I emailed Malle Vallik to ask her three questions which pertained the biggest question I had about brand dilution:
- Will the books be sold through the eharlequin store?
- Will there be any HH branding on the book, either on the cover or in the copyright page?
- Are you (Harlequin) concerned about brand dilution?
This is Ms. Vallik’s response. She said she would be around to answer a few questions.
1. The books will not be branded Harlequin.
2. The books will be branded HH (see nice logo on website) attached
3. The copyright is not associated with Harlequin.
First, why is Harlequin launching a self-publishing business? Bowker reported in 2008 that more titles were published through self-publishing than traditional publishers. Self-publishing is a fast growing and vibrant part of the publishing industry today. Harlequin has decided to provide a romance focused self-publishing business for those that choose to go down the self-publishing road.
Brand – Harlequin put its name on the Harlequin Horizons site to clearly indicate this is a romance self-publishing site. The books published through Harlequin Horizons will not carry traditional Harlequin branding. The self-published author will be the brand and the Horizon double H logo will appear on the spine of the book. Harlequin is the gold standard in romance and that will not be compromised. Readers will not confuse Horizons books with traditional Harlequin books.
Distribution – Self-publishing has a different distribution model than traditional publishing. Horizons books will not be carried nor appear in traditional Harlequin distribution. The self-published book will not appear next to a traditionally published Harlequin title.
The Harlequin Horizons site very clearly indicates it is a self-publishing business and that those who choose to publish with Horizons will not receive the traditional Harlequin distribution and marketing support.
Many authors are choosing to self-publish. There are a number of reasons to select self-publishing including as a way to see their work in print — to give copies as gifts, to have a bound copy to help in finding an agent, or simply as a keepsake. Harlequin is providing a service to those choosing to self-publish with a leading organization in this field, Author Solutions.
To recap, self-publishing is an option for those who want to put their story into print. The Harlequin brand will not be on these titles. The Harlequin Horizons site is very transparent that it offers self-publishing services.
Is Harlequin still publishing aspiring authors: Of course we are! We remain committed to reading and acquiring manuscripts from aspiring authors.