Thursday, November 26, 2009
Harlequin's Self-Publishing Venture: Is It the Future of Publishing?
Jane Friedman posting on her blog - There Are No Rules
As I observed the writing community's reaction to Harlequin Horizons last week, I felt incredible sympathy for the people at Harlequin. It appears they've been blind-sided by vitriolic outrage from all sides—unpublished writers, published authors, writers organizations, industry professionals.
The situation is still unfolding, but the Romance Writers of America have stated they are removing Harlequin from their list of recognized publishers, and other writers organizations may follow suit.
Frankly, I was caught blind-sided too. When Thomas Nelson announced pretty much the exact same venture with Author Solutions several weeks ago (called West Bow), I was expecting an uproar.
But in comparison to what's happening now, with Harlequin, you could say the response to Thomas Nelson was benevolent resignation. I'm still waiting for someone to logically explain to me why the two situations are different from each other (while not, in the process, denigrating Christian writers or the Christian market).
Harlequin's move has been called sleazy, unethical, fraudulent, greedy, and predatory. When they responded to the public outcry, and to the RWA specifically, part of their statement read:
It is disappointing that the RWA has not recognized that publishing models have and will continue to change. As a leading publisher of women's fiction in a rapidly changing environment, Harlequin's intention is to provide authors access to all publishing opportunities, traditional or otherwise.
People aren't having it. I think it made everyone even more angry.
I've been thinking about this issue since Friday. I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it. I drive around thinking about it.
And I finally realized today why.
Read Jane's piece on her blog here. Be warned though she thinks it may be the longest post she has ever written!