Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am Cynic, hear me bitch.

So, Carina press, what exactly does it have going for it. One thing is the immense machinery that goes with a humungous publisher (or at least as much of it as they commit to the endeavor). The other is Harlequin's good name.

A good name that they do not use in association with the ring-fenced Carina imprint--but they are happy to slap all over their new vanity press imprint Harlequin Horizons.

"Parent company Harlequin Enterprises Limited has a history of providing opportunities to first time authors. Now with Harlequin Horizons, more writers have the opportunity to enter the market, hone their skills and achieve the goals that burn in their hearts..."

"However, we understand you may aspire to be published with a traditional house – a noble aspiration. While there is no guarantee that if you publish with Harlequin Horizons you will picked up for traditional publishing, Harlequin will monitor sales of books published through Harlequin Horizons for possible pick-up by its traditional imprints."

For $600 to $1,600 dollars you too can be a Harlequin author no matter how well, or how badly, you write.

Edited to Add: Further evidence that Harlequin is providing only their name, and the real business model comes from Authorhouse: "Through this strategic alliance, all sales, marketing, publishing, distribution, and book-selling services will be fulfilled by ASI, but Harlequin Horizons will exist as a division of Harlequin Enterprises Limited."

* Teddypig
* Publishers Weekly
* Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
* Pickled Cupid
* Murder She Writes
* New York Times


Anonymous said...

Oh man... :/

M Barnette said...

OMG! They've become a vanity publisher too? Now I wonder what RWA will think of -that- move.

Katrina Strauss said...

Interesting, for lack of a better word.

veinglory said...

Insane. Really.

Mari said...

Please tell me this is a joke.

Teddy Pig said...

This should be interesting in the fact RWA is so in bed with Harlequin. From the statements Harlequin made on the press release this also brings the validity of any Harlequin author into question since Harlequin is promising to use this service to recruit writers. Pay to play folks.

Anonymous said...

The timing for this venture and their new digital imprint seems interesting to me.

Jody W. and Meankitty said...

If Harlequin rejects your option book or closes the line you write for, will they offer you a "sweet deal" over at Horizons? *snorts* Maybe a free upgrade to the $1600 package if you pay for the $1400 one?

Athena Grayson said...

Please tell me they're just doing this to mess with RWA. ::headdesk::

veinglory said...

I suspect RWA with just change their guidelines again to somehow keep the big H in and the technopeasants out.

Amy said...

I had to read this post three times, it just didn't compute. I still think it's a bad joke.

RWA, your move.

Ava Quinn said...

Preditors and Editors has already changed its Harlequin Inc status to vanity publisher.

Shannon R. said...

I'm not really sure how to feel about this. I received a rejection letter from Harlequin just last week. The editor was very complimentary just said my story wasn't a good fit at the moment. Oookay. So now I could PAY to get my book published and get Harlequin's name slapped on it? Huh. I think the feeling may be disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Author Solutions published 13,000 titles last year. Titles that vary in content and quality. Titles that perhaps didn’t quite fit a publisher’s existing lines. Those books already exist, but are the readers buying them?

And if not, why? (IMHO they aren’t. 2,500,000 copies were sold of 13,000 titles. That first number sounds impressive, right? But divide that down to the average number of copies sold per title = 192. Depressing.)

Those books I spoke of are no different than the products readers will receive through Harlequin Horizons. Because these are Author Solutions products, not Harlequin products. Products designed to lure in writers, not readers. (13,000 packages sold to writers at a BASE price of $599 multiplies out to $7,887,000. Cha-ching )