Saturday, November 21, 2009

Harlequin Horizons

I’ve been reading about Harlequin's new vanity press imprint for a little while now, but this is the first time I’ve visited its website.

The intent behind creating Harlequin Horizons is to give more aspiring romance writers and women’s fiction writers the opportunity to publish their books and achieve their dreams without going through the submission process with a traditional publishing house.

Well, at least they don’t claim that they’re offering writers the opportunity to reach readers, have their books in stores or recoup their investment (much less make any money). Harlequin Horizons offers writers five packages :

Basic $599
Horizons $799
Aspirations $999
Marketing Plus $1199
Booksellers $1599

The last time I saw a table like this, I was searching for vanity presses to include in my regular “five expensive ways to get into print” post. I would never have expected to see something similar under the umbrella of an actual publisher… and there are additional charges for editing, marketing and so on. Such as a personalized email campaign for $12,000.

And there’s the “Hollywood Book Trailer” for $20,000.

Harlequin is likely to profit. The allure of its brand will overcome the upfront cost for some (if not many) writers, and Harlequin holds out the carrot of picking up certain books for commercial publication. Which books would those be?

While there is no guarantee that if you publish with Harlequin Horizons you will picked up for traditional publishing, Harlequin will monitor sales of books published through Harlequin Horizons for possible pick-up by its traditional imprints.

I wonder if any writers will buy up their own books in bulk so that Harlequin will consider them.


Anonymous said...

When I saw their prices, I also was reminded of that prior post you'd written regarding expensive vanity presses.

The whole thing comes off very distasteful to me.

Marian Perera said...

The latest is that Harlequin has changed the name of its vanity arm to "DellArte", distinguishing it from Harlequin proper.

I wonder if those ridiculous prices are still in effect.