Thursday, December 03, 2009

Still So Much Vanity

I'm hearing some rumblings in the blogosphere that the only reason agents are up-in-arms over Harlequin Horizons (or I guess it's DellArte Press now?) is that they want to maintain the status quo and don't want writers discovering alternate methods of publishing. And that published authors don't want the competition and so they, too, are speaking out against this model.


So I guess that's why three writers organizations--RWA, MWA and SFWA--also spoke out against it. It has nothing to do with the fact that all the money flows FROM the author TO the publisher, and NONE (or very little) will from from the publisher to the author.

I'm sitting here shaking my head. Really. I'm all for innovation in publishing. But not if I have to pay for it myself. I don't have that kind of money, or contacts. And if I can't get brick-and-mortar bookstores to shelve my book...well, I'm not gonna sell it out of the trunk of my car and then see only 50% of the royalties. AFTER I've also been told my vanity press book (Harlequin is NOT going into self-publishing, no matter that they keep calling it that.) MIGHT be picked up by the traditional side of the house, even though it wasn't good enough to publish there when I originally submitted it.

Harlequin's model is just wrong. For everyone except Harlequin (from a making-money perspective--it's not doing their rep any good, IMO).


Colleen Love said...

I'm still stunned they are even looking in the vanity publishing direction. I have to ask, why? If they would have just gone ebook and stayed there, it would have been very cool! But Vanity? Like you said, I can't afford that and in this economy? I just don't see how it's going to go anywhere do do anything. LOL I suck at self promotion as it is! lol I'd sink like a rock! lol

Hope you have a great day!

Sherrill Quinn said...

There's obviously money in it, Colleen. It's just sad, though, that such a reputable company has gotten into bed with a vanity publisher that takes advantage of people's dreams. :(

Jamie D. said...

Unfortunately, authors will pay for it since Harl. is in such hot water with RWA (and all the other "'A's") right now. Why didn't they just open a free self-pub arm, like Lulu or CreateSpace? Real, honest to goodness self-publishing.

The whole thing really just sucks.

Sherrill Quinn said...

Jamie, I'm sure they didn't go the true self-pub route because there's more money to be made in vanity publishing.

MWA has issued another statement, that as long as Harlequin continues to drive people toward the vanity publisher through rejection letters, they no longer meet the requirements to be an approved publisher. But I imagine Harlequin doesn't care about current published authors--they're looking toward the poor saps who are so desperate to have their dreams realized that they'll pay for it.