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23 November 2009 @ 08:10 pm
first e-books, now vanity publishing  

Last week (the week before? very recently, anyway), Harlequin Books–the parent company which publishes my Walker Papers novels–decided to try to take a chunk out of Ellora’s Cave profits and open Carina Press, an e-book-only press for…well. Smut*.

This past week, Harlequin has decided to jump on the vanity press wagon. They’ll edit and publish your book for the bargain price of something like $6K, and then they’ll take 50% of the royalties on a book that’ll never go into the bookstores. I could rant, but author Jackie Kessler does it so well I’ll just link to her, and then follows up with Harlequin’s response after the Romance Writers of America said, “Sorry, we can no longer consider Harlequin a legitimate publisher,” and the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America echoed them. Anyway, it’s a big mess and I’m absolutely agog that somebody thought it was a good idea**.

*Don’t get me wrong. Smut sells fantastically in e-book form. I’m in no way slamming it. If I were going to write erotica I’d almost certainly look at Ellora’s Cave as the first market. I’m just sayin’ that’s basically what they’re looking to sell.

**I really can’t actually believe anybody at Harlequin *did* think it was a good idea. Apparently HQN’s parent company needs money, and I can see somebody at *that* level deciding it was a good idea, but holy beans.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Randomnessr_ness on November 24th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
If you haven't seen Nick Kaufmann's posts on this whole drama, they're worth a glance, if only for snark.

http://nick-kaufmann.livejournal.com/552336.html (we write a novel in the comments!)
http://nick-kaufmann.livejournal.com/552661.html (goin' Hollywood!)
http://nick-kaufmann.livejournal.com/553435.html (Romance Writers of America strikes back!)
http://nick-kaufmann.livejournal.com/553566.html (Harlequin acts all hurt 'n stuff *snif snif*)

(Commentary in parenthesis is from nihilistic_kid, which is where I found about all this.)

http://nick-kaufmann.livejournal.com/554258.html came out after nihilistic_kid's post, and includes the statement the HWA released.