The first hint I got of the brewing trouble was a e-mail on an RWA chapter loop yesterday. My first thought when I read Harlequin was starting its own vanity publishing division was "typo." Followed by "WTF?" Followed by "why the hell would the Torstar board dilute the brand of the one freaking section of the corporation that's made money for the last two quarters?"
RWA has a policy of only promoting non-vanity, non-subsidy publishers to its membership. So in response to Harlequin's Tuesday announcement, the RWA Board released a statement today that Harlequin is no longer an RWA-eligible publisher. To the hundreds of RWA member published by Harlequin, it means they are now not eligible for the Rita award.
Didn't the folks at Harlequin learn anything from all the companies that have crashed and burned since 2001? Contrary to Gordon Gecko's statement, greed is NOT good.