Friday, May 26, 2017

Harlequin Line Closings Painful

Like a lot of us authors, I'm still on email groups with other authors at other house and other lines. I am a member of the Montlake authors loop, the Love Inspired Historical authors group, the Zebra authors group, and of course, the Precious Gems authors who started this Gems in the Attic blog.

Last week there was a disturbing announcement sent from Harlequin to the Love Inspired Historical authors, as well as authors who write for Harlequin Super Romance, Harlequin Western, Kimini, and Nocturn. Those lines will be closing in 2018. So many authors on the Love Inspired Historical loop were devastated. Their careers--many of them very successful--were being destroyed. 
My Love Inspired Historical

We former Precious Gems authors can understand that angst because we went through something similar when Kensington ceased to publish our beloved Precious Gems books. Many of us, though, could publish the same kind of book elsewhere. Another advantage we had over these unfortunate Harlequin authors is that we got back our rights. Now that all of Harlequin's books are available digitally, they can't be out of print, so Harlequin's pretty stingy about giving back rights. Another whammy to these reeling Harlequin authors is that some of them have been writing solely for this line for many years. (At least Precious Gems was short lived.) It's a lot harder for them to transition into typical romance publishing.

I've heard the inspirational market is shrinking. If that's the case, some of these authors may want to write straight romances. I believe there will always be a market for sweet romances.

After 23 years as a member of RWA, one thing I've learned about publishing is that it's always changing. Most of us have been affected by changes. I once had a six-year drought, but I now believe it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I kept on writing, and when indie publishing came along I was able to launch my indie career with those books, along with five backlist titles. I've been blessed to make six figures each year for the past six years. I never made anything like that when I was writing for New York publishing lines. 
A rejected book that won
Best Historical in the
International Digital Awards


Changes can be painful. But, as I said on the Love Inspired Historical loop, when one door closes, another opens. Sometimes it just takes a while.--By Cheryl Bolen, whose next release is Miss Hastings' Excellent London Adventure

5 comments:

  1. My line wasn't one of the ones that's closing, but I told my editor I can't stop looking over my shoulder. Remember when we sent our reviews to Kensington hoping to change their minds? I don't think the Hqn authors had that opportunity. I do wonder if Hqn is going to give in on rights return since they're the ones who are cutting the authors off at their knees.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you survived the purge, Liz. Hoping for the best for your line in the future.

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  2. Some of those Love Inspired Historical authors are optimistic that for books that have been out at least five years, they will get rights reversion. I decided to try. I haven't heard back from them yet. I hope your line stays strong, Liz.

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    Replies
    1. Good luck, Cheryl. Hope you get your rights back. The news proves yet again that it's a tough business.

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