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DellArte Press (formerly Harlequin Horizons)

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Maxinquaye

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And again, I fail to see how this hurts writers. You can be a successful writer without being an MWA or RWA member.

If the chance at winning an Edgar is the only benefit of membership, then you're right. If there are other more or less intangible benefits of membership, then it might be a minor problem for the ones that want to become members.

It's not a BIG career-breaking problem. But I'm sure it may sting a bit. It's not really a big deal, tbh.
 

Medievalist

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If the chance at winning an Edgar is the only benefit of membership, then you're right. If there are other more or less intangible benefits of membership, then it might be a minor problem for the ones that want to become members.

It's not a BIG career-breaking problem. But I'm sure it may sting a bit. It's not really a big deal, tbh.

MWA, SFWA, and RWA all have various categories of membership.

It's not a big deal, really it isn't. The main distinction in terms of category is about the cost of the membership (more for active status as a published writer) and whether or not one votes on the awards.

http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=Register

http://www.sfwa.org/join-us/who-is-eligible/

http://www.rwanational.org/cs/become_a_member

I note that the MWA boar's unanimous decision to delist Harlequin is not retroactive; it's going forward.
 
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Gillhoughly

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Never mind awards, memberships, pro-status, whatever.

Organizations like the MWA, RWA, & SFWA are there to PROTECT writers.

They inform writers about problems.

HQ has become a problem.

They have a vanity operation and fully intend to send vulnerable, rejected writers to that operation.

It's like the human resources manager sifting through job applications. Some are good enough to hire for legit work, but the rest?

Well, the HRM has a lucrative sideline: sending failed applicants over to a shiny new brothel. The HRM is also a PIMP.

The pimp is well-dressed, kindly, supportive, and enthusiastic. SHE can't hire you just now, but her friend over there CAN.

There's a fee involved, but that's perfectly normal. Everyone supposed to pay to get a job, I'm sure you've heard of that! Did you know that's how Donald Trump started out? Oh, yes, it's true, he paid to get his first job. So did Oprah Winfrey! AND, if you work real hard over there, I *might* be able to find you a better-paying spot with my company later!


I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've encountered wannabe writers convinced that paying to publish is how you break in. Many accept it as an unshakable truth.

And here's HQ confirming it!

HQ has lost a ton of good will in the industry because of this ill-considered decision.

While it may not effect established writers, newbies are in for an expensive shock. I don't assume they've done their research. Many do not.

Now the biggest romance house in the industry telling them that it's perfectly okay to shell out a few thousand bucks to "get into print." (Carefully leaving out that such books rarely sell more than 75 copies.)

Will the neos bother to check this out or think it through? Maybe, but why should they? HQN's name and reputation (until now) has clout. You can "trust" them.

DellArte presents itself as a "self-publishing" venue, when it is not. Most neos know to avoid vanity printers, but you won't find the "V" word on the DellArte site.

Nope, given time you'll find rejected HQ writers who fell for the misleading sales pitch.

.
 

dragonjax

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Organizations like the MWA, RWA, & SFWA are there to PROTECT writers.

They inform writers about problems.

HQ has become a problem.

They have a vanity operation and fully intend to send vulnerable, rejected writers to that operation.

Exactly. Frankly, I'm stunned that the ITW decided to go "La, la, la, I can't hear what Harlequin is doing," but whatever. I'm very pleased with MWA, RWA and SFWA. I hope RWA stands strong during the January Board meeting.
 

Stacia Kane

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Dittoing Gillhoughly; she said exactly what I would have said, and I too applaud MWA and am disappointed in ITW.

I'm disappointed in Colleen Lindsay as well; I consider her a personal friend (and I hope she knows that) but I can't agree with her on this issue (and I know she knows that), though I understand she's looking at it as taking care of her current authors and speaking on their behalf.


.
 

dragonjax

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I'm disappointed in Colleen Lindsay as well; I consider her a personal friend (and I hope she knows that) but I can't agree with her on this issue (and I know she knows that), though I understand she's looking at it as taking care of her current authors and speaking on their behalf.

It's difficult when you and your friend are on opposite sides of a very heated debate.

