Friday, July 22, 2011

Harlequin Begins Dumping Backlist onto the Ebook Market

According to a NetGalley announcement:

"On July 15, Harlequin released over 2,500 titles as ebooks for the first time."

This will include 1990s titles from Presents, Silhouette Desire, Intrigue, Temptation and Love and Laughter.

This all-at-once backlist dumping approach seems only slightly more sophisticated than the approach taken by the estate of  Catherine Cookson, about the same as the approach taken by Barbara Cartland's son, and nowhere near as adept as Random House's reinvention of Loveswept.

It seems that the further away the powers-that-be are (chronologically and/or genetically) from the worker bee that actually created novels, the more likely they are to dump them on the market cheap like the literary equivalent of the European butter mountain 

IMHO it is the difference between respecting the digital marketplace and moving sublimely and instantaneously from ignoring it to exploiting it  with rampant disregard to the real wants/needs of the readership or, indeed, the writership.

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