Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Tuesday Midday Links: Harlequin Horizon’s, A self publishing venture

Harlequin is launching Harlequin Horizons through a partnership with Author Solutions, Inc.

Through this strategic alliance; all sales, marketing, publishing, distribution, and book-selling services will be fulfilled by ASI; but Harlequin Horizons will exist as a division of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Harlequin will monitor sales of books published through the self-publisher for possible pickup by its traditional imprints.

My guess is that if an author is selling well by herself, then Harlequin will see that and offer to bring it to a larger audience. It’s like a reader run slush pile. Some authors are dismayed by this, feeling it will hurt the publisher brand.    I’m not so sure that they are wrong about this.    From a reader point of view, since I buy primarily by line and author, I’m not certain if it affects   me.   Thoughts?

****

A Canadian high school is the first to go all digital.   Each student will be provided a Sony Reader with all the textbooks preloaded.   The students will be using the Sony Reader Touch edition which has a 6″ touchscreen and the ability for a student to write on the device.   Indigo books is estimating that 10% of book purchasers in 2010 will be in digital format.   It’s possible. Currently the number is 5% and the sales of digital books has increased 170% over last year.   Crain’s New York reported (paid link) that through September 2009, Simon & Schuster digital sales on the Kindle alone were over $22 million. Last year at the same time, Kindle sales for S&S had only generated $2.9 million.

****

The Kindle is available in Canada!

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. veinglory
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:13:57

    I think it will hurt the publisher brand when anyone who wants to can say they are a Harlequin author. To the extent that “Harlequin” per se means anything, it dilutes that meaning.

  2. tricia
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:16:05

    My gut clenched thinking about issuing any of my past students with ebook readers. Those kids lost electronics they actually *liked*, so I could picture them misplacing Reader after Reader. Or damaging them. But I just googled the high school in question and it looks quite lovely–far from any of the schools where I’ve taught. It’s nice for the publishers of the textbooks to get new licensing fees each year from the school, for sure.

    As for the Kindle here in Canada: Too. Late.

  3. Melissa
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:23:46

    The e-reader in schools is a great idea. It will certainly cut costs, since many texts are available for free online and save the student a bad back from having to lug textbooks to and from home. Wish I’d have had one when I was in university!

  4. Jim Duncan
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:29:48

    Wondering if the basic 600 bucks is going to be worth the name recognition Harlequin brings. Is there going to be a site dedicated to the Horizons ebooks? Or will it be up to the author to get them up and out at the various ebook retailers? If this is going to be tied directly with other Harlequin ebook titles, i.e. you go to Harlequin site and you can link directly to Horizons books there, this might possibly work to promote self pubbed titles. If not, it seems like a lot of cash to fork up for file conversion and a generic cover, which of course one can do for a lot less money.

  5. Chrissy
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:37:58

    I’m not a Harlequin fan for a variety of reasons, but this looks… well bad.

    It’s ridiculous and will hurt the brand.

    I do buy some of their books, but mostly the sub-imprints. This? Um. No.

  6. rachel
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:46:31

    They set up an ebook line with editors, experienced harlequin staff and don’t link it to the brand. Then they set up a selfpublishing/vanity outfit where you have to pay $1k for editing which is linked to the brand. How many folks do you think are going to bother with the editing? I’m trying to understand the logic of this move. Trying and failing. This is going to seriously damage the brand. You will get all that tripe that is published by Publish America et al associated with the Harlequin Brand.

    I feel ill and I’m not even published by Harlequin. If I was a Harlequin author I would not be very happy right about now.

    I know Harlequin is about the bottom line but this is ridiculous. It really is someone too concerned about quick financial gain, rather than looking at the bigger picture. I think Harlequin is the only part of that company – Torstar? which is showing big profits.

  7. Margaret
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 13:31:46

    More impressive than providing ebook readers to private school children is Uraguay providing a laptap for every elementary school child. This is where ebook technology is exciting.

    http://gadgetcrave.com/uruguay-offers-laptops-to-every-primary-student/3920/

  8. Fae Sutherland
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 13:36:01

    The canadian school actually isn’t the first. Maybe the first to use ereaders, but there’s a good handful of schools that have already gone all digital. AZ, California and Florida, just to name a few, all have schools where there are no textbooks, it’s all digital on laptops and in class desktops. In Vail, AZ, the school even provides free wifi so kids can research and such without needing paper books for that either.

  9. Melissa
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 13:43:30

    @rachel: Chapters (Canada) has a similar program – self-pub, pay a fee, get your book in selected Chapters stores. As someone who spends a lot of money on their site and in-store I don’t like this one bit. I count on them to carry a quality product.

    Personally, as an author, I don’t think I’d want to part ways with my editor given the amount of red ink I get back from her after the first draft. What she provides me and the readers is far too valuable – I’d rather my pub take their cut than put out something that’s crap and be known as a terrible author.

  10. Chrissy
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 13:44:46

    Massive shark jump.

  11. soma uk
    Mar 02, 2010 @ 17:11:35

    how r u, spring is cooming! good post there, tnx for dearauthor.com

%d bloggers like this: