All Romance is Closing Effective 12/31/2016

AllROmance App Logo So here’s the news: All Romance eBooks and OmniLit will be closing effective 12/31/2016.

Per the email sent to ARe customers, readers are encouraged to “take this opportunity to finalize any transactions, download your purchases, and back up your library.”

If you’ve purchased ebooks there, you must download them immediately* as the sites will go dark at midnight CST, 12/31/16.

*Of course, all the traffic is making the download and access process very slow. I’m having a plodding time trying to navigate to my library, but it’s nearly 9pm ET. I imagine it may get better the later it gets.

Authors who sell their books through the site as well as publishers received a different message. Per the email statement from Lori James at AllRomance LLC:

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 isnt hopeful and weve 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. (emphasis mine) 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….
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.

Authors whose books were contracted by AllRomance as a publisher are receiving their rights back, and no monetary compensation.

So authors who were published by AllRomance as a publisher will receive no compensation for fourth quarter 2016. Parties who were distributing books through AllRomance can receive 10% of what is owed to them from sales dated October 1 through December 27  — which was yesterday. Any sales made from today until the site goes dark are not included.

RWA posted a response on their site outlining the terms of the closing of All Romance, then adding:

RWA finds it unconscionable for the owner of ARe to withhold information so long and to continue selling books through the end of the month when the company cannot pay commissions. RWA contacted ARe but has not yet received a response.

There are a number of unanswered questions, such as: what happens to pre-ordered books? All Romance hasn’t released any details, but a number of small presses are honoring receipts for pre-orders made at All Romance, including Interlude, Dreamspinner, Nine Star, and Less Then Three Press, via their statements on Twitter:


Samantha Derr also mentioned on Twitter that despite All Romance’s offer of 10% of fourth quarter totals owed, “no matter how LT3’s agreement w/ #ARe works out, LT3 authors WILL NOT take the hit. you will get what you are owed.”

I’ve seen conflicting reports regarding eBook Buck balances at ARe. Some folks are reporting they haven’t been able to use them, and others tweeted their transactions went through.

In the meantime, many publishers and self published authors are removing their books from AllRomance as fast as they can, since they won’t be receiving any compensation on sales made today through midnight Saturday. Anyone trying with success to use their AllRomance store credit may not find much by Saturday.  Or midnight tonight. I have a small amount of credit, and books I try to purchase yield a notice that “This book is no longer available on our website” despite appearing the catalog.

Many, understandably, are furious about the extremely short notice, and even more infuriated by the 10% offer on fourth quarter monies owed, advising readers to backup their libraries immediately and to stop making purchases there since the authors won’t receive compensation.

Some are not entirely surprised. One individual I contacted said, requesting anonymity, “Anyone who has been distributing via ARe for more than a couple of years will not be surprised – their advertising rates have gone up just as sales have gone down, indicating profitability issues. I just wish they had done the right thing and closed doors before they had to screw authors.”

Speaking for myself, this came as a shock to me, and I’m terribly sad and disappointed, which aren’t big enough words but I’m exhausted so they’ll have to do. I’ve been working with AllRomance since they opened in 2006. They approached me with the idea for the Sizzling Book Club, offering a 50% rebate on the selected titles. They were sponsors of the DABWAHA tournament for multiple years, and have advertised with SBTB as well, though they did not renew for 2017.

To see AllRomance come to an abrupt and contentious end is bitterly sad – for readers, authors, and publishers, and those who are all of the above. I don’t know anything about why this happened or how, but this is not the ending anyone would wish for.

The details are still confusing and uneven, and I am having trouble finding more information for the questions I have. Regardless of the answers, if at all feasible, you should download your purchased books from your AllRomance library as soon as you possibly can. 

ETA 12/30/16: Regarding pre-orders, I have received information from multiple individuals that if you pre-ordered a book, you can request a refund but you must do so by 1 January 2017. You can open a support ticket or email service AT and include information about your purchase, such as order number, date, or a screen shot or copy of your receipt.

