With e-book sales constituting a small but growing portion of the publishing industry, one mass-market paperback publisher is ditching its bread and butter and going all digital. Dorchester Publishing puts out 25 to 30 books a month, two-thirds of them romance novels. But the firm saw sales fall by 25% last year after a few key clients, such as Wal-Mart, downsized their orders, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Dorchester will introduce a print-on-demand option—for retailers, not individuals—and focus on digital sales in a bid to reverse its sagging fortunes. The company may be right: One publishing consultancy says it expects digital sales to represent as much as one-quarter of the publishing industry by 2011. Dorchester notes that readers of romance novels have embraced e-readers because they have the option of not displaying the books' covers in public.
(Read more e-book stories.)