Marteeka's Dreams

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Demise of All Romance eBooks

I've been trying to process this whole All Romance closing thing. I tried really hard to feel bad as I was reading the e-mail telling me they were closing at the end of the year (3 days away at the time of the letter.) I mean, here is a woman (or group of women) who have worked for years to make the company successful. As much as my books are my babies, this company was theirs. So yeah. I tried to feel sorry for them. Tried to put myself in their situation. Tried to feel the pain, as it were. Even when I first read the terms they were proposing for a settlement (10 cents on the dollar.) I tried. For all of 10 minutes (figured I'd give them that since they were willing to give me 10% of what they owed me.)

So, then I thought. No. this isn't OK. It's really not OK! And I can't imagine WHY ARe would think it is. I suppose one could choose to look at it as, "Hey. At least they're paying something." But then I see they are still advertising on their Facebook page. They have made no effort to clarify their terms regarding pre-orders (I feel bad about this particularly because I talked Margaret Riley into putting Changeling books up for pre-order several months back,) and are apparently making no effort to return readers gift card money (I suppose those people are just shit out of luck) and companies -- like Changeling and Loose Id, companies that have been around for a very long time -- that have several hundred (or thousand) titles at ARe stand to lose a great deal of money.

So, no. I don't feel bad for them. If they were paying what they owed authors, then yes. I'd feel bad. Sure, they have bills. I get that. They had the right to sell something from their sight to people I personally would never have been able to reach as an self published author and I made money from them for YEARS. Yes. I'm grateful. More grateful than I can express. However. None of this gives them the right to take three months of my income. They have an agreed upon day of the quarter THEY set as pay day (45 days after the end of the calendar quarter.) It's kind of like, when you go out for lunch and your buddy wants something too. He gives you $10 to pay for his and expects change. Do you use his change to pay for your food without asking him? Not if you want to keep your friend. Sure, he might be ok with you using his change, since you're going out and all, but you ASK him if he's OK with that.

So, let's forget about non payment for a moment. Or, at least, let's forget about 4th quarter until the 27th of December. Because the site is still open, still selling titles (that haven't been deactivated) and their Facebook page is still posting sales and such... really? I get that some people schedule posts, but given they know they're closing, is there no one capable of shutting all that down? They may not be actually selling anything, may not be actually collecting any money, but perception is everything. And this from an author! (Lori James, the owner of All Romance eBooks also writes as Samantha Somersby... no, you won't find her work on Amazon -- other than the print versions that can't be taken down -- because the digital versions have been removed, so you can't leave reviews on titles you've already purchased.)

I'd say 10% is better than nothing, but I just don't feel like accepting that. I work too hard to settle for a fraction of what I earned. But i suppose with so many companies going under, it's become acceptable to stiff authors, people you've done business with for years. After all, we live in our imagination for a living. I guess I can just imagine getting paid. It'll be great fun. *insert eye roll*

I will say this. If anyone is unable to back up any of my self published books, if you forward me a receipt or a screenshot of your library (that I can varify from the said screenshot is you) I will gladly replace your book. I can't promise my Changeling Press titles or any books I had with Shara Azod, LLC, but I can promise I will try to compensate you for them. You can contact me at mkarland@gmail.com if you need this service.

You can read more details about the closing here.

Teeka


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