Thursday, December 29, 2016

All Romance Ebooks

(Putting off the Carrie Fisher obit another day because this is important).

I found out yesterday that on December 27 major e-book vendor All Romance Ebooks (which also owned OmniLit) abruptly announced they were shuttering as of December 31.

The basic facts:

1. The site will go dark on December 31. If you own books that you purchased from either site and left in the online library, you need to download them by then. If you can't, likely because the site crashed from everyone trying to do the same thing, then some authors/publishers are honoring ARE/OmniLit purchases - check their site or contact them. (I believe the Musa Publishing version of Transpecial was on OmniLit at one point, but I am not sure that I sold any copies. None of my other books are on the site).

2. Some readers have reported that ARE site credits are no longer usable.

3. ARE is not offering refunds for pre-orders. Some authors/publishers may honor pre-orders especially if you can find a screenshot.

4. ARE has offered authors and publishers a "negotiated settlement" of 10 percent of the money they owe them. Note that this is a distributor not a publisher. This is akin to a store telling a company they won't pay for the stock they already sold. Because of how ebooks work, authors and publishers are not paid for "stock" ahead of time but a percentage of sales. ARE apparently spent the money on something else and are claiming they cannot pay authors.

5. Authors and publishers are not receiving anything for books sold on ARE or OmniLit until the site goes dark. Do not buy any more books from this site.

6. Authors published through ARE's publishing arm are reportedly having their rights held hostage until they sign an agreement promising not to ask ARE for any money. I am not able to confirm this but it's been reported from multiple sources.

If you are an author affected by this, contact Writer Beware at beware@sfwa.org. Victoria Strauss wants to hear from as many affected authors as possible. Probably from publishers as well.

Incidentally, the best place to buy/order small press and self published books is always from the publisher or author's own website if they have one. Also, back up your ebooks.