Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, Hello

As we say, "Goodbye" to 2009, I've heard no one say it has been a great year, even though some good things have happened to each of us. Nearly every adult and most children have had concerns about the anemic economy. I'm sure we will have learned a great deal from these times.

In a few hours we start again, hopefully different from last year, much wiser. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she said, we have the world we agree to have. Perhaps we can agree to have a better world, one with a bit less "me" and "money," and a bit more "compassion" and "charity."

Maybe the Beatles had it right, "All we need is love."

My sister-in-law, Jan, sent an email that had the quote below as the final comment. I wish I knew who wrote it. I couldn't find it searching quotes (if you know, let me know - I like to give credit where credit is due).

From Jan's email:
"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it."

Have a happy and good new year in 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh MY Gosh!

I totally love this! Providing it has the standard key action, I'm going to track down one of these babies!

Isn't that wild! Wow!

Found it here:

That notice thingy: I didn't get anything, not even a cup of coffee, to post this blog. However, if they want to give me a keyboard to test (play with) I am not too proud to take it (hint-hint).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

eBook Expert

By now most people have figured out that I try to gather and pass on industry info, in addition to the off the top of my head gabbing found on random days at First Draft. I know people are busy and this industry is like a room full of toddlers, there is a lot going on. Catching up from a beginning writers' point is time consuming. It is a bit like herding cats -- not all that easy. Thus, if you can wade through all the other jabber-walkie, First Draft is the preliminary stuff before the intro -- prologue? (Have I misnamed my blog?)

One thing for sure, I'm the least knowledgeable 'authority' on eBooks. My books are not available as eBooks. The closest I come to making an eBook is the pdf of my newsletter. I'm pragmatic about the pirating issue for eBooks, as you will be once your book is published (if you are a beginning writer). There is that 'green' thing about eBooks that makes me fall off my chair laughing. I have enough university science credits - from my nursing studies prior to switching study to social work -- to know that whole line of thinking is a bunch of hoowie. In some respects, they are kinda green, but not really-really green. They are the future, or some form of it though.

(I'm doing an anti-resume thing here, in case you were wondering.)

A couple of weeks back, I did post a link to a resource that reviewed the (more than you'd think) list of eReaders. I thought some of them looked and sounded (in the reviews) cool. It isn't in my budget to buy them or to get somewhere I could explore them side-by-side. And there is that old BETA vs VHS thing going on with the formatting (yes, I know of the resource that will produce eBooks in several formats).

The real issue for me, besides I worked hard to earn the ability to read a book, is that reading eBooks is starting over - they are difficult for me to read. It shouldn't seem that way considering the amount of time I read my computer monitor, but I take lots of breaks. It is frustrating for me to take the breaks necessary when reading digital content of a book. Short articles, no problem. Long texts, big problem. I do better with a printed book.

Nonetheless, I think it is important for readers and writers to glimpse info about the digital book conversation in the industry. Therefore, here are some links to bring you up to speed, if you aren't already way ahead of me.

The links in brief:
A big time author sells his digital rights to Amazon, thus separating his print rights from digital rights (and his print publisher). The thing here to keep in mind is that one large publisher is trying to retroactively claim digital rights to its backlist books that are pre-digital era. There is a big discussion going around about this. At the same time, another large publisher is delaying the release of digital books on selected new books. A bit less of a discussion going on about this, but it is still out there. There was some valid mention of the need and ability to market both in a joint fashion so both feed off each other. So the question needs to be considered, before you sign your first publishing contract, where do you stand on the digital rights of your promising ms.

This link just drives home the fact that most midlist books have a short shelf life in the bookstore. It says eBooks live forever (they must not have a bunch of files stored on the huge floppy disks -- or the old punch cards -- that they are never going to be able to retrieve, but can't throw them out). Nothing new, but thought this was nicely written.

This one has me back to thinking on the format issue. Interesting and informative, even though a bit techy-talk. Read the comment section too.

In the previous article, I didn't know what DRM was, so I looked it up. If you don't know, here is the link.

OMGosh! Did you hear about this?

Wow, it feels like I've just written a public service announcement. It might be a boring post, but I've done worse. Do ck out the links. There will be a pop quiz next week. (kidding)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vanishing Book Reviews

Just so we're totally clear on this, I ask permission to reprint the email below, so here goes...

Last week, ReaderViews sent out an email to authors whose books they had reviewed. ReaderViews is a book review service in Texas. They sell review packages (and other stuff) or they have a list where you can sign up for free reviews. Basically, they have volunteer (vetted) readers around the country who read books and take the time to write a review. Then RV posts the reviews on several website where reviews are typically posted, including their own website.

