As many of you may already know, Dorchester Publishing made a major announcement this week. The publishing house, home of the Leisure horror line, is dropping its mass market publishing model in of an e-book/print-on-demand model that will focus on digital editions and trade paperbacks. The change is effective with its September titles.
Dorchester’s retail sales fell by 25% in 2009. In 2010, sales have been worse.
On the heels of this announcement, came an announcement by Brian Keene on his blog that he’ll be leaving Leisure. He’s been with the publishing house for a number of years and according to him, he’s done well. Until last year, he’d always been paid on time, and he’d been happy with not only his relationship with Leisure but also the way they’ve treated his material.
But last year, they started missing his payments, and now, they’re apparently six months behind.
So Keene has made the decision to leave Leisure.
“Sadly, given the payment issue, the confusion both in public and in private as to what the company’s new business model actually entails, and the overall instability of the marketplace and industry in general,” Keene says on his blog, “I’ve elected not to continue with Leisure for the foreseeable future. If they are able to turn things around and demonstrate that they can start paying authors in a timely fashion again, I’d certainly reconsider. I’ve enjoyed working with my editor, Don D’Auria, and I’d write for him no matter which company he’s working for. But I also need to do things like eat and pay child support to two ex-wives and have an apartment to store my books in, and therefore, I’ve decided to take my brand elsewhere for the time being.”
What’s he going to do without Leisure? “[what I] am announcing now, is that I intend to experiment by self-publishing all four of those titles [Fear of Gravity, Unhappy Endings, The Rising: Selected Scenes From the End of the World, and Earthworm Gods: Selected Scenes From the End of the World], making them available in both digital and trade paperback formats. I’m convinced that, given the size of my fan base and the demand for the books, this will be a successful venture for me. At the very least, I can pay myself on time. (Note: This has nothing to do with the Maelstrom teasers you’ve been seeing. Maelstrom is something different, that will have more of an impact on the collectible, limited edition market than it will on the mainstream. But more on that next month…)”
You can read the blog post in its entirety here: Mid-List Blues, or, I Sing A New Song
We plan to have an interview with Leisure horror editor, Don D’Auria, this coming week. We’ll try to get a better understanding of what the changes at Dorchrest encompass and what readers and writers can expect in the near future.