Why am I just reading about this?  Only because I just Googled Dorchester Publishing to see if there was anything new about the royalty payments owed to their authors (like me), and instead, this is what I find. Shouldn’t I–as a Dorchester author– been informed of what was happening?  I feel like someone just took the wind right out of my sails!

Dorchester Publishing Closes Its Doors

9 March 2012

Publishers Weekly has a news item announcing that Dorchester Publishing has closed its doors and most, if not all, of its magazine and book titles will be sold in foreclosure.

Agent Kristin Nelson reports:

Last year when my lawyer and I sat in on the phone calls where Dorchester disclosed their financially precarious position, the list of creditors was part of that conversation. There are at least 6 companies that might find it worthwhile to force Dorchester into Bankruptcy to recover monies owed.

And I hope they do.

Link to the rest at Pub Rants and a link Kristin provides to a notice of a foreclosure sale.

Passive Guy doesn’t have any inside knowledge of this matter or of publishing contracts for the Dorchester Books being sold.

However, as a general proposition, if an author has signed a publishing agreement with a publisher, the publisher is free to pledge its interest in that agreement and the underlying book(s) as security for its debts.

If the publisher then fails to pay those debts, the lender/secured party can seize that publishing agreement and sell it to the highest bidder, whoever that may be. The author effectively has no control over who his/her publisher may be at that point.

While the purchaser of the contract has an obligation to honor its terms, it’s not difficult to imagine that some purchasers might be more inclined to honor contract terms and others might be more inclined to collect sales revenues without appropriate royalty payments.

When we talk about publishers failing, this is part of the story of what happens.


  1. Well, I sure didn’t get this letter. All I’ve gotten from them in the past year is a royalty statement for Black Horse. I was beyond excited at how much BH had earned so far. But now, I doubt I’ll ever see royalties from either BH or White Owl. I get sick to my stomach everytime I think about it!


  2. I cant believe how they can just do that, it completely steals an authors livelihood and takes everything they worked so hard for so long for away from them in a snap its really heart breaking to see that kind of dedication disrespected like that. when you write something it becomes your life you invest in it forever its a part of you and to take a loss like that with all you have been through, you are owed so much more than that. something should be done for everyone that takes a hit from that. its completely ridiculous.
    you are such a wonderful author and your books deserve so much more credit from the hard work you put into it a whole lot more than just oops we are closing our doors and we forgot to tell you ..


    1. Thanks Krissy! It’s been a real eye-opener and a huge disappointment. It is going to be hard to trust another publisher, but I’m not ready to give up writing and I don’t really want to self-publish, so I guess I will just have to take another chance…that is if another publisher wants me! 🙂


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