Archive for the ‘ Dorchester Boycott ’ Category

West World (March, 2011)

Greetings, faithful readers! 

Another month has come and gone.  Hard to believe that a fourth of the year is already in the history books.  Guess the old saying about “time flies when you’re having fun” is true after all.  March, 2011, was full of  interviews, signings, and work, work, work.    So without further ado, here’s a quick recap / status update…

The month began with not one but two glowing reviews of my debut novel, The Wide Game.  The first was from Sheri Jenkins White at Xomba Horror:

Michael West has written a wonderful tale of suspense, horror and dread…filled with twists, turns and surprises, right up until the end.  One of the twists took me by complete surprise, and sent a chill down my back.  I highly recommend The Wide Game, and peg Michael West as a writer to watch.”

The second was from Horror-Web :

4.5 out of 5 StarsThe Wide Game got me right in the fear center of my lizard brain.  Michael West’s story telling style takes me back to the glory days when horror spoke in the voice of the boy next door and had me looking over my shoulder when I went out in the dark.  His low-key, unobtrusive style lulls you into a comfort zone and then he zaps you with big-time scary.” 

In addition to reviews by critics, I continued to get emails, messages, and Amazon reviews from you, the readers.  Nothing is more rewarding for me than to know that you enjoy my work.  Thank you for taking the time to write me and Amazon, and keep those messages and reviews coming!

Then on Thursday, March 10th, I signed copies of  The Wide Game and my short story collection, Skull Full of Kisses, at the IUPUI Campus Center Barnes & Noble.  This was my first in-store book signing, and I was pleased to see so many of my faithful readers from Indianapolis there! 

Thank you all for making it such a success!

I did two interviews in March and both were published online.  The first was with Ambrotos Press, the new Horror imprint of Dark Quest Books (Read all about it here), and the second was with Ryan Thomason of Watch Play Read ( Read it here).   We discussed The Wide Game, my deal with Seventh Star Press, my upcoming novel, Cinema of Shadows, and other projects.    

With convention season starting up this month, Fast Custom Shirts created a couple of T-shirt designs featuring my work for my table.   Style A features “Jiki” from Skull Full of Kisses, and Style B (above) is Bob Freeman’s cover art for The Wide Game.   Be the envy of Horror fans everywhere!   Check out the Schedule section of the website for details on where I (and these awesome shirts) will be.

The month wrapped up with a trip to HorrorHound Weekend, where I signed copies of The Wide Game and Skull Full of Kisses at the Darkrider Studios table.  It was great meeting new people and catching up with old friends.  The place was wall-to-wall people, and I ended up selling out of everything I had.  First time that’s ever happened!  I will have to stock up and make sure I bring even more to InConJuction, FandomFest, and all the other shows I’m doing this year.

 If you came by on Sunday after I sold out, or if you had to miss out on the signings, you can still order your copies now from Graveside Tales Books!

In other news, March saw author Brian Keene call for a boycott of Dorchester Publishing.   Once upon a time, Dorchester was highly respected, and most Horror authors (myself included) would have given their first born child (sorry, son) for the privledge of joining their stable.  But oh…how the mighty have fallen!   As of this post, Dorchester has not paid royalties due to their authors, and to make matters worse, they have continued to electronically publish works that they no longer hold any rights to!  (Get more information here.)

So join me, the Indiana Horror Writers, the Horror Writers Association, and a growing legion of writers and readers as we make our stand against unfair and unscrupulous business practices.   Boycott Dorchester!

So what am I working on now?  What do you all have to look forward to in the coming weeks and months?  

Well, I was interviewed by Michael Knost for issue #11 of Shroud Magazine, and you can look forward to a new short story to appear in the same issue.  The tale is called “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite,” and Danny Evarts completed the lovely illustration above to go with it.  So prepare for many a sleepless night when the magazine hits newstands everywhere!

My short story “Blood and Silk” has undergone a title change.  It is now called “Masako’s Tale,” but you will still find it in The Beast Within 2 anthology, due out later this year from Graveside Tales Books.

And last, but certainly not least, l am hard at work on my Harmony, Indiana series for Seventh Star Press.    The first title, Cinema of Shadows, is being edited as we speak, and I am currently writing the second novel, Spook House, due out in 2012. 

Look for more updates on these and other works throughout the coming months. :D

And that’s about it for March.  But stay tuned, faithful readers…the year is just getting started!

A Special Letter from the HWA

Dear HWA Member:

The National Board of the Horror Writers Association previously voted unanimously to remove Dorchester Publishing and its Leisure imprint from our list of Approved Publishers, primarily because the company no longer meets two of our key criteria:

1. The initial print run by the publisher for a book-length work of fiction or nonfiction must be at least five hundred copies and must be widely available in brick-and-mortar stores (not “special order” titles). In other words, print-on-demand publishers and Internet-only publishers do not qualify.

2. The publisher must not wrongfully withhold or delay royalty payments to authors. We have been hearing an unusually high number of reports from our members of unpaid advances and withheld royalties on their Dorchester books. We have also heard reports that electronic versions have been published in breach of members’ copyright.

New Dorchester titles are not eligible for Bram Stoker Award consideration nor will its authors be eligible for Active Status membership for any books published after January 1, 2011. It has been made clear to Dorchester that it is welcome to reapply for Associate membership status only if all these problems have been rectified.

The HWA president has written an open letter to Dorchester, which appears below. This e-bulletin has been authorized by HWA’s National Board of Directors.

Open Letter to Dorchester Publishing:

To the Attention of Robert Anthony, President, Dorchester Publishing

Dear Mr. Anthony,

This is an Open Letter on behalf of the Horror Writers Association.

We have been made aware of numerous claims by our members and other authors that reflect poorly upon Dorchester’s business practices. This is particularly the case with the Leisure imprint.

On behalf of our members, I write to remind you that Dorchester/Leisure has been removed from our Approved Publisher List. New Dorchester/Leisure authors cannot use their relationship with your organization as status credits for our Membership categories; nor are your titles published after January 1, 2011, eligible for Bram Stoker Award consideration.

We request that you pay all HWA members who are owed royalties by Leisure/Dorchester no later than April 30, 2011. We also request an immediate assurance that Dorchester will fulfill all your contractual obligations to all HWA members published prior to March 31, 2011; that you provide a full and accurate accounting of royalties due as per your contracts with each HWA member; and that you will pay all future royalties in full and on time.

We also request Dorchester audit your catalog and that of your Associates to determine that no fiction is offered for sale in electronic format in breach of authors’ copyright or other rights, and that Dorchester compensate HWA members for any electronic copies of their work that have already been sold in breach of their rights, no later than April 30, 2011.

We request that Dorchester provide immediate active assistance to all HWA members wishing to revert rights where that reversion is consistent with Dorchester’s existing policies and/or contractual obligations.

Leisure/Dorchester should also cease and desist from publishing any material written by HWA members where that member has requested Leisure to do so within your mutual contractual obligations, and in any format—printed or electronic.

Should Dorchester complete these requests and show ongoing good faith toward all authors, including HWA members, HWA will reconsider Dorchester’s status.

Rocky Wood
President HWA (in accordance with Resolution of the HWA Board)