:Hug2:
 

DaveKuzminski

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I can't help but wonder how she'll feel when one of her clients is rejected and the response includes an offer for vanity publishing which would immediately cut her off from any income.
 

Richard White

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Twitter can be a two-edged sword.

I have friended Colleen because her stories about agenting are interesting and she seems like someone I'd love to share a glass of scotch with one evening at a con. I have no doubt she's passionate about her clients and the book business.

I also have the distinct feeling I'd never ask her to be my agent because based on my impressions of her, based on her tweets, we'd kill each other if we had to interact for great lengths of time.

But, that doesn't mean she's not a good agent.
 

jennontheisland

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I can't help but wonder how she'll feel when one of her clients is rejected and the response includes an offer for vanity publishing which would immediately cut her off from any income.

Most agents won't rep category romance. At $3K a book, it's not worth it for them. Besides, the contract, from what I understand, is a non-negotiable boiler plate for the first book or few.
 

Anon76

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I can't help but wonder how she'll feel when one of her clients is rejected and the response includes an offer for vanity publishing which would immediately cut her off from any income.

Another verra good point. Nothing in this mess is as simple as it seems.
 

amergina

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Most agents won't rep category romance. At $3K a book, it's not worth it for them. Besides, the contract, from what I understand, is a non-negotiable boiler plate for the first book or few.

Harlequin publishes more than category romance. Check out their Luna and MIRA imprints. Those (well, at least MIRA as documented here http://www.brendahiatt.com/id2.html) pay much greater advances.
 

dragonjax

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Most agents won't rep category romance. At $3K a book, it's not worth it for them. Besides, the contract, from what I understand, is a non-negotiable boiler plate for the first book or few.

HQ is putting it in **all** of its rejection letters, not just for category. Many agents rep romance.
 

jennontheisland

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HQ is putting it in **all** of its rejection letters, not just for category. Many agents rep romance.
Dude, they got fucking balls to try to pull that shit.

Harlequin seems to have overestimated the height of their ivory tower.

And yeah, agents rep all kinds of things. :D
 

Gillhoughly

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My agent (no lightweight newbie, she's as sharp as they come) sells books to HQ. Until now, that's not been a problem to her. A small check is still a check.

Yes, the advance is low for new writers, but it's better than nothing at all, and miles better than paying to publish.

It is also a foot in the door, and many times there will be royalties and additional sales, if not to HQ, then to another romance house that pays better. HQ is not the only game in town, though they dominate the categories.

For many writers who can write fast and to spec HQ is a good income. At an RWA event some years back I met a writer who sold HQ more than 100 titles. I looked in awe at the silver pin she'd been awarded that recognized her achievement. She was a good 15 years younger than I.

I looked around at other HQ writers sporting similar pins like combat medals and felt humble. In my 20-year career, I've kicked out less than 25 novels. It's an achievement, but my god, I'm taking my hat off and giving props to those women! Some had 250, even 500 sales to HQ over the years. Day-um!

My best friend (we have the same agent, BTW) sold books to HQ, but no more. She's done with them for setting out this crapfest to new writers.

NOW, in addition to warning newbies at my writing workshops about scam operations like PublishAmerica and Strategic Book Publishing and the worst literary agents, I'm going to have to warn them about Harlequin's conflict-of-interest alliance with DellArte.

I guarantee, some of those newbies are not going to believe me, either.

Harlequin is trying to play it down, claiming that DellArte is only a small part of their overall operation.

Balls to that!

Considering the size of the HQ slushpile and the fact that each rejection will suggest the writer try DellArte as an alternative, they are literally banking on it to grow much, much bigger.

.
 

DeadlyAccurate

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Mine agreed with me when I told her I wouldn't sign any contracts with any HQ imprint so not to bother submitting to them (mine would probably be a good fit for either Luna or MIRA). Obviously I don't know whether she'll do the same with her other clients; that's between them.
 

dragonjax

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Mine agreed with me when I told her I wouldn't sign any contracts with any HQ imprint so not to bother submitting to them (mine would probably be a good fit for either Luna or MIRA). Obviously I don't know whether she'll do the same with her other clients; that's between them.

I had my agent pull a submission from HQ the other week, with all apologies to the editor -- whom I would dearly love to work with. But not while HQ is steering aspiring authors toward its pay-for-play option.