First, before I go into voicing my opinion or on a little rant, I’m going to provide a few links designed to act as a “catch-up” for the situation that has been going on with Dorchester – Leisure Publications for quite some time. These links show blog posts from various authors who have been affected by the company, as well as a facebook page supporting the boycotting of the publisher.
- “Boycott Dorchester“ as written by Brian Keene on his blog. This link also features links to posts about his issues with the company leading up to now.
- “Updates for Boycott Dorchester“: an update to the link above, as written by Keene. This post also includes comments from other authors who have yet to receive their royalties.
- “Dorchester Boycott: The Final Thoughts“: yet another update from Keene.
- “Tales of the WTF: Dorchester Reverts Rights, But Continues to Sell Digital Books” is an article posted on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, also detailing the problems authors are having with Dorchester – Leisure Publications.
- Keene has received press from Galleycat here and Publisher’s Weekely here about the Dorchester – Leisure boycott.
- A list of professionals endorsing the boycott can be found on Keene’s website here.
- In this blog post by Tom Piccirilli, Piccirilli admits to having his own personal boycott since he left Dorchester – Leisure in 2005.
- Author Mary SanGiovanni voiced her support of the boycott on her blog, as she is one of the many authors affected.
- Here is a link to another blog supporting the boycott.
- Author Stacy Dittrich is taking Dorchester – Leisure on, having chosen to move forward with legal procedures according to her blog post here.
- And here is the Boycott Dorchester Facebook page. Like it and help spread the word about what Dorchester – Leisure is doing!
Now that I feel I’ve provided an adequate amount of links to help fill one in on the issue at hand, I’ll offer a brief summary of what is going on for those who don’t have the time or are unwilling to read all of what I’ve posted above:
Dorchester – Leisure has stopped paying their authors, more or less. While some are still receiving royalties, others are on back pay and many aren’t receiving checks at all. To top that off, authors who have had the rights to their work returned to them by the company either through request or the fact they are out of print, are having a rude awakening: Dorchester – Leisure is still selling their books, in e-book format, through many retailers. And since they don’t have the rights, where does all the money go? Certainly not into the pockets of those who wrote them. Some authors have been experiencing this since 2009, though a majority of the problems seem to have started in mid-2010.
Attempts by these authors to contact Dorchester – Leisure and provide an opportunity to right their wrongs has been, for the most part, fruitless. What does this really mean? It means that Dorchester – Leisure is stealing from many authors who trusted them. Yes, that’s right. They are stealing.
Now, I’m nowhere near as published or known as the authors affected, but that doesn’t leave me voiceless. I may have only, thus far, published one piece, and it is self-published, but I’m a writer. I’m an author. And I’m going to take sides with what is best for my fellow writers. I’ve never really wanted to go traditional publishing, and this right here is an example of why many writers don’t. It’s too much of a headache and, like these former Dorchester – Leisure authors, it is upsetting and, in many cases, it affects livelihood. If you don’t fully understand why this is so, then picture it this way: You work 40 hours a week, being paid just enough to cover the bills. What happens if your job stops paying you in a timely fashion, or at all? Of course, you’ve got the State Labor Boards (and I’m sure there are other organizations like such in other countries) to back you up. Writers don’t. Some rely on their work the same as another may rely on their job. And in this case, the problem is simple and obvious: Dorchester – Leisure is not paying many of their authors. Dorchester – Leisure is stealing their former author’s work. It isn’t right.
What I ask is this, even if it does only touch a few people: support the Dorchester – Leisure Boycott. Stop using them, don’t sign with them, don’t follow them, don’t buy from them. It’s simple. Just check the publisher if it’s an e-Book format or the spine if its in paperback. Don’t look at the price, because no matter how cheap it is, it’s not going in the pockets of the person whose name is on that cover.
Support what is right. You wouldn’t want to work for nothing.