From Digital Book World
After a long illness Dorchester Books has finally succumbed, a victim
of the digital revolution to which the mass market paperback publisher
could not adapt. But if authors and agents read the fine print in
today’s “Notice of Public Disposition” they will find the following
phrase: “Secured Party will foreclose its security interest in and sell
at public auction as a single unit through Garfunkel Wild, P.C., to
Amazon Publishing, or such other higher and/or better bidder as may
prevail at auction…”
And a little further down is the good news that authors and agents
who had despaired of recovering royalties from the sinking publisher
will be made whole by Amazon: ” All publication contacts regarding
certain literary works (collectively, the Works) and related outbound
license agreements of DP (collectively, the Contracts), subject to the
purchaser negotiating certain amendments with the authors of the Works
in exchange for payment by Amazon Publishing of the full amount of back
royalties that DP indicates is owed to those authors as of May 31,
In practice Amazon, or any firm that outbids Amazon in an auction to
be conducted in August, will tender amendments to authors and agents
transferring rights to the new entity, in exchange for which back
royalties will be paid in full.
The acquiring firm will then convert the books to e-books (a number
of them have been converted already) and release them in e-book format.
The original covers are among the assets to be acquired; our
understanding is that Dorchester owned them outright and no rights
clearance will have to be undertaken.
Though we lament the passing of Dorchester, with its excellent list
of westerns, horror, romance and other genre fiction, we are happy to
think its orphaned books will be in the hands of those who will know
what to do with them.