If I receive any additional information, I’ll post it here.


General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. Julversia says:

    This is terribly disappointing, and a very shabby way to treat authors and publishers who did business with them in good faith. This short notice is also incredibly unfair to customers.

    I’m worried about the reader app not working after 12/31. That’s where my library is, and I’m having trouble getting a definitive answer as to what I’m supposed to do about that, or how to shift my books somewhere else before the deadline.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. library addict says:

    It’s sad that all we will be left with are Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, Smashwords, and the various pubs which still sell directly.

    I no longer count B&N as they do not allow you to download books.

    I prefer ePub and don’t like it when authors go to Amazon exclusively. But I understand why so many of them do.

  3. Colette says:

    A huge shock to me this morning. I was able to spend my sizeable ebook bucks balance (well, most of it) but with the diminishing titles wasn’t able to get what I would really want.

    My preorder for Eve Langlais’ book Rebel, which doesn’t release until February 2017, is $4.99 down the drain. As this is published by the author, and as she won’t get paid for it (I purchased it in late November) I can hardly expect her to honour the purchase. Authors need to be paid to be able to write.

    This whole thing has been very shabbily handled by ARe management.

    It will make me wary of every pre-ordering titles again and also wary of accumulating credit at a bookstore.

    I love my ebooks, but I have lost a lot of faith in the stores as they have dropped off the perch one by one.

  4. Colette says:

    Edit: *ever* pre-ordering titles again, not “every”. Sheesh.

  5. denise says:

    let’s see if I can download my small library there. grr

  6. Becky says:

    Yikes, Julversia, me too–I’m guessing their app won’t be supported anymore, and we’d better figure something out ASAP. So frustrating!

  7. Trix says:

    Right now orders are working if you’re ordering books published by Omni Lit/ARE itself. Plug “OmniLit / All Romance eBooks, LLC” into the “publisher” search box and go from there. No new “buy 10, get 1 free” codes (I have one that will probably forever go unredeemed now, since “buy now” seems to be the only thing that works, rather than “add to cart,” but that’s just my experience.) Then I’ll need to go through my 20+ page library. Le sigh…

  8. Trix says:

    Oh, yeah…my Kindle died on Christmas Eve, so the easy way for me to check if I’ve downloaded books is out of commission. [sad trumpets]

  9. Trix says:

    I mentioned this on the Links post earlier, but Dreamspinner will honor any DSP preorders made at ARE if you forward the receipt to contact(at)

  10. Booklover says:

    Authors on Facebook are stating that ARe was selling ads within the past couple of days, which is also unconscionable. And it’s not only the authors getting screwed over. Someone I know said she has over 1,000 with them that she has to try to download by Saturday night, and the website isn’t working properly, probably due to the high traffic.

    It is unconscionable that they’ve been taking money knowing they’d be closing and not paying authors or publishers, and I can’t believe it’s legal for them not to refund consumers for preorders they took without any intent to deliver (without having filed bankruptcy). I hope they get sued.

  11. Booklover says:

    Evernight Publishing and another publisher (I forget who) have said they’ll pay their authors royalties regardless.

    It warms my heart to see these independent publishers coming through like this regarding royalties and preorders, but I hate seeing them take the hit because of it.

  12. azteclady says:

    I just read elsewhere that, just five days before this email announcing the closure, ARe was soliciting/selling advertising spots. I sincerely hope that anyone who bought ad space with them takes them to the wall through their credit card company.

  13. Marci says:

    Most of the HarperCollins books I purchased are not even listed in My Library any longer. So far, I have one downloaded epub that won’t open due to “Invalid License”. It was a HarperCollins book so I can’t even re-download and try again.

  14. Paula says:

    How will we read the ebooks we’ve bought?

  15. faellie says:

    Sad that a site I liked and that always treated me well as a reader has ended things so shabbily.

