Dorchester Publishing

Dorchester Publishing was a publisher of mass market paperback books. Although mostly known for romance, Dorchester also published horror, thriller and Western titles.

Dorchester Publishing
Dorchester Publishing
StatusDefunct (2011)
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location200 Madison Avenue, Suite 2000
New York City, New York 10016
Key peopleDon D'Auria (Executive Editor, 1995–2010)
Publication typesBooks, Magazines
Fiction genresRomance, Horror, Thrillers Western
ImprintsLeisure Books (c. 1982–2010)
Love Spell

Publication lines

Dorchester was the original publisher of the Hard Case Crime line of pulp-style mysteries. In addition, Dorchester distributes the Family Doctor series of health guides in the U.S. and Canada. Their Love Spell imprint handles the newer types of romance, and complements their more traditional Leisure Books imprint. They also have an imprint for thrillers, the Smooch imprint for young adult literature, and Making It for trade paperback chick-lit novels.

Dorchester also publishes romance magazines such as True Confessions and True Story. Dorchester offers book clubs, fan registries, and a comprehensive website for readers. Dorchester books are featured in their "Dear Reader Book Clubs", which allows readers to read a chapter a day from the book for a week.


Dorchester Publishing was founded in 1971, and claims to be the oldest independent mass market publisher in America.[1]

Dorchester acquired Leisure Books in c. 1982, making it into a Dorchester imprint and eventually transitioning Leisure into a horror line.

They added the Love Spell imprint in 1993, and new thriller and young adult imprints in 2003. In 2004, they launched their trade paperback chick-lit imprint Making It, and with Charles Ardai they co-founded the Hard Case Crime imprint.

Also in 2004, Dorchester purchased magazine publisher Sterling/MacFadden, acquiring with it several romance magazines.

In August 2010, after two years of big drops in sales, Dorchester announced a temporary shift from printing books on paper to e-books and print-on-demand services.[1][2][3] At the same time, they announced that they would be setting new royalty rates for their authors. However, in October 2010, the Mystery Writers of America removed Dorchester from their list of Approved Publishers citing failure to pay authors their advances and royalties.[4] In November, Dorchester's former CEO, John Prebich, resigned and was replaced by Robert Anthony; Anthony promised that his first step would be to review the publisher's royalty process.[5] In October 2010, Dorchester announced that publication of the Hard Case Crime imprint would be transferred from Dorchester to Titan Books,[6] and in January and February 2011, Dorchester offered to sell off the names of several of its discontinued magazines.[7]

At the end of 2011, BroadLit purchased the subscriber databases and content of True Romance and True Love magazines—including more than 12,000 stories, photos, and illustrations from the 1920s to 2011. BroadLit is publishing both print and e-book compilations of stories from the magazines, grouped by themes, under the TruLOVE Collection umbrella.[8]

In March 2011, horror author Brian Keene announced a boycott of Dorchester over claims that it was still not paying its authors and that it had sold books to which it did not own the sales rights; Keene was joined by dozens of other authors, editors, artists, and organizations.[9] Dorchester responded by promising to suppress sales of reverted books and to pay its authors what they are owed.[10]

In August 2012 Amazon Publishing announced that it had acquired at auction the publishing contacts of over 1000 books from Dorchester Publishing. Dorchester authors were offered the opportunity to join Amazon Publishing and receive the full back royalties that Dorchester indicated were owed. Under the terms of Amazon’s bid, any former Dorchester Publishing authors that chose not to work with Amazon Publishing will have their rights revert to them to pursue other publishing opportunities including self-publishing via the Kindle Direct Publishing platform.[11]


