Thursday News: All Romance eBooks closing, some Amazon book data, 2016 for Asian Americans, and more book subscription boxes
All Romance eBooks to close December 31st – News broke yesterday that All Romance eBooks (ARe) is closing in just two days. Apparently this news was broken to everyone yesterday, as RWA put up a notice for authors yesterday and described the late news as “unconscionable.” Terms for authors are not great (check the RWA post for details), and for readers, you basically have until the 31st to make sure all of your content is downloaded and backed up. From the website:
It is with a great sadness that we announce the closing of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. Despite efforts to maintain and grow our market share, sales and profits have declined. The financial forecast for 2017 isn’t hopeful. We’ve accepted that there is not a viable path forward.
All Romance has always been a labor of love. Over the years we’ve developed wonderful relationships with the vendors we’ve worked with, the publishers whose content it’s been our pleasure to sell, the authors who supported us, and the customers who it’s been our honor to serve. On midnight, December 31 our sites will go dark. Between now and then, we encourage consumers finalize any transactions, download purchases, and back up libraries.
If you directly publish content for sale through our platform or All Romance has acted as your publisher via our Publishing in Partnership program, you should be in receipt of an email from us with additional information. If not, please contact us at email@example.com. – All Romance eBooks
Book and Reading Data Points from Amazon.com – Although I’ve seen some blaming of ARe’s closure on Amazon, it may be more that the great gold rush of Romance publishing is coming to an end. Just note some of the highs and lows noted in this article, from the highest rated audiobook (Trevor Noah’s memoir) to the bestselling “book” of the year (surprise! it’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), to the highest reviewed books:
Books that received the most 5-star reviews (by customers who had never given a 5-star rating before) are The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison, and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. – Publishers Weekly
‘Moana,’ adobo, and Peter Liang: What 2016 meant for Asian Americans – A good conversation between Isha Aran and Anne Branigin that covers everything from representation (e.g. ambivalence over “Moana’s” strengths and stereotypes) to identity (the problematic umbrella term “Asian American”) to the relationship between authentic cuisines and cultural representation. A lot of challenges, but some progress, too. For example, Asian American rap:
But it was kind of a big year for Asian American rappers. Earlier this year, Bad Rap, a documentary about Asian rappers, introduced us to Rekstizzy and Lyricks, among others. Bad Rap star Dumbfoundead’s music video for “Safe,” which featured him photoshopped onto some of the most iconic white characters of pop culture went viral, as did “Green Tea,” a celebration of Asian women by Awkwafina (also in the documentary) that poked fun at stereotypes and featured Margaret Cho. – Fusion
You’ve Got Mail: Book Boxes Offer Novels And Novelty Items – The market for YA and kit lit book subscription boxes in particular seems to be growing, although a number of these services target a variety of reading audiences.
Liz Cadman of the review site My Subscription Addiction says there are more than 50 book box subscriptions out there, which vary in the size of their following, pricing and what you get inside. She says Uppercase Box and OwlCrate are two of the most popular boxes, both catering to the Young Adult market. . . .
Five months ago, I started subscribing to Owlcrate — and so far, it’s been great. I really enjoy reading the books that come each month, especially Marissa Meyer’s Heartless, which came in the November box. Meyer’s book is a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which dives into the Queen of Hearts’ backstory. I’d been looking forward to its release for a while. As for the extras in the boxes, I really dig all of the Harry Potter-related items and illustrations. – NPR