Author Solutions has teamed up with Harlequin to form Harlequin Horizons, a new imprint for self-published romance authors. The imprint will recruit writers in two ways: authors whose manuscripts have been rejected by Harlequin will be made aware of the Harlequin Horizons option and authors who sign with Author Solutions will be given the opportunity to be published under the Harlequin Horizons imprint. According to an Author Solutions spokesperson, the imprint will offer special services aimed at the romance market, including unique marketing and distribution services. All services are on a pay-for-service basis.
No, friends, your eyes aren't deceiving you, it's true! You next rejection letter from Harlequin will tell you that your book just wasn't right for them but they'll still publish it if you pay them to. It's like every author's dream come true! I know you're reaching for your credit card right now, but wait, there's more!
You're wondering if this can get any better. Well, yes! Yes it can!
Author Solutions will handle all aspects of the venture, although Harlequin Horizons will exist as an imprint of Harlequin, and the publisher will be able to monitor sales and sign authors to a traditional imprint.
That's right, romance writers! After paying Harlequin to publish your book, they'll decide if it's selling well enough to sign you to a real publishing deal! It won't be hard for them, all they have to do is change the imprint logo on the cover, after all. No sweat. So don't worry that you might be causing them too much extra work! It's not like the advance Harlequin will pay you is likely to cover your self-publishing expenses anyway. Also, with a traditional contract they will ostensibly be able to make even more money off of you, in addition to what you already paid them, with a more publisher-friendly royalty schedule. Everybody wins! And by everybody, I mean Harlequin and Author Solutions!
I know what you're thinking. Jeez, I'm still putting Harlequin through such a hassle if they give me a real contract, what with having to pay to print the books themselves and all. I don't know if I want to be a bother. Don't worry. The average romance novel has such a short shelf life that odds are yours won't sell enough copies to catch Harlequin's eye anyway, provided your book even gets into bookstores, so the whole part about signing the self-published authors to a traditional imprint probably won't even come into play. Phew! Now you don't have to be a bother to anyone!
Like I said, everybody wins!