I don't know much about the publishing ins and outs of the romance genre (and yes, I do think, for better or worse, that there are different industry norms depending on which types of books a writer creates), but I do like Joe Konrath (both as a writer and a sharp businessman), and I found the post on his blog today to be really sad.
It's instructional, in a horrible way, but more than anything it's just sad.
I feel for writers whose books are held hostage by unscrupulous publishers. Harlequin's practice of licensing rights to a subsidiary of its own business is shocking. Like Joe, I'm not sure about the legal ramifications of that practice, but it just doesn't seem right.
Content creators don't always get the largest slice of the pie. It's been true for painters and musicians and writers and animators and directors for a long time...heck, as long as there are artists there will be predators with the business acumen to take advantage of them.
But Ann Voss Peterson's situation is just sad.
Go ahead and read the post, and then take a look at the comments. A slew of Harlequin authors have left the company, with many of them making more money bringing their books directly to consumers than they ever did as a Harlequin writer.
This much is clear: in the rapidly changing world of publishing, rights are king. They always will be, so be damned sure of what you're doing when you sign a contract...
I just downloaded Pushed Too Far, by the way, and I'm excited to start reading it!