There’s a bit of breaking news this morning about Dorchester Publishing, the now-defunct publishing house that holds the rights to my first regency, A Tryst With Trouble. Digital Book World is reporting that unless another bidder steps forward, Amazon will acquire Dorchester at auction in August.
The article–available here–reports, “In practice Amazon, or any firm that outbids Amazon in an auction to be conducted in August, will tender amendments to authors and agents transferring rights to the new entity, in exchange for which back royalties will be paid in full.” Since my book was never published, I’m not owed any back royalties, so I’m not sure whether I’ll be tendered a contract amendment or not. In other words, it’s not clear whether my book will automatically become Amazon’s, or (since my original deal with Dorchester was for both print and digital, but Amazon is strictly digital) whether I’ll have an opportunity to opt out, take my rights, and publish the book elsewhere. Even if Amazon does acquire the rights to A Tryst With Trouble, I don’t know when the book would be released, or if the cover art would look the same. But at least there’s some movement on the Dorchester front.
P.M. Update: Publisher’s Weekly has also reported on Amazon’s bid here, including a quote from an Amazon spokesperson:
Moving forward, Dorchester authors will, Amazon said, be offered the choice about how they want their titles published. An Amazon spokesperson explained: “We want all authors to be happy being a part of the Amazon Publishing family going forward and we have structured our bid so that we will only take on authors who want to join us. As part of this philosophy, if we win the bid, Dorchester has committed to revert all titles that are not assigned to us.”
I’ll continue to post more information as it becomes available. The auction isn’t until August 28, so whether the news is good or bad, a resolution is still months away.