Friday, November 20, 2009

Harlequin vs. RWA and a little history

I've seen more than a few comments around the blogosphere, lists, and Twitter about how Romance Writers of America should have been more compromising with Harlequin, that it's making their Harlequin authors some how "not published."  How RWA has always been against innovation, and of course the perennial accusation comes in about how RWA hates ebooks.  RWA just needs to come into the 21st century!

You don't get it.  You really do not get it about RWA.

Let's take a look at their mission statement, right on their web site, up front:
Romance Writers of America is dedicated to advancing the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy.
Notice the words "advancing the interests of career-focused romance writers."  Notice the word "networking" and really, really, really take note of "advocacy."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harlequin vs. RWA

Jackie Kessler nailed it:

I'm pretty danged proud to be a member of Romance Writers of America right now--they've dropped Harlequin (HQ) from their recognized publisher list because of HQ's Harlequin Horizons vanity publishing venture.  Science Fiction Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America have followed RWA's lead.

The news is all over the blogosphere and fiercely Tweeted right now, and it's not showing to Harlequin's benefit.  Even the New Yorker is giving its two cents, and yeah, not so hot for HQ.

FWIW, I don't have a problem with self-publishing, nor do I even have a problem with vanity publishing.  They all have their place.  But if an agent did what HQ is doing, he or she would be drummed out of AAR.   RWA is an author advocate organization.  They can't go against their bylaws and mission and look the other way when even Harlequin--the world's largest romance publisher if not the world's largest publisher--does something detrimental to authors' interests.

And I've gotta say, even if you were determined to pay someone to publish your books, you could do it far, far less expensively than with Harlequin Horizons.  Less than half price, or so I'm told.

From what I understand, Torstar, Harlequin's parent company is seeing losses in the millions; Harlequin is the only company under Torstar that's seeing a profit and a healthy one at that.  I have no beef with any company making good money; I'm a capitalist at heart.  But I wonder if Torstar is pressuring Harlequin to go the vanity publishing route to so as to make more money to bail out their other failing companies.  Seems to me it's a sure way to kill the goose that's laying the golden eggs.  If one of your companies is failing, you either do what you can to fix it, or you drop it.  You don't go compromising the name and quality of the successful company to shore up the failing one. 

Harlequin's still a good publisher with which to publish your books--advances, international distribution, etc., are okay.  But not as a vanity publisher--not with the Horizon imprint.  The money should flow to the author; the author shouldn't have to pay to be published.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good news - Romantic Times Top Pick!

Got word from my editor that A Chalice of Roses is a Romantic Times Top Pick, and the reviewer gave it 4 1/2 stars!  Very happy about that.  Oh, and the review said, "...these four formidable authors stretch their contribute to an anthology that lifts the human spirit."

I have always wanted to be formidable.  ;-D

Okay, enough of crowing...must get back to writing.  Yes, I'm trying to work on the NaNoWriMo, which is why I've been scarce here.  I very much doubt I'll get to 50,000 words (had a cold, had a charity event I had to work at, then had to do overtime at work, all of which exhausted my creativity, whine, whine, whine), but at least I have a good solid start to my novel (yes, a full novel), where I didn't before.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You know you're a writer when...

I just thought of this:  You know you’re a writer when “girls in the basement” does not mean what happens after 50 if you don’t wear a bra.