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Dorchester Publishing / Leisure Books

brainstorm77

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There has been a huge backlash on their FB group. They are deleting comments daily.

ETA: Yup, they have deleted the lastest round of comments.
 
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Soccer Mom

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Just got this from a former Dorchester writer.

Dorchester Media puts women's romance mags (aka "The Trues") up for sale, plans to exit mag biz: http://bit.ly/dFiDYk

She loved writing for The Trues and hopes the magazines find a good home so she can write for them again.
 

jana13k

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And in other news, my books popped BACK up for sale on mobile phone app sites - from Dorchester. The books I got rights and fought my ___ off for last year. There has got to be a hotter place in hell for those people. There is absolutely no way they are this incompetent. A five-year-old could do a better job.

And FYI, since placing my backlist for sale myself, I have sold 100 times over in four months what my royalty statements claim I sold release to date in ebook sales. Fiction, anyone?
 

brainstorm77

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And in other news, my books popped BACK up for sale on mobile phone app sites - from Dorchester. The books I got rights and fought my ___ off for last year. There has got to be a hotter place in hell for those people. There is absolutely no way they are this incompetent. A five-year-old could do a better job.

And FYI, since placing my backlist for sale myself, I have sold 100 times over in four months what my royalty statements claim I sold release to date in ebook sales. Fiction, anyone?

This just makes me shake my head.
 

AnneMarble

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It's interesting that Just three days ago, Dorchester sent out an e-mail announcing "Dorchester is building its upcoming pub list, and along with all the great new genre fiction filling the pipeline, we'll be releasing the best of our backlist in e-book format. But we need your help!"

Then they told readers that they would be entered into their new contest if they suggested 20 backlist authors they wanted to see in ebook format. The big prize for this was $25 worth of ebooks from the Dorchester website. Wow. Talk about a cash-strapped company. I'm sure glad I didn't submit the names of any authors. They might have "accidentally" put out ebook editions that they didn't have the rights to.

You can view it here.

See, this is why I don't want to unsub from their e-mails or unfollow them as part of a boycott. You never know what they might try to sneak past you. I have been avoiding buying their books for months now anyway.
 

mlhernandez

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Robert Swartwood had a response to that same email. He urged his readers to send emails back to Dorchester asking them to give back the rights instead.
 

michael_b

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And I'll reiterate: I have never been so happy to have received a rejection letter in my life as I am to have finally gotten one from Dorchester when the Shomi line was closed. (They'd been holding my book under consideration for over a year at that point.)

I feel for all the authors who are suffering abuse at the hands of this publisher. I really do and I hope a class action suit is brought against them, it's nothing less than they deserve after all the stunts they've pulled.
 

jana13k

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Michael - the reason none of us are suing is because there's no point. We'd spend a lot of money and time to gain nothing because they have nothing. The real answer to this problem is changes in legislation to make harsh penalties for this sort of behavior and give agencies (other than the FBI, who doesn't want to be bothered) the authority to do something about it. You can't get blood out of a turnip. If anyone sues, they will file bankruptcy, and then you'll spend years contacting ebook distributors in other countries trying to get your books down.

The reality is the law has not caught up with technology. The portability of ebooks makes it far to easy for them to be stolen. I finally reconciled myself to ignoring the scumbag ebook pirates as I just assign the scumbag title to anyone who downloads their wares, but I never expected my own publisher to steal from me - blatantly, openly and without a qualm.
 

SirOtter

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And I'll reiterate: I have never been so happy to have received a rejection letter in my life as I am to have finally gotten one from Dorchester when the Shomi line was closed. (They'd been holding my book under consideration for over a year at that point.)

I echo that sentiment. I entered Smarter Than the Average Werewolf in that contest they ran just before it all went blooey, and the best news I've gotten in a long time was that they passed on it. Belfire has it and it will come out next March. Whew, dodged a bullet there!
 

michael_b

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Michael - the reason none of us are suing is because there's no point. We'd spend a lot of money and time to gain nothing because they have nothing.

