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View Full Version : [Retailer] All Romance eBooks, LLC / OmniLit



Hilary Thomson
03-31-2012, 07:28 AM
Does anyone know anything about All Romance/Omnilit, the ebook publisher? I was wondering if people have had a bad experience with them.

BenPanced
03-31-2012, 08:29 AM
They aren't publishers. They sell e-books.

http://www.omnilit.com

http://www.allromanceebooks.com

Hilary Thomson
03-31-2012, 08:35 AM
I am well aware that they are not technically a publisher. Book distributor, whatever. What I want to know is if they accurately report sales made through their site. Anyone know anything about the owners, and how honest they are?

michael_b
03-31-2012, 09:47 AM
I am well aware that they are not technically a publisher. Book distributor, whatever. What I want to know is if they accurately report sales made through their site. Anyone know anything about the owners, and how honest they are?


They aren't a publisher, period, and only deal with publishers. Yes, they are honest and totally accurate.

Ann_Mayburn
03-31-2012, 03:56 PM
They are a well established, and as far as I know, honest and hard working group of people.

veinglory
03-31-2012, 04:39 PM
Ditto they are retailer, and an honest one

Dee Carney
03-31-2012, 04:52 PM
Most, if not all, of the romance epubs sell their books through them. I know many of the employees, some of whom are authors. Very honest, hardworking group.

brainstorm77
03-31-2012, 05:22 PM
Wasn't there a line of books out not that long ago with their imprint on them being sold on the site?

veinglory
03-31-2012, 05:50 PM
I am aware that they cater to self-publishers, but not with them as a publisher--although I could certainly have missed it.

Shrouded
03-31-2012, 06:41 PM
They are hard working and reputable in IMHO.

michael_b
03-31-2012, 11:52 PM
Wasn't there a line of books out not that long ago with their imprint on them being sold on the site?

Yes, but my understanding is those titles came out of a special contest.

michael_b
03-31-2012, 11:54 PM
For the record, I have many of the books released by Shadowfire Press LLC up on ARE/OmniLit, so my information is first hand experience.

They have never made a late payment and you can log in and see your sales in real time.

brainstorm77
04-01-2012, 03:53 AM
Yes, but my understanding is those titles came out of a special contest.

I knew they published some titles: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=series&qString=Perfect+Strangers

As for being a vendor, I have titles with them and have had no issues.

Added Note: Their customer service rocks!

michael_b
04-01-2012, 12:51 PM
Added Note: Their customer service rocks!

Yes, it absolutely does. So does their publisher's support. I reported an issue with the reports on their site and they contacted me within a couple of hours to let me know they were working on the problem. And a couple of hours is amazing considering the volume of email they must deal with.

Eriador117
04-01-2012, 03:06 PM
I have an erotica short story with allromance as a vendor/self-publisher and they've paid me when they said they would as well as a non-fiction book on the omnilit site. You can get sales reports in real time. So far I haven't had any trouble with them.

Take care,
Annette

Captcha
04-01-2012, 03:23 PM
They also don't have the annoying "your book will become available when it suits us" attitude that Amazon has. At ARe, you click the button, and the book is available. I like it.

Katie Elle
04-01-2012, 04:15 PM
They're a very good company and for a company their size, sales are really quite good because of the very narrow categories. Stuff that might languish on a big site where nobody can find it, gets connected to readers there.

The one caveat is after the PayPal debacle, they have become extremely cautious about indies and erotica. There's a lot of unwritten rules about what they'll accept and you can't use the above categories.

Filigree
11-05-2012, 07:11 AM
How long does All Romance take to pay their first round of royalties, and how often do they pay after that? From the 90+ day wait on my book, I'm suspecting they are quarterly. (I know I've had sales at least during the first month of availability.)

ETA: went through their FAQ. It's quarterly, so the first batch should show up with December's statement.

thenewbie
04-24-2013, 09:04 PM
Hi,

Could anyone point me to the faq on the site where it explains the payment process? I've been searching and searching but don't see anything specific regarding their royalty payment processing and dates. Thanks!

michael_b
04-24-2013, 10:38 PM
Well I tried to post this, but the url was mangled and for some reason I couldn't get it to correct. Anyway, here is everything you need to know on a single page.

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/faq-2.html

Creative_Solitude
04-25-2013, 01:40 AM
I've been wanting to upload my books there, but keep hitting a snag whenever I try creating a publisher account. They keep asking me for an US tax ID, only problem is, I'm Canadian so I have no idea how to go about getting one. Any other Canadians (or otherwise) have any experience with this?

Captcha
04-25-2013, 02:27 AM
You need to get a US ITIN (International Taxpayer Identification Number) to sell through ARe, Amazon, to sign with an American publisher... pretty much everything.

The Catch-22 of it is that you can't get an ITIN until someone in the States says you need one. I don't know if ARe provides letters (they probably do); I'm pretty sure Amazon does; I know most publishers do.

So you get the letter; fill out the ITIN application (you can Google it); deal with the identification requirements (if you live in a big city you can just go to the passport office and get them to make a certified/registered/authorized/whatever copy of your passport. If you live in the country it's more of a pain); mail it off; and wait about six weeks, at least in my case. Then they send you an ITIN and you're good to go.

If you need more details, let me know, but that's the general idea.

