Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

We Are so Dense About Technology That We Can’t Figure Out How To Forward Our Phones

STATUS: Typical Denver schizophrenic weather. I was wearing short sleeves and no jacket yesterday while taking Chutney for a walk in 70 degree weather. Today it’s going to snow. Yay spring!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? MATILDA by Harry Belafonte

To a new office location.

Let’s see a show of hands. Who believes that Dorchester might simply be moving offices and the phones are currently being “switched over?” (see the added links in comments section of yesterday’s blog post.)

Hum… thought so.

So to my post of yesterday. I’m going to make my readers do a little work. I can’t hand over all the information on a silver platter. *grin*

I mentioned that Dorchester has disappeared and that I don’t think I’ll see a filing for bankruptcy any time soon. Now why do I say that?

Surely if a company is defunct they’ll file for bankruptcy, right?

Not necessarily….

So tell me why.

Meanwhile, all Dorchester eBooks are up and still for sale across all the electronic distribution venues. Where is the money going? We know for certain it’s not going to the authors.

Every night I sleep easy knowing that I fought tooth and nail to get rights reverted for each of my five authors who had backlist there when Dorchester first breached those contracts and weren’t paying owed royalties. Even for titles I didn’t represent on their behalf because it was before my time as their agent.

And I’m also happy to report that those authors are self-publishing those books and making a very nice income on backlist ebook sales. Want to support a former Dorchester author? Check out their offerings on the links connected to their names.


A happy ending for us but I feel for all those authors who couldn’t get their rights. I strongly recommend you reach out to the various agencies that support authors: Authors Guild, Romance Writers Of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America etc. I can’t list all of them here.

These organizations might be able or connect you with the right people who can advise you on next step if your rights are in question.


10 Responses

  1. Randall said:

    For your writers who got their rights back, have you been watching to make sure Dorchester isn’t selling copies or e-copies without the rights? Because I hear of writers who find exactly that going on.

  2. Anonymous said:

    I’m one of the authors who can’t get paid and can’t get rights back (on numerous books), in spite of working with my agent, and contacting AG and RWA for advice on resolving the issue. I am currently working with an attorney and have a forensic accounting in hand (on my dime, of course) but the situation is beyond frustrating.

    So glad your clients made out better. It amazes me that there are so few real, legal protections for authors if publishers simply choose not to honor their commitments or return rights when they can’t.

  3. Angela Brown said:

    I’m glad for those authors you listed. They’re able to move on with their works. But it seems others aren’t making out so well. I’m just so speechless about this whole debacle.


  4. Neurotic Workaholic said:

    That’s terrible that the authors aren’t getting the money that they’re owed, especially since they’re the ones who wrote those books in the first place. I had no idea that that was happening. Is this something that happens a lot? There’s still so much I don’t know about the industry.

  5. Martha Ramirez said:

    So awful for those who weren’t able to get their rights back. I’m so glad for those who did! They are so lucky to have you.

    What a great thing to do, fighting so hard for titles that you didn’t represent at the time. Shows what a generous a goodhearted soul you are.
    Very awesome!

  6. Marilynn Byerly said:

    Dorchester has been the dirty little secret of publishing for YEARS with failed payments, creative bookkeeping, abusive behavior toward their authors, and other crappy behavior.

    I know I’ve been warning my writing students away from them for over eight years.

    Meanwhile, they’ve been the darling of RWA with full publisher status and any author who stood up against them was vilified.

    There’s a lot of blame to go around, and it’s yet another example of why authors should ask around before signing up with a publisher.

  7. writer said:

    No silver platters here Kristin. Thanks for posting the Dorch paperwork. I’ve been doing the work and can guess. But let me ask you and others on here if they know who John Backe is? The answer to that might answer a question I had. I contacted 60 Minutes and the NYC CBS affiliate in NYC and many others–well over a week ago. And no response. Is anyone aware of all the corporations involved and the amount of money involved? I’m not saying right now–but it’s massive.

  8. Deb said:

    Oh, now, what is RWA going to do for these authors whose rights can’t seem to get reverted? Did they do anything for the authors who were stiffed by Triskelion? Please.

Denver Skyline Photo © Nathan Forget [Creative Commons] | Site built by Todd Jackson