All Romance Ebooks Closure Drama Continues

emailiconWell, I was surprised to see in my inbox a message from All Romance Ebooks CEO, Lori James. I’m going to post it in its entirety to see if some of the facts stated are really happening. So, below, is the email just received an hour ago:

“I wanted to take this opportunity to update all contracted publishers on some key elements involving the winding down of All Romance eBooks, LLC. First, we have completed the process of refunding all 2017 Pre-orders and Advertising. Next, all book files and images have been deleted. On Saturday, February 4, 2017the remaining server content will be wiped. Once the server content is erased, you will no longer have access to the publisher portal (https://www.allromanceebooks.com/publishers/index.php). Please make sure to log in and download any reports you might need prior to that date. We remain on schedule to remit payments byFebruary 28, 2017 of payment of the settlement amounts for those who agreed to accept our 10 % settlement offer. Finally, those who are due to receive a 1099 for the 2016 tax year will be receiving them via the post. Those who are due to receive a 1042 for the 2016 tax year will be receiving password-protected files via email. We will be sending a password protected document to the email address we have on record. The password to unlock the document will be sent via a separate email. As per our terms of agreement, we will be using the information that was in our database as of December 31, 2016. If you need to update any information for the 2017 tax form distribution, please send a request to allromanceebooks@mac.com.

Sincerely,

Lori James

All Romance eBooks, LLC”

So, a couple of questions have come out of this email.

  1. Did the people that agreed to a 10% settlement (To note, I did not) really get their money?
  2. Are readers really getting refunds for their preorders?
  3. Did the authors that bought advertising REALLY get their money back?
  4. Will I really get a tax form 1042 for amount earned in 2016?

I’m not sure if to totally believe her or not. After all, it sounds like a lot of promises for someone that swindled her partner and screwed over small publishers and authors.

So, if you can answer any of the questions above, please do in the comments below. I’d love to do a follow up post to keep on top of how this whole situation is going. I know a lot of authors, publishers and readers are affected by the closing of ARe, and I’m happy to keep on top of the info when it becomes available.

Remember, support authors! Read our books and review! It really helps!

-Marilyn

Note: Just had my new Time Travel novel release yesterday! So, have to shamelessly plug it because it is my bread and butter, or rather, helps pay my mortgage, groceries, and gas.

Here’s the link on Amazon (Available in Ebook and Paperback editions)

 

 

 

Everything For Love Blog Tour Schedule

everything4loveblogtourToday, Jan. 30, 2017, my first full length novel, Everything For Love (Time Rogues Book 1) release as an ebook and paperback edition. I’m celebrating by kicking off a Blog Tour to share behind the scenes about the book, a little about me, and all sorts of fun stuff. It will run for two weeks, Jan. 30- Feb. 13. Spread the word and here are the all the links for the book.

Links to buy:

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Love-Time-Rogues-Book-ebook/dp/B01N245C65

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/099781702X

Here is the schedule for my blog tour over the next two weeks.

January 30 Guest Blog

Sharing Stories

www.sharing55tories.blogspot.com

January 31 Spotlight
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
February 1 Spotlight
Cafinated Reads
February 2 Spotlight
Book Boyfriends and Booze
February 2 Spotlight
Share My Destiny
February 3 Spotlight
Another Book Hangover
February 6 Spotlight
The Authors Blog
February 7 Spotlight
Books, Dreams, Life
February 7 Review
Romance Authors That Rock
February 8 Spotlight
CBY Book Club
February 9 Spotlight
Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang!
February 10 Spotlight
Fantatical Paranormal Romantical
February 10 Guest Blog
Roxanne’s Realm
 
February 13 Guest Blog
Leigh Anderson
February 13 Spotlight
Fang-tastic Books
I’ll be stopping by each day to answer comments and questions on that blog’s post. Looking forward to meeting a lot of you. Happy reading! -Marilyn

Everything For Love Available For Preorder: Releases Jan. 30, 2017

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Available now on Amazon for preorder. Releases Jan. 30, 2017.

So, finally, after three years of blood, sweat and tears, my first full length novel is available for preorder. It’s official release date is Jan. 30th! You can order it now, and you won’t even have to worry about anything. It will get delivered to your Kindle at midnight on that date.

If you wish to review this book and would like a review copy, please use my review request/contact form.

 

Here’s the blurb:

Paris 1899
Deidre is followed by a mysterious stranger.
London 1914
She sees the same man again.
What would you do if you were being followed through time?