Creative_Solitude
04-25-2013, 04:22 AM
You need to get a US ITIN (International Taxpayer Identification Number) to sell through ARe, Amazon, to sign with an American publisher... pretty much everything.

The Catch-22 of it is that you can't get an ITIN until someone in the States says you need one. I don't know if ARe provides letters (they probably do); I'm pretty sure Amazon does; I know most publishers do.

So you get the letter; fill out the ITIN application (you can Google it); deal with the identification requirements (if you live in a big city you can just go to the passport office and get them to make a certified/registered/authorized/whatever copy of your passport. If you live in the country it's more of a pain); mail it off; and wait about six weeks, at least in my case. Then they send you an ITIN and you're good to go.

If you need more details, let me know, but that's the general idea.


Thanks so much for the info. Wow...it seems so involved and so complicated. I'm going to see if I can get the process started at least.

Thanks again. :)

Captcha
04-25-2013, 04:31 AM
You have a book available on Amazon, though? Did they not require an ITIN?

Are they withholding 30% tax off your sales? You can get that back if you file a US tax return after you get your ITIN...

michael_b
04-25-2013, 09:03 AM
I've been wanting to upload my books there, but keep hitting a snag whenever I try creating a publisher account. They keep asking me for an US tax ID, only problem is, I'm Canadian so I have no idea how to go about getting one. Any other Canadians (or otherwise) have any experience with this?

You need to fill out a W8 BEN form and send it and proof of identity to the US IRS. My understanding is that--usually--they'll have you use your Canadian Tax number but the form still needs to be sent in.

Here is the link to the printable PDF on the IRS site. As I recall instructions for filling it out and where to send it are included with the form.

http://www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs

Just look over the page and you'll find the right form. (It's in the right hand column.)

Hope this helps you.

michael_b
04-25-2013, 09:05 AM
You have a book available on Amazon, though? Did they not require an ITIN?

Are they withholding 30% tax off your sales? You can get that back if you file a US tax return after you get your ITIN...

As I recal Amazon doesn't require it as they have a Canadian presence/business office. The author will be required to pay income tax however so records of earnings should be kept.

Captcha
04-25-2013, 10:09 AM
You need to fill out a W8 BEN form and send it and proof of identity to the US IRS. My understanding is that--usually--they'll have you use your Canadian Tax number but the form still needs to be sent in.



This doesn't sound right to me - do you have personal experience with this? What's the basis for this information?

As a Canadian who publishes in the US, I have been asked to send the W8-BEN to withholding agents (the people who send me royalties and who would, without the W8-BEN, withhold 30% of my income), not to the IRS, and this is supported by the IRS website's W8-BEN instructions.

There's a spot on the W8-BEN that asks for the ITIN and the instructions say:

If you do not have an SSN and are not eligible to get
one, you must get an individual taxpayer identification
number (ITIN). To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7 with
the IRS. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to get an ITIN.

I don't see any allowance for using a foreign tax withholding number. I don't think it's a good idea to expect the IRS to be flexible/understanding, based on my limited experience with them.

So OP, unless Michael can clarify, I'd stand by my original post. You need to get an ITIN through the process I described. With an ITIN you can receive income from American sources, but they'll take off 30% of your income and send it to the IRS. (That's why you need an ITIN, to be sure the money they withhold is credited to your account - if you tried to use your Canadian SIN instead of the ITIN, I don't think you'd be able to get the money back!). You can file a US tax return to get that back or, much more easily, you can file a W8-BEN and send it to the withholding agent (pubisher/distributor) to tell them NOT to take that money off in the first place.

thenewbie
04-25-2013, 09:01 PM
Hi,

Thanks for the info. So basically there are 4 pay periods a year is what I'm seeing???

Would it be something like this?

Jan - March - Paid 45 days later, so basically towards the end of May?

Then April - June - paid somewhere in the end of July, etc?

Thanks!

Creative_Solitude
04-25-2013, 10:17 PM
As I recal Amazon doesn't require it as they have a Canadian presence/business office. The author will be required to pay income tax however so records of earnings should be kept.

Yes, this exactly. Which is why I had/have no clue about this whole US tax ID thingie.

Parametric
07-14-2013, 05:20 PM
OK, stupid question of the day: does this retailer require self-publishers to submit an actual hard copy of a W8-BEN? I've registered with the site as a self-publisher and supplied my EIN, but at no point did it ask me to print and mail a hard copy of my W8-BEN. I can't seem to find any instructions about this and they seem happy with my EIN, but I don't want to wake up and find that the IRS have taken 30% of my royalties. :tongue Anybody?

michael_b
07-14-2013, 10:10 PM
OK, stupid question of the day: does this retailer require self-publishers to submit an actual hard copy of a W8-BEN? I've registered with the site as a self-publisher and supplied my EIN, but at no point did it ask me to print and mail a hard copy of my W8-BEN. I can't seem to find any instructions about this and they seem happy with my EIN, but I don't want to wake up and find that the IRS have taken 30% of my royalties. :tongue Anybody?

This link (https://www.allromanceebooks.com/publisherRegistration.html) should have all the tax info you need. You have to register as a publisher, not author, even when self publishing.

Parametric
07-14-2013, 10:16 PM
This link (https://www.allromanceebooks.com/publisherRegistration.html) should have all the tax info you need. You have to register as a publisher, not author, even when self publishing.

