Author Topic: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(  (Read 26029 times)  

Online RBN

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 165
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #150 on: December 31, 2016, 05:19:32 AM »
Here's part 2 of the saga (which is actually a prequel).

http://blogcritics.org/court-documents-regarding-all-romance-e-books-disturbing-business-practices-surface/

In summary, the former co-owner of ARe filed suit in 2014 after Lori James wrongfully declared her incompetent, seized control of the company, and started paying herself an "excessive" salary.

Offline Ann in Arlington

  • Global Moderator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 62940
  • Gender: Female
  • Arlington, VA
  • Countdown to Doctor Who -- April 15
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #151 on: December 31, 2016, 06:36:58 AM »
Re: Amazon/DRM/backup files.

When you buy a kindle book from Amazon, you agree to their terms of service which says you can't copy/resell the book. If there's DRM, you basically agree that you won't remove it. For any reason. MANY people feel that's an unreasonable clause and have no moral problem doing so when their intention is to use it on their own devices and they will NOT be sharing it with others or trying to re-sell it or anything else.

The clause in the ToS is in there because big publishers seem to feel that, without it, the books will be pirated and they'll lose money. The flaw in the logic is that it's easy to remove the DRM and pirate the books if one so chooses. So it's not really solving the problem they think they have. I don't think it hugely inconveniences most customers either, mind you; I just think it's not really necessary.

So . . . again, many people go ahead and make a DRM free copy of every book they buy on Amazon. That's their choice, and if Amazon goes belly up, they will for sure still have access to all their books.

I'd go so far as to say that even a DRM'd back up is sufficient. For now, you can still re-download to new devices directly from Amazon. If Amazon fails, then any agreement you had with Amazon about NOT removing DRM, it seems to me, would be null and void. So if you have one copy of the book for Kindle A, at such time as Amazon is no longer operating you'd have a right to remove DRM from it to read it freely on devices B, C, D etc. And I'd not have a moral problem with that either.

For me, I don't worry about it with Amazon purchases. For one thing, there are very few books I would be likely to re-read; I spent what I spent and I got the enjoyment out of it. With paper books I didn't re-read either and most years donated several boxes to charities. ::) Secondly, I think the chances of Amazon being gone any time soon is essentially zero. That's my opinion and anyone may choose to disagree. Or agree but take precautions anyway. :D

I do, however, take the news discussed in this thread as cautionary. If I were inclined to buy from other vendors, ones not as large as amazon, it seems clear that the possibility of them closing nearly without warning is absolutely significant. It may even be probable. So I'd for sure make back up copies in the event that happened and, again, would have no qualms about removing DRM as necessary to still have access to them.


My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis
Hermoine (Fire HD8)
Hogwarts (KDX)
Ed's (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
(Make your own reading bar) | Ann Von Hagel | Arlington, VA | kboards  MODERATOR

Online KelliWolfe

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1929
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #152 on: December 31, 2016, 07:12:16 AM »
I don't think you give readers enough credit. Or maybe I've just been around the romance genre for a long time, in which ebooks have been popular back since the Rocket eBook and Palm Pilots in the late 90s, and the readers--a large number of them--absolutely ARE tech savvy and know what Calibre is. It was on a romance blog (SBTB or Dear Author, probably) that I first learned about Calibre, probably around a decade ago. That is hardly a tiny little niche.

And my point is that there are very simple solutions already in place that you do not have to be a "tech guru" to use. The earlier statement that there is no way to read your Kindle books if something happens to Amazon is simply not true.
Again, it's certainly *possible*, but most people have no idea how to do it. The vast majority of people treat tech more or less like magic. They don't know how it works and they don't care, because they don't have to until something goes sideways. The panic and anger among the ARe customers who have lost all their books is a perfect example - and they're romance readers that you claim are a tech savvy bunch.

The vast majority of our readers - hundreds of millions of them - don't hang out on book forums or blogs. We only see the fraction who do and tend to think that they're representative of the whole. They're not. Anyone here who has ever done tech support work can attest to that. For fun, try explaining to a few dozen random readers how to get a free copy of one of your books using their @kindle.com address. That's about as easy as it gets, and even after two emails that gave step by step instructions it still took me two days to get everyone straightened out.

While the solutions to the problem may be simple, it still often takes a lot of hand holding to get people through them. And most of them don't realize that there's a problem in the first place. It's magic. It just works. Until it doesn't.

