Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harlequin Horizons - RWA Speaks Out!

The last 24-48 hours have been pretty interesting in the world of romance novels, watching how the drama regarding Harlequin Horizons unfolds. There are still comments going up at Smart Bitches and Dear Author regarding it, and the various authors' loops I'm on are now beginning to buzz as well.

The biggest shocker to me was not only how quickly RWA responded to this news, but what they had to say as well. Basically, they've stripped Harlequin Enterprises of their non-vanity/non-subsidy publisher status. Yes, you read that right, as of now, RWA deems HQ a vanity publisher. They are welcome to attend the National Conference, but they now have yo pay for that privilege and RWA will not offer up any resources to promote or publicize HQN or its imprints.

I've been fairly vocal in my disapproval (and at times, dislike) of RWA, but this time, I'm proud of the stance they've taken. I don't know how long they'll continue to take this stance, and they could backpedal on it, but I think to do so would be opening an entirely new can of worms.

However, I feel for the current Harlequin authors, who have worked so hard to get through those doors. I know quite a few, and I think it's a disgrace how Harlequin basically threw them under the bus in order to make a quick buck. I would assume current Harlequin authors will retain their PAN status (if they have it) and those whose books came out in time to enter the 2009 RITA contest are still eligible to enter, but for future Harlequin authors, this will not happen as long as RWA deems HQN a vanity publisher. I don't know how it will play out for works contracted, but not yet published - and I don't envy the RWA board for this sudden mess that's been thrown at them.

I'm trying to keep up with everything, but there's a lot of information flying about, from a lot of different sources. But I'm going to do my best to keep up with this, because how it plays out could mean a huge change looms in the distance. What remains to be seen is whether this change is for the better or for the worst.

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