Thursday, December 13, 2007

Guest Blogger - Lori James


First, I’d like to thank Lucy for inviting me to appear as her guest blogger today. How did she lure me into doing this? Well, honestly, just about any request that is accompanied by, “Did I mention that I love the layout of your site?” gets my attention. So here I am, taking a break from wrapping presents to talk about one of my favorite things, All Romance eBooks (ARe).

ARe, an on-line retail outlet for eBooks which I co-own with my business partner, Barbara Perfetti, opened in November 2006. Now one year later with over a hundred publishers on board and over six thousand fantastic titles in our inventory, we’re well on our way to fulfilling our initial goal of bringing to you, the reader, All the romance you need from all the publishers you love.

Lucy asked me what inspired the creation of ARe and what kinds of things are influencing it’s continued evolution. Like almost everything that Barb and I do together, it started with one of us calling the other one and uttering those four little words that honestly can make both of our husbands wince: “I’ve got an idea.” In this particular instance, it was really the belief that romance readers deserved their own on-line store, one place where they could find books by all of their favorite authors and publishers.

Barb and I are both very driven, we seem to find inspiration everywhere, we have similar values, and we’ve each had lots of experience working in big business. All Romance eBooks isn’t our first collaborative endeavor, we also own Linden Bay Romance, a small independent press. Although it was our experience as a publisher that initially sparked the conceptualization of ARe, it quickly became apparent that in order to establish something that was truly unique, something we could be really excited about, we needed to focus on meeting the needs of three primary customers—readers, publishers, and authors. This has been very much a collaborative effort.

During the development stage we interviewed a lot of people and we listened. Raven Moore, president and publisher of Liquid Silver books, gave us a piece of advice in the beginning that has served us well. “Make it easy,” she said. That became our mantra. So much about life is already hard. We face enough challenges. Barb and I decided early on that we wanted the customer experience at ARe to be spectacular. We work closely with readers, publishers, and authors, accepting their feedback and often incorporating their suggestions as enhancements. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and we’re very invested in doing what we can to help grow the eBook market. It’s that desire that has led to the establishment of things such as our weekly Wildfire newsletter, ARe—The eBookclub, and our hosting of book signings.

While broadening our customer base continues to be an important focus, we’re also very committed to keeping the customers we have and serving them fabulously well. There’s a personal feel to the site akin to that of an independent brick and mortar store that specializes in romance. We know our site, we know romance, we know the publishers and the authors, and we know that even though we don’t see our customers face to face, that they are real people that are entitled to real service.

So what other things will shape ARe in the year to come? I don’t exactly know. It’s going to depend largely on authors like Lucy Monroe, and publishers like Samhain, Harlequin, and Torquere, and readers like you. Together, We ARe Hot!

All Romance eBooks (http://www.allromanceebooks.com/) distributes the romance eBooks of over one hundred publishers and their imprints. The All Romance eBooks site offers sorting by a variety of romance sub-genres, titles, authors, or publishers. Secondary sorts are available by best-selling, length, highest-rated, and most recently added. Readers have the ability to rate books they purchase with regards to their "heat level" and overall enjoyment and are rewarded with a free novel for every ten titles purchased. ARe—The eBookclub is a monthly on-line book club sponsored by All Romance eBooks. The club is actively promoted through the All Romance eBooks weekly newsletter, Wildfire, and through MySpace, utilizing their immense social networking and bulletin/event distribution services. All Romance eBooks was founded in 2006, is privately held in partnership, and is headquartered in Palm Harbor, Florida. You may contact All Romance eBooks via email at info@allromanceebooks.com.

24 comments:

Jennifer Y. said...

What a very cool post! I have been to your website and enjoy it! I love being able to find several different publishers in one place.

Stacy~ said...

I will have to go check it out. I admit that I'm slowly, slowly getting more into ebooks. It's just not the same as carrying and holding a book and flipping pages. I realize with an ereader, you can carry several books with you at one time, but I miss turning those pages :)

Laura J. said...