Olivia Blake | Lessons in Love

Offline Lou Harpr

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
  • Los Angeles
    • View Profile
    • Book Cover Design
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #153 on: December 31, 2016, 08:20:07 AM »
Here's part 2 of the saga (which is actually a prequel).

http://blogcritics.org/court-documents-regarding-all-romance-e-books-disturbing-business-practices-surface/

In summary, the former co-owner of ARe filed suit in 2014 after Lori James wrongfully declared her incompetent, seized control of the company, and started paying herself an "excessive" salary.

Yeah, there's strong indication that Lori James has been stealing from the company for the last two years. She really needs to be sued and prosecuted.

Online KelliWolfe

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1929
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #154 on: December 31, 2016, 08:30:29 AM »
Which is probably why she wants to avoid filing for bankruptcy. If she's been fudging the books and using ARe as her personal piggy bank, a bankruptcy court's accountants are going to figure it out pretty fast.

Olivia Blake | Lessons in Love

Online Rosalind J

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4809
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #155 on: December 31, 2016, 08:38:48 AM »
I don't think you give readers enough credit. Or maybe I've just been around the romance genre for a long time, in which ebooks have been popular back since the Rocket eBook and Palm Pilots in the late 90s, and the readers--a large number of them--absolutely ARE tech savvy and know what Calibre is. It was on a romance blog (SBTB or Dear Author, probably) that I first learned about Calibre, probably around a decade ago. That is hardly a tiny little niche.

And my point is that there are very simple solutions already in place that you do not have to be a "tech guru" to use. The earlier statement that there is no way to read your Kindle books if something happens to Amazon is simply not true.
i don't know how to do this stuff. I've lost access to 3/4 of my Audible books because computers have died etc over the past 15 years and so forth. I think I'm pretty typical. I'm a smart person but I tend to hate tech.

My assistant has hand-held people through, for example, figuring out how to use NetGalley. Lots of readers are worse than me. It's one reason I have all Apple devices: excellent tech support. And one reason so many readers buy from Amazon: trust and customer service.

Offline Rachel E. Rice

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 473
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Rachel E. Rice Writes All
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #156 on: December 31, 2016, 08:45:33 AM »
Thanks RBN for that article. After reading that article today, I felt justified to be mad as *ell, and I will lose less sleep now since I reported this injustice to Florida's attorney general. Because of my anger of not receiving my money and all the work that's required to place your book on their site, and not knowing whether you sold one or a thousand books, and the nerve to tell me that she would pay ten cents on a dollar where I have to sign a paper to get it, I lost it, and I discovered the form for a complaint to the DOJ. Among all their forms listed I found the one I needed under Computer Hacking and Fraud.
However, you have to look around for the other steps. I didn't include them here because I'm not sure of the policies concerning that type of information. But if you are mad as *ell you'll find it.   


Check for more books by Rachel E. Rice and R.E. Rice
Rachel E. Rice | blog | website

Offline Becca Mills

  • Moderator
  • Status: Emily Dickinson
  • *****
  • Posts: 7576
  • Gender: Female
  • U.S.
    • View Profile
    • The Active Voice
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #157 on: December 31, 2016, 08:45:50 AM »
While the solutions to the problem may be simple, it still often takes a lot of hand holding to get people through them. And most of them don't realize that there's a problem in the first place. It's magic. It just works. Until it doesn't.

Yes, and in my experience, it's more likely to be this way the younger you are. People in my generation grew up alongside the development of personal computing devices, and many of us (though certainly not a majority) have a general sense of what's inside them and how they work. But if you're a young person, someone just placed a smart phone in your hands when you were a child or a teen. When that's how you first start using tech, it as well be magic. You know how it works if you were motivated to find out, but a vast majority of people don't seem interested in the how of their devices. Some of my students seem not to know how to save to the hard drives of their laptops, for instance, or understand that an option other than cloud storage is available.




Offline Abalone

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 757
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #158 on: December 31, 2016, 09:30:36 AM »
I think it's by far the best-selling, actually. That's my impression, anyway.

Really? I didn't think romance was that hot of an item.

Online Rosalind J

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4809
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #159 on: December 31, 2016, 09:36:11 AM »
Really? I didn't think romance was that hot of an item.
Is that a joke? Approximately 50% of all fiction sold is in the romance genre.

Offline she-la-ti-da

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5039
  • in the bunker
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #160 on: December 31, 2016, 10:09:19 AM »
I don't need to know how Calibre works to use it. I don't fully understand how much of anything works, yet I'm capable of getting things done. All I need is simple instructions. Go here. Click that. Select this option. It took me less time to learn how to remove DRM (and why I should) and then download the software to do it than it took for my sparkly new Kindle to charge up.