  1. ^ a b Cheng, Jacqui (August 11, 2010), "Mass Romance Novel Publisher Going All In On E-Books", Wired.
  2. ^ Milliot, Jim (August 6, 2010), "Dorchester Drops Mass Market Publishing for E-Book/POD Model", Publishers Weekly.
  3. ^ Deahl, Rachel (August 11, 2010), "Confusion, Backtracking at Dorchester After 'All Digital' Headlines", Publishers Weekly.
  4. ^ Boog, Jason (October 28, 2010), Dorchester Publishing De-Listed by Mystery Writers of America, GalleyCat.
  5. ^ Deahl, Rachel; Milliot, Jim (November 16, 2010), "Dorchester Hires New CEO; Sets New Plan", Publishers Weekly.
  6. ^ Boog, Jason (October 20, 2010), Hard Case Crime to Relaunch with Titan Publishing, GalleyCat.
  7. ^ Botelho, Stefanie (February 8, 2011), "Dorchester Media Puts Entertainment, Select Romance Mag Assets on the Block", Folio.
  8. ^ "TruLOVEstories: Vintage Romance Meets Electronic Distribution", Publishers Weekly, April 23, 2012.
  9. ^ Boog, Jason (March 25, 2011), Dorchester Publishing Boycott Launched, GalleyCat.
  10. ^ Milliot, Jim (March 29, 2011), "Dorchester Promises to Do Right by Authors", Publishers Weekly.
  11. ^ Owen, Laura Hazard (August 30, 2012), Amazon Publishing buys 1000 Titles From Defunct Dorchester.

External links

Brian Pinkerton

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Cassie Edwards

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Flora Speer

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Gerri Russell

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Hard Case Crime

Hard Case Crime is an American imprint of hardboiled crime novels founded in 2004 by Charles Ardai (also the founder of the Internet service Juno Online Services) and Max Phillips. The series recreates, in editorial form and content, the flavor of the paperback crime novels of the 1940s and '50s. The covers feature original illustrations done in a style familiar from the golden age of paperbacks (the 1950s and '60s), credited to artists such as Robert McGinnis and Glen Orbik.The collection includes both reprints of books from the pulp era (typically labeled Complete and unabridged on the cover), and new novels written for the collection (typically labeled First publication anywhere). The top-selling entries in the series to date have been novels by Stephen King: The Colorado Kid (2005), which later became the basis for the SyFy television series Haven, and Joyland (2013).

Six novels published by Hard Case have been nominated for the Edgar Award: In 2005, Little Girl Lost, by Richard Aleas (a pseudonym for Hard Case Crime co-founder Charles Ardai that is both an anagram of Ardai's name and a play on "alias"), was nominated as Best First Novel by an American Author, and Domenic Stansberry's The Confession won the award for Best Paperback Original; in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2014, respectively, Allan Guthrie's Kiss Her Goodbye, Russell Hill's Robbie's Wife, Christa Faust's Money Shot, and Stephen King's Joyland were nominated for Best Paperback Original.Max Phillips' Fade to Blonde won the 2005 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Novel of the Year, and Charles Ardai's pseudonymous "Richard Aleas" novel Songs of Innocence won the same award in 2008. Ardai also received the Edgar Award in 2007, for his short story "The Home Front."Between 2004 and 2010, Hard Case Crime was published through a collaboration between Ardai's company, Winterfall LLC, and Dorchester Publishing. Starting in 2011, Titan Books replaced Dorchester as publisher of the series. Additionally, two volumes in the series, one reprinting a pair of early Lawrence Block novels, 69 Barrow Street and Strange Embrace, the other a collection of Lawrence Block short stories, Catch and Release, were published by Subterranean Press.

Jennifer Archer

Jennifer Archer (born 1957) is an author of young adult/teen fiction, women's fiction and romance born in Cleburne, north central Texas. Her novels typically have strong female protagonists, and have been nominated for numerous awards.

Archer holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from West Texas A&M University, and after graduating she worked in the fields of oil and gas accounting, real estate management, and the pharmacy and medical equipment industries, before becoming a full-time writer. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of creative writing and pursuing dreams, and has presented numerous talks and workshops for educators, students, writers' organizations and bookstores. Her novels for adults have been published with Dorchester Publishing and Harlequin Books, and her novels for teens with Harper Teen. She is also the co-author of Happiness Rehab: 8 Creative Steps to a More Joyful Life

Body and Soul, Archer's debut novel, was released in 1999. Once Upon a Dream, her second novel, spent several weeks on Borders Books' bestseller list for Paranormal Romance, and was chosen by as one of the 'Best New Romances' for the month of January 2001, and was a 2001 P.E.A.R.L. Finalist (Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature). Archer finished in the finals twice in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart competition, was a 2006 finalist for the prestigious Rita Award with her mainstream women’s fiction novel The Me I Used to Be, and her novel Sandwiched was a 2006 nominee for a Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award. The Texas Library Association selected her novel Through Her Eyes for the TAYSHAS high school reading list, and for the Spirit of Texas Reading Program - Middle School.

