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Another Hit To Ebook Authors - All Romance Ebooks Debacle


Cia

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All Romance eBooks started in 2006 as a site just for publishers/self-published authors to post their work for sale, for a portion of the sales. They branched out into contracting eBooks, audiobooks, translations, etc... in more recent times. As soon as just 5 days ago they were sending out business as usual emails, including one to get authors/publishers to buy 2017 advertising packages. Not that they'd take a payment via paypal, of course. Wonder why that was...?

 

Then today they send out an email to publishers that they are posting a loss for the first time ever in 2016 and, as a result, can't pay publishers the royalties they've earned. If we don't accept the "compromise", we probably get nothing. Of course they sell books from some big publishers who probably will sue them, and they deserve it because they HAD to know this was coming but chose to screw everyone, both readers and publishers. I'm hearing, just from the MM authors I know personally, stolen royalty totals are enough to equal tens of thousands of dollars. And that's just a drop in the bucket.

 

More of their BS to screw people? They told buyers to finalize sales, download books, etc... before the site goes dark, because they're closing the site in just 3 days!!! Of course publishers are pulling their books out now, so if you didn't download it before that happens, you won't be able to if the book was pulled. Not to mention it's VERY hard to get on the site at all, of course, because so many people are on it.

.

 

This is so frustrating, and only makes it harder to trust anything or anyone but the biggest of markets and publishers. *shakes head*

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IMHO the majority of easily accessible (self) publishing options are a scam.

 

Unless you have an agent that knows who is legit and who is not, you are at their mercy.

 

Well, ARe "was" a reputable site and had a pretty good reputation in the industry. Per their own words, in an attempt to get authors to purchase 2017 advertising on just December 23rd (which is a total BS situation in and of itself since they only accepted direct payments and not paypal), this is what they posted for their website stats:

 

 

All Romance eBooks (ARe), founded in 2006, is the largest eBook-focused commerce bookseller specializing in the Romance genre. The company has close to 1.2 million titles across its two retail sites. ARe has built a loyal and recurring customer base of over 480,000 registered readers, which we additionally reach through our social network and content site, our newsletter, and social media advertising. Our demographic is your demographic.

#1 Google ranking for "Romance eBooks"

+35 millions annual page views

+195,000 opted in newsletter subscribers

6.26 minutes average session duration

34.5% new sessions

16,691 Alexa rank in the US

+52 thousand social media followers

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that's very upsetting, and really awful. Very shitty business practices. It sucks that this can happen, especially to lots of independent authors.

 

As a reader, this is why I will always favour real print books. If someone wants it, they're going to have to pry in from my damn hand.

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Edit to add: As of the latest number of results on a poll, 25 indie authors/indie publishers/publishers have reported their 4th quarter earnings, and the total, just for those 25, is $29,101.71 Keep in mind, ARe already cut 40% of the eBook price for themselves, and that's total is just the remaining 60% royalties authors are supposed to earn. At ten cents on the dollar, that would leave them keeping an additional 26,191.54.

 

*nods* This is bad for the publishers who are only being offered 10 cents on the dollar owed, but everyone who actually signed with them as a publisher has been given the option of accepting no payment at all and getting their rights back or a long legal battle where they don't get their rights back until it's over and it's highly unlikely they'll ever see a dime either.

 

More and more information coming out about ARe's owner is pissing everyone off. The address she's had since ARe became a business just sold for over a million dollars. She supposedly splits her time between that house in San Diego and Big Bear. Apparently back before ARe got big, she was part of a publishing company that closed with just 45 minutes of warning to the authors, even after signing recent contracts (though I don't believe she stole any royalties then).

 

Lawyers have been contacted by some of the authors, I know at least on publisher has their lawyer on it so there are likely more too. This is going to be very, very ugly. I lose some money, but not a ton, but some of my good author friends are out big bucks, like thousands to tens of thousands, with no recourse to get any money at all.

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