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Old 07-20-2012, 03:53 PM   #16
Doranna Durgin
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Exactly so.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:18 AM   #17
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http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2012/0...il-part-2.html

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So why are authors suing Harlequin?

Because Harlequin and Company X are the same company.

In other words, it is sub-licensing the rights it holds to itself. Then it only has to pay the author 3% instead of 50%.

That's seems pretty shitty. It also doesn't seem like something a judge or jury will casually dismiss, even if Harlequin made sure it kept the two companies separate through an umbrella company.

No publishing company would ever sub-license rights for a paltry 6%, unless it was selling the rights to itself. Does Harlequin really expect a judge to believe that it sells a $3.99 ebook and only makes 6 cents?
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
If the contract specified that H were to pay the author 50% of what they received, and 6-8% of retail did indeed represent 50% of what H were receiving, then it perhaps is fair (or at least, in accordance with the contract, which may not be the same thing). That's for the court to decide.
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3%. Just to be clear.
Shouldn't authors be protected from this?
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:46 AM   #19
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Shouldn't authors be protected from this?
If H have broken their contract then yes, absolutely. And that's for the court to decide.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
How is 6-8% fair?
• No one is forcing the authors to sign a contract.
• Harlequin pays advances, unlike many other romance publishers.
• The average "earn-out" for a Harlequin book is around $10,000.
• 40-60% of that earn-out is from the advance.
• There are a lot of people willing to write for Harlequin. If supply is high, then prices are low.

I do think that if the contracts were unclear, then there's a legitimate reason to bring suit. However, paper book sales are not part of the suit, and we're talking about a period in time before ebooks were really on the radar.

I.e. we're not talking about Harlequin jacking a gazillion dollars. It's probably a small amount per author, which will be further whittled down by the attorneys who are handling the suit.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
• There are a lot of people willing to write for Harlequin.
As this lawsuit drags out there will less and less.
Letting this kind of dirty laundry hit the street is a major corporate failure unto itself regardless of what can or cannot be proved in court.

If you look at the self pub explosion, the biggest growth has been in the romance genres and most of the YA-labeled stuff would fit nicely in one or another of the Harlequin imprints. With a major portion of the romance market moving to ebooks, a long fight over ebook contracts exposing a lot of "gotchas" is not going to win too many hearts and minds among the newbies.

And since the vets are the ones suing...

This should have been privately settled and NDA'ed for eternity long ago.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:31 AM   #22
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Upon further review:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
• There are a lot of people willing to write for Harlequin.
That sort of thinking strikes me as W.C. Fields-style complacency.
(There's one born every minute.)
And a likely reason the mess got this far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
...we're not talking about Harlequin jacking a gazillion dollars. It's probably a small amount per author...
All the more reason it should have been settled quietly with a payout and a muzzle. Scaring the suckers-to-be isn't good for business.

Also, we now have both Harlequin and Penguin lined up as big publishers that think ebooks are great for scamming writers.

I sense a trend...
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:02 AM   #23
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I want these kinds of scams to come to light as much and as often as possible. I also want more writers to go into business for themselves. I'm sick and tired of the big companies ripping off the people who are making them the money by writing the books and the people who buy them!
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:06 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
I want these kinds of scams to come to light as much and as often as possible. I also want more writers to go into business for themselves. I'm sick and tired of the big companies ripping off the people who are making them the money by writing the books and the people who buy them!
Don't you think you're being a bit premature here? We don't know that anyone's been "ripped off". An accusation's been made, but there's a concept called "innocent until proven guilty" that may be applicable.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:24 AM   #25
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Don't you think you're being a bit premature here? We don't know that anyone's been "ripped off". An accusation's been made, but there's a concept called "innocent until proven guilty" that may be applicable.
It's fairly well-accepted that Harlequin "rips off" many of its writers, even if they stay within the bounds of law.

They work hard to keep their contracts obscure and complex, and to play corporate dodge games to make sure as little as possible actually gets to the authors.

That authors were convinced it was a good idea to sign up with a publisher who'll give them 3% of list price, and won't let them use their pen name on future books published elsewhere, doesn't make it less of a ripoff. They weren't cheated, which implies rule-breaking, but they were given much less compensation than most people would think they deserve.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:12 PM   #26
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.....

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Old 07-21-2012, 01:32 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
An accusation's been made, but there's a concept called "innocent until proven guilty" that may be applicable.
Or it might not.
Not all scams are ilegal.
Some are perfectly legal trickery.

Innocence or guilt in a court of law isn't all that critical; the documented facts alone are eye-opening. Letting people know the kinds of gotchas in Harlequin contracts is something of a public service.

That way, anybody who chooses to deal with them *now* will know to count their fingers after the handshake.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:37 PM   #28
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but there's a concept called "innocent until proven guilty" that may be applicable.
How funny you did not seem to understand or agree with that concept when it was being applied to alleged file sharers.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:16 PM   #29
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How funny you did not seem to understand or agree with that concept when it was being applied to alleged file sharers.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:20 PM   #30
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Is it really shocking to see such hypocrisy among the publishers apologists? I know it isn't to me.
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