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Here’s an email from a KKB regular:

One of the problems with the deal with HQN and their vanity pub, Author Solutions… Author Solutions is already known to have a bad rep and frankly, RWA doesn’t have any business supporting a a business that blatantly lies to potential customers.

And they do.

I know that, for a fact, because I called them, without giving them my name, to see what they had to say.

And slightly off-topic, what if Yog’s Law didn’t exist?

I was given a lot of spin, and sales people are going to hand out spin.

But I was also lied to.

The sales rep said, three times, that the Harry Potter books/JK Rowling had started out in self publishing. I was specifically told that the first Harry Potter books were self published. They weren’t. They were picked up by a small press in the UK and then bought by Scholastic in the states. I know better and I know how to research. But a hopeful writer who doesn’t quite understand the publishing industry? They’ve got no business handing out lies and that’s exactly what Author Solutions is doing. And I do believe it’s Author Solutions. I think Author Solutions offered to do the publishing bit if HQN would ‘lend’ them their name for a cut of the profits.

I wonder how HQN feel about the source of all their troubles recently allegedly telling lies to their customers?


  • This does not surprise me. Unfortunately, I don’t think that HQ’s response would be in any different vein than what they’ve said to date. :-\


  • I’m not surprised by such lies.

    I’ve heard vanity presses telling writers that Stephen King self-pubbed / vanity-pubbed. Stephen King’s debut CARRIE was published by a BIG NY publisher, which paid King.


  • Nora Roberts
    December 12
    1:09 pm

    I also know someone who called them, and got this same lie, among others.


  • This only confirms my belief that RWA made the correct decision.


  • Throwmearope
    December 12
    5:33 pm

    I know a young man who put out a lot of money and is still waiting for his self-pubbed book to come out. They’re on the third release date (delayed twice). And this is a big name self-pubber company. I feel so bad for him.

    But Harlequin lending their name to a rip off company, not a surprise there.


  • Anon76
    December 12
    6:30 pm

    I found this rather interesting:


    Granted, all companies have disgruntled employees, but it’s what they have to say about how the products are dealt with that are key, to me at least.


  • eggs
    December 12
    9:39 pm

    There’s no doubt that Author Solutions is a shonky company and that HQN made a poor choice when they went into partnership with them. I have to wonder if people would be so up in arms about HQN growing a vanity arm if they’d made a more judicious choice of partners. Are people more bothered by the issue of the vanity arm per se, or by the choice of Author Solutions as a partner? What if HQN was publishing the vanity books via Lulu or Smashwords or Amazon? Would people still care so much?


  • jane
    December 13
    7:21 am

    No. I for one would not care if HQ had set up a partnership with Lulu or a similar service. It would have been even better if HQ had set up a rival to lightening source as that is where the real money is.


  • I have to wonder if people would be so up in arms about HQN growing a vanity arm if they’d made a more judicious choice of partners.

    Eggs, personally, if HQN had gone into this with a reliable, REAL self publisher-one that can actually benefit the writers who go with them, then no, I wouldn’t have a problem-providing there was some distinction between the self pubbed authors and the traditional HQN authors.

    Removing the Harlequin Horizons label and the links to ‘self’ publishing did provide that distinction, in some ways, for me.

    But I’m still disgusted with their choice. From everything that I can find online, Author Solutions/Author House (one of their ‘names) doesn’t look at all like a reputable, or reliable, source.


  • […] Author Solutions, Harlequin’s Parter in Crime, lying to customers? […]

  • DS
    December 15
    4:19 pm

    I couldn’t see why authors needed extra protection from making bad business decisions, but this is fraud in the inducement.

    Sleazy collection agencies and telemarketers use similar tactic, e.g., lying, on a regular basis. The company if taxed with this will just say it is overzealous marketers or that the salesperson is an independent contractor and AS has no control over them– but the fact is that they are agents of the company that employs them.

    Bad call, Harlequin.


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