Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bored? Have some Drama, Freshly Squeezed!

Apprentice Writer's endurance march on wordcount has been sidetracked in the last few days by fireworks in Romanceland.

For those unaware: Harlequin Publishing, a giant in the industry, decided to open a separate arm for those aspiring writers whose manuscripts were deemed not good enough for Harlequin but who still wanted to see their book in print. Harlequin created the 'Harlequin Horizons' brand amid somewhat confusing information about what exactly the brand affiliation and author benefits would be, announced the imminent discontinuation of it's longtime editorial service-for-hire, and announced that rejection letters would commence inclusion of a notice about the new service.

Uproar ensued.

Apprentice Writer has neither the energy nor eloquence at this moment to uncross her eyes and wax poetic. Instead, some links for a crash course on Harlequinfail as it has been described:

For a comment thread about a lightyear long, with with some participants in favor but mostly not, take a look at Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

For an amusing comment on the comment thread, take a look at The Examiner.

For comments from a Harlequin lead hand, and discussion about the difference between self-publising and vanity press, take a look at Dear Author.

For an opinion from other press, take a look at the New Yorker.

For an opinion on what this means to authors and publishing in general, take a look at author Sherry Thomas.

And, if you have time for only one link which clearly breaks the nature of concerns down:

An excellently clarifying cross-section by author Jackie Kessler.


Thomma Lyn said...

Wow, what a brouhaha -- I'd gotten a heads-up on Twitter, but thank you for listing those excellent links to more info. Going to check them out.

And ha, "drama, freshly squeezed" -- ain't that the truth! :)

Julia Smith said...

Amazing, isn't it? Thanks for the links. 767 comments over at Smart Bitches!!

What's truly amazing is the lengths the corporate world will go to in order to raise their profits. Never a big fan of Big Business, me. If any writer wondered why she pays her annual dues to RWA, this slap in the face to writers should answer that question. I'm glad RWA came down hard on that despicable cash grab.

M. said...

TL - I don't even dare look at what happened on Twitter. I think it's probably even more empassioned than on the blog threads!

Julia - I was quite impressed with how decisive RWA was also, because of the non-decisiveness about Cassie Edwards' plagiarism. New board, new sense of action, apparently! Here's the amazing part; if I've understood from someone who works at Harlequin correctly, very, very few Harlequin people themselves knew this was going to happen. Certainly their authors didn't, and would have been able to point out a few basic problems (like the HH logo being in conflict with the Harlequin Historicals imprint).