Not much to say this week except I hope yours is going great. I’ve got 8 topics down there, and just like before, comment on what moves you, ignore what doesn’t or make up your own topic.
1. FLYING PIGS AND MONKEYS
I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you! Not only has Harlequin Enterprises launched an e-publishing imprint, they’ve now decided to delve headfirst into Vanity Press territory.
Harlequin Horizons is a division of Harlequin Enterprises Limited, a global leader in romance and womens fiction. The intent behind creating Harlequin Horizons is to give more aspiring romance writers and womens fiction writers the opportunity to publish their books and achieve their dreams without going through the submission process with a traditional publishing house.
But the biggest news is that Harlequin Enterprises is now officially an UNRECOGNIZED RWA publisher.
See, I told you pigs were flying…..
I just logged into RWA’s national website to check the eligible publisher’s list and sure enough, Harlequin’s name is GONE along with Silhouette. It’s not even in the Non-subsidy/Non-vanity Press Ghetto. Here’s what the RWA prez just said in an RWA Alert:
Romance Writers of America was informed of the new venture between Harlequin Enterprises and ASI Solutions to form Harlequin Horizons, a vanity/subsidy press. Many of you have asked the organization to state its position regarding this new development. As a matter of policy, we do not endorse any publishers business model. Our mission is the advancement of the professional interests of career-focused romance writers.
Okay, stop right there. What do you mean you don’t ENDORSE a business model? Then what the heck is this “RWA recognized publisher” stuff? If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is. Your predecessor spent much bandwidth proclaiming how bad the e-publishing business model was some months ago in a condescending response to Deidre Knight’s post over at ESPAN.Â But I digress.Â The RWA alert continues…..
One of your member benefits is the annual National Conference. RWA allocates select conference resources to non-subsidy/non-vanity presses that meet the eligibility requirements to obtain those resources. Eligible publishers are provided free meeting space for book signings, are given the opportunity to hold editor appointments, and are allowed to offer spotlights on their programs … With the launch of Harlequin Horizons, Harlequin Enterprises no longer meets the requirements to be eligible for RWA-provided conference resources. This does not mean that Harlequin Enterprises cannot attend the conference. Like all non-eligible publishers, they are welcome to attend. However, as a non-eligible publisher, they would fund their own conference fees and they would not be provided with conference resources by RWA to publicize or promote the company or its imprints.
I’m sure they’ll be crying all the way to the bank, Madam President. LOL
So does this mean that all authors who’ve been published by Harlequin/Silhouette are now considered ‘Unpublished?” AND if HQ is no longer recognized, then HQ and Silhouette authors cannot enter the Rita, right?! Well, whatever the case, Harlequin and RWA played a game of chicken, and amazingly RWA didn’t blink. Â Now that’s impressive, though this whole recognized publisher stuff is nothing but nonsense to me.
Meanwhile the internet is on fire with this news. Everybody and their mommy is talking about it, including the Janes at Dear Author.Â They sent Malle Vallik an email inquiry and she responded with the following:
Harlequin put its name on the Harlequin Horizons site to clearly indicate this is a romance self-publishing site. The books published through Harlequin Horizons will not carry traditional Harlequin branding.
A DA commenter then asked this question:
Will rejected submissions to Harlequin indeed be informed that they can opt-in to Horizons? How do you assuage the stated concerns that this is a predatory process?
To which Ms. Vallik responded:
A writer receiving a standard reject letter will find a line included about self publishing. The writer, if she wants, can then contact HH. The writer will never be cold-called or contacted unless she has opted in.
Then Author Kalen Hughes had this to say:
My complaint is neither that HQ will be profiting from a vanity subsidiary nor that they’re diluting their brand, it’s that they’re [MISREPRESENTING] THE SNAKEOIL THAT THEY’RE SELLING. They’re pointing rejected authors at their own pay-to-play subsidiary (if an agent did this, we’d call them unscrupulous)
WOW! The feces have really hit the fan on this one. Your thoughts?
2. QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
Ladies, have you become your mother?
Gentlemen, have you become your father?
3. UMMMM…. NO.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE JOHNNY DEPP!!!! He does have the mystery/talent thing going on, but I wouldn’t call him the sexiest guy alive. I mean, there’s Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Clive Owen, Josh Hartnett, Jude Law, Matthew Fox, Patrick Dempsey, Ryan Reynolds, Wentworth Miller …. I could go on forever…. Who’s the sexiest guy/gal alive in your universe?
4. CRAZY BLAST FROM THE PAST
Writerly frustration will drive anyone insane. Case in point: As I was banging my head against the wall yesterday (yes, I actually did this because I couldn’t move past a certain page), a song from my childhood came to mind. Guess the head trauma must’ve loosened the memory from the cobwebs. Anyway, the song typifies how I’ve been feeling all week. Anybody remember this one?
5. NOW **THIS** IS CRAZY
Okay, I can understand falling in love with a book. I can also understand falling in love with a series. But what I won’t, cannot, will not understand is OBSESSION to the point of batsh** craziness. I submit the following:
These devoted Twilight fans loved the books so much, they’ve tattooed quotes and symbols from the novels on their skin—PERMANENTLY.
Photos come from The Daily Beast.
6. AUCTION TIME
Literary Agent Irene Goodman is auctioning her services in December. According to her website, “All proceeds will go directly to the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the Deafness Research Foundation.” Twenty-five is the magic number. Those are the amount of critiques she’s offering to do. Check her website for more details.
7. HIS OR HERS
This week I asked myself, of the two main characters in my book, whose story am I really telling? Although the majority of my manuscript is in my heroine’s POV, after much thought, I honestly think it’s my hero’s story. The reader doesn’t even get into his POV until the end of the first half of the book, but both the reader and the heroine are fixated on the mystery of the hero, so everything he does and says is put under intense scrutiny. I also think he’s the one who goes through the most angst, even though we’re seeing the majority of his actions through my heroine’s eyes. In your own book, if you had to measure it percentage wise, whose story are you telling? His or hers?
8. FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!
Here’s an excerpt from Bruno the movie where the title character shows MAJOR parent fail. He’s holding mock auditions for children’s actors and he’s interviewing parents, asking the most outrageous questions. But what’s truly outrageous are their answers! BTW, I hated the movie but this segment was priceless.