Thanks, Michael. I've already registered as a publisher using that form, including supplying my EIN. But other ebook retailers (Amazon and Smashwords) have specifically requested a hard copy W8-BEN form mailed to their offices in the US. This was never mentioned during the ARE signup process, so I'm trying to figure out whether I need to mail them a hard copy W8-BEN form as well as the details I provided in their signup form. :)

Captcha
07-15-2013, 12:06 AM
Thanks, Michael. I've already registered as a publisher using that form, including supplying my EIN. But other ebook retailers (Amazon and Smashwords) have specifically requested a hard copy W8-BEN form mailed to their offices in the US. This was never mentioned during the ARE signup process, so I'm trying to figure out whether I need to mail them a hard copy W8-BEN form as well as the details I provided in their signup form. :)

I'm pretty sure that I DID send them a W8-BEN, and I can't imagine I would have gone to the trouble if I hadn't been required to do so....

Let me check.

Yeah, I got an e-mail from them after I registered for the publisher account. It said, in part:


If you are a foreign national doing business outside the U.S., you'll need to fill out and return the tax document below. This document officially notifies All Romance that income taxes do not need to be withheld from any of your publisher payments since you are living and doing business outside the U.S. in a country with reciprocal tax treaties with the United States.
The "document below" was a w8-BEN.

I know the date of the e-mail, but I don't know the exact date I registered with them, so I can't say how long there was between. Sorry.

ETA: they allowed for the form to be returned via scan, fax, or hard copy.

Parametric
07-16-2013, 01:15 AM
Thanks a ton, Captcha - that's super helpful. I thought it had to be a requirement. :)

Parametric
07-16-2013, 01:32 AM
I should just have emailed, shouldn't I? :tongue

Thus speaketh the retailer:


We do not need a paper copy of the W-8BEN, the online version you've already completed is all we need.

So there is no further requirement after completing the publisher signup process.

Sydneyd
12-28-2016, 11:14 PM
Not sure this goes here, please move accordingly :)

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS


To Whom It May Concern:


It is with great sadness I announce that we are winding down the operations of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. The financial forecast for 2017 isn't hopeful and we've accepted that there is not a viable path forward.
We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you. On midnight, December 31, our sites will go dark and your content will cease to be available for sale through our platforms. This includes any content you are having us distribute to Apple. If you wish to inactivate your content sooner, you can do so by logging into your publisher portal.


We will be unable to remit Q4 2016 commissions in full and are proposing a settlement of 10 cents on the dollar (USD) for payments received through 27 December 2016. We also request the following conditions:


1. That you consider this negotiated settlement to be “paid in full”.
2. That no further legal action be taken with regards to the above referenced commissions owed.


If you are willing to accept the offered amount and the terms proposed, please hit the reply on this email keeping the history intact. Change the subject to “Publisher Settlement Acceptance” and copy/paste the acceptance statement below into your email, filling in the fields.


Upon receipt of the signed agreement, I will authorize payment of the settlement amount in full by 28 February 2016 via the method stipulated in your publisher account.


It is my sincere hope that we will be able to settle this account and avoid filing for bankruptcy, which would undoubtedly be a prolonged and costly process.


I appreciate that you may have questions. Unfortunately, we will be operating with limited staff as we prepare for closure. We will do our best to respond to the extent possible and will do so in the order received. Our priority over the next few weeks will be processing settlement requests. At this time, there is no additional information to share.


I thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Sincerely,

Lori James

All Romance Ebooks, LLC

RosalieStanton
12-28-2016, 11:31 PM
I have never made much income from ARe, but that $0.10 on the dollar thing is...well, ridiculous.

mrsmig
12-28-2016, 11:33 PM
We will be unable to remit Q4 2016 commissions in full and are proposing a settlement of 10 cents on the dollar (USD) for payments received through 27 December 2016. We also request the following conditions:


1. That you consider this negotiated settlement to be “paid in full”.
2. That no further legal action be taken with regards to the above referenced commissions owed.




Oy. It's too bad the company is going to fold, but the fact that they're doing this with less than a week's notice and stiffing their authors out of their rightful final quarter's earnings into the bargain is just wrong.

When will these publishers realize that their authors' royalties are sacrosanct? That their portion of their books' earnings belong to them, and are not to be used to defray the operating expenses of the publisher? That using those royalties to cover the publisher's expenses is, in fact, stealing?

RosalieStanton
12-28-2016, 11:35 PM
Oy. It's too bad the company is going to fold, but the fact that they're doing this with less than a week's notice and stiffing their authors out of their rightful final quarter's earnings into the bargain is just wrong.

When will these publishers realize that their authors' royalties are sacrosanct? That their portion of their books' earnings belong to them, and are not to be used to defray the operating expenses of the publisher? That using those royalties to cover the publisher's expenses is, in fact, stealing?

This x infinity.

Plus, they were selling ad space for 2017 as of last week. How much do you want to bet that the authors who locked in for 2017 never see a penny refunded? And they've already set themselves up for not responding to those emails.


I appreciate that you may have questions. Unfortunately, we will be operating with limited staff as we prepare for closure. We will do our best to respond to the extent possible and will do so in the order received. Our priority over the next few weeks will be processing settlement requests. At this time, there is no additional information to share.

