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Is it just me?

Or is this common practice in an industry I admit I don't know as much about as I'd like?

I admit up front that I know pretty much nothing about what's standard for the Romance genre in our industry, and maybe offers like this are common. The reason I got this at all is because in order to show up for someone's chat in the Luna forums, I had to sign-up, and signing up apparently meant I wanted the eHarlequin newsletter. Either that or, as I was running late, I didn't actually read much beyond the "we own all your words and can quote them whenever we feel like without paying you" part, which meant that I was reluctant to participate freely in those forums, i.e. there could have been an opt-out that I missed, but I was also in the process of missing the reason I was signing up in the first place.

And the small post on accessibility has kind of turned into a state of the genre thing, and is a thousand words long, with digressions and rambling, which I'm not at all certain is pointful because the state of the industry now is actually a year or two old (the consequence of lead-times, among other things).

ETA: I can't think of an sf/f genre publisher or agent who could offer these services, and not be pilloried. I won't go into a long rant about why I think it's not a good idea to submit 400 pages of manuscript this way, unless anyone thinks it's not self-evident. Oddly enough, I probably wouldn't feel as squeamish if an individual were offering the same services -- but submitting to someone specific doesn't carry the weight of a large and well-known publisher behind it. And I think the PiTA factor of offering these services would outweight the dollar per hour value of actually doing the work, on an individual basis.

Comments

ciage
Oct. 24th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
I for one am extrodinarally jaded towards romance as a genre (and anything in the Luna line, no offense of course) but honestly, to my knowledge romance novels make up what, nearly half of all fiction sales? I think that they know that their readers are potential writers, but they most likely have to coach them in order for the prose to be readable. Harlequin's submission page in general looks a lot different than the other genre publisher's page, which tells me that they're looking for (and can handle) more writers. A crueler thought would be that that this service is essentially wish fulfillment for an individual writing his or her first book.

I've seen things like this before, but it was with local writing groups. The problem of course, is that if an editor is looking over genre prose, they might specialize in poem or literature and only be able to comment on content and structure. Usually the fees go back into the writing groups and the editor makes very little for their expertise.