Authors OnLine, one of the leading author service providers in the UK, has announced that it has ceased trading from today, November 7th. Authors OnLine founder and owner Richard Fitt communicated the news to authors earlier this morning. He cited the shift in technology in the industry and the ‘aggressive marketing direct to authors of large monolithic organisations such as Amazon’ as the reasons for the demise of Authors OnLine. The company recently suffered a server outage resulting in the loss of 12 months of records, ‘requiring major expense to correct.’
Authors OnLine is the second significant services provider in the UK to cease trading. Several months ago Brighton-based Pen Press (Indepenpress) closed its doors for good due to increased competition in the marketplace.
Richard Fitt said that Authors OnLine will endeavour to complete any outstanding work where possible and return production files to authors.
Ian Paul Rix, an author client of Authors OnLine since 2003, spoke to TIPM this morning following the news.
I have always been so proud of my association with Richard and his company. I have used them since 2003 and they couldn’t have been more helpful. I am finding it difficult to get to grips with the situation. These were really some of the ‘good guys’ of this industry, I really feel for the staff as well as all the other authors who like myself must now pick up the pieces and get republished. Ironically we will probably end up using the very services which precipitated the sudden collapse.
Below is the official communication from Authors OnLine sent to its authors:
It is with much regret and sadness that after 17 years in business Authors OnLine will cease trading from today’s date (7th November 2014).
With the shift in technology and the aggressive marketing direct to authors of larger monolithic organisations such as Amazon, it is a business model that no longer attracts sufficient new business to support its outgoings.
That together with our webhosting company taking our main admin server offline without notice or a backup copy as per our contract and thus setting our records back 12 months requiring major expense to correct, it has therefore left us with little choice but to close the business down.
On a practical basis with all current books we are working on we will endeavour, where possible to finish them to a level where the author has files which they can take to another company ready for publishing. For all published books we will on request send any files we hold on record to the author for them to publish with another company.
We apologies profusely to all those we will inevitably inconvenience and upset and thank the many, many supports and faithfully authors, customers and suppliers we have had the pleasure of dealing with in the last 17 years.
Certainly the saddest day of our business life.
Richard Fitt, Authors OnLine.