All Romance eBooks

30 Dec

Update at the bottom

This year, ye gods!

I wrote about this retailer sudden and (so far) unexplained closure at Karen Scott’s blog, but I’ve been keeping an eye out for more information.

Victoria Strauss wrote a recap for Writer Beware, which is worth reading, but right now I find this post at, by Celina Summers, to be the most complete and informative of the lot. I particularly like that it offers actual action that individual authors can take, independent of other legal avenues discussed in the private ‘refugee’ facebook group that Ms Strauss mentions. (Read the comments, there is good information among the unavoidable idiocy [‘not worth fighting’ my ass])

If you, like me, keep a list of assholes and criminals who also disguise themselves as authors, so that you don’t purchase anything by/from them,¹ you may want to add Lori James, the cheating thief who is stealing from ARe’s authors and publishers, to the list–as well as her pseudonyms, Samantha Sommersby and S J Harper.

~ * ~

As promised, Ms Summers posted a second piece on ARe’s closing, which provides some more facts about legal action taken by Lori James’ former partner, and former CFO of ARe, Barbara Ulmer. Please note, though, that there’s a lot of speculation built on a lawsuit that was dismissed, basically because Ms Ulmer didn’t push for a resolution through the courts. So I would advise my readers to take Ms Summers’ conclusions with a decent serving of salt.

~ *~

¹ Sadly, keeping an actual list is necessary for me, given how many assholes and criminals actually put what they write for up sale.

13 Responses to “All Romance eBooks”

  1. Lori 01/01/2017 at 1:11 AM #

    The story gets even worse. Jesus. Lori James is a criminal and I hope she ends up in jail.

  2. azteclady 01/01/2017 at 12:47 PM #

    I think it’s really important that at least ONE of these thieving, scamming bastards, is prosecuted.

    Because there seems to be NO consequences, legal or otherwise, for the many people who continue to scam authors, one way or another, more people who (giving the benefit of the doubt to many of them) started out with good intentions, end up taking the easier road for them, and shrugging their shoulders over those they fuck over.

    “If you don’t like it, sue” or “either get your right backs, or ten cents to the dollar–or nothing” has become more common because no one has been held accountable.

    And no one has been held accountable because a) it’s incredibly costly for individual authors to sue properly, and b) often the guilty parties are also so incredibly bad at managing the money they’ve stolen (and often that’s what led them to steal in the first place), that there’s little hope to recoup even part of what would be spent seeking redress.

    So, for most authors, it’s not a matter of whether you’ll be fucked over; it’s how badly you’ll bleed after.

  3. Lori 01/01/2017 at 10:02 PM #

    So the question becomes: where do you retail your books and not lose?

  4. Erin S. Burns 02/01/2017 at 12:40 AM #

    Has anyone anyone heard if she’s offering these same atrocious terms to larger publishers too? I’d love to see her smacked down by one of the Bigs, but some how I suspect she’s paying them.

    • azteclady 02/01/2017 at 9:55 AM #

      I haven’t heard anything, but the answer is, obviously: no, of course not.

      The ‘power’ these shady bastards have, to screw authors and small presses, lies the incredible cost of litigation, weighed against the remote possibility of actual redress.

      Large publishers, who have lawyers on retainer, are probably getting paid in full, with rights reverted on the spot, no fuss, no muss.

      Then again, I doubt that ARe was distributing too many books by the Big 5, so what’sherface James likely has enough money to pay whatever royalties she has reported there.

      Whether there’s any money leftover for her to live in luxury, or (and I suspected this is the case) she already spent the rest, we’ll lileky never know.

      • Jules Jones 04/01/2017 at 7:37 PM #

        I believe there were at least some imprints from the Big 5 who were distributing through ARe – not least because ebooks have boomed in the last few years, ARe was a significant minority of e-sales (a non-trivial second behind the Zon for many romance authors from what I hear), and the Big 5 weren’t going to leave that money on the table.

        I have a dog in this fight because a) ARe was 2nd behind Amazon for me personally, b) my latest release went on pre-order around 24 December, just in time to hit the period between all those Kindles for Christmas waiting to be filled, and James pulling the plug once she had that Christmas spending in the bank. *Not* amused here, and wondering how many pre-orders I lost. It’s not just the immediate losses – that title was the first in a series, so how many sales have I lost downstream for the next one because people never got to read the first? I doubt I’m the only one in that situation.

      • azteclady 04/01/2017 at 7:43 PM #

        Oh crap and fuck and shit!!!

        I am so sorry, Ms Jones, this sucks so bad!

        Have you contacted any of the other authors affected? Of the top of my head I know of Courtney Milan, Moira Rogers, Shiloh Walker…and they are not taking it without a fight, I believe.

        I dearly hope you all get some redress, and not just the satisfaction of slamming that thief with legal charges for fraud thievery (which is not the same as being unable to pay her bills for mismanagement).

      • Jules Jones 04/01/2017 at 8:25 PM #

        I’ve not done anything about formal action yet, because my affected titles were through publishers rather than self-published so I don’t have direct access to the sales figures and don’t know yet how badly I’ve been ripped off. I had a couple of shorts from anthologies which I’d self-published, but I only do Amazon and SmashWords directly, and I don’t think those shorts were affected. I’ve also spent the last couple of days doing the “I have a new book out” dance.

        I need to look into filing a legal complaint from the UK. I’m still a US taxpayer for IRS purposes, so that may have some bearing on the matter that wouldn’t apply to most non-US authors. (Including the need to know what my losses are so I can write them off on two different countries’ tax returns with different rules, oh joy.)

      • azteclady 04/01/2017 at 8:35 PM #

        Depending on the publisher, it seems that some of them are honoring pre-orders (with receipt) and paying authors their full royalties, but I don’t know off-hands which publishers…

        Either way, authors and/or smaller publishers are getting screwed royally.

      • Jules Jones 04/01/2017 at 8:54 PM #

        The new thing’s published by NineStar and they’ve said they’ll honour pre-orders, but it’s still hard on them and other publishers who’ve said they’ll honour pre-orders; and it will affect authors indirectly because that’s money the publisher won’t have to invest in promo and the like later in the year. Off the top of my head, Riptide also said the honour pre-orders with receipt. I spent a lot of that day and the day after re-tweeting info tweets to signal boost, and adding my own bits of info about how much had been reported stolen so far, so I’ve lost track of who said what.

      • azteclady 04/01/2017 at 9:07 PM #

        I confess that I had not thought about how honoring those commitments will affect small publishing houses who are acting honorably.


        Still, I am hoping those smaller publishers have enough standing to put pressure on the authorities (the Attorney General’s office in Florida, I know, has been getting an earful of this business), to actually look into it, and Lori James’ finances for the past couple of years.


  1. Class action against ARe and Lori James | Her Hands, My Hands - 14/01/2017

    […] layman’s terms (sorta–IANAL, after all), the point here is that when a business closes its doors with barely four days notice, and basically refuses to disburse commission monies (royalties) for products it sold, this breach […]

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