Well folks, this past week has been a mess concerning a decision made by Harlequin Publishing that not only has RWA members in an uproar, but many Readers and Authors alike.
Harlequin Publishing announced its launching of Harlequin Horizons. What is this? Well, its a form of self publishing– some say– while others say its Vanity press.
What is Vanity Press?
Vanity is a form of publishing that ALL authors are warned against when we first make the decision to venture into this business.(Some are not warned quick enough)
If ever you have to PAY a PUBLISHER or an AGENT for anything—that’s vanity.
PUBLISHERS & AGENTS should be paying YOU.
So, if you are cruising the internet looking for someone to publish your work and you come across an ad saying, “Be a rich and a famous author—pay us $3,000.00 and we will make it happen.” —RUN! It’s vanity.
If you ever see a publishing site that says you do NOT have to pay, but can if you want extra features such as editing, help with the covers , etc—like Lulu.com , that is NOT Vanity.
It is a POD form of publishing—a print on demand.
Just remember, before you enter any contract or agreement, always research the company until your fingers bruise from Googling.
Now back to Harlequin….
Their Horizons project has some pretty hefty numbers attached to them:
The Basic Package is $599.00
Horizon Package is $799.00
Aspirations Package is $999.00
Marketing Plus Package is $1,199.00
Booksellers Package is $1599.00
Then, from there you have a whole mile of other services dump trucking another price tag of enormous amounts. For instance, you can pay them $19,999.00 and they will create you something called a Hollywood Video of your book.
*pausing so some of you can peel yourselves off the floor, wave the smelling salts, or change your panties from laughing too hard from shock*
Now don’t panic because they have cheaper videos available. Why, you can have one made with voiceover for around $4,799.00.
You can find the numbers above under SERVICES & under Marketing Services.
Now a little information for our readers…
While some of you may think this is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to thicken the lists of reads you maybe interested in—therefore confusing you as to why writers maybe upset…maybe there are some things you don’t know.
Book stores do not take Vanity Press published books seriously. You will not see them on the shelf of any bookstore. Critics and Reviewers do not take Vanity Press Books seriously—which means if we can’t get the book reviewed, we are literally in trouble. (Reviewers are a life line of authors—period—they do a great service for readers AND authors)
Some hard facts about Authors
I know about 200 writers. Not one of them have this kind of money. All of them are struggling. That means they can barely afford the postage at times to send out submissions of their work.
When you are published by a Traditional Publisher or an Epub—you are not suddenly the next Stephanie Meyers. I know a well known author who has 50 books under his belt and can barely make enough to pay all the bills.
So when you buy someone’s book—a new author or not so well known, you are not making them rich. You are just helping them build a Readership. And a Readership takes years and years to build.
So why do Vanity Presses exist?
Vanity Presses try to take advantage of writers because believe it or not, we all become desperate to have our work published, and become depressed and insecure, not knowing if it is our fault that we are not a best seller or getting fact advances.
That’s not true of course, because great and awesome books are rejected every single day. But people are people and we can’t help what we feel sometimes.
However, Vanity Presses are basically the leaches we have to deal with. And the fact that a well known publisher is becoming one—absolutely shocking.
There are many different ways to be published now a days, so authors please, think wisely before you consider a Vanity Press.
Then again, I could be wrong…
So tell me, what do you think about Harlequins move to branch into Harlequin Horizons? Voice your opinions here!