Jackie Kessler explains in detail how Harlequin Horizons is a vanity press, not a self-publishing service: Harlequin Horizons versus the RWA:
A-ha! Here’s a big clue that aspiring authors better have their eyes open. Yes, the press has the name “Harlequin” on it. But even though you may think this means you’re a legitimate Harlequin author, you’re not. Oh, and Harlequin won’t distribute Horizon books. Horizon books won’t appear “in stores next to your books.” Well, gosh, if you’ve written a romance, and you get it printed through Horizon, it won’t be shelved in romance! Want to know where it will be shelved? Simple: It won’t.
They won't be sold online through the publisher's site, either.
Keep in mind:
- Self-publishing: author keeps all the money after paying expenses.
- Vanity publishing: publisher keeps majority of the money and the writer pays all the expenses.
Now self-publishing isn't easy; a self-published book usually sells less than 200 copies, even if the author promotes it like crazy. But it's still a better option than a vanity press.
A link pointed out by beth_gis: Revenue Reality of a Bestseller If I published only one book a year, and it did as well as this one, my net would be only around $2500.00 over the income level considered to be the US poverty threshhold. This was a book that was on the New York Times Bestseller list.