Indie vs TradPub vs Harlequin

I am on chapter two of a Regency romance.  Vera Nazarian of Norilana Press recommends I self-publish as an e-book if/when I finish it.  I would prefer to sell it to a traditional publisher, when the time comes, possibly Signet or Dell.  Harlequin has a poor reputation.  They don’t pay writers well, but they get books into stores.  They are also rumored to hold grudges against writers who complain.

I don’t read e-books.  I don’t understand them.  I’m not eager to publish in a format I can’t read myself.

Traditional publishing companies are not set up for the benefits of the authors.  Writers must go into the game knowing that, and I’ve been warned for years.  Shannon Donnelly warned publishers  “view their writers as cogs and widgets,” not as artists.

Author Donna Fasano said, “While attending an RWA conference, a friend of mine stood up and asked a panel of HQ editors and other ‘suits’ how they expected their authors to live on the paltry wages they paid. Their blunt answer, “We don’t. We warn authors not to quit their day jobs. Don’t ever expect to make a living as a writer. This is a hobby, not a career.” I was stunned and saddened. Consequently, after my friend spoke out, she never sold another manuscript to the company. ”

James Michener said once that “America is a country can make a fortune, but not a living.”

Carola Dunn, one of my favorite Regency romance writers, said the reason she switched from romance to mystery was because romance didn’t pay well.

Agatha Christie famously said, “murder does not pay … enough.”

I’m going to finish my novel before I worry about how/where to publish it.  I may do one book through Harlequin, just to get it out there.

Right now, my romance is on hold while I work on the novelette in a week challenge.