Et tu, All Romance eBooks

Et tu, All Romance eBooks?

As many know, the year has been tumultuous in the ebook industry. Several publishers had to close their doors and authors were left scrambling to find a home for their books. Then something happened this weekend. It wasn’t a normal “this publisher is closing and running away with all the authors’ money,” either. No, this was a different kind of “fuck you.” One that hurt just as much, too. What is this thing I speak of you ask? A book distributer who is blatantly offering publishers ten cents on the dollar for royalties earned during the last quarter? What?????? You are all probably asking yourselves. Well, let me explain it to you. Or at least, try my best.

I would like to state that the material I am basing all this on is still new and unfolding, so things may change. What I am stating here is in no way set in stone. I am basing this on my email exchanges and haven’t talked to Lori in person. Now enough with the legal babble, baaack to the explanation.

For the layperson to really understand this, I will have to make some comparisons that are very basic, business wise. Even though it was online, we all need to look at All Romance as a normal brick and mortar store. Like say, a grocery store.

Now say a large name coffee company went in, stocked the store’s shelves with all kinds of yummy coffee. Their customers LOVED the coffee and gobbled it up. Yet, when it came time for the store to pay the coffee company for their product, the store manager just shrugs his shoulders and says, “I’m sorry, I don’t have your money, despite the fact that the customers paid me their money, it just vanished somewhere. I wish I could have told you this yesterday, but I just found out on Saturday. I know!!! We were surprised, too. Finding out financial information on a bank holiday!!!! Even more so when it’s squeezed in-between Christmas and New Years. Who would have thunk it? Don’t worry, though, we can pay you ten cents on the dollar. But, if you agree to take the little amount, you can’t sue us later on for the rest. But, that’s okay, we can still be best buds…right?”

Now, imagine the look of the coffee distributor’s face. Would he be smiling? Or would he be as mad as hell and wanting to know who in the hell took his money and spent it? Guess what? When it came to me, I was the latter.

I told ARe that I was not agreeing to their terms. Game on!

But, things get worse. They, also, told me that I would not be getting ANY royalties on Opposites Distract. The one book I had published through ARe. You see, because a couple of years ago they decided to branch out into that area, as well. If I refused their offer of nothing and a promise to never sue them, then they would give me the rights back to my book. If I refused? Well then, they would just bid it off to the highest offer. When I saw this all I could think of was, “Damn, Daniel. You really are saying this shit and expecting me to buy it?”

Even worse!!! (Yes this turnado continues to grow) ARe is only staying up until the 31st of this month. That only gives readers hours left to download their entire library. With everybody rushing to site to do this, the site keeps crashing. I hear that some readers had thousands of books there that they could lose.

Now, I know you’re all saying, “Surely, this can’t get worse?” My first response is, “Stop calling me Shirley.” Then I will tell you that ARe was pushing us to promote their Boxing Day sale and that they sold out on advertising through 2017. Here comes the real kicker…are you ready…they had sent out an email advertising this sale only a few days before they announced they were closing.

Are your heads spinning yet? Because, I have to admit, my head was going all Exorcist-like when I found out. I may have even projectile vomited. Although, that could have just been a sneeze, too. I have been battling a nasty cold.

ARe, also, gave people only this limited time to use up their ebucks. Some of which the poor readers had received as Christmas gifts. Because, nothing say, “Ho, Ho, Ho” more than screwing people over. They, also, took pre-orders on books. What will happen with those, I have no idea. I can only hope that ARe pays back both the people that pre-ordered books and took out ads. Time will tell.

As you can probably tell, I am not a happy camper. I promised my daughter a naked cat, braces, clothes and food. Plus, I have to support a millennial! Do you people have any idea how expensive one of them is? They drain you dry.

For my readers, I love you all dearly. I will find other outlets to buy my books. Shane, the Lost Shifters, the Assassins and the new YA Lost Shifter series will survive. Oops…didn’t mean for that last one to slip out.

Now, if you will all excuse me. I will get back to what I do best, write and drink wine. 

Please Note:

Dreamspinner Press posted the following on their Facebook page:

Announcement: If you’ve been unable to download Dreamspinner eBooks that you purchased at All Romance eBooks, we’ll replace those at our store. Please email the receipt or library screenshot as proof of purchase to contactATdreamspinnerpressDOTcom. Thank you.

Totally Bound posted the following on their Facebook page:

All Romance eBooks closure: Any customer who has purchased a Totally Bound Publishing title on pre-order at ARe and will not receive it due to the closure can contact us at help@totallybound.com with a receipt or payment notification and we will honor the order via our own store.

