"WHAT’S HAPPENING AT DORCHESTER?
Dear Author, Agent or Publishing Colleague:
It’s been a crazy but productive year for Dorchester Publishing, like it has been for the entire publishing industry. After the cessation of our mass market paperback program last August, there were a number of other major changes to occur, including the naming of new CEO Robert Anthony, the appointment of a new accounting staff (Loretta Folk, controller, and Brian Chinn, royalties accountant) and serious strides into both trade paperback and electronic publishing. In case you haven’t been watching with baited breath, we would like to take a moment to bring you up to date on factors or developments that may directly affect you, your titles, and earnings both past and future.
Our top priority remains bringing royalty payments up to date. The lifeblood of any publisher is its authors, so our focus is first on those writers still active in our publishing programs—though we are confident that slowly but surely we will make good on all debts caused by our former administrative difficulties. We are again sending out accurate statements as a matter of course. As stability returns, Dorchester can refocus on its original purpose: discovering and growing new talent in all forms of genre fiction.
Our dynamic Trade publishing program began in January through the distribution arm of Ingram Publisher Services. The program contains titles culled both from our back list and original content, and it will take advantage of advanced technology to provide much more accurately targeted distributions. Early 2011 boasted several successful new releases, including Leanna Renee Hieber’s Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess, the third book in her critically acclaimed Strangely Beautiful series, and The Bonaparte Secret, the newest Lang Reilly thriller by Gregg Loomis. Readers were wowed by movie tie-in editions for The Woman, a spine-tingler by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee that took bookstores and Sundance by storm, and House of the Rising Sun by upstart Chuck Hustmyre is set to win him readers for life. Yet to come is The Unforgiven, the first of New York Times Bestselling Author Joy Nash’s Watchers series, and offerings from Gord Rollo, John Everson, and L. J. McDonald. Sorceress, Interrupted, the continuation of A. J. Menden’s super hero series (Elite Hands of Justice) was highly anticipated, and S. Craig Zahler’s brilliant new Western, A Congregation of Jackals, has already been tapped for several national awards. Working with Ingram, we have produced around 50 books in trade format, and another 60-70 should be available by year’s end. The program is only growing.
At the same time as we increase our trade presence, we continue to work on making our authors’ backlists available to their entire readership, including those readers caught up in this year’s fantastic electronic publishing boom. Renee Yewdaev, Dorchester’s head of production, is converting backlist to e-book format in a systematic fashion that assures both speed and quality, and which allows titles to retain recognizable branding established in their original print format. After redeploying several persons in-house to focus on this conversion push, we anticipate having several hundred additional titles in e-book format by the end of the year.
After the changeover from LibreDigital to a partnership with Ingram’s Lightning Source books, our electronic distribution channels have smoothed out. We continue to aggressively market through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Indigo (Canada), Borders, Sony, and a number of other well recognized e-book vendors, and we are pleased to announce that we have just signed direct agreements with Apple and Google to further expand the number of platforms and consumers our product can reach.
Our website, www.dorchesterpub.com, has been redesigned and now sells both trade and e-book titles.
Dorchester is confident in our new programs, and we recognize that the publishing landscape is changing. For that reason, a project was embarked upon to update royalties to new industry standards. An amendment was created for all interested authors with existing contracts. In addition to firming up some other, the amendment will:
a) Raise any lower rate on trade royalties to 7 1/2% of cover price
b) Raise the royalties on e-books to 25-35% of net sales
c) Increase the frequency of royalty reports and payments to every 6 months.
Any author who has not received an amendment should contact either their literary agent and/or Samantha Hazell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Specific questions can be directed to Dorchester’s editorial director, Christopher Keeslar, or to Tim DeYoung, VP, Sales & Marketing.
2011 has seen a number of ups and downs, but the future seems brighter every day. This will be a decade where authors are more powerful than ever before, especially those authors who have the resources and connections to take advantage of the industry’s new opportunities. We look forward to partnering with those authors. And while rebuilding is a slow process, we plan to shine in genre fiction for many years to come. We eagerly anticipate your thoughts and feedback."