Sunday, March 27, 2011

Support the Boycott

I recently discovered some news in the publishing world that makes me quite sad, really. To a book blogger, authors and publishers are like superheros and celebrities. I drool over any news of my favorites and I feel humbled and honored when one contacts me directly. So when a publisher falls off the ethics scale and resorts to bad business practices for the sake of the almighty dollar, I am appalled and disappointed.
Even though I have yet to review anything from Dorchester Publishing and Leisure Books, I feel like this is a personal betrayal against book bloggers. We shamelessly promote the books, authors, and publishers we know and love, as well as the new names that we are not as familiar with, with the blind faith that they will be as outstanding as the former names.
Recently, author Brian Keene announced a boycott of Dorchester Publishing. On his site, he has kept a detailed account of all the ways that Dorchester has violated contract with him by refusing to pay him since 2009, as well as violating the reversion of both his print and digital rights to his works by continuing to sell his work illegally. Brian Keene is not the only author that Dorchester is screwing over and many others are joining in on this boycott. Keene's site explains all the ways that Dorchester can be boycotted, as well as contains a growing list of professionals who are supporting the boycott.
According to Wikipedia, Dorchester Publishing has been publishing mass market books since 1971, making them the oldest mass market publisher in America. The genres they specialize in are romance, horror, thrillers, and Westerns. As of September 2010, Dorchester canceled all of their mass market paperback lines as print publications with the intention of making all future titles only available as e-books. Keene, as well as several other author/ bloggers, explained that this was to avoid reverting the rights of authors' works back to the authors. In response to the growing response against the company's bad business practices, they have completely turned off comments on the Facebook page. Interestingly, they still have many of the comments that people have made against the company, including a great article by author Stacy Dittrich about her own experiences with Dorchester.
While I am small fry in the world of book blogging, I hope that my readers will agree with me that there is no excuse for what Dorchester has done to its authors. Dorchester needs to be held accountable for its actions.


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