    Sarah, when the dust settles, can you do up to date posts on formats, readers, and sites to buy from? ARe, epub and Calibre have been my go-to for years, and I’m at a loss now to know what to replace them with – I don’t like the kindle book format or library lists nearly as much but apparently the Amazon monopoly rolls on.

    And yes, backing up my library RIGHT NOW.

  16. faellie says:

    Sarah, you need to remove the “buy from ARe” buttons from this site.

  17. Kay says:

    Same problem here. All secure epubs I’ve ever bought from ARe (and there have been quite a few over the years) have disappeared from my library, two of them books I only bought a few days ago and was never able to download. ARe owes it to its customers to give more time to back everything up and make sure we can access all the books we’ve paid for. I’ve managed to back up everything else now, but I suppose the DRM-books are lost.

  18. Thanks for the thorough column on this, Sarah. This was a frustrating day for readers, authors and publishers alike. If you have purchased Interlude Press books from ARe, please email us copies of your receipts at and we’ll replace them with new multi-format ebooks from our web store. We are also making sure that our authors receive their royalties in full—no matter what we ultimately are paid by ARe.

  19. MarciaS says:

    It was a tedious process, but I was able to use up my ARe credit (fortunately, under $10). And, a lot of my first choices had been pulled by then. I was fortunate also to have time to get my library downloaded before leaving town over the New Year’s weekend.

    If it is of any use, I had easier access & download speeds after about 11 pm PST. Much less traffic by then 🙂

  20. Angela says:

    I never store my books on any site, I always download to my computer then transfer via USB to my kindle. I never store ebooks anywhere but on my own external hard drive.

    I buy my ebooks from Amazon and Smashwords as well, and sometimes Book Strand.

  21. Virginia E says:

    The website wasn’t working right during the day Wednesday due to the volume of traffic. I downloaded my library and purchased titles via the cart to use up my credit, including Buy 10 freebie links very late on Wednesday night. Retry during off- hours, but get busy ASAP. I did get a support ticket through on pre-orders, but I’m not optimistic.

  22. Virginia E says:

    Julversia: The Kobo app will read most of the same formats as ARE’s app. I think you might be stuck on any DRM protected files. I heartily recommend downloading Adobe’s Digital Editions for reading DRM protected files, it can be used on a number of platforms and allows you to share the file with your assorted devices instead of just the first one where you downloaded. I can still read the DRM protected titles I downloaded from ARE, including some that have since been pulled.
    If you ordered a title and it was pulled before you could download it, send a copy of your purchase confirmation to the publisher. They might not honor it if they aren’t getting paid, but you don’t know if you don’t try. Good Luck.

  23. As a longtime ARe customer and a Less Than Three and Dreamspinner author, I’m sad and disgusted.

    The small presses are immensely kind to honor their customers’ preorders and authors’ royalties, but that is NOT a loss they should have to eat. Running a small press is a tough enough business, financially and otherwise, without retailers outright stealing your money. I have enormous respect for LT3, Dreamspinner, and everyone else who is handling this with a generosity that further highlights ARe’s dishonesty and cowardice.

    Also, rushing off to remove the “buy from ARe” links from my website before going to my day job. What a shitty thing to wake up to.

  24. SB Sarah says:

    @Faellie: First thing on my list today. Got coffee, now to work.

  25. Brigit says:

    How many customers besides me *didn’t* receive a email-notification about the closing? It was just dumb luck that I went there yesterday to check the new releases and then saw the announcement. And 3 days time to finalize everything is too short, IMO.

    I was able to spend all of my remaining $26 in ebook-bucks and a Buy-10-Get-1-coupon this morning, Central European Time, when the servers were less busy. But now I wish I’d known earlier that none of my panic-buys of today will actually pay the authors! That’s a shitty thing to do!

    I have no experience with Kobo but I guess I’ll have to try that, since I use my Kindle only for freebies (because there’s no loss for my when amazon decides to delete ebooks from my device).

