Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Losing Faith after All Romance eBook's closure

Yet again, my trust in my world has taken a battering. 

Last week, along with many other authors, I received the news that All Romance eBooks was closing its doors on 31st December. We were given three days notice and a cheery note that they couldn't pay our royalties for Q4 of 2016.
Oh, thanks, ARe. The cherry on the top of the year that was 2016.

Many authors/readers/bloggers have posted their thoughts on the matter. Some have been angry, others practical. One was just plain condescending. You can Google them and decide for yourself. Me, I'm just numb. I wish I could pour my thoughts into articulate blogs as others can, but my mind freezes. At the time, all I could think were thoughts beginning with F and ending with Hell. 

Last quarter was my first dip into self-publishing for a couple of years. Now I've lost the royalties for the release of Morning My Angel. It's not a huge amount, but in context, I could have paid my bills for a couple of months. Now, I'm lucky if I can buy a chocolate bar. I'm so damn glad I put Alpha Barman on Kindle Unlimited.

I was a Silver Publishing author, and I lost money there. Noble Romance just stopped, but they paid up. I've been lucky to avoid the living hell that is Ellora's Cave and Torquere's demise. I self-published. I need distributors and now All Romance has run off with my money. 

Every time something like this happens, I get scared. I've got my entire income wrapped up in this genre, and it keeps going tits up. When I first started I was told not to put all my eggs in one basket. It's great advice but when each basket develops a hole in the bottom where do we go? 

M/M Romance is a niche genre. You know how many people go "Eww!" when you talk about men loving other men? Too many. No matter how much we want to think otherwise, we are still a tiny part of the romance genre overall, and our options are limited. 

I work for Dreamspinner. I am published by Dreamspinner. I feel sorry for the fires they have to put out every time someone else screws up, because my faith and trust in my remaining publishers takes a knock. I wonder when the next shoe is going to drop, and Dreamspinner doesn't deserve that. But I need another basket. I've started self-publishing again, to create a nest-egg of my own. Oh look, a distributor has run off with my money. MY money. Fucking hell! Is anything safe?

So yes, I'm numb. I keep trying and things keep going wrong. Is this the universe telling me to give up? Or should I 'art harder' because one day the basket will stay plugged. I don't know, I really don't.


  1. I am sorry for you and everyone going through the hell of ARe right now. As a fellow writer who thinks of giving up at least 20 times a year please don't. There are readers out there who want to read your stories and some who need your stories to be out there. I am totally stealing this saying from someone much wiser than me but when you're going through hell keep going don't stop.

  2. This is why I'm in a panic about diversifying. No matter where I have my books, I expect it to collapse eventually -- including Amazon. (Most likely, they'll just keep changing the rules until it's impossible to make money through them.) Ugh!