The thing I think that adds credibility to their reviews is, if they can't honestly write a good review (they have a second reader take a look too) then they go back to the writer. I don't really know what happens next since it has never happened to me. I don't speak for ReaderViews, so go to their website for more (and better) information. All I know is I've gotten a square deal from them.

Here is the email:
For the past year, Reader Views has been posting reviews on as another source of getting publicity for author's books. However, a disgruntled person has reported Reader Views as being in violation of GoodReads' rules. Following its investigation, GoodReads told Reader Views:

Goodreads is all about reader reviews, not professional reviews.
You are using our site commercially.

We are addressing your breach of Goodreads Terms of Service (, which clearly state: "Subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement, Goodreads grants you permission to use the Service for your personal, non-commercial purposes only."

We feel strongly that the Reader Views profile on Goodreads falls firmly on the "professional reviews" side of the line, which we reserve the right to delete.

In light of this, and upon checking GoodReads site, I noted within a few minutes 10+ other "commercial sites" are posting reviews there. When I informed GoodReads' that Reader Views wasn't the only "commercial" site posting there, it requested I send them the links of the other reviewers that were in violation so it could investigate. It is not my intention to be the gatekeeper for GoodReads, and as reviewers we support each other and are not out to destroy each other. We are here to support the authors so they can in turn increase the sales of their books.

Unfortunately, Reader Views has been targeted and removed from GoodReads. This also means that if we posted a review of your book on its site, the review was removed. I tried to maintain Reader Views' account, and even explained that removing the reviews would be punishing the authors, but that did not seem to concern GoodReads.

I'm sorry I had to write this email to you. I did try my hardest to maintain the reviews on the GoodReads site.

If you are not happy with GoodReads' decision, you have the option to let them know at
Irene [Irene Watson from ReaderViews]

My take on this is:
It is no big deal to me what goes on at Goodreads. I can't spend time everywhere and Goodreads is one of the places I don't go very often. Let's face it, I'm more of a writer than a reader. It does seem odd to me that they would remove some of my reviews. It does seem strange that they wouldn't want all reviews, ya know, that is if they are the "go-to" place for reviews -- that was my understanding of what Goodreads was. More books, more reviews, more traffic? Maybe not???

I guess I just don't get it. We read 'commercial' book and movie reviews in newspapers all the time. Then we make up our own mind anyway. I don't think anyone would be off put when they see reviews and link back to the reviewer to find they were done by a review service. If I'm missing something here, enlighten me.

Goodreads, Amazon, NothingBinding, all of them use OUR books and the reviews of them for 'commercial' purposes. Let's face it, we can always self publish, but where would the industry be without writers? We are being used commercially by just about everyone and we are more than willing because we want readers to notice us and read our stories.

I just don't understand the need to remove the reviews, it isn't like I have lots of resources on the internet for my reviews. Sure I get that it is a rule, I just don't get the need to have the rule -- especially with the new FTC rules.

If you do go to Goodreads often and have an opinion on this, do voice it to them. The link is in the email above.

Just so we're clear here. I paid ReaderViews for reviews of Kathryn's Beach and High Tide. I did NOT pay for the review of Storm Surge, but ask that the same reviewer who did the first two do the third, if possible. I do get the newsletters from Goodreads and ReaderViews -- and about a million other newsletters. Oh and Irene donated several copies of her book to the blog party - as did about 20 other writers (no strings attached either direction, but I did want them autographed). I don't know what any of this means in the big picture of things, but I'm trying to meet the FTC guidelines and be totally clear on all of this.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

To all of you, I wish you a good and joyous holiday season.

(Greeting made by my friend Andy in France.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis the Season...

I wish for each of us, Peace on Earth.

Regardless of which, if any, holiday you celebrate, enjoy this video. At the very least, I bet it is the gift of a smile.

Something special for you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Baby!

This is the time of year when the new lists of popular baby names come out. I like to read them with the curiosity of a writer. Sometimes I take a name I'm considering for a character and find out the meaning for their name. For example my name comes from the Slavic, Nadia (Hope).

The problem is it is easy to start reading how my name went with the Germanic tribes to the now UK and my family adopted the transition name, Nadine, and has passed it down on the Welsh Evan's side of the family. Well, I'm the end of the line for the name, it appears, in this Stewart/Evans family tree.

(Of course there are name generators for the SciFy writers among us.)