    It’s not only that there’s now one less place to purchase DRM-free ebooks and those from independent/smaller publishers. What I’m going to miss most is being able to see so many publication from different sources in one place. How will I learn about new ebooks now and discover new authors? The recs on Goodreads and Amazon alone just don’t do it for me, never have. I relied a lot on ARE for that. I’m afraid my reading will get less diverse in the future, mostly sticking to authors I already know.

  26. If there are readers who purchased my books and cannot download them please contact me with proof of receipt and i will ensure you get a new copy.

  27. Melinda says:

    I was able to get my titles downloaded and use most of my $100 ebucks but not all yesterday because it was such a Fucking mess. I never got an email at all and only heard about it on social media as well.
    I bought the ebucks recently too so I’m extra pissed. I spent hours yesterday trying to get on the site and download or buy books but so many authors understandably pulled their books it was next to impossible. This is such bullshit.

  28. L.M. Brown says:

    Brigit – Many customers, including myself, didn’t get an email notice either. I found out because I suddenly got a lot of notifications on Facebook of people reviewing ARe on there. I wondered what was happening and when to take a look.

    Am disgusted with ARe and how they have handled this.

    I must say that how publishers are handling this has been very good with many going above and beyond. I am making notes for future reference for which I might like to try submitting to. How those treat their authors in a crisis is, in my opinion, a good indication of how they run their businesses generally.

  29. Lisa J says:

    So DISAPPOINTED! I have 8 books preordered at ARe. Yesterday’s news was such a shock. I feel horrible for the authors who are taking such a hit. I was able to download my purchases and use all but $.50 of my credit balance which was over $70. But, now I feel bad for the authors who will not be paid what they are owed for those books. The sad part about the preorders – 3 of the orders were placed this week, when they must have known they wouldn’t be honoring them.

  30. Jen says:

    We all hear the warnings about e-content and how it can disappear, but we all ignore those warnings because there aren’t a lot of other options! I am very glad I never bought more than a title or two on ARe (mostly just due to laziness and not wanting to use a new tool). It makes me so worried about my Harlequin titles though. I have a LOT of ebooks through Harlequin’s site, and who knows what might happen? I hate the idea that I’ve spent tons of money and might not have access to my books. I don’t particularly trust Amazon either, though at least I’m not worried at the moment that it might go under. Again, it’s hard to think ahead–who knows what might happen in 5 years? 10 years? We need to remember that most digital content can’t really be considered “ours”, and that’s only going to get worse unless DRM goes away.

    It sounds like ARe was unrealistic though, and hoped they could squeak by and pull out of their tailspin. That’s poor business management, and obviously authors, publishers, and readers are the ones getting screwed.

  31. Christine Maria Rose says:

    Once again, this is a good example of why Calibre with the DRM removal plug in installed is so helpful. Every digital book I’ve ever bought, whether from Kobo, All Romance, Amazon, or direct from publisher sites like HQN, I have downloaded in whichever format it comes in, uploaded into Calibre (and with the DRM removal plug in tool already installed, it strips the DRM right away), converted into the opposite format (i.e. mobi into epub, epub into mobi) and saved all formats on another hard drive. This way, no matter what publisher goes out of business, or stops selling ebooks or whatever, I still have my library. And if I change ereaders, I can still access all my books. (If you want to know more, you can find me on twitter at @cmhrose and we can DM).

  32. cleo says:

    I had such respect and affection for ARe – I’m so sorry it’s ending so badly. I discovered ARe through SBTB and I think that one of my first purchases was for a sizzling book club back in 2011. My favorite ARe memory is me asking my brother for an ARe gift card – he couldn’t figure out the system to get me a gift card but he LOVED their taxonomy of genres and sub-genres (he works in database architecture and gets excited about things like that.)

    I am glad that I always download and backup my books when I purchase them – it made things a little easier for me.

