Archive for August, 2010

Changes at Dorchester Publishing

If you’re dialed into the publishing arena at all, you’ve probably heard about the changes at Dorchester Publishing. Beginning in September, Dorchester will move to a digital format and will follow-up months later with trade paperback releases. There is however, no indication that all Dorchester releases will make it to trade form and many other unanswered questions for the current authors and authors that wanted to submit.

The problems with cash flow at Dorchester have not been much of a secret within the industry. Last year, they sold rights for their bestselling authors to create cash flow, but apparently it wasn’t enough. This year, Romance Writers of America (RWA) banned Dorchester from participating in the national conference because they had failed to pay their authors. In the past months, Dorchester has also laid off their website developer, the sales staff and every editor but one. It does not take a big leap to figure out that the move to a digital format is not a ploy to position themselves on the forefront of what they believe to be the next cutting-edge technology, but instead, a last-ditch effort to avoid going down the drain completely.

I for one, hope they manage to pull it off and not just because my entire backlist rests in their hands.

See, the thing is that Dorchester has been around a long time and has consistently provided an opportunity to publish for authors who write a bit outside of the box – like myself. When other publishers were afraid to take a chance on something new, Dorchester often took that chance and sparked many bestsellers and introduced new sub-genres to romance. Dorchester is also one of the last big publishers to regularly produce horror, so I am certain that community is reeling with the loss of one of their biggest options for a sale. Dorchester is also one of the last remaining “big” publishers that would accept an unagented manuscript. No guarantees on how fast they’d read it but gems like Marjorie Liu were actually aquired out of the slush pile.

So hope for the best and prepare for the worst seems to be the practical approach to this situation.

The situation with Dorchester is also the main reason that so many seasoned authors recommend that you diversify your writing among two or more publishers. The reality is, anything can change. Lines are cancelled, editors leave, publishers go out of business. If you want to remain published, then you must be constantly positioning yourself for that next opportunity. Complacency has no business in the publishing business.


Welcome to my website! I am a published fiction author, technical writer and freelance writer who makes my entire living with words. Because I’ve been around a while, and have a background in accounting and tax, I get asked a lot of question about industry, technique and the business of writing. This website is in the beginner stage, but I will continue to add content on a regular basis, so that it becomes a one-stop resource shop for writers.

Happy Writing!

Jana DeLeon