Friday, December 30, 2016

All Romance Ebooks is shutting down

Smart Bitches Trashy Books has a good post on what's going on right now. The site gave authors, publishers, and customers mere days worth of notice that they'll be shutting down 12/31 on midnight. Even worse, authors won't be paid the full amount they're owed, and any books purchased after 12/27 are basically free money for ARe (that's got to be illegal, right?). They're outright stealing from authors, as well as from readers who pre-ordered books and don't send a refund request through before January 1st.

All Romance Ebooks is where I started buying ebooks. I really liked their "buy 10, get 1 free" deal, as well as their occasional rebate sales (you got a percentage of what you spent back in Ebook Bucks, which you could apply to future purchases). I bought a lot of books from them that I probably wouldn't have gotten otherwise - books published by Bold Strokes Books, for example, tend to be a little pricey. Same with Loose Id's books. Without ARe, I might not have discovered Jane Fletcher's largely wonderful Celaeno series, or many other favorite books.

That said, I've used the site less and less in the past few years. There seemed to be a significant drop in the frequency of their 50% rebate sales. I started buying a lot of books direct from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and even occasionally Bold Strokes Books. I started using Smashwords, learned about Humble Bundles and Story Bundles, and began buying ebooks from Kobo. ARe's closure shrinks the pool of places I can buy ebooks, but I've found lots of other options, so this doesn't hurt as much as it would have a few years ago. It also helps that my romance reading has gone way down - I've been more of a sci-fi/fantasy reader lately.

I have all the books I bought from ARe downloaded and backed up, although it makes me a little nervous that my backups will be it from here on out. Looking on the bright side, my reading tastes have changed a lot since I first started using ARe, and many of the books I got from them are ones that I'm no longer interested in reading. But still.

I checked my Ebook Bucks situation, and thankfully I only had a few pennies. I tended to spend my Ebook Bucks during sales, turning 50% rebate sales into 50% off sales with a little help from spreadsheets.

So, I guess that's it. ::sigh::

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