Continued pressure from US writers’ organisations and publisher watchdogs has resulted in Harlequin announcing that it is to change the name of its new paid-publishing venture, Harlequin Horizons, launched this week in partnership with Author Solutions.
Yesterday, Preditors & Editors changed its listing for Harlequin to Vanity Publisher. Today, the Romance Writers of America (RWA) has revoked Harlequin’s rating and benefits which it extends to publishers. This was also followed today by a statement from the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) who stated;
“Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is deeply concerned about the troubling conflict-of-interest issues created by these ventures, particularly the potentially misleading way they are marketed to aspiring writers on the Harlequin website.”
MWA Board of Directors Statement
And very late today, Harlequin decided to respond to the criticism by announcing a name change to Harlequin Horizons to address the perceived confusion and moves by the MWA and RWA.
“It is disappointing that the RWA has not recognized that publishing models have and will continue to change. As a leading publisher of women's fiction in a rapidly changing environment, Harlequin's intention is to provide authors access to all publishing opportunities, traditional or otherwise.
Most importantly, however, we have heard the concerns that you, our authors, have expressed regarding the potential confusion between this venture and our traditional business. As such, we are changing the name of the self-publishing company from Harlequin Horizons to a designation that will not refer to Harlequin in any way. We will initiate this process immediately. We hope this allays the fears many of you have communicated to us.
We are committed to connecting with our authors and aspiring authors in a significant way and encourage you to continue to share your thoughts with us.”
Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
Harlequin Enterprises Limited