Posts Tagged ‘Dorchester Publishing’

Former Dorchester Editor Finds Home at Sourcebooks

Former Dorchester editorial director, Leah Hultenschmidt, received her walking papers from the struggling publisher almost two weeks ago when the entire editorial staff, except for one, was laid off due to cost-saving measures. This week, Sourcebooks, an independent publisher growing in size and popularity, announced that Leah started as the Senior Editor for romance and YA on Wednesday of this week.

I want to extend huge congratulations to Leah for obtaining another position and with a growing company. I also want to congratulate Sourcebooks for having the great business sense to acquire a wonderful editor who knows the romance industry so well and knows how to make a good book even better.

Leah was my editor at Dorchester and I can’t say enough about her. She is a pleasure to work with, down to earth, and smart as a whip. If you really want an editor who cares about your work, then you can’t do better than working with Leah.

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.