ARe has treated it's customers and providers disgracefully. If I had a dog in this fight, I'd make sure they went through bankruptcy court, and hard. Make them spend any funds they have in order to fight it. Authors may not get paid, but you're hardly getting anything as it is, some are getting basically nothing beyond their rights back, and it might serve as a harsh object lesson to others planning on doing this.
Queen of Procrasti Nation

Genres: speculative fiction under main pen name.




Offline Rachel E. Rice

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 473
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Rachel E. Rice Writes All
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #161 on: December 31, 2016, 10:22:30 AM »
I don't need to know how Calibre works to use it. I don't fully understand how much of anything works, yet I'm capable of getting things done. All I need is simple instructions. Go here. Click that. Select this option. It took me less time to learn how to remove DRM (and why I should) and then download the software to do it than it took for my sparkly new Kindle to charge up.

ARe has treated it's customers and providers disgracefully. If I had a dog in this fight, I'd make sure they went through bankruptcy court, and hard. Make them spend any funds they have in order to fight it. Authors may not get paid, but you're hardly getting anything as it is, some are getting basically nothing beyond their rights back, and it might serve as a harsh object lesson to others planning on doing this.
Thanks for your opinion on ARe. I do have a dog in this fight, and it's not how big the dog is, but how much fight is in the dog.


Check for more books by Rachel E. Rice and R.E. Rice
Rachel E. Rice | blog | website

Offline Gabriella West

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 484
  • Gender: Female
  • San Francisco, CA
  • LGBT fiction and memoir
    • View Profile
    • GabriellaWest.net
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #162 on: December 31, 2016, 10:28:55 AM »
I feel bad for Barbara Ulmer, who has probably been muzzled by the terms of the settlement. The whole thing is like a gothic novel!

I copyedit, too, at Edit for Indies: http://editforindies.com|Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gabriellawest|

Offline Ann in Arlington

  • Global Moderator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 62940
  • Gender: Female
  • Arlington, VA
  • Countdown to Doctor Who -- April 15
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #163 on: December 31, 2016, 10:51:11 AM »
Folks . . . reminder that this thread is not about Romance per se, and whether or not it's a popular genre.

It IS about this particular site and the recent news about it's imminent demise.

It's also not about the character or supposed motivations of the owners of the site . . . .

And, please let moderators be moderators . . . . . if you find a comment out of line, please report it, and we'll review it. Posting in the thread as well just further derails discussion.

Some posts have been edited/deleted and more may be when we've had a chance to chat.

My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis
Hermoine (Fire HD8)
Hogwarts (KDX)
Ed's (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
(Make your own reading bar) | Ann Von Hagel | Arlington, VA | kboards  MODERATOR

Offline V.P.

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #164 on: December 31, 2016, 11:09:35 AM »
Here's part 2 of the saga (which is actually a prequel).

http://blogcritics.org/court-documents-regarding-all-romance-e-books-disturbing-business-practices-surface/

In summary, the former co-owner of ARe filed suit in 2014 after Lori James wrongfully declared her incompetent, seized control of the company, and started paying herself an "excessive" salary.

Just clicked on the link and read the article. Here is my reaction:  :o :o


Online KelliWolfe

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1929
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #165 on: December 31, 2016, 11:14:06 AM »
Folks . . . reminder that this thread is not about Romance per se, and whether or not it's a popular genre.

It IS about this particular site and the recent news about it's imminent demise.

It's also not about the character or supposed motivations of the owners of the site . . . .
May I ask why not? Because from where I sit
  • continuing to collect money for advertising in December and into 2017 when you already know you're shutting the site down
  • continuing to collect money from book sales for days after the "cutoff date" you've told authors/publishers they won't be paid for
  • making this announcement on the 28th of December - the day after said cutoff date - when a large portion of the publishers/authors and customers are least likely to be checking email or be available to deal with this kind of crisis
seems to open the door for legitimate speculation into the motives for shutting the business down this way.

Not being paid sucks, but that's not the problem. Businesses go under all the time and vendors get shafted because there's no money to pay them. That's just a business risk you take. And while we've lost the money from the sales at least we're not also out the cost of goods, which vendors who get stiffed under these circumstances usually have to contend with. The problem is that ARe continued accepting money from people for services that they knew they were not going to provide, and to sell books that they had no intention of ever paying us for, while at the same time sending out emails offering 10 cents on the dollar for all sales from the quarter. THAT speaks volumes and leaves the door wide open for a discussion of motives. If you deliberately cheat people - like selling them $2000 ad slots when you know you won't be in business to run the ads - it seems to me that you invite people to question your conduct.

