Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Harlequin Mess

A few weeks ago there was a big brou ha-ha over at DorothyL about the Mystery Writers of America's rules for accepting publishers - some argued our rules were too rigorous or arbitrary. MWA board members (myself included) argued that the standards MWA imposes for deciding whether a publisher should be accepted (and therefore, whether their authors would be eligible for Active membership based on the publication of their books, for instance) are rigorous, yes, but meant to protect authors from predatory practices. That is, practices that intentionally mislead into paying for publication or into paying for services like editing with the false hope that publication is in the offing.

Someone on DorothyL pointed out that MWA had Harlequin listed as an acceptable publisher though Harlequin engaged in predatory practices. Well, I provide here a link that will hopefully clear up some of this mess as it pertains to Harlequin specifically. It should also explain part of why MWA and sister organizations needs to take a strong stance.

Let me know what you think of this mess. Ask questions of me. I'm an MWA board member. If I don't know the answer, I'll try to find out.