ARe You Happy Now, Some of You STUPID Indie Authors?

Posted December 29, 2016 by Mrs Giggles in Rants & Thoughts / 4 Comments

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Lori James's #1 ARe Bestseller
Lori James’s #1 ARe Bestseller

If you aren’t aware, All Romance eBooks (ARe) is closing shop and customers have… oh, 3 days (until Dec 31, midnight) to download everything they have purchased. Oh, and any current store credits are no longer valid. On the authors’ front, they are also not getting paid what they are due, and I have no idea what is happening to advertisers who have bought ad space all the way into 2017.

I personally can’t access the website at the time of writing to download my purchased titles, and I’m prepared to lose them forever, sigh. But that’s not just why I’m a bit mad and sad at the moment. No, I’m not going to talk about the poor authors, as I’m sure many places will do that loudly and appropriately. I’m mad, and sad, because All Romance eBooks is one of the increasingly fewer online digital book titles that do not practice geographical restriction. Most of the indie titles on ARe could be purchased by me just fine, when places like Amazon and Kobo refuse to take my money – when it goes down, that just leave (to my knowledge) Smashwords and Google Play. Even then, the selections in these two places are limited compared to those found on Amazon, currently the King of Geographical Restriction.

I’ve blogged before about how Amazon won’t let readers in most parts of the world buy their indie authors’ titles, when they also at the same time allow most of the mainstream big publishers’ digital titles to be purchasable, so I won’t repeat myself here. I’d just like to say, though, that even if ARe’s closure is messy and just not done at all, it also marks another international-friendly online bookstore biting the dust. And that makes me die a little inside, too.

And then I have to look at Twitter, blogs, and message boards to see some really stupid indie authors cheerfully saying that, one down, Smashwords is next. Seriously, darlings? I know these people are cozy in the US, making US money and not caring one bit about the rest of the world, but do they ever stop to consider what happens when Amazon becomes the only bookseller of digital titles, and all those titles get even more locked behind geographical restriction? Some of these morons are the same ones complaining about geographical restrictions a few years back, and how indie publishing will overcome that nonsense. But now that they can make their bread on Amazon, who cares anymore about that issue – let’s just cheer as Amazon gets one step closer towards denying the rest of the world from giving these authors money! Then again, I don’t intend to read their books anyway, so hey, no great loss for me. But still, the very principle of the whole thing galls me.

Anyway, I suppose there are still those two places, but there are drawbacks and possible problems down the road. Smashwords has not done anything to catch up with its competitors, while the pricing on Google is atrocious when it comes to mainstream books (ugh, Agency pricing). But I can still buy indie titles that are sold in these two places for now, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

PS: The comments left on ARe’s Facebook are hilarious at the time of writing. Grab your popcorns and go have a look (link opens in new window/tab) while they are still up! Oh, and DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THERE, even if they are still having sales, as the server is so overloaded at the moment that you may not even get to download your purchases before they close shop.

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Mrs Giggles

Woke based diva at Hot Sauce Reviews
Loves boys that sparkle, unicorns, money, Lego, chocolates, tasty buffets, video game music, and fantastical stories.

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4 responses to “ARe You Happy Now, Some of You STUPID Indie Authors?

  1. Alexandria

    This is really screwed up, especially with the tight time frame. I presume they are trying to wrap things up in 2016 for tax purposes, but they have certainly chosen to go about it in an amazingly counterproductive and unprofessional manner. And I can’t fathom why an author of all people would be gleeful about a place that sells their books closing. What is the source of their venom there, do you know? Re Amazon, I know you have commented before on their lack of accessibility, have you ever heard back from them on any of your complaints to them?

  2. Nothing useful, just a response about how Amazon is sorry but maybe one day they will come my way. I had high hopes when Amazon Japan opened years ago, but nothing came out from that development, sigh.

    I think those authors are Kool-Aid drinkers who believe that everything the Amazon white knights like Hugh Howey say is sacrosanct. These are also authors who put everything into Kindle Unlimited and develop the dangerous “Amazon is my BFF” attachment to that place. Won’t shock me if these authors think that every closure of competing outlets is some major victory for Amazon.

    If they think Amazon will be nice to them once there is only one indie publishing platform in the neighborhood, they are in for a rude awakening!

    Re: ARe, yeah, I am not happy with them at all. I still needed to download a few titles, but fortunately most of them had been in my hard drive all this while. One thing I neglected to mention in my rant – the titles I buy from ARe are not tied to devices, which I appreciate because this means the provider/vendor can’t screw with my books like Amazon and Google can and will do. I don’t support at all what they do, but still, I mourn the demise of ARe because it is one less international reader-friendly online book vendor. Sigh. We are in the 21st century, and yet I face more restrictions in buying digital titles than I did back in the 1990s and early 2000s!

  3. I’m actually sad about ARE’s demise but the way they just gave 3 days’ notice to some authors and not all, was very unprofessional.

  4. Don’t quote me, but I heard a number of readers didn’t get their notice either. Then again, the whole thing is one big messed up crap. Very fishy too, the way they abruptly announced their closure.