But a court could prevent force them to take the books down and stop selling ebooks they never had the rights to distribute. I know you'll never see money from them for the very reason you cited, but stopping them from ripping you off on titles they don't have the right to be making money on would be a plus in your favor. It would also clear the muddied waters on who, exactly, has the right to distribute the books in question: you the copyright holder, or Dorchester the scumbags.
 

veinglory

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I doubt it is that simple. The publisher and distributors can blame each other while the lawyer's fees leave you even more broke.
 

Carlene

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Oh, I hope they sell "The Trues" to a good publisher who will bring them back to what they once were. I wrote for them a lot in the early '80's when they actually paid on time and it didn't take two years to get your story in print. I had a ball writing those stories.

Carlene - who's favorite True title was, "I'm being sexually harassed by my boss and my boss is a minister."
 

Nadia

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I finally reconciled myself to ignoring the scumbag ebook pirates as I just assign the scumbag title to anyone who downloads their wares, but I never expected my own publisher to steal from me - blatantly, openly and without a qualm.

At least ebook pirates don't claim legitimacy or make $ off of your books (in general).

What Dorchester is doing is beyond thievery.
 

jana13k

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veinglory - you're exactly right and that's what's going on. Dorchester blames the distributor. However, this time I went around them and got a contact with the distributor and told them exactly what was happening - that they were selling stolen merchandise and paying the thieves. I have gotten a promise from someone with the company to take down my books and provide me with a full accounting and the money for sales. They were unaware of the situation (not surprising). They are aware now, and he's likely getting contacted by a ton of other authors I gave his information to.

But really, we should be spending what limited time most writers have writing books. Instead, we've having to spend it on this crap.
 

priceless1

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Jana, at the very bottom of this whole debacle is that Dorchester is the one converting and uploading those illegal files in the first place, so they can't blame the distributor.

Secondly, distributors take for granted that the publisher has the e-book rights, and they don't ask for proof. Usually a letter is enough - and it''ll stand up in court if challenged because the letter basically says, "I, Publisher-of-the-Month, have the e-rights to this title."

The distributor doesn't want to become embroiled in a rights mess and will take far quicker action than the publisher will because they still have a reputation to maintain. The publisher has already torked his beyond repair and has nothing to lose.
 

veinglory

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Most of the books were uploaded legally, but there was trouble taking them down or they popped back up after being taken down (which actually does happen on Amazon even when the publisher is not screwing up). Whether it is 'true' or not it is Dorchester's claim and they will chew up billable hours pursuing it. So unless the author is independently wealthy I can understand not trying to solve the problem by throwing lawyers at it.
 

priceless1

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That's why I'd go after the distributors. If authors start blogging about how Amazon or Smashwords is illegally selling their ebooks, that is sure to garner faster action. They are far more sensitive to bad press - especially with this whole Dorchester mess - and may take action to mitigate their exposure, which would be helpful to the author. At this rate, it can't hurt, is all I'm saying.
 

James D. Macdonald

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What I would suggest to the affected authors would be, instantly put out your own electronic versions of your novels, with notes much like J.R.R.Tolkien's note on the authorized edition of The Lord of the Rings: "Those who approve of courtesy, at least, to living authors will buy this version and no other."
 

michael_b

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veinglory - you're exactly right and that's what's going on. Dorchester blames the distributor. However, this time I went around them and got a contact with the distributor and told them exactly what was happening - that they were selling stolen merchandise and paying the thieves. I have gotten a promise from someone with the company to take down my books and provide me with a full accounting and the money for sales. They were unaware of the situation (not surprising). They are aware now, and he's likely getting contacted by a ton of other authors I gave his information to.

But really, we should be spending what limited time most writers have writing books. Instead, we've having to spend it on this crap.

Jana I'm glad you found a way around the situation. As far as Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon goes you can usually find someone able to help via the customer service phone number. While the CSR can't help, they can put you in touch with someone who can. I had books go out of contract with a publisher who then dropped the ball--or didn't bother--sending take down notices. Just tell them the rights to ebook editions were never held by your publisher and they should help you to get your books down. At B&N you need to supply links to the book's webpages there, but they should be willing to help you too. I will say it usually takes more than one call, and a few weeks time, for the books to come down.

I just remembered this is what I did while I was reading your post above regarding the distributor.