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12 Responses to Et tu, All Romance eBooks

  1. I feel for everyone except ARE. When I received my email I went and tried to use my ebucks on purchasing books, but I kept getting “the book you selected is no longer available on this site.” I usually buy all my ebooks in adobe acrobat, the only books I could get were only offering epub or mobi. I had over 197 pages with 22 books per page in my ARE library. Thank God I had downloaded 95% into my own library I created (I have an external drive I download all books into.) Another point you made is “what about the pre ordered books???” I only have 5 of them, but they are still money from my pocket and also money owned to the author!! It’s just another Fuck you from 2016!!

    • Some of the authors that had books on ARe are honoring any kind of proof that they bought the book from ARe and didn’t get it downloaded. I know that if anyone picked up the Fangs & Halos series from them, all they need to do is contact me with it and I’ll make it good.

      This has hurt so many, and I didn’t take the beoch up on her “offer” either, talk about insulting and vain. It’s just ridiculous, and criminal.

  2. Aibopals says:

    I had 6 pre-ordered books, when I emailed them they ignored my questions about the $500 worth of ebucks I had, and told me to submit requests for refunds for the pre-ordered books, which of course they would pay in ebucks aka useless, because I am in the UK many US publishers/sellers won’t sell to me since the EU tax rules came in a few years ago, so I was dependant on ARE, so that’s why I had such a large ebucks budget, since I can’t replace that money, and a number of authors I could only get on ARE, I physically won’t be able to buy so much this year.

    Their actions are deplorable, to the authors, the readers and everyone else they did business with

    • CJ (PA to Stephani Hecht) says:

      Agreed, and now the website is down.
      If you had pre ordered books you can contact the publishers and/or authors? I know DSP and TB are honoring pre orders but I”m not sure about others, but it might be worth asking?

      CJ

      • Aibopals says:

        Dreamspinner gave me a credit to the value of the one book of theirs, so I was able to *buy* it. I know a couple of the others were self pubs, I am loathed to bother the author since he is already going to be severely out of pocket with this farce.

        Riptide have offered to replace ALL their currently published works (just email the ARE receipts), not just the pre-orders, things like that helped restore my faith in the ebook world, but it has definitely shaken me

  3. Debby says:

    I thought about spending my ebucks but then I realized the money would not go to authors. I would rather lose it than do that.

  4. Jan Springer says:

    Great post, Stephani!

    Oooohhh when I first got the email I seriously thought someone had hacked into the ARe email and was trying to bring down ARe with such a horrid email…so I emailed Lori James and forwarded the email I got and said to her I think this is just Spam but thought you had better know…she emailed back and told me it is not SPAM…and I hope you accept the terms…I’m like whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
    ummm I don’t think so. lol It was a huge punch to the gut and breach of my trust of her. 🙁 So I know how readers and authors feel. A bad way to end the old year!
    Hugs to all who are affected!!
    Jan

    • StephanI Hecht says:

      I had to re-read the email so many times. I couldn’t get over the part where it said that I would promise not to sue them at any time in the future.

  5. Liz P. says:

    I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that Loose ID will also honor proof of purchase or a screen shot. Once I saw that, I sat and screen shot over 100 pages of books. Prior to that I was cross checking and re-downloading my books in epub as I’ve been trying to convert from PDF for the last year. After two 6 hour days, it wasn’t just my eyeballs twitching.

    The 10 cents in the dollar offer is based on the possible payout if they were forced into bankruptcy and had to go to court. However, secured credit is such as banks would get first dibs at any money…. These snakes have been planning their escape route and their assets will be carefully secured out of reach of any court. The posted loss gives them a great deal of legal rights. Plus they can argue they did the ‘right thing’ by not trading insolvent.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that Loose ID will also honor proof of purchase or a screen shot. Once I saw that, I sat and screen shot over 100 pages of books. Prior to that I was cross checking and re-downloading my books in epub as I’ve been trying to convert from PDF for the last year. After two 6 hour days, it wasn’t just my eyeballs twitching.

    The 10 cents in the dollar offer is based on the possible payout if they were forced into bankruptcy and had to go to court. However, secured credit is such as banks would get first dibs at any money…. These snakes have been planning their escape route and their assets will be carefully secured out of reach of any court. The posted loss gives them a great deal of legal rights. Plus they can argue they did the ‘right thing’ by not trading insolvent.

  7. Lee Murphy says:

    OMG that is horrid!! How nice to see other outlets stepping up to replace books lost that were purchased!! Thank you for sharing and standing up to a big bully!!

    I LOVE and ADORE all your series and buy them! 😉 I’ll always keep my eyes out for where you are published and hope good things for this new year!!! Hugs!!!

  8. Adriana Sample says:

    I am so upset about the short span of time given to download books. I was out of town when the email came out and just got back yesterday, thus I was unable to download my library. I have lost so many books, some of which are not available any longer. I move from angry to sad. I am absolutely stunned and saddened for others in my situation and for authors who are being “ripped-off”. I’ve been with other publishers who shut down and they always offered 30-60 days to download your library.

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