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Author Topic: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(  (Read 29689 times)  

Offline Atunah

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #125 on: December 30, 2016, 03:32:04 PM »
I can read all the books I purchased on any Kindle, no matter when the books were purchased. I started on the very first Kindle and am like four deep now and can re-download books I purchased on the first Kindle on the fourth Kindle. I just did it the other day.
I can too. Its about when you download one to the computer, you can't just transfer the file from that to any of the devices, you have to use amazon to send it to a device or pull it from a device. So if you lose your account for any reason, you can't access those books anymore on any of the kindles. Unless one has non drm backup somewhere. For as long as the kindles are alive and if you have the books actually are on the device, that its ok for that time. If that kindles dies, those books are gone then. Again, only a case if anything happens to the account or amazon. Otherwise they are always stored.

But as we see here with this store closing, it can cause issues for customers in the long run.

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Offline Elizabeth S.

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #126 on: December 30, 2016, 03:40:15 PM »
I can too. Its about when you download one to the computer, you can't just transfer the file from that to any of the devices, you have to use amazon to send it to a device or pull it from a device. So if you lose your account for any reason, you can't access those books anymore on any of the kindles. Unless one has non drm backup somewhere. For as long as the kindles are alive and if you have the books actually are on the device, that its ok for that time. If that kindles dies, those books are gone then. Again, only a case if anything happens to the account or amazon. Otherwise they are always stored.

But as we see here with this store closing, it can cause issues for customers in the long run.

Hook your Kindle to your computer with a USB cord. Use Calibre or similar software to download/upload whatever you want, to backup your books.

Problem solved.

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #127 on: December 30, 2016, 03:46:41 PM »
Unless those books have DRM.

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Offline Atunah

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #128 on: December 30, 2016, 04:26:21 PM »
Unless those books have DRM.
Exactly. That is the point I keep trying to make, apparently very badly.  8)

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Offline Romancefantasy

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #129 on: December 30, 2016, 04:32:40 PM »
Got a letter too. Of course its the customer letter, which is a tad different. And again, this is why I will not buy anywhere else but Amazon. That goes for stores or from author directly. After the 31st, nobody has access to the books they purchased anymore. They are giving folks barely 4 days. If you on a trip now and not checking your emails and haven't backed up your books, they will be all gone. Poof.

Not the first store to close and not the first time customers lose all their access. I just don't have those worries when it comes to Amazon.

I feel bad for those that liked buying from them. Many non US based readers did that. And they had a nice rebate program.

I just think that they are not giving any time to anyone and that a crappy thing to do.

I have been reading ebooks since the early 2000's and have lived through a few ebook publishers closing suddenly. No ebook platform is safe forever even Amazon. I used to have Microsoft reader ebooks and adobe ebooks with Amazon back in the day and they did the same thing; closed shop and your ebooks were gone for ever. It is less likely to happen to Amazon right now but who knows what the future holds with technology changing so fast? Here today gone tomorrow. I always download my ebooks and back them up when I can. Peanutpress/ereader.com and Fictionwise taught me well; they transferred "some" of my books to Barnes and noble but not all. The ebooks from dorchester publishing were missing.  Heck even Barnes and Noble is  backing off of the Nook. This is still shocking though how quickly it all went down.

Offline CoraBuhlert

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #130 on: December 30, 2016, 05:00:46 PM »


Offline Gabriella West

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #132 on: December 30, 2016, 09:49:36 PM »
I encourage everyone to fill out the brief Google docs survey ... and view the responses! 91% say they're not accepting the settlement.

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Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #133 on: December 30, 2016, 09:55:01 PM »
Based on the Passive Voice commentary, it sounds like it's quite possible that even if you decided to settle for the 10% it could be clawed back by a bankruptcy court. And it will be a miracle if ARe doesn't end up there the way this is playing out.

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Offline Elizabeth S.

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #134 on: December 30, 2016, 10:53:21 PM »
Unless those books have DRM.

You can remove the DRM with one click. It's not difficult.

You can also convert file types with maybe two clicks in Calibre, so you can read the books wherever/however you want, on whatever device you want.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 10:55:00 PM by Elizabeth S. »

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #135 on: December 30, 2016, 11:13:42 PM »
*YOU* can remove the DRM with one click. The vast majority of readers out there have absolutely no clue how to do that, or even that it can or should be done at all. Most of them don't know what DRM is, as so many ARe customers suddenly discovered when their DRM'd books suddenly disappeared on the 28th.

99.5% of our readers don't know what Calibre is and wouldn't use it even if they did know because they're not tech gurus. They use the hardware or app from their store of choice because it makes life easy on them - it keeps everything in one place and they know how to use it. If you want to tilt at windmills you can try to change this behavior in your readers. But you're going to lose unless you're in some tiny little niche where the readers are far more technologically inclined than in the general population.

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Offline Kate.

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #136 on: December 30, 2016, 11:43:22 PM »
Would someone who has filled out the survey be kind enough to share the results? I never worked with ARe and don't want to corrupt the survey with fake answers, but I'm also painfully curious to know the statistics.  :-X

Offline Vinny OHare

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #137 on: December 31, 2016, 12:56:27 AM »
Seeing mention on Twitter that amounts owed to folks are changing on their dashboards so if you're owed something from them take a snapshot now.

Most of the people I have talked to have not been able to log in.

Offline Elizabeth S.

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #138 on: December 31, 2016, 02:46:19 AM »
*YOU* can remove the DRM with one click. The vast majority of readers out there have absolutely no clue how to do that, or even that it can or should be done at all. Most of them don't know what DRM is, as so many ARe customers suddenly discovered when their DRM'd books suddenly disappeared on the 28th.

99.5% of our readers don't know what Calibre is and wouldn't use it even if they did know because they're not tech gurus. They use the hardware or app from their store of choice because it makes life easy on them - it keeps everything in one place and they know how to use it. If you want to tilt at windmills you can try to change this behavior in your readers. But you're going to lose unless you're in some tiny little niche where the readers are far more technologically inclined than in the general population.

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.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 02:48:20 AM by Elizabeth S. »

Online RBN

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #139 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

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #140 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.


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Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #141 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.

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Offline Lou Harpr

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #142 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.

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #143 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.

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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #144 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

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #145 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.   


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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #146 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

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #147 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.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #148 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

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Re: All Romance Ebooks Closing :(
« Reply #149 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.
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