Deidre Thompson is a timeanaut studying artists in the early 20th Century powering her time device by sex. A mysterious stranger follows her from Paris 1899 to London 1914. He saves her life which changes the timeline. The man, Max, reveals he’s been sent by the Time Counsel to save her. Max helps Deidre on the assignment. But he is secretly in love with her, and defied the Time Counsel to save her. The timeline change brings Deidre’s past love back to life, but can she choose between them to save them all?

Here’s the link to preorder your copy:

Book Trailer Link:

 

Plus, you are invited to the Facebook Release Party. Here are the event links to get on the list.

Everything For Love Release Party On Facebook: Giveaways, Games and Fun!

Feb. 8 6:30pm-8:30pm CST

https://www.facebook.com/events/250485718698255/

Come join the festivities! Thanks for all the support and well wishing. I know this will be the start of a new, awesome paranormal romance series.

-Marilyn

 

All Romance Ebooks (ARe) Author Emails Exposed

emailiconSo, I know there has been a lot of speculation out there about what authors were getting before All Romance Ebooks closed. But I thought I’d set the record straight and show you the last emails I got from ARe the weeks before it sent out notices through emails of its closure. I’m just putting it out there so you can see they were operating as business as usual until the time of the closure emails on Dec. 28.

Here is the Boxing Day Promo that was sent to me on 12/19/16. It was the last promo email I got. I had also received one for a promo back during Halloween and for Black Friday. So, it looked like it was running as usual. I had done a promo during the earlier part of the year and past other years. This year, it didn’t seem to generate any sales as compared to other years. So, I didn’t sign up for either of these sales.

Boxing Day Promo Email received on 12/19/16. It also includes a blurb about their Daily Deals program for 2017. So, they were clearly trying to promote advertising for 2017.

“FREE Promo Ops at All Romance!

Participate in our Boxing Day #AReBlast

Deadline December 23, Noon Eastern

This promotion will be held for 1 day only, on December 26. In celebration of Boxing Day, we’re going to b e promoting a 25% discount from select publishers.

You agree to discount your entire catalogue of books by 25% for the day and we’ll do the rest. We’ll set the discount and tag all of your titles with the hashtag AReBlast and link our front banner ad to them. Then, on the 25th, we’ll blast the promotion all over social media and we’ll be sending out a dedicated Boxing Day Bargain Newsletter.

If you’d like to participate in the Blast, just reply to this email. Include your publisher/company name along with written permission to include you. 

Please note: If you have other discounts set for books on this day, the greater of the two discounts will be applied. If you are a hybrid author who sells self-published titles through us, this offer only applies to books within your publisher account.

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Participate in our FREE Daily Deal Program for 2017

These Daily Deal’s provide an opportunity to get a discounted title in front of thousands at the point of checkout.

  • Works must be originally priced at $2.99 or higher.
  • You must be willing to allow us to discount by at least 50% for the day of the promotion.
  • The final discounted price cannot be less than $0.99.

All submissions MUST come from the publisher (or author if the title is self-published).

You may submit more than one title for consideration, and you may submit for any available month. Start your submission process here: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/reservations/

  1. Choose the month for your“Daily Deal Submission” and click“Search Availability”. Please note that you are selecting the month of your deal, and your deal may be scheduled for any one day during that month.
  2. If your chosen month displays in the pop-up, you can begin the submission process by selecting “Apply”.
  3. Then scroll down to view the order form. Daily Deal promotions are FREE and should show $0.00. Click “Purchase.”
  4. Enter the requested information.Read and understand the guidelines and specs, check the boxes if you agree, then click “Upload your artwork.”
  5. Enter the ARe URL of your book, the regular price, and the discount price.
  6. Next you will be asked to attest to the fact that you are the publisher of the work and have the right to set pricing by entering your initials. 
  7. Click “Submit Info” then “Complete order.”
  8. You will be pr ompted to review your order and choose a payment method. Since price is $0.00, simply click “Complete order.”

If your submission is selected for a Daily Deal, we will notify you via e-mail and supply you with promotional graphics.

Please e-mail Lisa Kessler at Lisa.Kessler@allromanceebooks.com if you have a specific day in mind. If that date is available and your submission is approved, we will do our best to accommodate you.

We look forward to partnering with you to promote your books and the romance genre!

If you have any questions, please let us know!

 

Lori James

CEO

All Romance eBooks, LLC”

The next email is the 2017 advertising email trying to get authors to sign up for 2017 ads and list all the options for where your money could be spent. I received this email on 12/23/16.

