Authors OnLine Cease Trading

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AOL LogoAuthors 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:

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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.

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Authors

8 Comments

  1. Douglas Burcham said:

    Although I never used Authors On Line for my own self publishing I did join their internet writers group where I met several authors who I still remain in contact with today. I also wrote several articles for their news letter run by Richard Lewis. I agree with Ian Rix’s sentiments and hope outstanding matters of the company and its authors can be cleared up with the minimum of delay and contention. A sad day as there is now one less experienced provider to chose from for new writers to fulfil their dreams of self publishing. My thoughts will be with Richard Fitt and his staff and their authors over the coming months.

    • Christine Williams said:

      Hello Douglas
      I’ve just come back to this article after a wait of 3 months. I’ve been hoping that Richard Fitt, or someone at Authorsonline, would contact me, as I was one of their authors, but there’s been no contact of any kind and I can’t find any way of reaching anyone involved in winding up the company. They almost certainly owe me some royalties, although there won’t be much, I know. Can you help me find out how I make contact and, hopefully find out what money, if any, is owing? Thanks for your help
      Christine Williams
      Tel: 01694 724274

      • Mark Elroy said:

        You could contact bookcreateservice on 01626 870999 this is the spin off company run by mr fitts son james fitt just before the company closed down

  2. Bryan Donaldson said:

    Dear Christinie,
    Hoping you could share some information as to progress you have made. I am assisting a friend who had a book published with AO and has been on sale on amazon since 2006. Never received any correspondance however. Assuming some sales must have been made and some royalties due?
    Appreciate your time.
    Bryan Donaldson
    Cape Town (RSA)

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