26 November 2009

One more, and then I promise I'm done

As it turns out, Harlequin is not the first publisher to create a vanity imprint with Author Solutions.  Thomas Nelson, which is to the Christian market as Harlequin is to romance, had the idea first, with their West Bow Press imprint.  It's exactly the same deal as Harlequin Horizons DelleArte Press, except for one little thing:

DelleArte Press's base package costs $599. West Bow's? $999.

Attention, Real True Christians: this is the price you pay for having your own special subculture with your own special "Christian" everything. It's an open invitation to get ripped off...or ripped off more, in this case.

22 November 2009

Follow up on Author Solutions

This is basically a repost from SDN, but I had to add this.

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I went to Author Solutions's website to find out exactly what Harlequin Horizons will be charging the poor schmucks Harlequin refers to them.  It was...well, astonishing, frankly.  A sampling after the jump:

20 November 2009

Why I love the SFWA

I love the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Not only do they have one of the best online collections of advice for writers anywhere on the Internet, and not only do they run the indispensable Writer Beware site, but they stick up for authors, even ones outside their genre.

03 November 2009

Astronomy is awesome

Saw Jupiter and Uranus through my girlfriend's father's telescope tonight. Jupiter was a disk, with faintly visible cloud bands and three of the four Galilean moons visible. Uranus was just barely a disk--more of a dot--but very blue-green.

Yeah. Awesome.

02 November 2009

Publishing scam

Right after I sent an e-query to an agent, an ad for the Whitmore Publishing Company appeared in my Gmail courtesy of Google adsense's witchcraft. Whitmore, it turns out, was soliciting submissions (in all genres, no less). I took a quick look at SFWA's Writer Beware Blog, and lo, my suspicions were correct: Whitmore shows up. A little poking around and it turns out Whitmore is an imprint of Dorrance, a big vanity house.

Just something to keep in mind if anyone who's reading this is a writer: publishers and agents are absolutely swamped, all of the time, and between the Writer's Market and Google, they'll never run out of potential clients. Anyone who's actively soliciting manuscripts is running a business model where they get paid the more books they publish, rather than the more books they sell. This runs the gamut from print-on-demand publishers (who don't generally try to hide what they are) to vanity presses (which from what I've seen, are usually pretty shady operators--they provide services paid for, but they're real cagey about the fact that no bookstore will ever carry a book from a vanity press) to outright scams.