Dorchester to be an ePublisher?

Rumors about the financial health of Dorchester have been swirling for over a year now. The RWA (Romance Writers of America) pulled the publisher's status at their convention right before it started amid rumors of late or missing royalty payments to authors. Today, Publisher's Weekly confirmed that Dorchester is no longer going to be a mass market publisher. They are going to be an ebook publisher with Print on Demand (POD) trade paperbacks being available months after a digital release.

You can read that article here.

There are some (including myself) who think this is a last ditch effort to save the company and is unlikely to work. It smacks more than just a little bit of desperation. And there are already several established ebook only publishers with a foothold in the growing market.

Authors who expected to have print copies of their books on bookstore shelves are scrambling to find out what this means for their future. And authors with backlist through Dorchester are scouring their contracts to discover just how meager their ebook royalty rates will be.

Something that hasn't received a lot of attention is this line, buried mid-way through the article:

"Dorchester will continue to do print copies for its book club business."
Dorchester has a direct mail business similar to Harlequin and Kensington. Once a month, readers have a selection of new titles mailed directly to them. Now whether those books will remain mass markets at mass market prices remains to be seen. I'm hoping that they will, because otherwise Dorchester will be unable to keep up with the mass book club cancellations.


  1. I was certainly surprised by this news. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  2. @Fiction Vixen,

    This move surprised me, too. I thought they would just go out of business or be sold to a larger publisher.

  3. Does that mean authors can submit directly to them without an agent like most epublishers?

  4. @Katiebabs,

    I think Dorchester has always accepted submissions without an agent. They were one of the few who did.