Romance authors seeking publication could once try their luck at Dorchester Publishing, a small house that cranked out bodice rippers and, one would assume, turned a profit.
Then things turned sour.
Authors reported missing royalty checks, or not getting paid at all. Dorchester had excuses. There was some shifting in strategy, suggestions of turning entirely to e-books. All along, they insisted they were still a going concern.
How can a publisher be operating when the editorial staff is close to non-existent?
With the departure of Chris Keeslar, there are five people left running Dorchester, a few of whom hold editorial staff positions.
Oh, and there's still a marketing and publicity coordinator. Ms. Hannah Wolfson put out an announcement on the heels of Mr. Keeslar's departure, claiming that it's all "business as usual". The usual, of late, isn't so good, when authors don't get paid. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it's probably fairly accurate.
Dorchester is reorganizing and trying to re-invent itself, searching for a niche that's in need of filling when book sales are down. By the end of February, according to Ms. Wolfson, a plan will be in train.
That plan must not include a blog for the Dorchester community, because it's been put to sleep. Submissions have been closed for some time, but it only makes sense. Who would want to submit to a house that has acquired a reputation of short-changing its authors?
Do not go gentle into that good night, and Dorchester is clearly raging against the dying of the light. The problem is, when the patient is terminal, there's no amount of medicine that can save it.