After rumors surfaced over the weekend that Dorchester CEO John Prebich had left the struggling publisher, PW has confirmed that Prebich is indeed out and a new CEO has been named in Robert Anthony. Anthony, who was most recently CFO and CEO at Backe Marketing, is, per a statement from the house this morning, going to "revitalize" Dorchester, which has been under fire for not paying some of its authors and changing its plans, after announcing it was moving to an all-digital list.
The company, which now has six staffers, says it will be doing titles in both e-book and trade paperback. Also, previously unavailable backlist titles from Dorchester will now be available online at www.dorchesterpub.com. The publisher also said that it plans on releasing its winter e-book list on November 23. Tim DeYoung, head of sales for Dorchester, said the company plans a full trade paperback program program in January when it will begin re-issuing some of its major authors in that format. Dorchester will release five to six reissued paperbacks in the January through April period and will begin publishing new titles in both trade paperback and e-book formats in May, doing between five and 10 titles per month. Dorchester will be using Ingram Publisher Services to distribute the trade paperbacks and Ingram's Core Source for digital distribution. Titles will be released under the Dorchester Trade Publishing name, although DeYoung said the company will keep the Leisure Arts and Love Spell imprints and may add to them in time.
Anthony, who said he will keep the company's core staff in place, said his first goal is to "reorganize and improve the accounting and internal financial reporting structure." To that end, a review of the royalty process is under review--this after a number of authors came forward about missed and non-payments from Dorchester--in an effort to "shore up revenue sources and paying off creditors." Anthony added: "We will create an atmosphere of transparency and efficiency that was heretofore lacking." DeYoung said over the last two weeks, Dorchester has sent checks to authors and that more will be sent in the coming weeks. He acknowledged that some authors have left, but said he was hopeful authors will be willing to come back once they see that Dorchester has re-estblished itself. "We know people will be watching us carefully," DeYoung said. "I hope they give us another chance." A new contract is in the work that DeYoung says he believes authors will find attractive.
Speaking to the confusion that ensued from the summer announcement about the company switching to a digitally-driven print program, the company acknowledged that the e-book only line "was predicated by financial difficulties stemming from the contracting mass-market industry" and that it came along "with a significant reduction in Dorchester’s staff." Dorchester added that "mixed messages to media outlets and unpredicted procedural changes also contributed, undermining author confidence and leading to rumors of imminent bankruptcy."