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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a receipt or payment notification and we will honor the order via our own store.