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OPLIN 4Cast #190: Digital Romance?

Posted in 4cast

printing pressAs of Monday, Dorchester Publishing, which claims to be the oldest independent mass market publisher in America and is known as a romance publisher, switched away from traditional print publishing to only e-books or print-on-demand. Is this a harbinger of things to come?

  • Dorchester drops mass market publishing for E-Book/POD model (Publishers Weekly, August 6) “President John Prebich said after retail sales fell by 25% in 2009, the company knew that 2010 ‘would be a defining year,’ but rather than show improvement, ‘sales have been worse.’ While returns are down, the company has had a difficult time getting its titles into stores as shelf space for mass market has been reduced.”
  • Paperback publisher goes all digital (Wall Street Journal, August 6) “Romance fans in particular have already embraced e-books, in part because customers can read them in public without having to display the covers. In addition, type size is easily adjusted on e-readers, making titles published in the mass paperback format easier to read for older customers.”
  • The ‘vanity’ press goes digital (Wall Street Journal, June 3) “Much as blogs have bitten into the news business and YouTube has challenged television, digital self-publishing is creating a powerful new niche in books that’s threatening the traditional industry. Once derided as ‘vanity’ titles by the publishing establishment, self-published books suddenly are able to thrive by circumventing the establishment.”
  • Authors do what? (Smart Bitches Trashy Books/SB Sarah) “But the real matter at hand, aside from placing bets in the death pool as to whether Dorchester is circling the drain or has bought itself some time, is what do you think authors with print books formerly scheduled to come out this fall should do to shift their marketing and promotional plans as new digital-only authors?”

Libraries do what?
If you’re wondering how to add Dorchester titles to your library print collection now, they have signed a deal with Ingram Publisher Service to do print-on-demand copies for selected titles.