It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had the time and energy to do a links roundup—a combination of RL issues, writing and the cursed winter lethargy that comes from Vit D deficiency—but some major s*** has gone down in the writing world in the last six weeks, and it seems only right to record some of it here.
How not to do it:
On December 28th I, along with thousands of other writers, got an email from All Romance EBooks, a website that acted as a distribution centre for romance ebooks from both publishers and from indie authors. The email told us that ARe was closing on 31st. That’s right. 3 days’ notice.
The situation as it clarified over the next day or two became this:
- closing down, too bad, so sad, whaddya mean we should have told you with more notice?
- no money in the coffers to pay royalties, so too, too sad. Sure, we’re an an online distribution centre of digital files, not a physical bookstore, do minimal overheads but no, we told you—no money in the coffers. We took it in when we sold your books, but no we ain’t paying it out.
- sign here to get 10c on the dollar of all the royalties we owe you
- if you don’t sign you get nothing/nowt/nada and, shrugs, that’s just too bad for you
- don’t sue us, because no money and that would be really mean of you
- if you just paid us lots of dollars on the email we sent you three days ago selling advertising, well, thanks for the cash and sure we knew we were selling you snake oil and those ads would never materialise, but so what?
- readers might get pre-order money back but they had better rush to download stories because otherwise everything would be deleted
- we’re a limited company in Florida so good luck trying to squeeze reparations outa us because we don’t have to, so neener, neener to you
- we may not have rights to anything of yours but if you get a letter from Amazon questioning your right to distribute your own work, yeah, that might well be us hanging onto assets that aren’t ours, but we’ve got form on that (see 2nd and 4th points above)
- no, really, don’t sue us because you’re horrible meanies and you’re making us cry and worry that we might have to sell one of our million dollar homes…
There are too many posts about this in the blogosphere to quote here, but here’s a selection:
Passive Voice Publisher All Romance Ebooks: Closing Hits New Low In Stealing From Authors and Court Documents Regarding All Romance E-Books’ Disturbing Business Practices Surface Both quote the BlogCritic blog with links through to the full blog posts
Timber Dalton Reader Alert: All Romance Ebooks (ARe) is closing 12/31/16 and Update: All Romance Ebooks (ARe) – The Fuckery Deepens. Both with links in the post for further reading.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch here and here
The Guardian’s rather anodyne take on it
If you’re affected, join this FB group and support the proposed class action suit against ARe: https://www.facebook.com/groups/212976702443743/
And how to do it:
Earlier this month, the sad news came that Wilde City Press was closing its doors. The owners undertook to (i) return all authors’ rights without charge and (ii) pay all royalties owed.
Now that is classy.
Mrs Bloomdale’s class asked me way way back in November if I’d include this article that they found helpful and thought should have a wider circulation – https://www.scribendi.com/advice/student_writing_guide_to_transitions.en.html While this list is principally for fiction writers, I was delighted to see the students had found articles here that helped improve their writing skills. So while the article may not aid fiction writers in the sorts of transitions we have to do to keep the narrative flowing and the pacing tight, it looks like other readers here will find it of use. So thank you, students. I’m delighted that articles on this list have helped you (and sorry it’s taken me so long to post it, but this is the first roundup for a couple of months).
Creating Single-Author Box Sets: Part One and Part Two – Marcy Kennedy guesting at Fiction University.
The Perfect Back Cover Blurb – Sophie Masson at Writer Unboxed
How to Find Your Character’s Voice Part One and Two – Janice Harding at Fiction University
Here’s How To Finish Your Revision, You Filthy Animal This is my current bible as I work through the first version of The Dog Who Swallows Millions. How to self-edit and refine your work to get it into the best possible to shape to hand over to the real pros, the development and line editors who will then show you just how much you missed…
Chuck is a passionate writer, and no more than anyone else, writes posts that respond to the current political climate. The received wisdom is that writers shouldn’t talk about politics, because it’ll scare of readers. I don’t believe in disenfranchising writers for any reason, not least such a pusillanimous one. Chuck neither, and he’s thrown out some corkers in the last few weeks. The following two are less about politics generally, and more about the writer’s response to them. Both are worth reading. So are the more political ones.
How To Create Art And Make Cool Stuff In A Time Of Trouble
Writer Resolution, 2017: Write Despite
5 Ways to use Facebook Groups to Build Book Buzz – Diana Urban at BookBub
The Rise And Fall – 13 Social Media Trends To Watch In 2017 – review by Writers Write
The KU Conundrum – Ruby Madden
Also be aware that the alogrithms Amazon uses to ensure page reads are not artificially inflated are catching many an innocent author who has had *all* their books deleted as a result. Treat Kindle Unlimited with caution.
For British writers, changes in the taxation laws may affect us: see this article at The Bookseller which threatens us with quarterly tax filing… ouch.
Negotiating Options in Publishing Deals – Susan Spann at Writers In The Storm.
Thank you for including my blog! I have a new one up today you might be interested in… https://rubymadden.com/2017/01/31/whats-with-the-0-01-reads-amazon/