Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Exploitation or Empowerment?

STATUS: Only 205 emails in the inbox now. I’m making headway!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? MY EVER CHANGING MOODS by Style Council

So Harlequin is causing quite the furor today. Last week they announced a new ePub imprint called Carina to potentially compete with ePublishers like a Samhain or Ellora’s Cave with royalties of 30% of retail price on copies sold (which by the way, should piss off any Harlequin authors who are being traditionally published by that house as their eRoyalties suck).

Then this week, they announced a self-publishing arm called Harlequin Horizons partnering with Author Solutions (not unlike what Thomas Nelson announced about 2 months ago using Author Solutions as well). Now prospective authors can pay to be published by Harlequin and have access to that Harlequin name.

So here’s my question. It’s quite the revenue machine. Is this exploitation of romance authors who have been rejected by Harlequin but now have an opportunity to “publish” and a possible entry into traditional Harlequin publishing via a strong self-pub sales record (according to the Horizons website) or is this simply another option that empowers authors to get their work out there?

As an aside, I can’t help but think that more books published (and in the marketplace) is not what the industry needs. It already can’t support the number of books currently being published in any given year.