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Dorchester Publishing / Leisure Books

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

waylander

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You are allowed to call these people and ask about your manuscript. I have done this. They do have a tracking system and should at least tell you if your manuscript is in that system.
Just be nice to the editorial assistant who answers the phone
 

Erin

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They've had my REQUESTED manuscript since July 2007. I resent it, this time by email, at editor Chris Keeslar's request when I mentioned it to him at RWA this summer (now that I'd finished it), and I still haven't heard anything.

At the Dorchester spotlight at RWA this summer, Chris did mention that he will hang onto something he likes for a long time, waiting for a slot for it in their line-up. That was somewhat encouraging.
 

fullbookjacket

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I hope they don't expect authors to just sit idly by as the years roll past, without submitting elsewhere.
 

Deb Kinnard

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At the Dorchester spotlight at RWA this summer, Chris did mention that he will hang onto something he likes for a long time, waiting for a slot for it in their line-up.
I trust Dorchester is going so far as to notify the author that they are hanging onto something in hope it will slot in? Otherwise it seems a dreadful waste of everybody's time.

I've met Chris, too, and liked him, he seems 100%. I can't think this would necessarily be his choice on handling a MS they've not responded on as the months drag by.
 

Julie Worth

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I trust Dorchester is going so far as to notify the author that they are hanging onto something in hope it will slot in? Otherwise it seems a dreadful waste of everybody's time.

How is it wasting time if it's not an exclusive?
 

Erin

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Deb Kinnard;2878365 I trust Dorchester is going so far as to notify the author that they are hanging onto something in hope it will slot in? Otherwise it seems a dreadful waste of everybody's time..[/quote said:
Chris was also apologetic when he said this because he does not contact the author. He quite openly admits he is extremely slow in responding.

I certainly am not waiting to hear from him as I query agents. It actually looks good on my query letter to say that my contest win was requested by Dorchester and is still under consideration!
 

Deb Kinnard

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I suppose no actual time is being wasted, per se. But as long as I haven't gotten a "no-thanks" I still expend a certain amount of mental energy wondering if a long-time-no-response publisher might, eventually, pick up the book.

I should mention that Harlequin, who never loses manuscripts, lost two of mine in a row. Now that an agent is sending 'em, I'm hoping for better.

Erin, it does indeed look pretty good to say "under consideration" since Dorchester's rep is excellent.
 

Julie Worth

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Erin, it does indeed look pretty good to say "under consideration" since Dorchester's rep is excellent.

I've tried using a full-with-Dorchester in a query, and quickly dropped it. Agents weren't impressed. Dorchester is small, and agents know they pay small advances. Besides, they'll think, who else was she shopping this to?
 

Erin

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I've tried using a full-with-Dorchester in a query, and quickly dropped it. Agents weren't impressed. Dorchester is small, and agents know they pay small advances. Besides, they'll think, who else was she shopping this to?

Thanks for the input. They way I had it worded was linked to the contest win, so hopefully the agents I've queried don't think I'm actually shopping it around, which I'm not. I've been thinking about just dropping the mention altogether in my next round of queries and leave in the mention of the contest win.
 

frisco

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I sent my partial about 9 months ago. I was asked in a little over a month for the full manuscript and sent that out. Now I'm just waiting in agony for word if its accepted or not. I did call up the editor who asked for the partial to see if it arrived and she was very nice and professional. She told me they received it and gave me the date and so forth so at least I don't have to live in fear of it being lost in the mail. I'm just doing my best to patiently wait for what I can only hope is good news--and in the meantime work on my other projects.
 

Donna Pudick

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I got a request for a full almost immediately after querying and a rejection almost as fast. They were very nice, though. It wasn't a form letter, and they did invite me to try again.

DP
 

michael_b

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I sent the requested full of my contest book to them back in July and still haven't heard anything. They said they'd announce winners in October, and I haven't seen an announcement anywhere.

How long should I wait before I contact them? I'm sort of concerned I've missed their reply since I moved about a week after they requested the full. I did give my new address with the full, but the return reply envelope that went with the partial had the old address.
 

mlhernandez

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Has anyone heard about authors published by Dorchester (and their agents) receiving letters stating they won't receive any payments until next year? I saw this on an author loop just a bit ago. Apparently, there are also some rumors of authors' advances and royalty payments being severely delayed.

Not sure if there's any fire here, but there's definitely a little smoke. Thought I'd toss this out to see if there's something more to this.
 

para

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I think I've seen the same query on one of my loops. There was a reply by one of their authors. Apparently Dorchester always runs out of "budget" at the end of the year, not money but that years budget. This person then went on to say if anyone hadn't received money in a year they should have talked to their editor long before this point. They always get paid on time.
 

mlhernandez

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I saw that same reply. I found that even more bizarre. One would think if Dorchester "always" runs out of budget money for the year, they'd, you know, maybe do something about that when planning for the next year. I also found that bit about Dorchester not sending out royalties until 14 months after release (if you've earned out) a bit odd. I mean, if you've earned out at, say, 6 months, why should you have to wait soooo long for your checks?
 

clara bow

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I haven't heard anything on a hardmail query for over four months. I take it this is all hardmail subs, partials and fulls included?

Tri

I queried them at the beginning of this year, and heard back in about a month. 6 weeks, tops. So you might want to call & check the status or just resend.

