Originally Posted by stonetools
The interesting thing here is that Harlequin should be the darling of the anti BPH crowd. They jumped on ebooks early , their prices are low and their books are (I believe) DRM free-which makes them damn near the perfect publisher, from a Mobile Read POV.
Apparently, it may have achieved some of its success by having its authors enter in some dodgy tax -shelter deal. Oh well...
Their ebooks are not DRM-free, and for a long time, they were only available as .lit. They do have low prices and regular bargains.
They carved out a niche for themselves by taking an approach most other publishers wouldn't remotely try--subscriptions. This converted to ebooks amazingly well. Most buyers had no idea that the authors were getting paid substantially less than authors signed up with other publishers; the authors didn't notice for a long time, because a fairly prolific Harlequin author could make a decent living, and they knew that most authors couldn't. There was no way to compare publishing deals to find out if a prolific romance author could do better elsewhere; there was no "elsewhere."
An author who challenged any aspect of the contract would be frozen out, stuck without a job, sometimes without the right to continue using their name on future books. Now... authors have other career options, and that brings with it the power to seek reparations for the harms done to them. Even if the lawsuit's not successful, they're not throwing away their future careers to be part of it.