Dorchester Publishing, the country's oldest independent mass market book publisher, has defrauded many of its writers. Sister company, Dorchester Media, producer of True Story and True Confessions magazines, has defrauded some of its freelance writers and many of its subscribers. True Story, in print since 1919, had a circulation of about 250,000. Go to True Story's own Facebook page and see all the unanswered consumer complaints. There is only (as of 2-29-12) one consumer complaint on Ripoff Report, but when I post on Facebook and encourage others towards Ripoff Report--there might be dozens.
Full disclosure: I was a freelance writer for True Story and True Confessions. I also was a subscriber to those magazines and two others (now defunct) in the Dorchester stable. I, too, was ripped off on my subscriptions--but like many writers, we blew it off since it was a small amount through an online magazine service. We didn't wish to extract a few bucks from the mag services who were just as shafted, in a way as we were. But those who subscribed directly through Dorchester at a higher rate--I hope they come here and report as they have at Facebook.
I am owed $1005.00 for freelance services. Payment is over a year overdue. Dorchester via email has confirmed they owe me this money and I have signed contracts, emails and a 1099 to prove it also. Dorchester had ignored my latest email asking for a date for check issuance--even though I was told a check would be sent. I am not the only writer who has not been paid. In fairness, I have been paid for most of my work with them. However, Dorchester is STILL soliciting magazine manuscripts as of the other day--on a writing loop. They are still attempting to lure a new generation of writers who will either go partially unpaid or wait WAY longer than their contracts state. Fortunately Dorchester recently put a hold on accepting new book submissions.
OK--fraud of magazine subscribers. And fraud with some freelance magazine writers. Both which happened to me--and I can document. I don't care about my subscriptions though--just all the people complaing on True Story at Facebook. Those people read my stories--and I feel an obligation to them.
Now, third area of fraud. Which I only know of second-hand, but which is well documented by reputable professionals. Former Dorchester book authors have been reporting troubles with rights, contracts, royalties and payments. Major national romance, sci-fi and horror writers writing associations have warned Dorchester due to this issues and some have barred them from writing conventions. But all this information rarely makes it outside publishing circles. For more information on this go to author Brian Keene's website. Warning: there is profanity on his website--but he has documented the Dorchester debacle and defrauding the best.
Go to Absolute Write website and type in Dorchester. You will see posts from me, Peakbloom, and author Jana DeLeon and others.
Also type in Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency in Denver. She had four posts concering Dorchester's actions.
I have been attempting to spread the word to help all the defraded magazine subscribers--and also to warn new writers who should consider all this information before dealing with Dorchester. But my main question/concern is how can a company that has been defrauding people for so long--be allowed to stay in business?