Friday, August 6, 2010

Dorchester Drops Mass Market Paperback for POD/eBook Model

Via PW:

"Mass market romance publisher Dorchester Publishing has dropped its traditional print publishing business in favor of an e-book/print-on-demand model effective with its September titles that are “shipping” now."

They are also cutting back on releases. I wonder what this will mean for SFR?


  1. Hi, Pauline!

    Since Dorchester's Love Spell was the only large publisher line that did more than an occasional SFR, it will certainly hurt visibility in the bookstores.

    Many aspiring authors write with the aim of being on bookshelves so, if there is no bookstore presence, will they choose to write SFR if they can write something else instead?

    SFR has always suffered from the career ghetto curse--few slots with the big publishers, poor pay, and no real chance of improving a career by moving away from Dorchester to a publisher who would pay more because no one else wanted SFR.

    SFR must be written for love because money sure won't follow as things are now.

  2. This is really very sad news, for the Dorchester authors and for readers. I can remember a time when I scoured the bookstore shelves for the LoveSpell imprint. I enjoy the convenience of e-books, but I don't want e-books to be the only choice. On the SciFi side of things, big authors are already starting to give up on publishers and release their own ebooks. They already have the name recognitions and the fans, anyone can upload to Amazon, why share with the pubs? Oye, this could get sticky before it gets better.

  3. Isn't this more of a reflection of how Dorchester is adapting to stay alive because they aren't doing well, versus a "sign of things to come"? I mean, it's much less costly to do epubbing, so to me this seems to be their attempt to remain in business, versus a full shuttering of the doors and windows.

  4. I don't think big pubs would be so hostile to ebooks if it wasn't affecting their business model. In a tight economy, when your business model is based on throwing product away...they used to not have a choice. It was what it was, but now there is a choice. And, yes, some big name authors are bringing out there own back list. Interesting times!

    does anyone follow booksquare? that blog has lots of updated industry/ebook news.

  5. I agree with you, Gini. I don't have much of a hand in any of this, but the ebook/POD model has less overhead risk from overprinting, overshipping, bookstripping, then being forced to reprint. I hope Dorchester survives. I really do. I've been a big fan since I cut my teeth on Love Spell books.

    I admire their editors very much, but if this is a sign of anything, it seems to me that it is a sign that publishers can no longer afford to take risks because everyone is hurting.

    Not good times for us, I'm afraid. Hopefully we'll weather this storm.


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