2017 Advertising

All Romance eBooks (ARe), founded in 2006, is the largest eBook-focused commerce bookseller specializing in the Romance genre. The company has close to 1.2 million titles across its two retail sites. ARe has built a loyal and recurring customer base of over 480,000 registered readers, which we additionally reach through our social network and content site, our newsletter, and social media advertising. Our demographic is your demographic.

#1 Google ranking for “Romance eBooks”
+35 millions annual page views
+195,000 opted in newsletter subscribers
6.26 minutes average session duration
34.5% new sessions
16,691 Alexa rank in the US
+52 thousand social media followers

Reserve here: https://www. allromanceebooks.com/reservations

Website Advertising:  Most of our 2017 Sidebar Ads have sold out. We do have a few slots remaining in Zone 3. These ads will appear in a 10% Share of Voice rotation on all pages of AllRomance.com, OmniLit.com, and AReCafe.com. You can purchase multiple slots to increase your SOV. Reserve your spot now!

Social Media Advertising:  Leverage the power of our Facebook and Twitter platforms and let us manage your social media campaigns. We work with monthly budgets from $50 – $1000.

Newsletter Advertising:  We have large banner ads (600X300) and cover spots (140X210) available throughout the year. If you want to promote a discount, consider featuring your bargain in our Friday newsletter (+195,000 subscribers). The spotlight will include a large cover image, summary, price point, and links out to Amazon, BN, Kobo, iTunes, and AllRomance.

Featured Author Spots:  Get your author brand in front of our readers with a feature on the AReCafe.com and our weekly newsletter! Each feature includes a photo, bio, tailored interview questions, and book covers.

Daily Deal Promotion:  Get a discounted title in front of thousands at the point of checkout. Works must be originally priced at $2.99 or higher. You must be willing to allow us to discount by at least 50% for the day of the promotion. The final discounted price cannot be less than $0.99.All submissions MUST come from the publisher (or author if the title is self-published).You may submit more than one title for consideration, and you may submit for any available month.

Reserve here: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/reservations

Please send questions to lori.james@allromanceebooks.com

You are receiving notice this notice because you have books available on AllRomance.com and an active author page. This mailing list is only used for important business communications and promotional opportunities. Author pages usually contain author contact and website information as well as a bio and author headshot. If you wish to update your author information or remove your contact information and thereby unsubscribe from future notifications, please email Audrey.Sharpe@allromanceebooks.com.”

So, I thought this would be helpful since I’ve been noticing a lot of speculation and rumors about what emails authors received. People didn’t seem too sure at times or know exactly what they said. I like to read the actual article to make my own opinions. So, I’m posting the emails to let readers know the behind the scenes for authors affected by ARe’s closure.

The actual email of ARe’s closure is available in my original post when this all began on Dec. 28, 2016.

I hope this answers questions and helps others in their research of this romance publishing/retailer failure. If there is any other information available, you can be sure I’ll post it. Until then, keep writing and reading,

-Marilyn

 

 

ARe Closure: Aftermath Continues

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The aftermath continues with ARe closure as readers/authors/publishers wonder, what is next?

So, I got a request from an International News agency this morning for an opportunity to be interviewed. Unfortunately, I happened to wake up late, and I’m on the West Coast three hours behind New York. So, they interviewed another author. But it was still exciting to see a reporter request for info on the ARe closure and that he was interested in interviewing with an author affected by the ARe closure. It has made my day.

But it also got me thinking. I mean, we’re all connected by the internet. I really enjoy having people all over the world able to buy my books. So, something like a big third party retailer closing is affecting people worldwide. It’s kind of incredible. And it seems, ARe’s closure is international news.

This whole problem is really bringing the Romance Community together as I see small publishers promising readers copies of preordered books from ARe with a receipt. Authors are also promising this as well including myself. With email receipts, it’s easier to be able to stand by basic business ethics and stand behind your product(book) and offer to make the customer/reader happy when others in the industry have massively failed. Just like with most tragedies, people are banding together to help others feeling the pain and loss of this retail closure and are trying to soften the blow.

I mean, do authors and publishers have to do this? Technically, there is no law to. But people that do GOOD BUSINESS want to keep the main reason we write and publish, our readers, happy. Doing this means you are in this to serve the need to get great books out into the world. I kind of feel that is what the Indie ebook revolution has been about. Getting those good books out to readers. ARe was a main artery for this, and everyone is feeling the pain of it being gone.