The thing that is different about this list (link below), for those interested, is it predicts the top boy and girl names ten years from now, 2019. Whether you want to be the one to bring a name to popularity or to gamble that using a popular name will endear you to the lit agent you hope to woo, that is up to you.

All I know is Kathryn started out with a different name and it just didn't fit. So, back to the whole unscientific idea that stories will talk to their writer and tell them what they are or what they want to be (the drunken muse theory).

Okay, I made that up. Really, don't believe everything you read. There is no "Drunken Muse Theory."

Monday, December 21, 2009

About agents (for Peggy) and all debut writers

Unless you're satisfied with being published by a small press, you must romance literary agents until one falls in love with your ms.

Here are some links on the subject.

Nope, no idea why the last link looks like a tome. There is LOTS of info at these links. It should keep you busy for days.

And some very good news for debut authors: (must read this)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Log Lines

Can you sum up a book in one SHORT line? Some people are better at this than others. Log lines come from the Hollywood practice of logging scripts into a, well, a log book. There needed to be an economy of words and yet set each script apart, so it could be found quickly when wanted.

Writing log lines is good practice for elevator pitches. It isn't all that likely that most of us will be in an elevator (lift) with an agent and have the opportunity to pitch our wonderful, fabulous ms to them on the spot. However, perhaps we can pitch to a potential reader, so it is good to be ready.

On the sidebar, I want to add log lines for my books. A tease, but a truthful tease, about each book is what I'm after. I went to day two of the blog party to see if anyone had tried their hand at a log line for my books. Nope. No help there.

I did one for the blog party book. It isn't exactly a log line, but it will do.

So now, what about this trilogy of mine? After a while, as most of you will discover, a few million edits and rewrites, the whole thing becomes elusive to sum in a few words.

Here is what I've come up with for each book. I'm not sure I'll keep them. I usually tinker with things a few times. (I think that is learned during the rewrites stage of the process.)

KATHRYN'S BEACH: Kathryn goes home to face the haunting past.
HIGH TIDE: Kathryn begins a new life.

Yep, nothing on that one. I think it is perhaps the best book of the three. Maybe it wouldn't be so great if the first two hadn't set it up for the third. I donno. The real question on Storm Surge is whether Kathryn will be alive at the end of the book. As I wrote it, I didn't know whether she would or not. Maybe that is partly why I like it so well. When I write, I don't want to know the story until it unfolds. It is like reading, but with a keyboard and busy fingers.

Well, we'll see what I come up with. Might just do one for the whole trilogy, though I think not.

Just to show you how good Joyce, my web designer is, I asked her what she though of what I did to the blog part book...though I had no control where the text went, and this is what she sent back to me. If you don't get this service from your web designer, you have the wrong one.

It looks okay. Doesn’t line up perfectly but okay. If you put (a html code she wrote that won't show up in this post - duh) after the form button and before your text it will force it completely below the image. (don’t copy and paste that code. Type it in because the quotation marks are different here.) Joyce

So anyway...back to thinking about log lines...
If you have suggestions for log lines for my books, be my guest. Funny is okay too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My 200th Blog Post!

Here it is! My 200th blog post and not a bright idea for something stellar to write. Sheesh!

All I can say is that it has been quite a year that began April 2, 2009. Of course, the blog party comes to mind as one of the memorable moments. I still can't believe the size of the Blog Party book. We really did have a grand time and it is because of everyone who participated that it was such a success.

I certainly went out of my comfort zone to do this blog on my own as much as possible, since I rely so completely on my web designer, Joyce over at She fixes things I do all over the net, not just my own website, which I think is fantastic (this is my third redesign for She did some of the graphics on the sidebar of this blog too.

I've laughed at the fact that I rapidly gained 45 followers and when I go over that mark, people un-follow. Hope it isn't personal???

FIRST DRAFT was my official coming out as being dyslexic. In many ways, it is no big deal to me since this is my normal. In other ways, it was admitting a point of embarrassment as a child and sometimes a reason for abuse by my teachers and a few peers. I hope though, in the end, it shows that if I can write novels, and write them well, that anyone who aspires to be a writer can be, if they pay their dues and pursevere.

In my typical sloppy sentimental way, I want to say 'thank you' to everyone who takes the time to read my blog and my books. You have made the time FIRST DRAFT takes well worth the journey.

Now I look forward to starting a small publishing company in 2010, Cactus Rain Publishing, that is different from any other company I know. It is a new model and there will be more innovative projects coming in the years ahead. I hope you will take this journey with me as we laugh at my goofs and celebrate all of our successes.

