Dorchester Publishing has announced it will cease producing mass market paperbacks and switch exclusively to releasing titles in ebook and trade paperback formats. The switch goes into effect beginning with September releases, and will push upcoming releases back from 6-8 months according to a statement released by Dorchester Executive Editor Don D'Auria.
In an article by Jim Milliot for Publishers Weekly, Dorchester President John Prebich cited declining sales as well as reduced shelf space in retail outlets as the major factors in the move. Prebich said the publisher will cut its monthly releases, which range across genres from horror to romance and westerns, from 30 titles to 25.
Price points for the ebook releases will be around $6.99 while the trade paperbacks will be in the $12 - $15 range, according to the PW article.
Charles Ardai, who publishes his Hard Case Crime line of original and reprint crime fiction through Dorchester, said in an e-mail statement to subscribers that no final decision has been made on how this will affect upcoming releases, other than delaying the books already scheduled for October 2010 and March 2011.
In the e-mail, Ardai stated, "Well, either we'll need to switch from the smaller 'mass market' format to the larger 'trade' format, or we'll need to start working with another publisher, or both. (Most likely both, but we'll see.)"
The announcement has publishers and authors buzzing about the possible implications, and there are a number of unanswered questions remaining. I'll continue to follow things as they develop.