I guess I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be so hopeful about Harlequin’s new self publishing venture, which apparently is partnered with AuthorHouse. That's the uber-vanity press that has developed a ruthless reputation as it has gobbled up iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris and so many others.
Writer Beware’s Victoria Strauss http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/11/harlequin-horizons-another-major.html has this to say about Harlequin Horizons—and the new Thomas Nelson Christian self-publishing line, West Bow, also an AuthorHouse enterprise.
“I don't for one teeny tiny second believe that discovering new writers…plays a major part here. That's just a marketing pitch. This is about money. Now more than ever, commercial publishers need to shore up their bottom lines--and adding self-publishing divisions is an easy and profitable way to do so.”
In other words, Harlequin and Thomas Nelson want your money (the self-publishing packages cost $600 and up) NOT your writing. Sigh.
Victoria has often warned against AuthorHouse and says these new enterprises show how powerful the self-publishing giant has become.
Some pretty lively discussions of Harlequin’s new venture are going on at Dear Author http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/11/17/harlequin-horizons-shortsighted-or-farseeing/#more-15308 Jane Smith’s blog http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/2009/11/harlequin-horizons-looking-to-future-or.html and Absolute Write forums http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162391