Slog tipper Matthew wants us to know that Dorchester Publishing is taking all of its business (they're the ones who publish all those cheap-o western, romance, and horror mass market paperbacks you find at grocery stores and other non-bookstore outlets) to the e-book side of the fence. They're only going to publish e-books from here on out.

...the publisher said that sales of its books had declined a whopping 25 percent in just the last year, while its e-book sales are expected to double in 2011. The company specializes in romance, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy novels and sells directly to major retailers like Wal-Mart.

Dorchester distributes Hard Case Crime, the awesome paperback mystery series. Hard Case's publishers aren't happy with the move to e-books, and they're probably going to find a new home. Slog tipper Matthew, meanwhile, thinks this is awful news, and could herald the ending of the paperback western:

Since most westerns are read by older people who pick them up at WalMart or Barnes and Noble, and who are presumably less likely to buy a Kindle or read on a computer, it is a big blow to that genre. Plus, there aren't many publishing outlets these days for westerns. Penguin puts out a few, Pinnacle as well, and a lot come from University Presses.

It'll be interesting to see what Dorchester does from here; they're one of the biggest publishers in America, and they function kind of as evangelists for publishing—to many people who never go into bookstores and libraries, Dorchester books are the only books they encounter in a public setting. This is a pretty remarkable sea change for the publishing industry.