I'm also new to e-books. I'll be checking out your site.

CrystalGB said...

Great post. I am new to ebooks. I will check out your site.

info said...

I'm seeing that there are people that are new to eBooks and we'd like to give you the chance to try one or two risk free. Here are two free download codes that you can use -complements of All Romance eBooks and the generous publishers....just go to the ARe site and use these codes when checking out for the following books:

Forbidden: The Claim by Samantha Sommersby
AreFree001
In the Werewolf's Den by Rob Preece
AreFree002

Happy Holidays!
Lori James
All Romance eBooks
http://www.allromanceebooks.com

Minna said...

Great post!

saveypiratecat said...

I've not looked into the ebooks yet i really enjoy displaying my favorites on my bookcase to go back and re-read one day however i may check it out just to see what it's all about

Stacia said...

I've been an e-books fan for about a year & I was so excited when I discovered All Romance eBooks (ARe). It's such a great site & the club s so much fun too.

Susan said...

I've just gotten in to e-books recently and must say that I'm enjoying them very much!

I loved your terrific post. I can just laugh at the picture you painted of the DH's when they “I’ve got an idea.”! :) It's great to have such ambitious women, as you and Barb, out there creating wonderful places like ARe. Thank you!

Maureen said...

I did not know about your website but will check it out. It sounds interesting. Best of luck with it.

Estella said...

I have not been to your website, but am going to check it our. Continued success with your business!

Lettetia said...

I love your site, Lori and visit often. You have a very large catalog with something for everyone. I forecast frequent visits to order the latest eBooks.

HAve a wonderful Holiday season.

Cryna said...

I found your site to be interesting to navigate. I will be returning to it to have a more in depth look.

Lucy Monroe said...

Lori, man are you generous!!! That was so incredibly kind of you to offer readers a couple of eBooks to try for free.

I'm an eBook addict (okay, a book addict period), but I have hundreds of eBooks that I've read (and like to re-read) and a good two dozen in my TBR folder. Considering I've got close to 200 in my TBR bookcase in paper, that's pretty good. LOL

I adore your site and love the fact that readers don't have to go hunting on different sites to buy their favorite authors from more than one publisher.

Brandy said...

You're offering a wonderful service to readers, cutting down on the hunt from website to website. Thank you.

Cherie J said...

I recently started getting the newsletter and I am impressed by the content. It has helped me become more familiar with ebooks and what is out there. Highly recommend you check out their website and sign up for the newsletter. I am glad I did.

Amy said...

I just started downloading ebooks about 5 months ago. Right now I just use my computer but plan on getting a handheld device in the future.
I had never heard of your site but I am going to check it out now.
And special thanks for the free downloads

Lily said...

I love ebooks and I love your newsletter... especially because there is always a short story :)

Nathalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathalie said...

I also read a lot of ebooks... will check your website :)

deseng said...

I really enjoyed reading your post today! I love receiving newsletters so I will definitely sign up for yours! Print books are my favorite but I have read some e-books by different authors and really enjoyed them!

Virginia said...

I am still not into e-books that much. I don't like setting at my computer to read and I don't have an e-book reader.

Stephanie said...

I love ebooks! I have bought so many in the past few months. I would love to get them all in one place. I am going to website now to check it out.

aprilm said...

Lucy... It's so cool that you're letting others blog with you!!!

Lori,
I'm so excited to get those codes for the books. I ordered Jessica Bird's Silhoutte book The Billionaire Next Door from your site (I just found out that Jessica Bird is also JR Ward!!! I could have screamed that it took me so long to figure it out.)

Anyway, the ordering was so easy.

Considering how tough a time I had trying to get publishers to set something like this up with me when I ran romancereadersweekly.com I know what an accomplishment this is. All I can say is WOW. You've got all the big players at your site.

And I'm so glad you mentioned you were over here... I love finding new authors - LUCY... I might turn into your next big fan.

Now, better run off and get a copy of your book.