Friday, November 20, 2009

Harlequin Self-Destructs

I suppose you've all heard the big news from Harlequin Enterprises - their venture into vanity/subsidy printing. Harlequin Horizons is a joint venture with Author Solutions, and it is a vanity/subsidy press that relies upon payments and income from aspiring writers to earn profit, rather than sales of books to actual readers.

If you're a writer desperate to see your name in print, plunk down a few thousand bucks and there you go. You too can make it happen.

Except it won't happen.

I'm an e-book author. My books have gone to print. Is it great to see my books out there? You betcha. Do I do it for the money? Nope. Does Harlequin imply that success is at the writer's fingertips with this new venture? Yes, they do. Shame on you, Harlequin.

Self-promotion is one of the hardest aspects of being an e-book author and that's with a wonderful supportive e-book publisher behind me. This new venture of Harlequin's builds on hopes and dreams of writers -- some who will approach this as a legitimate way to get their work out there, but many wanting to short cut the hard sell to print and e-book publishers alike. Their expectations are being taken advantage of, much like the door-to-door salesmen bilking senior citizens. It will leave ashes and shred the reputation Harlequin has built over sixty+ years.

I was glad to see that Romance Writers of America IMMEDIATELY took a stand against this, barring Harlequin from the perks of the National Convention. You have to log into RWA to read this, so if you aren't an RWA member, go visit Ann Aguirre's blog. She's been following this since the news release. Smart Bitches has also blogged on the subject.

This morning I read that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association has done the same.

And the repercussions keep on coming.

I'm only one person and my input certainly won't change the situation. So I do what I can do. I've shelved ALL my plans for future Harlequin submissions until such time as they drop this insane idea. I think it hurts EVERY legitimate Harlequin author and I want no part of it.

1 comment:

Marianne Arkins said...

Yep... right there with you. I had a ms that I'd rewritten with an eye at HQ American, but now? It's going to sit a bit. If nothing happens over the next few months, I'll sub to TWRP or Samhain. I'm so disappointed in HQ.