So, back in December last year when All Romance Ebooks (ARe) closed, I followed all the news, links and hoopla that ensued. Authors lost their money owed unless they took a pay out deal of 10 cents on the dollar that was owed. Readers had only mere days to download their titles before the website shut down. Some people had hundreds of titles. I didn’t take the deal, since I was only owed just several dollars and didn’t want to give in to the closure pressure. Some authors gathered together and filed a lawsuit in Florida. Some large Indie and small presses lost hundreds to thousands of dollars, refusing to take the deal because of principle.
But now, after several months, I’m wondering what has been happening. How is the lawsuit going in Florida? Did authors that take the 10 cents to dollar deal actually get paid? So, I set off trying to find out what happened through posting on writer boards, looking through Facebook Group posts, and the internet.
Here is a summary of what I found:
According to a Facebook group that I joined for authors burned by the owner, Lori James, of ARe, some people have been paid the small amounts they were owed. Some people didn’t get their settlement. It seems to be pretty staggered on who got paid. Some got 1044s that were from earning in different years when they should have been for 2016. There also seems to be supposed burned readers asking authors to give them free copies of the books lost. Many authors and publishers were trying to make good for where Lori James failed, but there was a discussion about how this might be turning into a scam, where people are just asking with no proof. Though, some authors/publishers are being kind and just sending the copy, some authors/publishers are still asking for a receipt first. Most retailers do ask for a receipt for a return, and that seems a legitimate for many of the authors and publishers burned to be able to still remain in business after this whole affair.
The link to the Facebook Group is here: (Keep in mind, I think it is a group you have to be invited to see posts.)
As far as the lawsuit, there is a record of a lawsuit filed in Florida by Brenda Cothern and Books, Inc. It was filed back in March. Lori James tired a motion to dismiss, and later to extend her time. Sort of looks like lawyer tactics at play. So, it’s been dragged through the courts, with the hearing being pushed back and back. But at least it has been filed and the process to go after Lori James in some form of compensation is underway. It just might take awhile.
All the legal paperwork can be looked up and downloaded as PDFs from the link below. It’s good to take a look on what you have to go through as an author when something like this happens. Glad to see someone is trying to get back what is due to them.
Below is a link to the filing of the public records on the lawsuit:
If you have trouble with the link, just search on the website for Lori James, and it should come up in the public records.
I also was wondering if Lori James is continuing with her own self-publishing and romance pen name of Samantha Sommersby. She still has her website up, and books seem to be available to buy still. But her Twitter account hasn’t had any new tweets since August 2016. Then, I found a break. Looks like after checking her titles from her website to Amazon listings, her titles are being republished on Amazon under Morpho Press, Inc. I’m finding the same titles on her website now on Amazon as of Aug. 29, 2017.
There isn’t a web presence for Morpho Press, yet. So far, it seems to be only her books, and it’s since the end of August. There is another press called Blue Morpho Press, but it doesn’t have a website either, and might just be KDP self-pub’ed author names. But, I do want to get the word out that Morpho Press is the name of her new press for her books, and for authors to be wary if there is any contact from them. NO website for it yet, but the All Romance Ebooks trail may vanish as Lori James makes a move with her books to this new press name. I will make sure to stay on top of it.
So, that is what I’ve found so far. If you had any payments returned, or have any experiences with ARe since it closed or even during the closure you’d like to share, please include it in the comments below. It will help with future updates as I keep tabs on the whole situation in the future.
UPDATE: May 29, 2018
I’ve just found the dismissal for the case against Lori James in Florida. Brenda Cothern Books Inc. (Wench Publishing) dropped the charges voluntarily against ARe (All Romance Books) on Dec. 27, 2017. Sadly, it means that the fight is over for that case. I haven’t seen any other cases pending against Lori James, and haven’t seen other things relating to her bankruptcy popping up on the internet either. All that remains are her books listed on Amazon under new publishing imprints shown above. Just keep these names in mind if you are approached for publishing offers by them. It is Lori James behind them.
I’m keeping this information up so people will be forewarned and armed in future dealings with Lori James. I intend to not do any further business with her. Please let me know if you here of any other dealings or other imprint names. Need to keep the accountability going.
Self-Published Romance Author