions on sales after 12/27, even though the site will remain open through midnight on 12/31/2016.
    • Companies or individuals wishing to deactivate their accounts before 12/31 can do so by logging into the publisher portal.
    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.

    I have also heard from my publisher that ARe was selling 2017 ad space of yesterday, and that if you published directly through them you have to waive your Q4 royalties to get your first rights back.

    @BayView, do you have any books on there?
     
  2. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    That's criminally shitty.
     
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  3. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Wow. I have no involvement with that site, but that's a danger I never considered I'd have to watch out for. Was that site supposed to be good and solid?
     
  4. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    It really is. It also comes on the heels of Toquere Publishing closing its doors after bouncing royalty checks and conducting other non-payment of royalties to their authors. That sordid story can be found here.

    My publisher has already announced that no matter what happens, their authors will be paid in full (meaning that they'll have to dip into their own earnings to make up the difference if they can't get ARe to pay all commissions due). But they're a small family owned publishing house and I know it will put a lot of strain on them financially for something that's totally not their fault. They're also honoring any ebook presales of their books from ARe out of their own pocket.
     
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  5. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Yep, they were considered to be the Amazon of romance books, particular LGBT romance. They'd been around since 2006, so about 10 years in the business with no complaints that I'm aware of.
     
  6. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    This is probably the best article detailing the ARe fiasco. Also, I just heard word that some publishers and authors are getting together to examine if they have grounds for a class action lawsuit.
     
  7. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I'm in the process of pulling my books now (at least the ones that I self-published - my publishers are worrying about the others).

    It's a real disappointment - they've been a great resource and I loved being able to list my books there in order to help keep the Amazon juggernaut under some measure of control.

    But ten cents on the dollar? Hell, no. I'm not taking the deal.

    (And of course this all happens the morning of the first day of a three-day trip, so I didn't find out about it until I got back half-an-hour ago). Blah.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The idea of suing them is certainly something I'd look into as well, were I impacted, but if they're doing that badly they may well be judgment proof, in which case you'd likely never see a dime even from a successful lawsuit.
     
  9. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    It's another situation where the cost of legal action would outweigh the anticipated damages, even if, as you say, they're not judgement-proof. Really, I don't sell that many books through them - they probably only owe me a few hundred dollars for the quarter. Well, not, that's not true - they owe me DIRECTLY a few hundred dollars, and then whatever they'd have owed me through publishers...

    It's a mess.

    On the plus side, the first book of my new series isn't out until January 2, so at least there won't have been many sales for that one yet!
     
  10. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    There are a bunch of authors and publishers banding together to see if they qualify for a class action lawsuit. At this point it appears that tens of thousands of dollars are owed (and only on day 2!), and most recently I've heard that their editors are getting stiffed on completed editing jobs as well.
     
  11. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Even though financially I believe the main reason for the timing was to close the doors before Q1 2017, I also believe that they were counting on people being away/unavailable during the holiday to cover up some of this debacle.

    Please make sure you check your sales reports - I have heard on from some authors that the numbers they saw yesterday doesn't match what they're seeing today.
     
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  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Makes sense. But if they're judgment proof...
     
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  13. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    From what I've seen so far, it will depend on if they can "pierce the corporate veil" of the company's LLC status.
     

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