All Romance eBooks is Shutting Down

All Romance eBooks is Shutting Down eBookstore 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.

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Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

35 Comments

  1. Steve Zissou29 December, 2016

    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.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder29 December, 2016

      And what’s even worse is that only a few days before ARE was pitching advanced sales of advert placement in its newsletter – ads which would not have been shown until next year.

      Reply
  2. Maria (BearMountainBooks)29 December, 2016

    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.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder29 December, 2016

      That email has been posted over at KBoards. ARE is run by some truly slimy people.

      Reply
  3. Stuart29 December, 2016

    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.

    Reply
  4. […] saw news breaking this week, first on The Digital Reader, and then by both Smart Bitches Trashy Books and Dear Author. Both of these sites have mentioned […]

    Reply
  5. Bill2 January, 2017

    I left out “pretty much tells the story.”

    Reply
  6. […] och återförsäljare av e-böcker inom främst romantik (en gigantisk genre i USA). Med kort varsel annonserade de att de skulle slå igen före […]

    Reply
  7. Ramona4 January, 2017

    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.

    Reply
  8. […] would back in 2010.  Ebook-only stores have continued to fail, with BooksOnBoard.com and AllRomanceeBooks.com being two prime examples of this trend.  I should probably add that there is likely much […]

    Reply
  9. Alex4 January, 2017

    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.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder4 January, 2017

      Sadly, you had to download your ebooks by 31 December. The site has been removed, and I don’t know of any way to get your ebooks now.

      Reply
  10. Alex4 January, 2017

    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.

    Reply
    1. Stuart4 January, 2017

      Curiously parts of the allromanceebooks site appear to still be there. I am a publisher and had books on their site – my link to the publisher login page is still up – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/publishers.html

      I’ve not tried logging in but it does mean their site is perhaps not as totally closed down as Lori would have everyone believe – which may mean the data behind the scenes is still there too.

      Reply
      1. Nate Hoffelder4 January, 2017

        Hmmm, I wonder if the user pages are still accessible?

        Reply
        1. Stuart4 January, 2017

          The publisher suite is still active – I just logged in!

          I wonder what else is till in place – so much for the site going dark eh!

          Reply
  11. Why This Super-Popular Romance Novel Site Shut Down – Bustle4 January, 2017

    […] 28, James — who writes romance novels under the pseudonym Samantha Sommersby — announced that All Romance would be closing on Dec. 31. Users would have the final four days of the year to spend all of their site credits and gift […]

    Reply
  12. […] 28, James — who writes romance novels under the pseudonym Samantha Sommersby — announced that All Romance would be closing on Dec. 31. Users would have the final four days of the year to spend all of their site credits and gift […]

    Reply
  13. meg945 January, 2017

    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.

    Reply
  14. Donna8 January, 2017

    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

    Reply
  15. […] 28, James — who writes romance novels under the pseudonym Samantha Sommersby — announced that All Romance would be closing on Dec. 31. Users would have the final four days of the year to spend all of their site credits and gift […]

    Reply
  16. Liz Pearson29 January, 2017

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

    Reply
  17. […] Title: All Romance eBooks is Shutting Down […]

    Reply
  18. Renea Carter13 February, 2017

    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.

    Reply
  19. Stuart13 February, 2017

    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.

    Reply
  20. Charlotte Mccrory20 March, 2017

    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.

    Reply
  21. clare davies18 April, 2017

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

    Reply
  22. Jenny22 May, 2017

    I never received word that the site was shutting down. I lost all my books. Fantastic.

    Reply
  23. […] Title: All Romance eBooks is Shutting Down […]

    Reply
  24. […] Bitches, Trashy BooksThe Digital ReaderLilith SaintcrowMary WinterLiana BrooksKT GrantMarilyn […]

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  25. […] 28, 2016 (The Digital Reader) All Romance eBooks is Shutting Down (I’m the unattributed quote! I don’t remember ever being quoted before, so that’s […]

    Reply
  26. […] Bitches, Trashy BooksThe Digital ReaderLilith SaintcrowMary WinterLiana BrooksKT GrantMarilyn […]

    Reply
  27. […] Romance eBooks was at one time a leading romance ebook retailer, but by the time it shut down in late 2016 it was clouded in scandal. Not only had authors gone unpaid for months (some for over a year), ARe […]

    Reply
  28. […] Romance eBooks was at one time a leading romance ebook retailer, but by the time it shut down in late 2016 it was clouded in […]

    Reply

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