|What Happens When Dying Publishing Houses Need to Make Money Fast
||[Nov. 17th, 2009|01:46 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
Hey, amateur romance writers, still reeling from the latest Harlequin rejection informing you that your bodice-ripping masterpiece just didn't rip it up to their level? Wondering if your pirate/bandit/cruelly egotistical heir to an aristocratic fortune who is tamed by your heroine's passionate lovemaking just isn't roguish enough for the masses? Do you have so much money even in the Great Recession that it's burning a hole in your pocket? Then you're in luck!
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!
The door opened with a most malodorous creaking sound, as it opened.
There, on the doorstep, stood a muscular, half-naked Indian Brave.
Sparkling in the afternoon sun, as was the way with Indian vampires, he hefted Lurlene over his shoulder and onto his waiting horse. She kicked and pummeled him as he rode away from her home, but to no avail. "Oh, help me, Baldur, Baldrick, whatever your name is!" She had heard stories about the
sexy terrible things these noble savages did to their female captives and had no doubt of the fate that this Brave was intent on plundering the treasures of her secret bits.
Suddenly, she heard the pounding of horse's hooves behind them. She craned her neck and saw a strong white steed riding hard after them, but it wasn't her beloved who rode upon its back, but Mr. Bloodworth! His cruel lips parted to reveal his clenched teeth, his strong jaw set in determination. His long black hair flowed behind him like the standard of an army battalion. In his haste, the buttons of his dress shirt had come undone, revealing his well muscled and non-threateningly hairless chest.
[I cry uncle and cannot continue. Lordy.]
The sight of the naked man's chest hypnotized Lurlene. She felt herself grow faint.
"Help! Somebody save me!" she cried.
The maniacal laughter of Mr. Bloodworth echoed in her ears as she slipped into oblivion.
It was not the regular sort of oblivion, however, but something far sweeter, moister, a red velvet cake of an oblivion, with the tart aftertaste of raspberries and the void. In this confection of nothingness Lurlene of course saw nothing, as if her eyes were veiled in the sweet frosting of love instead of the horror glaze Mr. Bloodworth had so liberally applied. It was like being trapped in one of ol' Muddy's deserts, and if Lurlene could have unoblivioned herself for but a moment she would have again recanted the tone she too often took with her dear nursemaid.
Alas, now all was the diabetes-bane black of Bloodworth's oblivion, which in of itself would have given Lurlene pause if only she were not already so arrested, for should not the oblivion of her beloved be sweet, and the oblivion of a villain and cad like Mr. Bloodworth be bitter as lemons grown from soil fertilized with dead parents and watered with an orphan's tears? Could the tooth-rotting perfection of her current oblivion signify that perhaps her feelings for Mr. Bloodworth were of a different aisle of the confectioner's shoppe than she had previously believed? Thankfully, sweet though it was, Lurlene's oblivion was just that, and so she could not immediately confront this dire possibility. Then she woke up.