August has been an interesting month in publishing. Dorchester Publishing, home of Leisure Books and Love Spell, announced that they were “transitioning to e-book and trade” starting in September. While J.A. Konrath discusses this as a possible “beginning of the end”, others such as Jim C. Hines discuss this move as a way for Dorchester to remain viable.
So what is a poor author to do?
First we all need to realize that publishing is in a state of flux and no one knows exactly how it will shake out. While such change and uncertainty is scary, I am excited about the possibilities. I think there will be more avenues for writers to get their work in front of readers. There will be more ways for readers to find the stories they want to read. Publishers will morph into different entities to support the production of professional quality stories.
Being flexible and open to these changes will be key. Writers need to pay attention to their contracts, including their revisions clauses and ebook royalties. Ignorance will hold a huge price. Publishers need to stop being in denial about ebooks, stop trying to keep ebooks prices artificially high to support hard covers, and seek ways to remain relevant and prosperous in this new publishing landscape. Dorchester’s new move might be an option. Time will tell.
Although I don’t have a crystal ball to forecast the future, I believe we will see a mix of print and ebooks. I intend to pursue both avenues. Each has their benefits and problems, to me going for both will make sure I make the most of those benefits.
What do you think of the changes going on in the publishing industry?
For other views on the Dorchester announcement check out these articles:
Maya Reynolds: Revisiting Dorchester
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: Dorchester Goes Digital, Authors Do What?
RT Book Reviews: Dorchester Publishing
Galley Cat: Dorchester Publishing Switches to eBook & Print-on-Demand Model
Dear Author: Dorchester Update
Publishers Weekly: Dorchester Drops Mass Market Publishing for E-Book/POD Model