So if you've been following this drama of epic proportions over at Harlequin, you may be a tad confused over what it all means. Self-publishing? Good? Bad? Should traditional publishers get involved?
I'll admit, when I first read about it on Kristin Nelson's blog, I wasn't quite sure what it meant. I went on to read what Nathan Bransford had to say, and Jennifer Jackson, and Rachelle Gardner, and of course, The Shark Herself. All interesting stuff.
But I was still confused. (Call me stoopid.) Then I stumbled onto author Jackie Kessler's post, and behold, the light shineth from the heavens. Seriously, if you're wondering just what has unfolded over at Harlequin over the past few days, Ms. Kessler has summed it up in a very helpful (and hilarious) way.
My opinion, at the moment? Vanity publisher. Traditional publisher. No in-betweens, combos, mixes, or anything of the sort, please. I understand that traditional publishers are having a really tough time in our current economic situation. But guess what? So are writers. Being a writer is tough, making real money as a writer is next to impossible. Why should we take on more of the financial load? No one at Harlequin is forcing writers to do this, of course. But encouraging aspiring novelists to take this "opportunity" (via rejection letter) is, in my humble opinion, slightly evil.
What are your thoughts?
ETA: Newest development –SFWA has also announced that Harlequin sales will not qualify for membership with their organization. To quote their post:
ETAA (Um, the extra A is for again): After spending a few joyous hours learning more about this, I wrote a rather epic treatise with the facts I discovered (including how much getting my first novel published via Harlequin Horizons would cost me) on my blog. Check it out if you're interested. There's a cookie in it for you.
Until such time as Harlequin changes course, and returns to a model of legitimately working with authors instead of charging authors for publishing services, SFWA has no choice but to be absolutely clear that NO titles from ANY Harlequin imprint will be counted as qualifying for membership in SFWA. Further, Harlequin should be on notice that while the rules of our annual Nebula Award do not expressly prohibit self-published titles from winning, it is highly unlikely that our membership would ever nominate or vote for a work that was published in this manner.