I’ve seen many readers on other boards and blog comments trying to find a new outlet for their ebooks, especially epub format. The nice thing about ARe was that it had several formats available for people to read an ebook. PDF, epub or mobi were the main choices. I chose to have only epub or mobi, since it gives less pirating opportunities, and the formatting would hold up. It allowed me to reach more readers. Now, what is going to replace ARe?

ARe’s closure has left a big hole for some retailer to fill. Either Googleplay or iTunes could step up. Kobo is a likely retailer for people to move to. Amazon already has a locked in reader group because their own format is similar to what Apple has done. But I’m not totally sure what may happen. I just have a lot of speculation like everyone else. But I’ll watch and let people know what does happen. I’m sure we’ll see in a few months how this has completely affected the market.

My biggest prediction is that readers may loose faith with third party retailers, and I’ve seen comments on blogs and writing boards that are pointing in this direction. Buyers of ebooks want a retailer that won’t just close up and leave them hanging with nothing. Reader trust has been broken. So, it’s up to the ebook community to restore some of that trust. Just like what I’ve been seeing, a coming together of authors, publishers and readers is helping us all to get through a bump in the ebook historical road.

Another outcome of all this, diversifying is still a good idea. I still have my books on Amazon, and I have distributed through Smashwords to fall back on. So, if one distributor goes under, you got other streams of income. I’ve seen a concern expressed on some writing boards about putting all your eggs into the Amazon basket. If the Zon went under, that would be such a HUGE fail for most of us.

But the bottom line is to do what is the best for you. I think that is what made it easier for me to dodge a bullet and not lose as much as some others. Not to say I don’t feel for them. I do. Because ARe was really working for some. But going with my gut and seeing some red flags helped me avoid some serious trouble now. So, sometimes instincts in business works, especially if you are an author publishing your own books.

What were the red flags? 

RED FLAG #1: ARe  had been sending me info on promos for Boxing Day 2016 and even an email to advertise in 2017, adding a comment that space was filling fast. I have since been really budgeting my money for ads and using mostly Facebook and doing my own promotions. So, I really wasn’t interested in those offers, especially since my books hadn’t really been doing all that well over the last year.

RED FLAG #2: And several people caught onto this as well as me, over the last year, sales hadn’t really been too good. This made me not really want to do much with the site anymore even after a few promos, marking down titles to 50% on some titles. I didn’t see much earnings. So, I stopped doing them. SO: Sales not so great? Prices went up on their advertising? Red flags.

Overall impact: Basically, ARe owes me $0.59 for the Q4 2016 quarter or $0.05 if I claim it under the terms they’ve sent me. I said in the other post, I didn’t answer the email and take the deal. I have given my info to the FB group and got on the data list for the Florida lawyer. If anything, banning with other authors, even if it was just a little lost, still shows that Indie authors can’t be ignored as a force. Besides, we only have each other to support ourselves, and our readers, of course.

That’s another thing I’ve noticed. The huge outpouring of readers worried about their favorite authors and small presses that supply them with their books. It is truly awesome! I have read comments of some readers losing 1,000-2,000 books in their libraries. Many scrambled to use their ARe bucks, often purchased or received for Christmas, before the store closed. Many were sad that the authors and publishers pulled our books before they could download. And those same readers understood why we had to inactivate our books. We had to protect our intellectual work. They understood it could take years and lots of money to make those books.

And they would be right. I pay for editors, beta readers, cover designers, and formatters. There are costs I pay out of pocket just to get my books to them. Because I have that writing bug to get this story to them. I’m glad they understand. For this, I thank all of the ARe readers for your support and well wishing. I assure you, I will continue writing and bringing you stories no matter what retailer brings them to you. We’ll get through this together.

What is a take away from this?

In the end, sometimes all you have is your gut and instinct on what to do. If a retailer goes well for you, go for it. But back up or be careful in any interaction. Read contracts fully and back up everything. Take your writing seriously like a business and it might help you avoid more problems down the road.

I’m sure this story will continue as the closure continues to send ripple affects through the Romance ebook publishing and retailing world. I’ll follow up with any new breaks. Until then, you all keep reading and writing.

Have a wonderful and safe 2017!

-Marilyn

UPDATE 1/15/17:

There has been a class action law suit filed by Florida lawyer, Bryd Campbell, with the lead plantiff, Brenda Cothern of Brenda Cothern Books, Inc. I am posting a picture of the press release for all the available information so far on the lawsuit which includes contact information.

all-romance-class-action