Archer currently resides in Amarillo, Texas.

John Everson

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Leisure Books

Leisure Books was a mass market paperback publisher specializing in horror and thrillers that operated from 1957 to 2010. In the company's early years, it also published fantasy, science fiction, Westerns, and the Wildlife Treasury card series.

Leisure Books offered a book sales club service. Typically two free books were provided as an initial inducement. After that two books were sent on a monthly basis. Readers would have ten days to keep or return. If kept there would be a discount on the purchase price.

From around 1982 onward, Leisure Books was an imprint of Dorchester Publishing, shifting the company's focus away from fantasy and science fiction and more towards horror. As such, Leisure published novels and collections by a number of horror's notable authors, including Douglas Clegg, Stacy Dittrich, Ray Garton, J. F. Gonzalez, Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Deborah LeBlanc, Edward Lee, Ronald Malfi, Graham Masterton, T. V. Olsen, and Sarah Pinborough.

Leisure horror titles won numerous awards, including the Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award. In addition, a Leisure title was given the 2002 World Fantasy Award.

Lynsay Sands

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Paranormal romance

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Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy. Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction. Its most recent revival has been spurred by turn of the 21st century technology, e.g. the internet and electronic publishing. Paranormal romances are one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.

Examples of authors specializing in this genre include Dani Harper, Nalini Singh (author), Jessica Bird, Kresley Cole, Christine Feehan, Kelley Armstrong, and Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series. According to 2013 statistics by the fantasy publisher Tor Books, among writers of urban fantasy or paranormal romance, 57% are women and 43% are men, whereas men outnumber women by about two to one in writing historical, epic or high fantasy.

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Sweetie's Diamonds

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Tim Schoch

Tim Schoch (born November 22, 1949) is to date the author of 10 novels—three detective-mystery novels, four humorous mysteries for young adults, one romance based on the TV soap opera Another World, and two ghost-written novels (2006–07, publisher confidential). In that order, the titles are:

As T.A. Schock, Dorchester Publishing, N.Y.:

Pratfall (1981) ISBN 0-8439-0919-6

Deadpan (1981) ISBN 0-8439-0948-X

Stopgap (1982) ISBN 0-8439-0972-2As Tim Schoch, Avon/Camelot Books, N.Y.:

Creeps: an Alien in our School (1985) ISBN 0-380-89852-7

Review, Times Educational Supplement Nov 20, 1987 p30

Review, Books for Your Children Spring 1988 v23 p13

Review, Books for Keeps Nov 1987 p21

Brief Review, The Sydney Morning Herald - Mar 20, 1988

Summer Camp Creeps (1987) ISBN 0-380-75343-X

Review, Library Media Connection Sept 1987 v6 p45

Flash Fry, Private Eye (1986) ISBN 0-380-75108-9

Review, Library Media Connection// Jan 1987 v5 p37

Cat Attack! (1988) ISBN 0-380-75520-3As Virginia Grace, Pioneer Communications, N.Y.:

Forgive and Forget: Another World #6 ISBN 0-916217-36-1As a magazine writer, Schoch wrote a contest-winning golf article in 1987 for Golf Illustrated magazine, numerous pieces of humor published in Playboy, Golf Digest, AFTRA magazine and others; as well as lifestyle articles for consumer magazines.

As a professional actor and singer, Schoch is a trained dramatic and Shakespearean actor appearing on stage in Death of a Salesman (with Eugenia Rawls), Waiting for Godot, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, and others. He has also appeared in musical comedies such as Little Mary Sunshine, Mame, Once Upon a Mattress, Plaza Suite, 1776, Godspell, Man of La Mancha, Dames at Sea, The Fantasticks, and others.As a performer, songwriter/guitarist, and comedian, he co-wrote and starred in the musical-comedy nightclub act "Schoch and Jerry" in New York City with Jerry Winsett, which was rated “Tops in Town” by Showbusiness Magazine.Tim Schoch graduated the University of Tampa in Florida with a B.A. in Speech and Drama.

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