Monday, November 23, 2009

Still Sifting Through...

Thanks PG and Aston for those links regarding MWA (Mystery Writers of America) and their response to Harlequin Enterprises planned launch of Harlequin Horizons - their vanity imprint. It seems MWA had already expressed their concerns over Harlequin's "Manuscript Critique Service", which is basically what says. )For a fee, Harlequin will critique a manuscript - I'd look up the fees, but as far as I know, Harlequin has discontinued this service in order to move forward with HQHO - a name I LOVE by the way.)

Anyway, MWA was already unhappy with Harlequin over this -

On November 9, Mystery Writers of America sent a letter to Harlequin about the "eHarlequin Manuscript Critique Service," notifying Harlequin that it is in violation of our rules and suggesting steps that Harlequin could take to remain on our Approved Publishers list. The steps outlined at that time included removing mention of this for-pay service entirely from its manuscript submission guidelines, clearly identifying any mention of this program as paid advertisement, and, adding prominent disclaimers that this venture was totally unaffiliated with the editorial side of Harlequin, and that paying for this service is not a factor in the consideration of manuscripts.

And since that letter went out, Harlequin announced the plans for HQHO. So, basically, MWA is taking a wait and see attitude regarding HQHO, but has this to say in the meanwhile:

If MWA and Harlequin are unable to reach an agreement, MWA will take appropriate action which may include removing Harlequin from the list of MWA approved publishers, declining future membership applications from authors published by Harlequin and declaring that books published by Harlequin will not be eligible for the Edgar Awards.

So, there you have it, Harlequin - another professional writers organization will also consider you a vanity publisher. And I don't know how many other organizations (if any) responded over the weekend. Unfortunately, between a death in the family, and my birthday - I was away from my computer and the internets most of the weekend, so I've a bit of catching up to do regarding this mess. Hopefully I'll be able to slog away through some of it - but if anyone else has anything to add, let me know! =)

One of the things I did learn (through an email I received yesterday on one of the NJRW loops) is that, as things stand now with Harlequin, any book published by any Harlequin imprint will be ineligible for the RITA in the coming years and any current PAN applications from Harlequin authors have been on hold, pending resolution.

There's still a lot of information to sift through, and more coming out day by day - I'll do my best to keep on top of it! =)


Lori W. said...

You really have to wonder if Harlequin thought this thing all the way through.

Kim said...

I like to think that it was Torstar's decision and NOT Harlequin Enterprises... but I'm cynical.

My take it that they figured they were big enough and important enough that no one would bat an eye about it. Guess they were wrong! :D