I love you guys. Sounds strange, but even though many of us have not met, I do love you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Win another book...

My friend, Erin Collins, (remember her from the Blog Party?) sent this email that I'm sharing with everyone.

Hi everyone. For those of you who have not purchased my book, Shadow Walk: The Gathering, I am having a Christmas contest! Yes, until December 24, 2009, you have the opportunity to win a signed copy of my book. Just email me at and put contest in the subject line. One lucky winner will be chosen at random. Be sure to include your name and mailing address in the email. This will be for the contest only. No other use of your address will be used. Good luck! Erin Collins Author, Shadow Walk: The Gathering

Good luck! Go win yourself Shadow Walk: The Gathering. Let's face it, after the holidays, you will need new books to start the new year!

Erin at the Blog Party. Learn lots more about Shadow Walk: The Gathering here:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12:00:42 AM

Forty-two seconds after midnight Pacific Time yesterday an email arrived with the details for the famed Google Book Settlement.

From the very beginning of this mess (several years ago) I've thought this was handled poorly, but that is the American way: Go piss off a bunch of people while mindlessly looking to make a buck, act like you are doing some noble thing when someone grumbles, and trust that most people won't notice, care, or bother to think about what is happening.

While it is so easy to blame all of this on Google, that is just nuts. There were libraries at fault too who gave Google permission and access to scan books when they did not have the rights to do so (and they probably should have been joined in the suit). There were publishers who did the same (I had a fierce argument with my publisher at the time).

When the situation went into litigation, there were writer groups who took it upon themselves to speak for all writers in one of the lamest negations I've ever read. In my opinion they only had the right (duty?) to speak for their members when they filed their amicus brief, then patted themselves on the back as they spoke for writers everywhere - not only American writers.

And you want to know what really ticks me off? Most writers still don't have a clue what I'm talking about, what the issues of the case were, and won't read the settlement to know how it will effect them in the future.

Except for the pirating problem worldwide, and sorry to say, primarily in Asia; the fact that some lame brain in corporate America didn't have the basic understanding of the book industry to consider who the copyright holders of these works were/are; and the theft of moneys to be made from these books by persons I will leave nameless, I have no problem with books being scanned.

But most of us have slept through this whole debate like village idiots. That is why I'm not summarizing this incident. Some things are worth learning for oneself.

My admiration goes to the President of France for saying, "NO!" Other governments raised their sleepy heads long enough to respond in a watered down fashion.

On the high road, scanning books can bring them to people who are so remotely located that they otherwise have no access to them for the purposes of furthering their education (online).

And the "OOPS! We forgot this bit" link:

(Hey, I warned everyone in my beginning post that I probably shouldn't blog because I have an opinion on everything. This is one of the examples of my ability to think for myself and state it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Win a free book tomorrow

The holidays are almost here. Money is tight worldwide. Need a book as a gift? Or maybe you need a new book to curl up with on the sofa since you have everything done and are totally ready for the holidays. (Yeah, that would be me.)

Here is the deal. The give away is 15 December, tomorrow, so I'm telling you now. Win a free historical novel, easy-peasy.

A Glimse at Happiness, by Jean Fullerton

When Josie O'Casey returns to London after twelve years in America, she is overjoyed to discover that her childhood sweetheart Patrick Nolan, who she believed to be dead, is alive and well. But Josie's happiness is short-lived - Patrick now belongs to another. Heartbroken, Josie vows to forget about Patrick and settle back into life in the East End, but she must decide if she is willing to forsake everything for the man she loves...


Anita Davison gave me the head's up on this.

Friday, December 11, 2009

On Faith...

ask no questions. Click on the link below. (A bit of fun to start your weekend with a bang.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It was 22 hours without electricity up on the Mogollon Rim this week. With the fireplace going it was below 50 degrees F indoors. Two and a half days with no internet. Phones still out. I'm glad I'd written a week's worth of blog posts as the snow began. Smart! I'm replacing the one scheduled for today with this - below. Please read.

This is really important for everyone to read. I'm hoping to hear lots of comments.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Kip Cosson has a new book out. My copy just arrived, so I reread his first book, Ned Visits New York and the new one, Ned & Meece Wheels of New York.

Like the first book, as soon as I heard about Wheels, I emailed Kip and reserved a copy. These are delightful books geared for ages 1 - 10. The art is bright and colorful, drawn by Kip. His first book is about making new friends and seeing new places (New York City). The second is about all the things with wheels in NYC. Each page is written in six languages: Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, and American English.

