Those of you who stay on top of news on the blogosphere have no doubt heard of the struggles facing Dorchester Publishing, the publishing company that launched me back in 2003. They’ve had financial difficulties, which have resulted in their decision to go to an e-book format only and to discontinue books in print. They’ve also had a great deal of difficulty paying authors, including yours truly.
I hold great affection for many people at Dorchester, so I’m this post won’t devolve into Dorch-bashing. But I will say that I was lucky enough to separate myself from the company before its woes became serious. I left on good terms — at least with the people I care about, most of whom are no longer there — but Dorchester still owned the rights to my five historical novels.
My agent and I were not excited about the prospect of these novels being available only and forever by e-book, so she started the looooong process of getting back my rights. We had strong grounds to do this, and as of October 12, my books once again belonged solely to me.
They’re still available as e-books, although I’m not getting any of the revenue from sales. It’s still going to Dorchester because the e-book companies, Amazon included, seem to take their sweet time when it comes to removing titles. I haven’t raised a stink about it — in my case Dorchester is absolutely not to blame — because I'm very busy.
Today I got the fan-freaking-tastic news that Penguin — my I-Team series is published under their Berkley Sensation imprint — is buying the distribution rights to three of the five books in my historical backlist. They are buying Ride the Fire, Surrender and Untamed.
It makes sense for them to buy especially the last two, as they also bought Connor’s book. After people read his story, some will want to go back and get the previous two books. And unless they’re still in print, they won’t be able to find them. But now, happily, they will be in print.
So that takes care of the MacKinnon’s Rangers series.
But what about the others? I told my agent to please, please, please try to persuade Penguin to buy Ride the Fire, as well. There are reasons for this. First, it’s the novel where my writing really hit its stride, or so I feel. Also, it’s an intensely personal story for me, the novel that took the most out of me in many respects. And third, it’s a reader fave.
My editor hasn’t read Ride the Fire yet, but I trust that when she does she’ll be happy she included it in the purchase. And when she reads it, I'm going to ask for the chance to fix one thing that has bugged me for years (an oversight on my part toward the end) and to add the long-awaited, still unwritten epilogue.
I have no idea what the covers will look like or when the books will be released. I suspect they’ll want to get Surrender and Untamed in print before Connor’s book is released a little more than a year from now. As for Ride the Fire, who knows? But at least the stories won’t be languishing forever.
As for Sweet Release and Carnal Gift, I’ve got to contact all the e-book booksellers in the universe and let them know to send the checks to moi. Because I have time for that. But for the foreseeable future, those two are going to be out of print. It’s a bummer, yes, but I’ve had a much softer landing with regard to the Dorchester ordeal than some authors. I have my agent to thank for that.
I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that my editor would want these books for weeks now, and I’m so excited to share the good news.
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