AnneMarble
12-29-2016, 12:57 AM
Oy. It's too bad the company is going to fold, but the fact that they're doing this with less than a week's notice and stiffing their authors out of their rightful final quarter's earnings into the bargain is just wrong.
I got the notice they sent out to readers, and I was flabbergasted. Flummoxed. Annoyed. Even though I didn't buy many books, the idea that they are giving me less than four full days to download them is crazy.

Then I came over here to see if there was any discussion, and my gast was truly flabbered. They're telling authors... what?! :(


When will these publishers realize that their authors' royalties are sacrosanct? That their portion of their books' earnings belong to them, and are not to be used to defray the operating expenses of the publisher? That using those royalties to cover the publisher's expenses is, in fact, stealing?
It's ... astounding to say the least. And not in a good way. :(

BenPanced
12-29-2016, 01:06 AM
And their Facebook page's on fire.

It ain't pretty, especially since there's no mention anywhere about the closing. You have to go directly to the main website for any information or, if you're an author selling through them, you've received the final terms. Or, if you're brave enough, read the Facebook comments (HINT: :mob )

If you have anything you need to download, people are reporting inordinate hang times and even crashes.

Sydneyd
12-29-2016, 01:17 AM
I had some plans to go wide there after my books were up with KU, there goes that plan. I cannot imagine the authors who are owed some real money from them. Their offer turns thousands into hundreds...I can't even imagine the stress those authors are going through.
Add that to the fact that they are still up in terms of sells, shady business for sure.

RosalieStanton
12-29-2016, 01:28 AM
According to a FB thread I'm following, customer credits have been deleted, so they're screwing over readers, too.

AuburnAssassin
12-29-2016, 01:40 AM
It took me a while to finally get logged in to my publisher account to inactivate my 2 titles selling at more than $0. As a publisher, I never sold much there so I probably am out no money directly. However, my indie publisher, Evernight Publishing, did quite a bit there and I suspect I will lose some $$ that route.

A shame really because ARe (and Bookstrand) were erotica-friendly whereas Amazon often was not and tended to bury adult books.

Dominique Eastwick
12-29-2016, 02:39 AM
The ARe sight is extremely slow the moment. It took me about an hour to deactivate less then a dozen book. But I did hear that authors would not be paid for anything sold between now and the closing day (I can not confirm that). So I recommend taking the time and deactivating your books on the site now. I recieved errors repeatedly before the first book went through finally.

Old Hack
12-29-2016, 02:58 AM
I've read a notice somewhere that they won't be refunding readers who have paid for books ahead of publication. I'm pretty sure that if credit cards or Paypal were used to pay for those purchases, people can put in a claim for a refund with their credit card company or with Paypal. I might be wrong, but it's worth saying.

I'm so sorry to see yet another company screwing writers. This just is not fair.

NinjaFingers
12-29-2016, 03:02 AM
Screwing writers AND readers. I'm glad I wasn't working with them and have all sympathy for those who were.

zmethos
12-29-2016, 03:03 AM
Pleased to be able to say Evernight (with which I have one novel) has stated it will pay the authors in full for ARe sales despite ARe's stipulations. So sorry for other authors and publishers taking this hit.

RosalieStanton
12-29-2016, 03:11 AM
Pleased to be able to say Evernight (with which I have one novel) has stated it will pay the authors in full for ARe sales despite ARe's stipulations. So sorry for other authors and publishers taking this hit.

How incredibly commendable. Speaks very highly of Evernight.

Anna_Hedley
12-29-2016, 03:39 AM
Goodness, what a mess. I have no idea how they managed to make this much of a loss. They were a huge online retailer and probably second only to Amazon when it came to erom sales.

Less Than Three Press have also said they'd pay authors the full amount owed from ARe sales.

ULTRAGOTHA
12-29-2016, 03:43 AM
Upon receipt of the signed agreement, I will authorize payment of the settlement amount in full by 28 February 2016 via the method stipulated in your publisher account.

February of THIS year? Shouldn't that be 28 February, 2017?

Sydneyd
12-29-2016, 04:29 AM
It's a TRAP!!

BenPanced
12-29-2016, 05:52 AM
I've read a notice somewhere that they won't be refunding readers who have paid for books ahead of publication. I'm pretty sure that if credit cards or Paypal were used to pay for those purchases, people can put in a claim for a refund with their credit card company or with Paypal. I might be wrong, but it's worth saying.

I'm so sorry to see yet another company screwing writers. This just is not fair.

Dreamspinner has announced on their Facebook page that everybody who's pre-ordered something on ARe can get the item upon release without additional charges, provided they show proof of purchase.


Announcement in response to All Romance eBook closure notice: If readers pre-ordered Dreamspinner titles on ARe then you will not be able to download them upon release. If rumors are true, ARe will also not refund pre-orders. Therefore, Dreamspinner offers to fulfill readers' pre-paid Dreamspinner pre-orders from ARe. You need to forward the ARe receipt to contactATdreamspinnerpressDOTcom and the customer service department will be sure you receive the eBook at no additional cost to you. Thank you.

Zombie Fraggle
12-29-2016, 07:52 AM
That this closure and screwage is soooooo bizarrely sudden makes me wonder if skimmage of royalties has been happening for some time.

Alcasgra
12-29-2016, 11:24 AM
Another one bites the dust and it screws with so many publishers/writers/readers.

