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- Indie Writer Woes – Protect Yourselves! - November 17, 2017
Indie Writer Woes
Are you an indie writer? Me too, and I have seen a ton of issues with any number of things.
You can download the accompanying extra video here.
This goes beyond the usual expected issues, such as writer’s block. Or finding a good crop of dependable beta readers. Or querying your work to publishers and agents. And it even goes beyond imposter syndrome and dealing with less than stellar reviews.
First of all, for a lot of independent authors, you can sum up their origins in two words: fan fiction. That certainly applies to me. I had the great fortune of starting my paid writing career as a contest winner for a reputable publisher. However, a lot of indies can make no such claims. Furthermore, I understand the longing to get published. Indies also may want to take the first thing which looks at all legit. Also, when a person writes in the LGBTQ space, that can bring with it (rightly or wrongly) a fear that a readership would be hard to find. So many of those issues seem to have gotten play here.
All Romance E-Books
The Bombshell Announcement
Writers felt, understandably, outraged, particularly when Ms. James framed her statement as being a way for All Romance to avoid bankruptcy. Except bankruptcy could have, potentially, divvied up the company’s assets differently. Furthermore, indies felt outraged as they realized bigger publishers would likely get their money, whereas tiny presses and the standard indie write would likely be at the bottom of the payment list.
It Gets Weirder
Then, the following day (December 30, 2016), Blog Critics followed up the story. They reported that, in 2014, the company had already engaged in some questionable business practices. A conflict took place between Lori James and her business partner, Barbara Perfetti Ulmer. In addition, Ulmer sued James and All Romance E-Books, LLC in the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Pinellas County, Florida, on March 2, 2015. All Romance was established as a legal business entity there. Ulmer’s complaint alleged that James had been “denying access to contemporaneous and current financial information related to All Romance, breach of duties (fiduciary, care, and loyalty) unjust enrichment, inequitable distribution, and judicial dissolution of All Romance.”
The case ended up settled out of court.
And Now …
Enraged indie writers got serious and organized a Facebook group to start talking to lawyers about a class action lawsuit. The Byrd Campbell law firm took their case, and issued the following statement:
If you think you could be a part of the to-be certified class (and since All Romance may have also taken down paid e-books, you could be a member of the class if you are a reader and not an author at all), contact Mr. Byrd here.
As always, protecting yourself should constitute Job One. Dig for information before accepting any offers. Keep a critical eye out. Deals which seem too good to be true probably are exactly that. Spend some time and look at public records for items such as bankruptcies and court cases. LinkedIn can be another decent source of information. Be a skeptical yet optimistic indie writer, okay?
Don’t become a victim.