My backlist, that is. And I can’t tell you how happy I am about that. Today I can proudly say, “My ass is Amazon’s!”
When I signed my first paperback book deal with Leisure Books, the premier imprint for horror novels five years ago, I never imagined that the company would be essentially mothballed less than four years later… but the ebook revolution and flawed business models ultimately killed Dorchester Publications (and its imprints like Leisure Books) after the New York-based publisher had been in the mass market paperback game for 40 years.
My novel The Pumpkin Man was the last original horror title they released in trade paperback that I’m aware of (it came out in October 2011), just as my novel Siren was the last mass market horror title they issued the summer before (right about this time in 2010).
It’s felt like a really long spiral since August 2010, and I’ll miss all of the staff at Dorchester that I’ve worked closely with over the past couple years, but at last, the deal is done. I speculated back in March that the most likely bidder to buy Dorchester’s catalogue was Amazon, and a few weeks ago, that guess was confirmed when it was publicly announced that Amazon was the sole bidder so far in an auction for Dorchester’s titles.
Today, Amazon issued the following press release noting that the deal is completed and they have finally acquired over 1,000 Dorchester titles. I signed an amendment a couple weeks ago that means my first five novels – Covenant, Sacrifice, The 13th, Siren and The Pumpkin Man – will all now be reissued by Amazon’s 47 North imprint. That means they’ll be available in paperback format again, as well as continue in ebook. And it means I’ll actually see royalties from them again!
Here’s the press release that started circulating an hour or so ago:
Amazon Publishing Acquires Publication Contracts to Over 1000 Books from Dorchester Publishing
SEATTLE—August 30, 2012—Amazon Publishing today announced that it has acquired through an auction the publication contracts of over 1000 books from Dorchester Publishing. As part of the process, Dorchester authors were offered the opportunity to join Amazon Publishing and receive the full back royalties that Dorchester indicated were owed.
“Working with the Dorchester author community during this auction process has been a tremendous experience for all of us,” said Philip Patrick, Business Development Director at Amazon Publishing. “We are happy to be able to pay their back royalties and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the Amazon Publishing family.”
“Amazon Publishing is breathing new life into my series, and I’m very excited to see what the future holds,” said Tracy Madison, award-winning author of the Gypsy Magic series.
“I am excited beyond words about being offered this chance to join Amazon Publishing. I cannot thank them enough for stepping in and giving former Dorchester authors the chance to move ahead,” said Deborah MacGillivray, author and agent of the late Dawn Thompson, author of The Ravening. “Dawn literally lived for her writing. Amazon Publishing is helping me safeguard Dawn’s legacy, and to see that new readers can continue to find her books,” said Dawn’s sister, Diane Thompson.
“This new relationship will enable the works of countless talented fiction writers to serve their established readers and reach new ones across the globe,” said Gregg Loomis, author of The Bonaparte Secret.
“The transition from Dorchester to Amazon Publishing means that our authors will now be able to reach so many more readers and markets worldwide than they ever could before. That truly is something to celebrate,” said Vicky Piekarski and Jon Tuska, co-owners of Golden West Literary Agency, in a joint statement.
Going forward, the acquired Dorchester titles will be published under the appropriate Amazon Publishing imprints: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror titles to 47North; Romance titles to Montlake Romance; Mystery and Thriller titles to Thomas & Mercer; Westerns and other titles to AmazonEncore. Titles will be available both in print and as Kindle books. 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 back to them to pursue other publishing opportunities including self-publishing via the Kindle Direct Publishing platform.
Amazon Publishing is the publishing arm of Amazon.com. Amazon Publishing’s West Coast Group includes imprints AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, and 47North. Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group publishes adult trade, children’s and young adult titles. For more information about all imprints of Amazon Publishing, visit www.amazon.com/amazonpublishing. Amazon Publishing is a brand used by Amazon Content Services, LLC.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
I love movies almost as much as books. And actually, I really get to enjoy more movies these days than I do books, since it’s a lot easier for me to give up 90 or 100 minutes to a story than several hours. (I know, heresy from a writer, right?)
But as much as I love film, I don’t remember the names of directors that much. Hitchcock, Argento, del Torro, sure. But who directed Friday the 13th? Beats me. I have a few directors whose work I devotedly follow (like Jean Rollin) but mostly, I watch movies and don’t recall who was at the helm.
John Carpenter is one of those directors though that I have always been aware of. And I’m shocked when I say his name and people don’t instantly nod (this happened to me just this week. I said “John Carpenter,” and the woman looked back at me blankly and said “who?”)
When I was in high school, I saw Halloween and Escape from New York and The Thing. These were amazing movies, and I became a lifelong Carpenter fan thanks to them. When I was in college, and he enjoyed a “return” to his indie roots with Prince of Darkness, I reviewed the movie for my college newspaper (it remains one of my favorite Carpenter films).
So last weekend, when he was going to be here in the burbs of Chicago at Flashback Weekend, well… of course I HAD to go. I went to Flashback last year for the first time, and was thinking of going there this year as “an author” with a table of books… but instead, I decided to just go, kick back and be a fan for a day instead of “working it”. And my prime goal, of course, was to meet John Carpenter.