Alcasgra
12-29-2016, 11:30 AM
The ARe sight is extremely slow the moment. It took me about an hour to deactivate less then a dozen book. But I did hear that authors would not be paid for anything sold between now and the closing day (I can not confirm that). So I recommend taking the time and deactivating your books on the site now. I recieved errors repeatedly before the first book went through finally.

The site kept on crashing because multiple publishers/authors were pulling their books out simultaneously. :) Plus, there are readers who are also rushing to download their purchases. Or so I heard. :)

DancingMaenid
12-29-2016, 11:53 AM
Wow, what a shame. I considered selling on ARe a couple years ago, but never pursued it because I decided to step back from self-publishing for a while. I know a lot of people who were selling on there.

It sounds like they're really screwing over both authors and readers, and with very short notice.

Alcasgra
12-29-2016, 03:35 PM
Wow, what a shame. I considered selling on ARe a couple years ago, but never pursued it because I decided to step back from self-publishing for a while. I know a lot of people who were selling on there.

It sounds like they're really screwing over both authors and readers, and with very short notice.

Yup. It sucks horribly. 2016 is the worst!

PeteMC
12-29-2016, 04:10 PM
That's horrible, and I'd question whether it's even legal (IANAL) - and they have the cheek to say it's to help them avoid filing for bankruptcy? Seriously??

c.m.n.
12-29-2016, 07:30 PM
Post from Blogcritics with suggestions and links for people to contact: http://blogcritics.org/publisher-all-romance-ebooks-closing-hits-new-low-in-stealing-from-authors/

Tavia
12-29-2016, 09:41 PM
I'm extremely disappointed by this. I haven't put anything new up there in months, so my fourth quarter royalties there are negligible, but... damn. Not only are we losing a non-Amazon retailer, but they're going out with such a disgraceful bang.

Captcha
12-30-2016, 03:30 AM
Grrrr.

I get that it's hard to compete with the Amazon monster, and if they were just going out of business, they'd have my full sympathy. But ten cents on the dollar? Nope.

I didn't take the EC deal, and I'm not taking this one either.

Deb Kinnard
12-30-2016, 05:48 AM
Despicable. My small press publisher-in-chief is busy pulling down hundreds of books at this moment. I hope she does not take the offer, but holds out for a full accounting and payment of all monies owed. It would be really nice if some of the big houses sued ARe's butt to heck and back.

It seems to be getting more frequent where publishers/aggregators try to shaft authors and their attitude toward breach-of-contract is "Sweetie, why don't you sue us?" This needs a Big Horkin' New York house to deal with them.

I don't really give a rip whether Lori James has to deal with the bankruptcy process or not.

amergina
12-30-2016, 05:57 AM
There are folks on Twitter reporting that their earnings have decreased from yesterday to today:

https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/814648325941104640

https://twitter.com/jordanlhawk/status/814648772726845440

https://twitter.com/mostlybree/status/814648361173348352

chompers
12-30-2016, 06:57 AM
There are folks on Twitter reporting that their earnings have decreased from yesterday to today:

https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/814648325941104640

https://twitter.com/jordanlhawk/status/814648772726845440

https://twitter.com/mostlybree/status/814648361173348352

So they're doing all this to avoid bankruptcy, but are setting themselves up for lawsuits? Smart.

Alcasgra
12-30-2016, 01:22 PM
Grrrr.

I get that it's hard to compete with the Amazon monster, and if they were just going out of business, they'd have my full sympathy. But ten cents on the dollar? Nope.

I didn't take the EC deal, and I'm not taking this one either.

As a newbie writer, I think I have not been majorly impacted by the closure. I can't be 100% certain though. My book was released December 17th, 2016. :)

However, through the facebook conversations that I have had with my publisher, I really feel horrible for the more established (especially the ones who sell plenty of e-books through ARe) writers. 10 cents for every dollar? That's essentially stealing. Plus, ARe was still selling ad-space for 2017 as recent as last week, I believe.

My publisher has been updating the writers because her main concern is that none of the writers will be getting anything for sales through the last quarter from ARe since she won't be taking the "10 cents for every dollar" scam. :) This is a real mess. Not sure if I remember correctly, but I believe that ARe owes my publisher quite a substantial sum of money, considering that my publisher is a small one. :) Not sure if it's ethical to mention the amount.

Anyway, let's hope for the best outcome in 2017. :)

Alcasgra
12-30-2016, 01:27 PM
Despicable. My small press publisher-in-chief is busy pulling down hundreds of books at this moment. I hope she does not take the offer, but holds out for a full accounting and payment of all monies owed. It would be really nice if some of the big houses sued ARe's butt to heck and back.

It seems to be getting more frequent where publishers/aggregators try to shaft authors and their attitude toward breach-of-contract is "Sweetie, why don't you sue us?" This needs a Big Horkin' New York house to deal with them.

I don't really give a rip whether Lori James has to deal with the bankruptcy process or not.

My small publisher had pulled more than 1000 titles the moment she received the news a few days ago. She will be honoring the pre-orders done through ARe though, which is the right thing to do since the readers are also the victims in this case. :)

Alcasgra
12-30-2016, 01:44 PM
Just a heads up, everyone. There is a new posting on Facebook, claiming that some authors discovered that ARe has changed the royalty statements today and they were different from the ones yesterday. Meaning, if your publisher did not download them yesterday, the numbers would be different today. *Sigh*

WriterTrek
12-30-2016, 02:17 PM
Just a heads up, everyone. There is a new posting on Facebook, claiming that some authors discovered that ARe has changed the royalty statements today and they were different from the ones yesterday. Meaning, if your publisher did not download them yesterday, the numbers would be different today. *Sigh*Holy crap. They're digging their own grave with things like this that can be proven.