The other great thing about these books is Kip makes children's wear that has some of the same art on them. His children's clothes have been in some pretty big name publications. Check his website for specifics.

Our friendship pre-dates the books, and I'm honored to be Kip's friend. Maybe I'll come visit New York one day and be able to use the check list in the back of the books.

So to you, my friend Kip, congratulations on both your books!

Compensation? I ordered Wheels, but when it arrived, the price was marked out and it was a gift from Kip. However, he doesn't know I'm writing this blog. I just like to celebrate books and especially those by writers I know.

Kip's website:
Kip at the world's most awesome book blog party:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

For teens

Honestly, most of us try not to embarrass our kids in public. My kids have been very tolerant of me being a writer and not the recluse every teen hopes their parents are, if not a famous superhero.

I've said many times that there isn't enough money to get me to return to being a teen. Perhaps it is even more complicated now days. Thus, I'm going to remind everyone of another Blog Party writer, Jeannine Garsee. Remember her Y/A books?

Jen does a fabulous job of writing about "today" topics for teens. In Jen's debut with BloomsburyUSA, Before, After, and Somebody in Between, Martha wants to be much more than her white trash beginnings. School is tough, but home life is tougher. Martha has a mouth on her. She doesn't go slumming, she is from the slum ~ with a big dream to be a professional cellist. Is foster care her chance to shine as a musician?

Jen's second book with BloomsburyUSA is Say The Word. Following up on yesterday's blog topic, What if your parent is gay? When I beta read "Say The Word" I fell in love with the story. Shawna is a typical suburban teen, headed for the front row seat at medical school (more what she 'should do' rather than wants to do). Her parents are divorced ~ typical. What isn't typical is her dad. He says absolutely horrible things about her mom and mate (girlfriend). To my delight, Shawna's step-mom helps her... I'm not telling the rest. Oh and to be clear, Jen's straight.

Both books are wonderful stories and I would not want to label them, but the topics are real life issues for teens and perhaps along with the entertainment of the read will come new information and insights. Even so, if you want to read a fantastic writer's works, get Jen's books.

Jen Garsee at the world's most awesome book blog party:'s website:
Check out Jen's blogs:
and this blog:

There was no compensation for this post.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coming out later in life

Remember the blog party last summer? (The only correct answers is, "YES!") Remember Susan Gabriel? Remember Seeking Sara Summers? Links below, if you don't.

If my memory serves me right, Ellen DeGeneres was the first celebrity I remember who came out and was accepted by everyone, the public and the Hollywood gang. It was no big deal to me, she was still funny and generally her humor is intellectual. I tend to prefer intellectual humor/humour to slap-stick, so I was and am still a fan of hers.

Long ago, a friend -- a nun, to be more specific -- took me to lunch and came out. I have to admit, I probably didn't give her the response she was expecting. She said she was gay and leaving the convent. She was a great nun, so my mind was racing with, "What? You're leaving the convent?!!!" You know those guys are celibate, (well the nuns are more than the priests, it seems), so what did it matter which gender she preferred as a partner. Right?

She might as well have said, "I'm gay, so I'm giving up chocolate!" I totally missed reacting to the gay part of the conversation. Giving up chocolate? She was leaving the convent? Well anyway, she did. She left the convent, not the chocolate thing.

Last week Meredith Baxter, 62, came out. I watched the interview video. It was sweet and I felt for her as it was obvious she is a private person and that personal stuff on TV was difficult. Bless.

So from there Susan Gabriel was one writer the press located to interview on the topic of late awareness of sexual preference. In Susan's book, Seeking Sara Summers, by accident Sara discovers the solution to her dud marriage. She has done all the expected things, expectations she shared, like marrying her childhood sweetheart, raising a family, becoming a teacher in her hometown high school, but breast cancer pushes her to ask, "Is this all there is?" Sara's life wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. See the link to my review of Seeking Sara Summers, below.

As far as marketing goes, this topic with Meredith Baxter is pie from the sky for Susan. As a fellow writer, I wish her well. Buy her book, Seeking Sara Summers, if you want to understand this topic better.

I guarantee each of us know someone who is going to say..."I'm gay and I'm giving up chocolate." So be ready to pay attention and understand.

To be fair to guy celebs let me mention George Takei from the Original StarTrek and David Hyde Pierce from Frasier. There. Done.

Interviews of Susan Gabriel:
Susan at the world's most awesome book blog party:
Book review of Seeking Sara Summers:
Susan Gabriel:

I forgot to say, there was no compensation for this post.

