Fifobooks has closed

by Ron CallariI was informed a few days ago by a form email that FifoBooks had shuttered its site. As a book author who had been pursued by Joubert Nel last year to register my graphic novels on his site - this was a hard blow. There was no warning provide for any of the writers that the site would be closing- nor the courtesy of a grace period so that authors like myself could secure alternate eBook distributors to feature their work.

During the course of the last year, I have posted over 20 blogs promoting both FifoBooks and my books on their site. These blogs now have 100s of links leading to pages that indicate the site has been closed - stay tuned for a relaunch.

In discussing this abrupt and unprofessional site closing with Mr. Nel - I was informed that due to costs - he and his partner had split - and his partner would be proceeding to relaunch the site under another format - but no indication what the new model was - or when this relaunch would happen.

While I understand the difficulty in start-ups - I couldn't quite grasp the idea of waking up one morning and saying you can't pay the bills. It's a decision that should have taken some time for deliberation. And when those deliberations were going on, that would have been the time to alert the authors - who put a lot of hard work into their books and the site - that they might want to start looking for alternative publishing sites. This would have at least given the authors like myself the option to act and not be blind-sided at the last minute.

In retrospect, FifoBooks' business model was doomed - based solely on "if we build it, they will come" it was short-sighted - and I only wish that I had reached that conclusion on my own - versus having to contend with Nel and his partner acting so rashly. When I asked Nel if they could at least keep the site open another 2-3 weeks to allow the authors to secure other options, I was told this "was impossible," that the financial situation was too dire to continue.

My response to them was to keep the money from the sale of my books to defray any work they had done for me to format my books for their sites - because they obviously needed the funds more than I.

This post is to warn others - to be very careful about dealing with Joubert Nel and his partner in the future - whether it be for the "new unknown" relaunch or other business matters. They are not reputable professionals.

2 Comments on Fifobooks has closed

  1. Hi Nate, thanks for posting my response to Fifobooks’ abrupt closing. A lot of folks have written me asking about my current graphic novel that is currently looking for a new home. Safe to say, we should be open on Apple’s iBookstore for iPads and iPhones and available on Barnes & Nobles color Nooks in February. The book, titled “Facebucks & Dumb F*cks” is the only graphic novel satire about Facebook in the market today. It lampoons the social network as well as the movie, “The Social Network.” For those that would like to follow our progress – pls check us out on Twitter and Faebook.

    http://twitter.com/FacebucksBook
    http://facebook.com/FacebucksBook

    Thanks again, Ron

  2. I am also proud to announce that our eBook “Facebucks & Dumb F*cks” can be found at Apple’s iBookstore – http://bit.ly/FacebucksBookApple and B&N’s Nook Store – http://bit.ly/FacebucksBookBN

    I thank all the readers who have followed us during this trying period after Fifobooks’ abrupt and unprofessional closing of their site.

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