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All Romance Ebooks/OmniLit closing

December 29, 2016

There has been an announcement that All Romance Ebooks and their non-romance division OmniLit will be closing their doors on Dec 31, 2016.

If you have a library of books on their bookshelves that you have not yet downloaded, or credits you have not used, you have 2 days to do so.

Be aware that the site is vastly overloaded right now, and it may take patience to download your books. Also be aware that any books you now buy with credits/omnibucks will not pay the actual authors anything, although you are entitled to spend them. Do NOT spend any actual new money there. I recommend immediate screenshots of your library, to remind you of what is on there and as proof of purchase. Keeping your old email receipts is also wise.

Some books may become unavailable as I write this, including books you have bought, if the author removes the linked files. Because ARe is telling authors they will receive no more that 10% of the royalties they are owed, and none for sales after yesterday, many authors are pulling their books. If you have a receipt and the book is no longer available there, contact the author or publisher. Many of them have said they will send out new copies to ARe buyers.

If you pre-ordered a not-yet-released book through ARe or OmniLit, you have to request a refund. There is no information on whether anyone is actually receiving refunds. Some publishers are also going to honor those pre-orders if you send them a screenshot.

W/ @allromance closure, if you preordered Dreamspinner title, forward receipt and we’ll honor via our store contactATdreamspinnerpressDOTcom

— Dreamspinner Press (@dreamspinners) December 28, 2016

If you have preordered any IP titles from @allromance, send us confirmation (screenshot or receipt) and we’ll honor at the IP Web Store

— Interlude Press (@InterludePress) December 28, 2016

It seems ARe is not refunding preorders. Send the confirmation email to Raevyn@ninestarpress.com. I will make sure you receive the book(s).

— NineStar Press (@ninestarpress) December 28, 2016

we’re going to make this easy for ppl: if you pre-ordered an LT3 title on ARe, forward the receipt to service@lessthanthreepress.com.

— Samantha M Derr (@rykaine) December 28, 2016

This is a messy and unprofessional closing. My goal here is to keep people with collections of books there from losing access to material they have already paid for. I have no specific knowledge of details, beyond their notice to authors.

I am sad to see ARe go. The marketplace is smaller, and the monopoly looms larger, and more authors are going to have to give up writing for not being paid. But the stories still matter, and there will be books, and we will still love the characters of our imaginations.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. mtsnow13 permalink
    December 29, 2016 6:36 pm

    Thank you Kaje. I’m extremely disappointed as well at what looks like an upcoming monopoly of just 1 or 2 ebook retailers…is Smashwords still an option for many? No clue what it pays, but gosh, this has been a rough year on publishers.

    • December 29, 2016 10:03 pm

      Smashwords pays 85% royalties on direct sales :), less for secondary sales of course, but it distributes to iBooks, Kobo and B&N which is good, and is available internationally I believe, which is big.

      There are a few downsides – other than the epub, the files are generated on SW and they are not as pretty – formatting the source document is a challenge – and the pdfs don’t have the covers. The site is not well known, and not as attractive, and although it’s easy to search there is a learning curve. I’d love to see it get more use. For now only about 5% of my sales come from SW and all its secondary sales. 20% were ARe, so without that it will be 95% AZ. 😦

  2. Sadonna permalink
    December 29, 2016 9:18 pm

    This is just awful for everyone – readers, authors, publishers – what a mess! I am so sorry for those who are not going to be paid for their sales – especially those for whom ARe was either their primary or only channel for distribution. I bought many many books there over the years – nearly 1400 in fact in my library. It’s scary and sad to see these other players exiting the market that once seemed so robust. What’s just as disturbing is the way this whole thing has been handled. Definitely not the way to run a business and I hope that authors and publishers are able to get some satisfaction beyond an insulting 10% payout.

    • December 29, 2016 10:10 pm

      I hope something is worked out, although I won’t hold my breath. For me it’s a matter of a few hundred dollars, not fun but not a disaster. Readers who are out of town or away from Internet and come back to find their libraries gone will lose far more.

      What they should have done was to stop all credit and Paypal sales effective the moment their email went out, ask pubs if any were willing to leave books up for a brief period for ebuck sales, then have all the books deactivated but left in place with reader access to download libraries for at least a couple of weeks. If they had given consideration to anyone and worked with us, it would have been less painful and they could have left with at least a little goodwill. As it is, they have made everyone furious and damaged a lot of people and other businesses.

      I hope you had your books safely downloaded. Calibre will be getting a workout, I bet, with people buying at AZ and converting to epub. I do hope to see Smashwords or Kobo take up some of the business, along with iBooks which is growing. I’m not sure this will help B&N to stop shrinking though.

  3. Ron Bruce permalink
    January 1, 2017 8:21 am

    Argh, this is a horrid thing for authors and readers. I didn’t even think about taking screencaps of my library… sigh.

    I was so worried about using up my ebucks I didn’t even think about the fact the money would be going to the wrong place (of course as an ebuck ARe already had my money and the poor authors did not).

    • Ron Bruce permalink
      January 1, 2017 8:41 am

      Oh and then after I used up my ebucks I was oh so surprised to find the one author had his book available free on his website anyway (and free on Goodreads too). Sigh.

      Luckily the book was hilarious, not that the author will ever benefit from my purchase but….

      • January 1, 2017 10:00 am

        Don’t worry about using your ebucks – we authors had the choice to inactivate (mostly) if we didn’t want them available for purchases, and I was one who chose to leave mine up. Those ebucks were already paid for and you might as well get something for them.

        A few lost sales for me, effectively, but I hand out free copies as prizes and review copies, and I’m going to think of anything I sold there the last 3 days as the same kind of thing. I might get a review or a new reader out of it. And people will feel a bit better about getting Christmas ebucks and not losing that money completely. I hope you were able to use up your dollars and get good things to read, and that you had downloaded your books.

  4. pushubuu permalink
    January 14, 2017 10:45 pm

    Smashwords can be a bit clunky to navigate. I wish it was a little more user friendly, but despite that it’s the first place I check. It would be nice if more readers as well as authors would find their way there. I noticed your books from MLR Press were completely separate from the rest of your books, and unfortunately only available as epub which would not be my preference.
    Love love your work. Have a wonderful new year. 🙂

    • Kaje permalink
      January 15, 2017 10:41 pm

      MLR also sells all the formats of my books on their own website. http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowAuthorBooks.php?list=_ABKLIST066&author=Kaje!Harper

      The other thing with Smashwords is that the epub is the only format you can upload directly. The others have to be internally generated from a Word .doc file. So a publisher like MLR, scrambling to replace ARe, has epubs available to upload, but not the time to do .doc files with the right disclaimer and run them through the converter for all their books. Plus the resulting mobi and pdf are not as clean and pretty. (You’ll note all the MLR books were put up in Jan 2017, after the closure.) The books on Smashwords are separate by publisher, so my self-pubs have gone up as I released them, under my own account.

      My MLR books are on Amazon, of course, and on B&N and Kobo I believe.

      Thanks for the kind words about the stories – I hope you have a great year too.

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