All Romance eBooks is Shutting Down

2016 has already brutally winnowed book industry blogs, and now it has claimed an ebook retailer.

All Romance eBooks has posted a notice on its site with the news that it is shutting down.

It is with a great sadness that we announce the closing of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. Despite efforts to maintain and grow our market share, sales and profits have declined. The financial forecast for 2017 isn't hopeful. We've accepted that there is not a viable path forward.

All Romance has always been a labor of love. Over the years we've developed wonderful relationships with the vendors we've worked with, the publishers whose content it's been our pleasure to sell, the authors who supported us, and the customers who it's been our honor to serve. On midnight, December 31 our sites will go dark. Between now and then, we encourage consumers finalize any transactions, download purchases, and back up libraries.

If you directly publish content for sale through our platform or All Romance has acted as your publisher via our Publishing in Partnership program, you should be in receipt of an email from us with additional information. If not, please contact us at [email protected]

Like BooksonBoard, which abruptly shut down in 2013, All Romance eBooks has collapsed under a ton of debt.

There are several reports over at The Passive Voice (where I first learned of the closure) that ARE is offering authors and publishers ten cents on the dollar for their overdue royalty payments.

For example:

And unfortunately for me, they owe me money.

They’re asking for a settlement of .10 on the dollar for money owed. I’m not taking it, because of the amount of money they owe me. I’m also concerned that the settlement could count as preferential payments that’ll be at risk of being clawed back if they do end up in bankruptcy.

Edit: And there are reports on KBoards that ARE is giving customers only four days to download their books before the servers are turned off. That might be a little difficult given that the site has slashdotted itself and is no longer accessible.

Edit: The Romance Writers of America (RWA) has commented on the closure, saying that the "RWA finds it unconscionable for the owner of ARe to withhold information so long and to continue selling books through the end of the month when the company cannot pay commissions. RWA contacted ARe but has not yet received a response."

Edit: And it gets worse. ARE was pre-selling adverts for 2017 only days before announcing the shutdown.  They were asking for thousands of dollars for a single ad. Hopefully ARE's victims will be able to use their credit cards to get the money back.

Edit: Authors published by ARE won't be so lucky. They're getting bupkis for their unpaid royalties. They've been offered rights reversion on condition that they consider this "a negotiated settlement of your account to be paid in full".

This is a mess all around.

image by cowbite

About Nate Hoffelder (10620 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

21 Comments on All Romance eBooks is Shutting Down

  1. A mess indeed… I thought this was just going to be another sad ‘websites are disappearing’ article… but 10 cents on the dollar and selling people’s work while knowing you can’t pay them for it? Damn.

  2. Yup, I got the email soliciting ads about a week ago. They are not cheap ads either and the letter said many spots had already been sold (could just be to get quick response or it could be that many had already paid for ad space). No mention of them going out of business. No mention that we wouldn’t get paid. Sales at their site were decent last year for a tertiary reseller (my books only have romantic subplots and they are sweet/clean which is not really the target market of ARe.) This year there was only a need to check for sales during one of their big sales and even then, I rarely sold a single book. Some are blaming KU, but I suspect free books has more to do with it (or a combo). For some authors, not getting that quarterly paycheck is going to stink.

  3. Absolutely dreadful – authors owed a lot of money by the sound of it and such short notice. I can’t think why it has all come to this. Any authors are welcome to contact us at http://www.fiction4all.com – we have weekly payment options via PayPal and have both self-publishing options and options for authors who want a publisher.

  4. I left out “pretty much tells the story.”

  5. PublishDrive offered to all its publishers to pay the full commissions who have sold ebooks through them. They offer better financial terms and pay their publishers out regardless if they have or have not received the fund from retailers yet. And they publish ebooks to iTunes, GooglePlay Scribd and to many more.

  6. I was an eager reader of books published on ARe and I had still many books in my library, that I had purchased but not downloaded, yet. Does any one know what readers may do to have access to their books? I personally never received any email at the end of December warning me of the intended closure.

  7. I was an eager reader of books published on ARe and I had still many books in my library, that I had purchased but not downloaded, yet. Does any one know what readers may do to have access to their books? I personally never received any email at the end of December warning me of the intended closure.

  8. 4 days to download all my purchased books from the last 5+ years. I lost 1000+ books. I got the email and was out in the woods camping with limited internet access. I wrote them back and this was the response.

    “Perhaps you can find someone to do that for you. At this time, we are unable to offer download assistance for prior purchases.”

    Really…. that is BS… if they would have given 30 days, I’d be sad vs pissed. I’m pissed. I don’t know where I will buy books. I like ePub vs kindle and iBooks. GRRRR

    I bought 15 to 20 books a month. Grr Grr Grr.

  9. I never got the so called email, and when I found out during Christmas season I had 2 days to download years of ebooks. Unthinkable. If anyone finds away to get to our books a huge shout should be done! And would be appreciated. Thank you

  10. Never received the email about the site and I have over 500 books on this site.

  11. I too along with others on this site did not receive any e-mail from All romance nor Lori advising the site was closing and to download my ebooks prior to December 31, 2016. I have over 200 books that I would like access to as I purchased them in good faith. It is not fair to simply expect readers to abandon their merchandise that was paid for. There should be some way in which we can get to our libraries.

  12. Bizarrely the affiliate signup and publisher pages still seem to be in place – they may do nothing but the site is not totally dead until, as a former customer, you try the login page – and you get the message “We are sorry, this site has been taken off-line”. So it looks like all the past customers have lost their books for ever.

  13. Charlotte Mccrory // 20 March, 2017 at 11:50 pm // Reply

    I want to know how I can retain, and or get back the books that I purchased. This is the first place that I have been able to leave a message as I didn’t know about the ARE closing until it was done.

  14. All my books lost never received an email advising site closing not happy. There should be someway of getting books back.

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