    It’s really sade

  33. Erin says:

    I’ve seen comments saying people had heard that authors received last-minute advertising pitches from All Romance eBooks. Let me confirm that. Last Friday, 12/23, I received an email pitch from ARe inviting me to invest in 2017 advertising, soliciting ads of up to $1,000 for web site, social media, newsletter, and featured author ads.

  34. cleo says:

    @cleo – It’s really SAD. Argh. It’s sad that something I valued so much is ending on such a sour note.

    @Brigit – I didn’t get an email either. I happened to see a comment about it here and I’m glad for that.

    @ Julversia and Virginia E – Bluefire is a reading app that reads DRM books – I have it on my iPhone. I also have Adobe’s Digital Editions (v. 2) on my computer and use it to download my DRM books.

    About the ARe app – I have maybe 3 books in my ARe app that aren’t in my ARe library. They were the free books I got when I got the app. I can’t figure out how to export those ebooks – anyone know how to do that?

    I was able to make some purchases on ARe last night to get my last buy 10 get 1 free code and I used it successfully. I did that before I realized that authors aren’t getting properly paid for those purchases. Now I won’t purchase anything else.

    @SB Sarah – I’m really looking forward to that upcoming article. I think the thing that I will miss the most about ARe is my wishlist. I did cleverly copy it so at least I have a record of all the books that I wanted to buy. I don’t know how to make a wishlist on Kobo, or if it’s even possible – and that’s what I want to know. Where can I buy ePub format ebooks and make a wishlist of books I want to buy?

  35. SB Sarah says:

    @Cleo et al:

    So you’re looking for information on how to:

  36. Create and maintain a wishlist on Kobo if possible
  37. Ok. From what I understand (and I’m a Chromebook at the moment so I can’t test all this out) there is a wishlist function inside Kobo, but you can’t use it from the Kobo website or from a browser. You CAN use it inside the Kobo desktop app ( and on a Kobo reading device:

    That’s kinda annoying.

    For general wishlists or reading lists, there is always GoodReads, which allows you to create shelves of all sorts, but that isn’t quite what you asked for.

  38. Find and purchase ePub format books outside of ARe
  39. You can buy ePub format books from Kobo, certainly. Plus iBookstore and Google Books are also options that work. Small press bookstores and HarperCollins/Harlequin’s bookstores also sell ePubs, though for the most part they have DRM attached.

    There are some terrific instructions on consolidating your digital library in this article at LifeHacker, too.

  • I’m sorry to see them close their doors. As an author I took out an ad package for 2017 and can only pray that they refund the first installment they charged my credit card this month. They said they would so I’m keeping my fingers crossed they will do the right thing.

    I did want to address one comment made by library addict just in case other authors out there believe the same thing. B&N do allow authors to download their own books through Nook Books. I have an account there so check it out. Also Smashwords distributes to them, too. Just an FYI.

    Anyone who purchases any of my ebooks from them and don’t receive it just send me proof of purchase and I will honor it.


  • SB Sarah says:


    If you used your credit card, you can approach your credit card company with the problem if there is no refund. They may be able to help.

  • cleo says:

    Thanks SB Sarah!

    I’ll just add to the BN comment. I’ve stopped buying ebooks through them because they keep making it harder to download and back up ebooks. You can download to your Nook devices and to your Nook apps on mobile devices but I don’t know that you can back up from those things.

    I still use my old Nook app on my MacBook Pro to download any BN ebooks I buy and back them up on DropBox. They’ve discontinued the Nook app for Windows and Mac and don’t support it anymore, but it still works (so far). I suspect it’s possible to still find old versions of the app on other download sites if one wanted to.

  • Lee Rowan says:

    As of around noon Eastern, Thursday, I was able to use ebucks on the site. Only a few dollars but my sis DID pay for the gift certificate. And the site seems to be working, though you need to click 2-3 times to get a book into the cart.

  • Comments are closed.