Friday, December 4, 2009

More Doodles

Quite a few people either posted comments or emailed about their doodling in response to my post on doodling.

Laura is the graphic designer who did the logo for Cactus Rain Publishing. Check out the kind of doodling she does.

Some of these look like book cover art -- don't you think?

I forgot to say, there was no compensation for this post.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ya gotta love this...

I have to say that I am much more likely to gently, lovingly run my fingertips over the edges of a book like this more than I would feel the love for an ebook in my hand. That's just me, I'm a tactile person.

Where I found this link:

I forgot to say, there was no compensation for this post.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


It is no secret that I'm not all that into eBooks. For one thing, it took me years to learn to read and I took lots of mean spirited teasing in the process.

I want a book, a real one. I like the feel of a book in my fingers, or resting against my chest as I curl up with it -- lost in the writer's world between the pages. I like the smell of the crisp yellowed pages of the 100+ year old books I own. I like the wonder when I open the proof copy of one of my books.

eBooks don't do anything for me. I can't hand write notes in the margin and draw a line to the print that spawned the idea. My laptop doesn't fit in my purse. I won't spend the money for an eReader (though they all look really cool). The readers don't have a universal file type - remember BETA vs VHS, and now Blu-ray? That pirating thing really hacks me off - bet they cheated in school too. Okay, the pirating thing is my biggest issue.

And don't give me that GREEN business. I've been recycling for years. Our recycling bin is always twice as full as our trash bin - try that with a family of five.

The ebook might be digital, but it took energy to produce it on a computer, most servers are on regular energy (iPower hosts on green servers), and don't think the satellites were launched into orbit without using just a bit (okay a whole lot) of energy -- including the lights on inside the sat companies where all those smart people work. Even reading on a phone or PDA isn't all that green, if not on satellites, they are sending the signal from towers that were smelt in factories...blah, blah, blah.

But mostly, I set out to publish a book, not a digital file...and I am so not with the times on this at all.

I've said this green stuff before and I only dare do it again while Carolyn Howard-Johnson isn't looking. But here is an expert:

and a great overview of eBook readers -- really cool:

I forgot to say, there was no compensation for this post.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Rose by any other name...

Besides the bit about some new ideas on how literary agencies do things, there are things going on with big publishers - the New York Suits, as I call them.

Surely by now anyone who follows the trade news has heard about Harlequin Horizons. Right? Harlequin is a major romance publisher in the US. They have decided to offer a self-publishing option to their slush pile writers. They have partnered with Author Solutions (the group that is made up of iUniverse, Author House, and several other self-publishers).

A couple of writers' organizations have pitched a fit about it and want [demand] Harlequin change the name of this new venture. They don't want the name "Harlequin" used in the name of the new company. It seems they don't like it because it is self-publishing that they don't want the name of a "real" publisher attached to the process.

I hate to spoil the fun, but self-publishing with these Author Solution (and other) companies has been around for ages, they sprung up like crazy after POD technology was invented. Not to mention Nelson Publisher did the same thing a few weeks back and there was hardly a word raised in complaint by anyone.

Several writers' groups have pitched a fit about the name more than the concept that seems to me akin to the diva bullies on the playground when we were little kids in grammar school. Seems these writers' groups are now banning Harlequin from their 'best friends' list.

The first one I heard who pitched a fit was RWA (Romance Writers of America). Seems for years Harlequin was invited (pockets lighter of tons of donations) to the RWA (et al) conferences. (I wasn't there, I'm going by what I read in every respectable trade news outlet.)

What gets me is that who do they (the writers' groups) think they are to tell any other business how to run their business? If I was a member of one of these groups, I'd be totally embarrassed by what the leadership has done -- make them all look like silly spoiled children. And gosh, every time I think about joining a writing group - hefty memberships included -- they pull some bone-head stunt that totally turns me off.

I can't believe that Harlequin is letting these groups push them around and are changing the name of their new venture because someone outside their organization is pouting. I thought the whole thing was inventive and forward looking by Harlequin execs. Too bad they don't believe in their brilliant ideas enough to tell the writers' groups to mind their own business.

See the link below for one take on the matter.
Look in the November posts for the new name of Harlequin Horizons and more info on the Nelson company mentioned in the other link.

I had some links to articles about the RWA, MWA, and SFWA organizations said/did regarding Harlequin Horizons, but realized they are subscription only, so just google and you'll find stuff out there, elsewhere.

Oops! I forgot to say, no compensation was made for this post.