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Friday News: Amazon acquires Dorchester books; BN announces its UK partners;...

Going forward, the acquired Dorchester titles will be published under the appropriate Amazon Publishing imprints: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror titles to 47North; Romance titles to Montlake Romance; Mystery and Thriller titles to Thomas & Mercer; Westerns and other titles to AmazonEncore. Titles will be available both in print and as Kindle books. Under the terms of Amazon’s bid, any former Dorchester Publishing authors that chose not to work with Amazon Publishing will have their rights revert back to them to pursue other publishing opportunities including self-publishing via the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Digital Book World

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

15 Comments

  1. library addict
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 06:03:56

    The patent thing is out of control. I still can’t believe Apple won that case. And what about the original Nook? Wasn’t that a dual screen device? It’s silly enough that Amazon was able to patent the one click idea. This is not what the patent system was designed for.

    I hope the Dorchester authors do get their back payments. Is the choice to join Amazon mean the titles will be the Kimle Direct exclusives or their print imprints?

    That cover is really pretty. It reminds me of Stargate.

  2. Mary Anne Graham
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 06:57:34

    As to the Dorchester acquisition – I think those authors have a unique opportunity. They can choose to work with a publisher who understands that authors are as different as their books and will tailor contracts accordingly.

    Dual screens on the next Kindle device? I’d love it – it would give the option to read a book like a paperback – or to use only one screen like a traditional reader. It would allow videos to use the dual screens to get a bigger picture. Set on its side in a word procession application, one screen could function as a keyboard while the other served as a screen. It sounds mighty intriguing to me…..

  3. DS
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 07:15:24

    @library addict: Looks like the difference is a screen on the front and back, one e-ink the other lcd. I have an Edge which had two screens (lcd and eink) with a hinge between them so they folded like a book. I don’t use it much now mainly because it is heavy as these things go and the lcd screen on my fire has much better resolution. You could write on the Edge with a special stylus which I used as part of my work setup, but I gave that up for a Livescribe pen.

  4. Danielle D
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 08:04:07

    A couple of years ago HSN was selling a enTourage Dual Touchscreen LCD & E Ink® Tablet w/Wi-Fi & Built-in Camera, I bought it and return it within a month. I like the fact the reader was on one side and the tablet was on the other but it was too heavy for me to hold in my hand.

  5. Jinni
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:09:27

    Of course, we can’t see the Dorchester contracts, but I wonder if authors have any renegotiation room. I express ignorance about Amazon publishing, but will the authors have distribution in stores and through other on-line outlets?

  6. cleo
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:09:38

    I’ve been joking that the next Apple lawsuit will be against anyone using the lowercase “i”, but perhaps I should keep my mouth shut and not give them any ideas.

  7. Darlynne
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:32:25

    [A]uthors “were offered the opportunity to join Amazon Publishing and receive the full back royalties that Dorchester indicated were owed.”

    And the big publishers wonder why Amazon is kicking their collective ass? I am not blind to Amazon’s flaws, but sometimes a business can actually step up and do the right thing. Color me impressed.

    Cleo, hush. Be vewwy, vewwy quiet.

  8. Sheryl Nantus
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:50:17

    It seems that Amazon might be taking Dorchester books that aren’t theirs…

    Brian Keene’s post at http://www.briankeene.com/?p=12324 see puts forth the problem that he has – he sold a book formerly with Dorchester and of which he had full rights returned to another small epub – and now the listing has changed on Amazon to show Dorchester, not the other publisher. Payments are going to the other publisher but…

  9. library addict
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 12:50:22

    @Darlynne: As I understand it, whoever bought the Dorchester catalog would have been required to pay the owned back royalties, so it wasn’t actually Amazon’s idea to do so.

  10. Rebecca
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 14:06:55

    This country really needs patent reform – the whole system is so absurd!

  11. Sandra Schwab
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 16:39:40

    Of course, we can’t see the Dorchester contracts, but I wonder if authors have any renegotiation room

    Many authors weren’t even contacted about what was going on. Those who were, were given an ammendment to their existing contracts (this included a better royalty rate) and a deadline to decide what they were going to do (sign ammendment or not).

    As to the payment of backroyalties – we are talking about royalties owed according to Dorchester here. In addition, those authors who managed to get their rights reverted months or years ago, lost goodness knows how much money.

  12. DS
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 17:45:52

    Because the contracts were assets in the bankruptcy (and there is a look back period for assets that were sold for less than fair market value) things are potentially a mess. Look up Jane’s posts on bankruptcy she made in 2007. She was writing at the time of the Triskelion epublisher bankruptcy but not addressing it directly.

    It looks like Amazon isn’t trying to hold anyone to the contract who wants out. If Dorchester is discharged then it no longer exists.

    OMG, just read the article. Amazon is getting stuck with DAM!

    “I am excited beyond words about being offered this chance to join Amazon Publishing. I cannot thank them enough for stepping in and giving former Dorchester authors the chance to move ahead,” said Deborah MacGillivray, author and agent of the late Dawn Thompson, author of The Ravening.

    I’m not certain what this means but it ought to delight those who dislike both Amazon and DAM.

  13. Nadia Lee
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 22:55:21

    @Sheryl Nantus: I’m sure that it’ll be sorted out and Amazon will let the author know if he got the rights reverted properly, and if not, he’ll have a chance to get them reverted again.

    Yes, it’s a pain in the butt, but I don’t see Amazon holding authors hostage over something like this because Amazon doesn’t want any bad PR, unlike Dorchester, whose management didn’t care.

  14. Mary Nadolski
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 13:11:56

    I orderd a book July 27th and you have not cashed my check or sent me my book. When will I receive my order?

    Thanks,
    Mary

  15. jane_l
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 13:14:26

    @Mary Nadolski: Mary – is this question for Dorchester? Because this is a blog run by myself and we don’t sell books.

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