I just sent out a query package to Dorchester last week, so I'll post here as soon as I get that timely rejection, har har.
 

para

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I saw that same reply. I found that even more bizarre. One would think if Dorchester "always" runs out of budget money for the year, they'd, you know, maybe do something about that when planning for the next year.
You're right. They should be able to forecast from previous years how much they are going to spend. It's not like they started up in business last year. There was that business about the person who handled the accounting having left last year. Do they only have one person doing this? Which would probably explain the end of the year dry up. If that person is busy doing end of year tasks they wouldn't have time to do the checks. Although I don't think that kind of thing is acceptable in an organisation the size of Dorchester.

I also found that bit about Dorchester not sending out royalties until 14 months after release (if you've earned out) a bit odd. I mean, if you've earned out at, say, 6 months, why should you have to wait soooo long for your checks?
Seems like they are playing the old game of robbing Peter to pay Paul. There definitely seems to be something going on.
 

Irysangel

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I saw that same reply. I found that even more bizarre. One would think if Dorchester "always" runs out of budget money for the year, they'd, you know, maybe do something about that when planning for the next year. I also found that bit about Dorchester not sending out royalties until 14 months after release (if you've earned out) a bit odd. I mean, if you've earned out at, say, 6 months, why should you have to wait soooo long for your checks?

Is it always at 14 months or did it just happen to be 14 for this person? Because I know a lot of houses only do royalty statements every 6 months, and a certain (fairly large) percentage is held back for reserves against returns. So you might *not* see royalties for a long time if you still have a lot of books floating out in the ether, even if you earned out.
 

mlhernandez

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Is it always at 14 months or did it just happen to be 14 for this person? Because I know a lot of houses only do royalty statements every 6 months, and a certain (fairly large) percentage is held back for reserves against returns. So you might *not* see royalties for a long time if you still have a lot of books floating out in the ether, even if you earned out.

The author who replied did a comparison between her publishing deals with Kensington and Dorchester. She stated Kensington pays royalties every 6 months after you've earned out. So if you'd earned out at 6 months, you get paid at 6 months. Dorchester doesn't report on royalties until 14 months after the book's release. I took that to mean that whether or not you've earned out before 6 months you still won't get paid until 14 months after your release date.

That's what seemed so bizarre to me. Whether Dorchester pays quarterly or biannualy, you'd think they'd be able to cobble together the accounting figures for their recently released authors and pay them if they're owed. I don't really understand the reasoning either. Well, unless it's something to do with returns...
 

Irysangel

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Yeah, I'm really not sure. Do we have any Dorch-published authors on this board? I think there's one...
 

victoriastrauss

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Somewhat old news, but royalties payment has been an issue for Dorchester at least once...in 1996, Robin Lee Hatcher led a class action lawsuit against Dorchester for underreporting and underpaying royalties, and inflating reserves. The suit was settled in 1998, with Dorchester paying out $950,000.

- Victoria
 

Candace Sams

My experience with Dorchester

Hi all,

I can relay my experiences so far with this company. I don't know how others are treated though I've heard things that aren't that kosher. I get emails from other authors relaying similar stories. I'm under no obligation to maintain silence for contractual reasons, therefore, I feel free to speak.

I had to beg for my advance...I finally got it four months 'after' Dorchester offered a contract. I didn't particularly think this was proper since I pulled my book 'immediately' off the market.

I got no tax information for payments made to me by Dorchester last year. I reported everything to the IRS anyhow; let Dorchester be responsible. My accountant is looking into whether any Federal law was violated (Again...I reported all my earnings despite having no forms from Dorchester).

For about five months, I haven't been able to get anyone to answer an email or a phone call, including my editor, Chris Keeslar.... Dunno <G>, maybe it's just me but this is pretty unprofessional behavior. If they're treating readers this way, I can understand the sad earnings...

I did get a mass mailing saying that my book along with others would be released as an ebook. Dorchester made some arrangement with some company for this to happen. E-book publishing is pretty 'live'. It's done in real time; not when the publisher can get around to it! If Dorchester can't or won't contact authors for months on end, how will they handle problems with ebook delivery - in real time - to real readers? (Assuming they take this same no-contact approach).

I got one other mass mailing saying that Dorchester had given a sum of money to a destitute authors organization on my behalf....I almost laughed myself off my office chair. Here I am...waiting for dough...waiting for any editorial contact...and a destitute author org (which was never been named along with the amt given) gets money donated on my behalf - from Dorchester. It's not that I resent the donation at all...I'm just sitting here wondering when 'I' can buy groceries <G>....the irony does not escape me...

I've had a revised manuscript on Chris's desk since October. It's a sequel to a book already out. I asked for someone to 'please' give me some response...got nothing. I pulled the book and gave it to someone else...someone who answers emails and phone calls. I think that's the 'least' an author should expect from a publishing company. And I mean the very least...

I was never in any argument or disagreement with any of the publishing staff at all. In fact, I can't get a hold of them even 'if' I wanted to argue. I have no idea why no one's answering an email or a phone call (since this past Fall). I can't personally do business with a non-existent entity which is what Dorchester has made of itself.

Finally, my contract said there'd be financial review 'sixty days after the release of the Work'....never happened....

So, these are just a few of my experiences....no more of this. I can get abused anywhere; I'm not gonna ask for it <G>.....things could always get better, but I see more professionalism elsewhere....

I don't normally post such goings-on in public, but I was referred over here by a writing org...I felt compelled to relay my experiences so someone would have better information than I got before signing with Dorchester....They're very friendly when they 'do' get around to making contact.....they just....disappear.....things sort of just fall by the way. Stuff like ohhhhh...authors and payment and income tax forms... manuscripts...revisions....'little' things like that.

Good luck all!!!

Candace Sams (aka C.S. Chatterly)
www.candacesams.com
www.cschatterly.com
 

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