So, Harlequin goes vanity with a Ha-Ho, Nonny-no. Here is my own utterly arbitrary Eurovision-style rating of the responses from the major writer's associations--all lining up with a pin to pop Harlequin's bubble.
Timeliness: 1 day [9/10]
Pithiness: 298 words [9/10]
Rhetoric: Clear, dry with a hint of smugness: [7/10]
Excerpt: "With the launch of Harlequin Horizons, Harlequin Enterprises no longer meets the requirements to be eligible for RWA-provided conference resources."
Comment: I guess consistency counts for something.
Final Rating: [8/10]
Timeliness: 2 day [8/10]
Pithiness: 460 words [8/10]
Rhetoric: Bland but business-like: [5/10]
Excerpt: "On November 9, Mystery Writers of America sent a letter to Harlequin about the “eHarlequin Manuscript Critique Service,” notifying Harlequin that it is in violation of our rules and suggesting steps that Harlequin could take to remain on our Approved Publishers list."
Comment: MWA are clearly signalling that they had their eye on the ball before anyone else.
Final Rating: [7/10]
SFWA (Sci Fi)
Timeliness: 3 days [7/10]
Pithiness: 515 words [8/10]
Rhetoric: Constrained, well-targeted, but a little repetitive: [5/10]
Excerpt: "The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) finds it extremely disappointing that Harlequin has chosen to launch an imprint whose sole purpose appears to be the enrichment of the corporate coffers at the expense of aspiring writers."
Final Rating: [7/10]
Timeliness: 5 days [5/10]
Pithiness: 1,750 words [1/10]
Rhetoric: Outraged, but rambling and self-serving: [2/10]
Excerpt: "Nevertheless, Harlequin had to realize that putting the Harlequin name on a vanity line, then sending aspiring authors rejected by Harlequin not to Carina--which is still traditional though e--but to the Harlequin's new vanity line and posting RWA links on the vanity arm's webpage would antagonize RWA, whose views on vanity publishing were well known."
Comment: Authors not good enough to be published conventionally shouldn't go vanity, they should write e-books. Yay! I mean, what?!
Final Rating: [3/10]