I *still* haven't gotten an email notification from All Romance, by the way. I wouldn't know about this at all if it hadn't come up on kboards. I wonder how many other people are in that same boat?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 11:16:33 AM by KelliWolfe »

Olivia Blake | Lessons in Love

Online Mark E. Cooper

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6419
  • Gender: Male
  • Essex, England
    • View Profile
    • Impulse Books UK
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #166 on: December 31, 2016, 11:14:09 AM »
i don't know how to do this stuff. I've lost access to 3/4 of my Audible books because computers have died etc over the past 15 years and so forth.

I don't think that's possible Ros. Just like Kindle, your Audible purchases are forever in your library linked to your Amazon login

Offline Mercia McMahon

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3134
  • Gender: Female
  • London
    • View Profile
    • MMMporium
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #167 on: December 31, 2016, 11:17:03 AM »
I would treat those court documents with a cellar of salt. According to Writer Beware they are initial claims for a case that was cancelled because the case was never proceeded with, which leaves them as no more reliable than if the claims had been made in a blog post as they were untested in court.


Mercia McMahon | Publishing Site | Author Site | Pinterest

Offline Lou Harpr

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
  • Los Angeles
    • View Profile
    • Book Cover Design
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #168 on: December 31, 2016, 11:45:15 AM »
I don't think that's possible Ros. Just like Kindle, your Audible purchases are forever in your library linked to your Amazon login

I have Audible books on my iTunes I can't listen to. When I try I'm told I must authorize my computer first, but I bought them back when Audible and Amazon were separate entities, so my current login doesn't work, and hell if I can remember the old one.

Online Rosalind J

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4809
    • View Profile
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #169 on: December 31, 2016, 12:14:41 PM »
I have Audible books on my iTunes I can't listen to. When I try I'm told I must authorize my computer first, but I bought them back when Audible and Amazon were separate entities, so my current login doesn't work, and hell if I can remember the old one.
Yeah, that's me. And then there are the ones I bought in AU & NZ, which are another story. It's all pretty frustrating, as I've bought hundreds of audio titles.

Offline Betsy the Quilter

  • To paraphrase Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: "I'm a goddess; not THE Goddess. I don't think."
  • Administrator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 62360
  • Gender: Female
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Love all, moderate all, to quote my friend Harvey
    • View Profile
    • Betsy True Designs
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #170 on: December 31, 2016, 12:27:23 PM »
Have you contacted Audible to see if they can help?

Betsy
Goodreads Goal -- 75 books


Joined 10/27/2008  | Miss you, Harvey, Jeff & Dona!
Harvey Chute (1962-2015), KB Founder

Proud Owner: Oasis/Voyage/Touch/Basic/K1/Fire HDX
Betsy True Designs Facebook | My Store

Offline MarilynVix

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Gender: Female
  • Northern California
    • View Profile
    • Marilyn Vix Official Website
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #171 on: December 31, 2016, 01:23:15 PM »
For those who haven't seen it yet, here is a Google Doc survey about how much ARe owes various indie authors and publishers.

Just did an add up of the money owed from the Q4 2106 so far on the survey: It adds up to $97,178.13. So, if they'd pay back the 10%, what did they do with the other $90,000 dollars?

Offline Gabriella West

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 484
  • Gender: Female
  • San Francisco, CA
  • LGBT fiction and memoir
    • View Profile
    • GabriellaWest.net
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #172 on: December 31, 2016, 05:29:40 PM »
Just did an add up of the money owed from the Q4 2106 so far on the survey: It adds up to $97,178.13. So, if they'd pay back the 10%, what did they do with the other $90,000 dollars?

Lawyer on retainer?  :D

I copyedit, too, at Edit for Indies: http://editforindies.com|Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gabriellawest|

Online Write.Dream.Repeat.

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1623
  • Pro Book Design That Sells
    • View Profile
    • Write Dream Repeat Book Design
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #173 on: December 31, 2016, 05:37:18 PM »
Lawyer on retainer?  :D

Or trying to end their status as debtors and avoid bankruptcy.


Ebook formatting starting at $30.00. Print typesetting starting at $55.00.
Colleen Sheehan | Write Dream Repeat Book Design

Online IreneP

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 889
  • Gender: Female
  • Austin, Texas
    • View Profile
    • IrenePreston.com
Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #174 on: January 01, 2017, 05:44:25 PM »
Hey guys, this is about the most sane post I've seen on this.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/business-musings-7624150

There is some REALLY good advice here. The amount ARe owed me is small enough I'm not much affected. But even for people who lost more, my advice would be the same. Cut your losses. Be glad it was only one quarter. Be glad you found out now, and not when your payments failed to show. Don't spend any money pursuing this. Spend as little emotional energy on it as possible. Anything you expend on this is probably wasted time.