In case anyone took yesterday's post as criticism of Harlequin - this is to redress the balance as I feel this is a company who appears to be doing its best to move with the times and provide opprtunities for new authors, which cannot be a bad thing.
Carina Press, is a new digital publisher dealing in Category Romance, hoping to produce its first titles in Spring 2010. The main differences between them, and Harlequin's traditional publishing, are:
* They don't give advances or DRM, [Digital Rights Management] but authors receive a higher royalty.
* There is no guaranteed series distribution and books are sold direct to the consumer through the website, plus 3rd party distribution on other websites.
You still need to be accepted for publication with Carina, who assist with editing and cover design to produce digital copies of their books. [There are no print runs or PoD] The promotional/marketing aspect are down to the author. They call it 'controlling your own brand' - which means they won't do anything to promote your book other than feature it on theirs and certain 3rd party websites.
Very few books get the whole 'Promotional Machine' treatment by publishers, so maybe this is a good option for some authors. A certain amount of traffic will be attracted to their website for the name alone. Digital publishing is becoming more acceptable, and younger romance title buyers don't have the same prejudices about reading from a screen as older readers, so perhaps this is a vehicle to get the lesser-known authors' work out there.
Many digitally published authors suffer the stigma of not being 'properly published' because their books aren't available in bookshops. Maybe Carina will achieve 'respectability' due to its links with Harlequin and bring about change in publishing?
I suspect though, that without a heavy marketing budget - there isn't much money in it for the author. However, it seems accepted amongst most writers I know that no one writes for the financial rewards. No one ever did!