November 28th, 2009


Harlequin Horizons Changes Name, Remains Stupid Idea

In the wake of widespread criticism over its self-publishing imprint, Harlequin has changed the imprint’s name from Harlequin Horizons to DellArte Press. As Harlequin publisher and CEO Donna Hayes said it would, the company renamed the imprint to a designation “that [does] not refer to Harlequin in any way.” There is no mention of Harlequin on DellArte’s Web site.

No word yet on whether this will bring Harlequin back into the good graces of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). As you may remember, RWA hit back pretty hard when Harlequin announced it was partnering with Author Solutions to get into the vanity publishing racket.

There has also been no word yet on the resolution of Harlequin/DellArte's two other enormous and egregious issues . Will Harlequin continue to use their rejection letters to shuttle authors to the vanity program they co-own, and will Harlequin continue to claim, hilariously, that DellArte authors have a chance to become actual Harlequin authors with traditional contracts and publishing deals if they sell enough copies, despite the fact that DellArte books will clearly not be carried in bookstores? Stay tuned. I have a feeling this shitshow isn't over yet.

In the meantime, a blogger going by the name of Falconesse has provided an excellent financial breakdown of exactly why choosing vanity presses like DellArte, and others like it, to publish ostensibly commercial novels is a terrible idea that will only break your heart and empty your bank account. (Money shot: "[The] author would need to sell TEN THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR BOOKS before she could even start making any money.")