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Author Topic: Harlequin  (Read 4042 times)

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Charles King

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Harlequin
« on: December 07, 2009, 11:43:09 AM »

Harlequin too has been in the news too. (this is actually what I meant to post on instead of Harpers, that's my goof)

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6708233.html


This is the MWA's official response to what Harlequin has done.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6710199.html

C. King 8)
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A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.

William Faulkner

Kat

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Re: Harlequin
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 03:22:40 PM »

Yes, this is causing quite a stir around the internet. RWA and science fiction writers have jumped on board refusing all Harlequin authors full membership rights. What a sad state of affairs! Check out this blog entry from Nov. 21 from Sisters in Crime.

http://sisters-in-crime-sinc.blogspot.com/
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 03:24:32 PM by Kat »
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Harlequin
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 07:04:54 AM »

Why should Harlequin give a damn about what MWA or RWA thinks of them?

Who does the punitive response by MWA or RWA hurt except other writers?

I'm not defending Harlequin, as such.  I'm only wondering why it's supposed that this position will move Harlequin, or any other publisher, that chooses to engage in such practices.

Kat

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Re: Harlequin
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 10:35:10 AM »

The uproar of its traditionally published authors and the fact that the organizations took this stand caused the name change from Harlequin Horizons. Here's the basics. In Harlequin's rejection letters from their "traditional" divisions, they included offers of self-publishing which were really discovered to be "vanity" set ups. By doing this they broke the rules of all the organizations by not keeping things separate. The authors rose up because the vanity published would be able to call themselves Harlequin authors and taint them with the same brush. Also, Harlequin Horizons promised them that they may eventually "earn" their way into the traditional divisions, that they would find their books in brick and mortar stores, and other promises that were suspect. This leads to the stand that Harlequin would deliberately "reject" and divert the writer.
Harlequin agreed to the name change, notified it's own authors that the new division would definitely not be able to call themselves Harlequin authors, but they have not agreed to stop including advertisements and inducements in their rejection letters.
Harlequin was the one publisher that brought respect to Romance, Romantic Suspense, and others. They were the biggest money maker of their "owners". It's been reported that the mother company was losing money in this economy and found a sure money maker. Collect from desperate wannabe's without giving anything in return.
Until Harlequin agrees to "follow the rules" governing all publishers and published authors that are allowed active or full membership they will continue to be shunned.

Why should they care? They receive awards, participate in conferences, are respected...not anymore.
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Lynette

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Re: Harlequin
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 10:42:18 AM »

I agree with Jim. I also don't think the stand taken by RWA, SinC & MWA will have much affect on the company or the reading public. When I choose a book to read, I don't care whether it's done by a publisher on the aproved list by any group. In fact, until I became involved in these groups, I didn't know an approved publisher list existed. My goal is to reach the public with my work and I don't care if anyone approves of how my book is published or not. I signed a contract last fall with Harlequin's World Wide Mysteries to re-print my first two novels in mass paperback for their book club. I would do it again, even with the uproar that their branching into self-publishing has caused in the writing world. In the future, I may try to sell the e-rights, which I still own. The e-publisher probably won't be on an approved list either. Good books are published by many small publishers who are not now, and probably will never be on anybody's list.

Lynette

Kat

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Re: Harlequin
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 10:52:47 AM »

I copied this from pubrants blog entry for Dec 4:   http://pubrants.blogspot.com


"MWA does not object to Harlequin operating a pay-to-publish program or other for-pay services. The problem is HOW those pay-to-publish programs and other for-pay services are integrated into Harlequin's traditional publishing business. MWA’s rules for publishers state:"

The publisher, within the past five years, may not have charged a fee to consider, read, submit, or comment on manuscripts; nor may the publisher, or any of the executives or editors under its employ, have offered authors self-publishing services, literary representation, paid editorial services, or paid promotional services.

If the publisher is affiliated with an entity that provides self-publishing, for-pay editorial services, or for-pay promotional services, the entities must be wholly separate and isolated from the publishing entity. They must not share employees, manuscripts, or authors or interact in any way. For example, the publishing entity must not refer authors to any of the for-pay entities nor give preferential treatment to manuscripts submitted that were edited, published, or promoted by the for-pay entity.

To avoid misleading authors, mentions and/or advertisements for the for-pay entities shall not be included with information on manuscript submission to the publishing company. Advertising by the publisher's for-pay editorial, self-publishing or promotional services, whether affiliated with the publisher or not, must include a disclaimer that it is advertising and that use of those services offered by an affiliate of the publisher will not affect consideration of manuscripts submitted for publication."

So, it's not the fact they do, but how they go about it. Also, there is a big difference between vanity and self-published. Self-published authors are gaining respect, have savvy about the business, but the vanity presses take advantage of the unknowing, uneducated writer.



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Charles King

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Re: Harlequin
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2009, 12:23:05 PM »


So, it's not the fact they do, but how they go about it. Also, there is a big difference between vanity and self-published. Self-published authors are gaining respect, have savvy about the business, but the vanity presses take advantage of the unknowing, uneducated writer.



This nails it on the head for me. Thanks Kat, for that post.

C. King  8)
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A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.

William Faulkner
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