Alcasgra
12-30-2016, 02:43 PM
Holy crap. They're digging their own grave with things like this that can be proven.

Not sure if this has been proven, but I wish ARe had not done this. Publishers/Authors had trusted ARe with their hard work. This would be a new low if it was proven to be true.

BenPanced
12-30-2016, 05:26 PM
Riptide has offered to replace titles readers aren't able to download from ARe. (http://riptidepublishing.tumblr.com/post/155137822413/as-many-of-you-have-probably-heard-by-now-the)

Jamiekswriter
12-30-2016, 07:10 PM
Isn't what Lori James doing similar to a Ponzi scheme? Instead of holding royalties in an escrow account, she was using the incoming money to pay for things, hoping that new money would keep coming in and letting her float. Would this be something the FBI could get involved with because the scam crossed several state lines?

mrsmig
12-30-2016, 07:22 PM
As a newbie writer, I think I have not been majorly impacted by the closure. I can't be 100% certain though. My book was released December 17th, 2016. :)

However, through the facebook conversations that I have had with my publisher, I really feel horrible for the more established (especially the ones who sell plenty of e-books through ARe) writers. 10 cents for every dollar? That's essentially stealing. Plus, ARe was still selling ad-space for 2017 as recent as last week, I believe.

My publisher has been updating the writers because her main concern is that none of the writers will be getting anything for sales through the last quarter from ARe since she won't be taking the "10 cents for every dollar" scam. :) This is a real mess. Not sure if I remember correctly, but I believe that ARe owes my publisher quite a substantial sum of money, considering that my publisher is a small one. :) Not sure if it's ethical to mention the amount.

Anyway, let's hope for the best outcome in 2017. :)

It's not "essentially stealing." It IS stealing.

ARe was contracted to sell books by publishers and independent authors, with a stated, contracted royalty percentage to be paid from those sales to the publishers and authors. They sold those books. Whatever their reason for withholding the full percentage from the authors and publishers - whether it's to pay other vendors, cover personal debt, line their own pockets or take a trip to Aruba - it's still STEALING.

We see this so often with small, under-capitalized businesses. The principals start off with good intentions, but if something goes wrong - a bad business deal, a downturn in the economy, personal emergencies such as serious illness - they inevitably dip into the pool of money earned by and designated to pay vendors. It's a crime and it ought to be treated like one.

Maryn
12-30-2016, 08:04 PM
Amen.

veinglory
12-30-2016, 08:24 PM
I bet a lot of authors are screenshotting their reports now. The people reporting overnight changes are not the type to misremember this sort of thing.

Kabbot
12-30-2016, 08:42 PM
When you specify an end date after 27 December 2016 in the report, it defaults back to the 27th, so if you had sales on the 28th and ran the report before they implemented this restriction and then again after, earnings would show a reduction. I only sold a couple of books early in December, but the number of downloads of my free book reduced between the 27th, and the 28th and after.


There are folks on Twitter reporting that their earnings have decreased from yesterday to today:

https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/814648325941104640

https://twitter.com/jordanlhawk/status/814648772726845440

https://twitter.com/mostlybree/status/814648361173348352

Dominique Eastwick
12-30-2016, 11:06 PM
On her author page she is saying there is a lot of 'fake information' circulating. Most of what I have seen had been from the emails that came directly from them, which is bad enough. I would be interested to know if the Big Six received the same 10% of royalty emails and what they plan to do about it. Has anyone heard? Also as late as the 26th I know of one author who received a contract for an audio book through ARe. So the the BS is getting deeper.

JulesJones
12-31-2016, 02:55 AM
There's a GoogleDoc collecting information about royalties owed. (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfE-DqB9b7tBNo_rjzNWrr7vFYcpbPQfnMTL-GF2cjuaiIaew/viewanalytics) I just went and totted it up in my head, so only a rough figure, but so far about 88k in royalties that people have reported they're owed.

amergina
12-31-2016, 03:17 AM
:Jaw:

AW Admin
12-31-2016, 03:55 AM
Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware has a good summary ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS' SUDDEN CLOSING: MANY QUESTIONS, FEW ANSWERS (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2016/12/all-romance-ebooks-sudden-closing-many.html)

Deb Kinnard
12-31-2016, 04:15 AM
No, they're not likely to "forget", and one of them is an attorney. I think ARe is heading into a world of hurt.

PS, all my books are down, so I assume all my small press's books are also down. I expect no money at all out of this.

JulesJones
12-31-2016, 04:49 AM
There are at least 3 entries on that "What ARe owes me" database with over $10k owed. That's just the royalties - as someone noted in the comments, they've also spent money on advertising. And this is just the 69 individual authors and small presses that have added info so far.

Add in the readers' money for pre-orders and for eBucks, and there is a substantial chunk of change not accounted for, even if one assumes that the Big 5 get paid in full lest their in-house legal teams don their hob-nailed boots.

amergina
12-31-2016, 05:17 AM
There's an interesting update at Writer Beware about ARe's CFO suing Lori James, including a tidbit that they took distributions but not salaries, but once Lori locked the CFO out of the company... she started drawing a sizable salary.

