NEW YORK, New York (November 16, 2010) – Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc., founded in 1971, and what was until this year the oldest independent mass-market publisher in the U.S., has changed leadership in its mission to revitalize Dorchester and blaze a path as an exciting independent digital and trade publisher of genre fiction.
Taking over the role of Dorchester’s CEO will be Mr. Robert Anthony, current CFO & COO of Backe Digital Brand Marketing, who brings with him more than 25 years of experience in financial and operations management. Prior to his time at Backe Marketing, Anthony was the president of The Blue Sky Financial Group, which provides business consulting services on operational strategies and business development. As a CPA he has worked in public accounting, gaining exposure to a wide variety of business models, and he was the controller for one of the largest investment management organizations in the United States, Federated Investors, where he held an integral role in the planning, restructuring, development and growth of that company.
“My first goal with Dorchester is to reorganize and improve the accounting and internal financial reporting structure. This will include a complete review of the royalty system and other vitally important internal procedures, all of which are intended to focus on shoring up revenue sources and paying off creditors. We will create an atmosphere of transparency and efficiency that was heretofore lacking,” announced Anthony after taking charge on Friday. He is importing new staff to handle the tasks, though Dorchester’s remaining core will go unchanged.
Dorchester is known for having built such stars as Christine Feehan, Katie MacAlister, Connie Mason, Lynsay Sands, and numerous others, and its authors have been bestsellers of The New York Times, USA Today, Barnes & Noble, and many more. Earlier this year, Dorchester changed its focus from mass-market paperbacks to e-books and trade paperbacks. While the trade line was planned for some time, the mid-August shift to e-books was predicated by financial difficulties stemming from the contracting mass-market industry and came with a significant reduction in Dorchester’s staff, which caused some missteps in the implementation of the new company strategy. Mixed messages to media outlets and unpredicted procedural changes also contributed, undermining author confidence and leading to rumors of imminent bankruptcy.
“We are going to reinvigorate this company,” declared Anthony. “I’ve quickly learned that the employees at Dorchester are a talented and professional group. We’re going to do whatever it takes.”
Some steps have already been taken: After a deal with Offset Paperback Manufacturers, previously unavailable mass-market copies of Dorchester’s author backlist are once again available to some vendors and through the company Web site—www.dorchesterpub.com—and after a short hiatus in new-book production, the company intends to release its Winter e-book list on November 23, 2010, just in time for the holiday season. An arrangement has been reached so that Ingram will be distributing Audio Realms audio versions of popular Dorchester books as well as the trade releases, and the company’s Web site will be revamped and launched right before the end of the year. Writers groups such as SFWA, RWA and MWA are being contacted to help spread news of the changes.
Contrary to mistaken previous reports, Dorchester intends to produce all titles in both e-book and trade paperback form, using both Ingram’s regular trade printing ability or advanced inventory technology as orders dictate. The trade paperbacks will begin appearing in January 2011 and be distributed through Ingram Publishing Services, who will sell Dorchester’s product into standard retail outlets such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks, BooksAMillion, Powell’s, Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart, among others. A recent changeover from LibreDigital to Core Source, Ingram’s digital warehousing and e-book sales arm, will also facilitate forward growth and the expedited availability of popular authors’ backlists in e-book form.