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DellArte Press (formerly Harlequin Horizons)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Adam

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Jeez...

This seems incredibly stupid to me. I'll be watching this with interest.
 

MickRooney

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Honestly, I think they'll all be doing it in a few years.

Years!!

I think there are many people who are seriously underestimating the sea-change we have witnessed in the past month or two with Thomas Nelson and Harlequin. Now the barn door is open - you can add another half-dozen (large publishers) by early spring 2010. This has been in the publishing air for quite some time, and like them or loathe them, Author Solutions will be working the machinations behind at least one or two of the next gaggle of commercial publisher/self-publishing partnerships.
 
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veinglory

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I think if this was the wave of the future we would all be underwater by now.

Most Authorhouse books sell in double digits--a press can make money off fee-paying authors running at a loss (which is still not something for authors to cheer about), but Harlequin's core business will remain mass-market paperbacks.

In fact I suspect this venture will not last, or at least it will not thrive. It is effectively a no-investment parasite on their brand.
 
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IceCreamEmpress

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Well, YIKES is all I have to say.

And I think the thread title should be "vanity publishing" rather than "self-publishing".

This is craziness. But it seems logical after the Harlequin Writing Service or whatever the hell that thing is.
 

MickRooney

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I think if this was the wave of the future we would all be underwater by now.

Most Authorhouse books sell in double digits--you might make money of authors running at a loss, but Harlequins core business will remain mass-market paperbacks. In fact I suspect this venture will not last, or at least it will not thrive. It is effectively a no-investment parasite on their brand.

I think it is important to stress, this is not an AuthorHouse strategy, but that of its parent company Author Solutions who already control a very sizeable control of the author solutions market through AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Wordclay, Xlibris and Trafford.

All large publishers' core business is fundamentally mass-market if they can help it, Harlequin are no different, and I do not believe they are doing this as some form of short-sighted profit-making venture to get them through any sort of economic rocky patch. As has been already pointed out on this thread, Harlequin is by no means feeling the financial pinch in the way that some other like-sized publishers are. I do agree, for Harlequin, Thomas Nelson and the others who will follow, there clearly needs to be a risk assessment on their own publisher branding. Clearly, that risk assessment was done, and the decision was made that the gains would be greater than the short-term losses in author and industry perception.
 
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Gillhoughly

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My fear is that we'll start seeing vanity-pubbed folks claiming they've been published by Harlequin.

Brace for it, then. HQ is literally banking on that!
icon8.gif


And yes, this totally is VANITY printing, not self-publishing.

To folks on the outside there may be no difference, but it looms large to the rest of us.

And I'm still continuing on with writing books for commercial publishers who send out advance checks, do the promotion, and get my books into stores, not on a website.
 

Richard White

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"Hi, we don't think you can write, but we're happy to take your money."

That's what HQ is saying here.

I think it's actually more evil than most vanity publishing because they're holding out the carrot that "If your sales are 'good enough' (whatever the hell that means), we might offer you a real contract."

Yeah, right.

(OK, really in a cynical/snarky mood now)
 

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Perhaps instead of Harlequin Horizons they should call it Harlequin Fruited Plains. Because this is looking mighty close to PublisHarlequinAmerica.
 

xccorpio

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I can't help, but think that because Harlequin Horizons Publishing Packages are so 'complete', they might include a RITA, or Golden Heart Award with their VIP package.
 

Deb Kinnard

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All I can say is, El Greedo strikes again. :Shrug:

Hey, d'you suppose as this Horizons thing gets up & running, those of us who are pubbed by small presses can say something like, "Yes, XYZ House is small, but it's not Harlequin Horizons"?
 

AnneMarble

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I think they are being encouraged to do just that. I don't see how this can be good for the brand and why they would use "Harlequin" for a subsidy press but ring fence Carina under another name with no mention of the H-word.

Looks like classic brand over-extension to me.
I thought it was sticky enough when Thomas Nelson decided to use WestBow for the name of their new "self-publishing venture." Sure, they hadn't put out new books under the WestBow logo for years, but they had published a number of non-vanity authors under it.

But Harlequin is, of course, still in use. Gah! And like Susan said, this won't help the perception of existing Harlequin authors, who already have to defend themselves from people who wouldn't know a Harlequin novel if one crept up and hit them in the behind.
 

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Harlequin will monitor sales of books published through Harlequin Horizons for possible pick-up by its traditional imprints. This is great news for the author who has a dream of one day publishing with a traditional publishing house....
...and who can afford to buy five or ten thousand copies of her own book.
 

GhostAuthor

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Has anyone who is published by HQ asked their editor about this? Just curious how they feel. Or an agent with connections there.

Also - could this be HQ's answer to the slush? Meaning they throw up their hands and say, "Okay, you want to be published by us? FINE! Here you go!"
 

jennontheisland

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Harlequin just found a way to make money off their slush pile.

Make the slushees pay for a new "line."

The critique service always seemed kinda sleazy to me, but this, this is laughably horrible.
 

veinglory

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I think it has more to do with money. All they provide is their name and a vague promise to look at the best selling books, for which they presumably get a substantial cut of all those fees. It's the next best thing to free money, if you don't care how it looks.
 

MickRooney

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It equates to making writers pay a reading fee. It's a very bad move on Harlequin's part.

There seems to be a view here that the world has changed as we know it. It hasn't.

The same authors are still going to get rejected from Harlequin as there ever were. Nothing will change about that. What is at heart here is whether Harlequin, in some way, promotes or guides their rejected authors toward their self-publishing imprint. That clearly would be an indulgence. Likelihood, at some point, they may try a self-publishing alternative at some point..
 
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Or they could, just, you know...try improving their writing if they can't find someone to pay them for their books.

To paraphrase Uncle Jim, "Send it out 'til even Harlequin won't have it."
 

Susan Gable

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The same authors are still going to get rejected from Harlequin as there ever were. Nothing will change about that. What is at heart here is whether Harlequin, in some way, promotes or guides their rejected authors toward their self-publishing imprint. That clearly would be an indulgence. Likelihood, at some point, they may try a self-publishing alternative at some point..

Yes. I believe in one of the press releases I read today it stated that rejections would now include the encouragement to consider H. Horizons program for the rejected material.

Susan G.
 

Krampus Nacht

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