Alcasgra
12-31-2016, 05:17 AM
It's not "essentially stealing." It IS stealing.

ARe was contracted to sell books by publishers and independent authors, with a stated, contracted royalty percentage to be paid from those sales to the publishers and authors. They sold those books. Whatever their reason for withholding the full percentage from the authors and publishers - whether it's to pay other vendors, cover personal debt, line their own pockets or take a trip to Aruba - it's still STEALING.

We see this so often with small, under-capitalized businesses. The principals start off with good intentions, but if something goes wrong - a bad business deal, a downturn in the economy, personal emergencies such as serious illness - they inevitably dip into the pool of money earned by and designated to pay vendors. It's a crime and it ought to be treated like one.

That's true. *sigh* 2016, oh, 2016! :)

Alcasgra
12-31-2016, 05:19 AM
I bet a lot of authors are screenshotting their reports now. The people reporting overnight changes are not the type to misremember this sort of thing.

I agree. If this turned out to be true, ARe would really be digging an even deeper hole than before. :)

sjeller
12-31-2016, 06:17 AM
Reports for publishers also changed.

cmhbob
12-31-2016, 06:28 AM
I was coming to share the news, and offer my condolences to affected AW members here.

ARe has pulled the thread on their Facebook page, although there are lots of comments on every other post...including the post announcing a Boxing Day SALE!

VoireyLinger
12-31-2016, 10:08 PM
I don't see these posted, so I'm going to put them up. I apologize if I just missed previous posts.

Closing information:
http://blogcritics.org/publisher-all-romance-ebooks-closing-hits-new-low-in-stealing-from-authors/

James's company takeover information:
http://blogcritics.org/court-documents-regarding-all-romance-e-books-disturbing-business-practices-surface/

Marissa D
12-31-2016, 10:14 PM
Found this on one of my romance writing loops--a FB group is forming to look into legal options: https://www.facebook.com/groups/212976702443743/

ElaineA
12-31-2016, 10:22 PM
I read the company takeover post this morning. The whole thing is hideous. I feel so bad for the writers and publishers victimized by ARe. The idea that you can have your rights back--for a forfeit of your royalties!--is so abhorrent, but I assume it's a price worth paying. I'm pretty sure I'd do it to get my IP back rather than let it get taken in bankruptcy.

I sure hope the big 5 *do* don their hobnailed boots. Someone needs to fight back against these book-world people pocketing the dough and shuttering their businesses. Right now there's just no hammer threatening anyone who wants to do it. So frustrating.

:e2grouphu to all here who have been robbed. I'm so very sorry.

Shadowflame
01-01-2017, 12:08 AM
I am so very sorry that so many of you are going through this right now.

VoireyLinger
01-01-2017, 05:30 AM
The idea that you can have your rights back--for a forfeit of your royalties!--is so abhorrent, but I assume it's a price worth paying.

Just to be clear, ARe is a distributor, not publisher. They don't hold or license any rights. They are basically a store who announced they were closing and keeping all the money they owed vendors--meaning the publishers and self-published authors. There is also a concern about them retaining copies of books on their servers after they've closed shop, but that's a different beast than holding publication rights.

c.m.n.
01-01-2017, 05:37 AM
Just to be clear, ARe is a distributor, not publisher. They don't hold or license any rights. They are basically a store who announced they were closing and keeping all the money they owed vendors--meaning the publishers and self-published authors. There is also a concern about them retaining copies of books on their servers after they've closed shop, but that's a different beast than holding publication rights.

They weren't just a distributor, they were also a publisher and had some authors working with them on the publishing side. https://www.facebook.com/batortuga/posts/1221708211252542?pnref=story

amergina
01-01-2017, 07:08 AM
They weren't just a distributor, they were also a publisher and had some authors working with them on the publishing side. https://www.facebook.com/batortuga/posts/1221708211252542?pnref=story

Yup. There were people who wrote directly for ARe, where they *did* act as a publisher (ARe original series books). Those people can either take their rights and no money or...not get anything at all, basically.

Old Hack
01-01-2017, 12:55 PM
Yup. There were people who wrote directly for ARe, where they *did* act as a publisher (ARe original series books). Those people can either take their rights and no money or...not get anything at all, basically.

I wonder what it says in the contracts? ARe can't override contracts by reducing the royalties it's paying: as I understand it, only an Administrator can offer reduced payments once a business has gone into administration. And a business can't just close down leaving its debts unpaid: it has to either honour its debts or go into administration and from there to bankruptcy.

JasonWrites84
01-01-2017, 09:41 PM
And the site is now officially gone. Wow, end of an era for sure in the crappiest way possible. I really feel for the people who this has affected. I'm new to the romance genre, but as someone who is planning submissions end of this year it's disheartening to see this distribution outlet to go up in a fiery blaze of scandal.