Not only did I meet him, but I ended up autographing a copy of my own book, The Pumpkin Man, to him. I wasn’t sure if he’d accept such a thing, but I asked him if he’d like a copy as he signed a DVD I had of his life story, and he said he would absolutely read it. So John Carpenter and I traded signatures! Will he ever read The Pumpkin Man? I dunno. But I was pretty excited to actually meet the man who has given me so much inspiration and entertainment over the years. And I have to say, I was pretty much a tongue-tied fanboy when I did actually stand there at the table near him. There were so many things I wanted to say to him… and all I got out was basically “I um love um your movies and um… would you like a copy of my book cuz, um… it has a pumpkin on it which is, um, kinda like that movie you made, er, Halloween.”
OK, I think I was a little better than that. But probably not much.
Anyway… it was a fun afternoon. I saw some interviews with various actors from Friday the 13th and Halloween movies (see pix below), as well as one with Tony Todd, the actor from Candyman, one of those films that can creep you out for life.
I also got to hang out with Gerald Chandler, half of the Synapse Films team, at their booth. Jerry started reading my novels after we talked last year at Flashback, so it was great to have some time to catch up again.
I’m looking forward to seeing him and the Synapse team again at Horrorfind Weekend in Gettysburg in a couple weeks. And next time, I’ll be sporting my OWN Synapse t-shirt 🙂
After a day hanging out at media interviews and the dealer’s room, I went over to the new restaurant/nightclub area that has been building up behind the hotel where the convention was held. I’ve been waiting all summer for them to open the new Hofbrauhaus there (it was scheduled to open in July), since I’ve been to the one in Cincinnati as well as the original in Munich earlier this year. But as you can see… all that is finished so far is the shell and the HB.
So instead of eating there, I went to the Park Tavern, across the street, which promised “craft beer.” They had a good selection of taps, including one from Flossmoor Station, a brewpub down near my high school that I don’t get to very often these days, since they’re a good 45 minutes south of us.
I tried Flossmoor’s MCAison which was amazing — a summer Belgian ale with a slightly sour rhubarb finish. And Park Tavern had pretty good burgers too. I’ll be back!
After that, I headed over to the Muvico Theatre across the street, to enjoy some films, including a long-lost 30-minute film called The Evil Clergyman starring Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton from the late ’80s. It was intended to be part of a trilogy movie, but the master was lost 25 years ago, so this film was never released before. But recently a VHS edit copy was found and so the film has been restored from that. It was a gothic kind of ghost story, and afterwards, they interviewed some of the audience on camera to put together some extras for the DVD. (I did an interview, so who knows, I could end up on the DVD!)
Jeffrey and Barbara, as well as the Band brothers (producer/director and composer, respectively) all signed DVD jackets for the as-yet-unfinished DVD. I bought and had them sign #50, which should be mailed to me in a few weeks.
After that, I watched a couple movies from Rob Zombie’s Halloween actresses Kristina Klebe and Danielle Harris. Klebe offered a short film school exercise which was interesting, but Harris debuted a full feature film called Among Friends which was really strong. I hope this one gets a decent release, as I really enjoyed its damning commentary on friends who are really only friends “on the surface”. The movie followed a bunch of L.A. friends who go to a party only to find that they’re playing a game with the hostess. A game where she is judge and jury (thanks to some paralysis drugs and videotape) over their selfish actions against each other.
Overall, it was a great afternoon and night with fellow horror fans!
Here are some photos from the panels during the afternoon. Hover over them for a who’s who.
This year, for the first time ever, I decided to take two straight weeks off and do a driving vacation with the family. We toyed with doing the Grand Canyon, but decided Shaun might not be quite old enough at 7 to really remember that, so instead, given his newfound love for swimming, we decided to aim for the beach. Based on comments from some friends who’ve recently been there, we settled on Gulf Shores, AL, just on the Alabama side of the Florida panhandle.
Over the course of almost 10 days starting at the end of July, we had quite an adventure. We stayed the first night near Birmingham, AL (where I discovered that they still won’t serve beer in a restaurant on “the Lord’s Day”… c’mon people, what decade is this? Hell, what CENTURY is this?). The following day we crossed a giant bridge and ended up on the long finger in the Gulf of Mexico that is Gulf Shores. White sand, warm weather, and a seemingly endless series of resort hotels and condo developments.
We stayed at The Caribe Resort which was a really nice development a little off the beach, but with views of both the Gulf and the internal bays. And for the next six days, (in between a couple of storms) we explored their pools and nearby beach (where we managed to catch a jellyfish and a saltwater catfish in our sandcastle bucket!).
We also went on a dolphin cruise, visited an alligator farm, and enjoyed the area’s restaurants. It was a very relaxing trip.
On the way home, we decided to take a detour and spend the night in New Orleans, since Geri had never been, and I haven’t been there since before Katrina. So we got her to try her first Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane in the French Quarter, and had breakfast at the famous Mother’s before hitting I-55 for a 14.5 hour drive home (longest I’ve ever stayed in the car!)
We took hundreds of pictures, but here are a few selected ones from the trip.
At Gulf Shores:
At the Gator Farm:
In New Orleans: