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.