Parametric
01-01-2017, 09:54 PM
Sales reports are still accessible through publisher accounts, for those of us who want to make a record of the royalties we're getting screwed out of.

cmhbob
01-02-2017, 09:52 PM
Author Sarah Madison ran into a problem when she tried tweaking a story on Amazon. Seems a third party is claiming copyright.

http://www.sarahmadisonfiction.com/2017/01/authors-be-warned-the-ongoing-impact-of-the-all-romance-ebooks-debacle/

Captcha
01-02-2017, 09:55 PM
Author Sarah Madison ran into a problem when she tried tweaking a story on Amazon. Seems a third party is claiming copyright.

http://www.sarahmadisonfiction.com/2017/01/authors-be-warned-the-ongoing-impact-of-the-all-romance-ebooks-debacle/


I'm really hoping this is just one more Amazon weirdness, coming at a bad time. The connection to ARe seems really tenuous, to me...

I hope.

Old Hack
01-02-2017, 10:48 PM
From cmhbob's link, two posts above:


Who could this mysterious third party be, hmmm? Which retailer–RETAILER, mind you, not publisher–recently massively screwed authors over by closing their doors with four days notice, sending an email out offering an insulting 10 cents on the dollar for owed royalties only on the promise that the author didn’t sue? Which retailer then told authors they were holding the copyrights to stories offered for sale on their site for the next seven years for tax purposes?

My bold.

That's absolute bollocks. Excuse me, but FFS. However, if this is what ARe is doing it might just provide a light at the end of the tunnel.

Retailers don't get to hold copyright of anything. They buy books in and they sell them on. At no point do they hold copyright to any of the works they sell.

Publishers do hold copyright: but only on the works they publish; and only so long as they remain in business. As soon as they cease to exist those rights are no longer an asset to their company. Now, it's essential for writers to get a formal notice of rights reversion under these circumstances so they can prove that they now own those rights again, and if they don't their works are likely to be caught up in a world of murk and confusion: but the potential light I see is this.

If the publisher is going to hang onto those rights for seven years, that implies that this publisher is not closing down. So they're going to remain as a legal entity, which potentially gives everyone seven years or so to sue the pants off this publisher in order to get their rights back.

My concern, with regard to this publisher hanging onto those rights for seven years, is that they might try to sell the rights or the books elsewhere and claim that they get the proceeds from those sales. So check your contracts again, take advice, do all you can to inform yourself. Just in case.

JasonWrites84
01-03-2017, 12:09 AM
I'm really hoping this is just one more Amazon weirdness, coming at a bad time. The connection to ARe seems really tenuous, to me...

I hope.

This is legit f-ckery. Hands down. Lori James is setting herself up with so much legal baggage it's going to be quite the implosion when things are all said and done.

Zombie Fraggle
01-15-2017, 10:32 PM
A class action suit has been filed in the Circuit Court of Pinellas County, Florida, against All Romance E-Books, LLC and its principal Lori James. There's more information in this report on Digital Reader (http://the-digital-reader.com/2017/01/15/class-action-suit-filed-romance-ebooks/), including a press release from the filing law firm.

cmhbob
01-16-2017, 02:57 AM
I'd kind of like to see readers get involved too. Weren't there pre-orders that weren't refunded and such?

Jeneral
01-16-2017, 06:55 PM
You can view the court docket and download the Complaint here (https://ccmspa.pinellascounty.org/PublicAccess/CaseDocuments.aspx?CaseID=17508080&EventID=299695567&CaseCategoryKeys=CV&NodeID=11000,11100,23001,11101,11102,11103,11104,1 1105,11106,11107,11108,11114,11109,23002,23003,111 10,11111,11112,11113,11200,11201,11202,11203,11204 ,11205,11206,11207,11208,23004,11209,11210,11300,1 1301,11302,11303,11304,11305,11400,11410,11411,114 12,11450,11451,11452,11453,11600,11601,11602,11603 ,11604,12000,12100,12101,12102,12103,12104,12105,1 2106,12107,12108,12109,12110,12111,12113,12112,121 14,12200,12201,12202,12203,12204,12205,12206,12207 ,12208,12209,12300,12310,12311,12312,12320,12321,1 2322,12400,14000,14100,14200,14300,14400,14500,146 00,13000,13100,13200). (If that link doesn't work, you can go to the Pinellas County Clerk's webpage (https://www.mypinellasclerk.org/aspInclude2/ASPInclude.asp?pageName=index.htm), click on "Public Services," then "Court Records Public View," then "Civil Family Case Records" and search for Lori James.)

Zombie Fraggle
01-17-2017, 01:36 AM
I'd kind of like to see readers get involved too. Weren't there pre-orders that weren't refunded and such?

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure consumers (readers) could not be put in the same class as suppliers (authors and publishers).

Aggy B.
01-17-2017, 02:11 AM
IANAL, but I'm pretty sure consumers (readers) could not be put in the same class as suppliers (authors and publishers).

Given that it was an online retailer, consumers might be able to take the matter up with the service that they made payment through - either a credit card or Paypal, I'd imagine. They could dispute the charges since the product was paid for but never delivered. (However, each customer would have to pursue a refund/reversal of charge individually.)

Old Hack
01-17-2017, 11:21 AM
With Paypal I think you have up to six months to claim a refund. And it's very easy.

Zombie Fraggle
03-08-2017, 08:55 PM
For anyone interested in the progress of the class action suit filed against All Romance E-Books LLC and Lori James, you can keep up with it here (https://ccmspa.pinellascounty.org/PublicAccess/CaseDetail.aspx?CaseID=17508080) (link to court document filings in Pinellas County, Florida. Most recent updates were made on 6 March, 2017.