Just when you think you’ve learned the latest news about Amazon acquiring another company, something new will pop up on-line. In June, we learned that Amazon was acquiring Avalon Books, a “clean” publisher that mostly sells to libraries. The latest news is that Amazon is bidding on the assets of Dorchester Publishing. By assets, this means books. Lots and lots of books. The Digital Book World post includes this wording from Amazon: Continue reading
Dorchester Publishing (publishers of LoveSpell and Leisure Books) is in the news again months after it announced it was no longer publishing mass market paperbacks. The news has gotten even worse for authors and readers. When we last talked about this, former author Brian Keene blogged about getting his rights back from Dorchester.
Now, Keene is calling for a boycott of Dorchester. (Not only did this make Galleycat and Publishers Weekly, but it even made Huffpost Books.) Not only is Dorchester not paying authors, which is bad enough, but they are also selling books to which they no longer have the rights. Say what?! In Keene’s case, even after the rights were returned to him, Dorchester continued to sell editions of his books for the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other devices. Dorchester kept making excuses, none of which he believed. However, most authors, like Keene, don’t have the means, let alone the time and patience, to sue Dorchester. Besides, they might have better luck getting blood out of a turnip.
Since the news coverage and
AAR blog commentary about Dorchester Publishing’s decision to stop publishing in mass market, Dorchester has made an official statement on their website. If the Dorchester forum is any indication, many fans are sad and angry about this decision.
In the wake of this news, one of Dorchester’s most popular horror writers, Brian Keene, announced on his blog that he was leaving Leisure Books, a division of Dorchester. In the horror field, this is big news because the only mass market press that puts out
horror on a regular basis is Leisure Books. Horror is like traditional Regencies or Westerns — always on someone’s endangered species list.
Update: This Publisher’s Weekly article seems to make it official.
As yet unconfirmed reports are trickling in that Dorchester is planning to cease publishing print books starting September 1 and become an e-publisher only.
Dorchester has long been admired for their willingness to take on different time periods — in short, for their willingness to try to do something different — and for the fact that for a long time they were the only publisher of paranormal romances. I’ve heard of problems going back years of payment issues for authors, but they’ve always managed to pull it out and keep on.
But now, apparently, they are in serious trouble. Due to persistent unresolved payment issues, RWA denied the publisher the right to hold a publisher highlight session at the Orlando conference. They were, in fact, not officially represented.
Dorcester editorial staff have always been spoken well of in the industry and I know, as Lynn reported, that there were a multitude of fingers crossed at the conference that they would survive. I was one of them.
Do you have any confirmation you can share? Does anybody know what will happen to contracted books? I hope that authors will not lose as a result of this. I’m afraid that readers will.
- Sandy AAR