Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Harlequin Press Release



Toronto, Ontario, August 22, 2006 – Harlequin Enterprises Limited (http://www.eharlequin.com/cms/index.jhtml), the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, today announced the launch of four digital entertainment ventures, specifically: Harlequin Mini ™ eBooks, Harlequin Mini™ Round Robin eBooks, the launch of the eBook Boutique on eHarlequin.com and http://www.eharlequin.com/splash/write_harlequin.jhtml, a platform for gathering reader-generated content.

“Harlequin is the brand in publishing that is trusted by women around the world to provide them with great entertainment,” says Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. “We are uniquely positioned to serve their needs and offer entertainment in new digital formats. Put simply, a lot of women are already there, and those who aren’t trust us to help them navigate the evolving digital space.”

“The modern romance reader has gone digital,” says Pam Laycock, Executive Vice President of Harlequin’s New Business Development department. “She demands the portability, depth, breadth, immediacy and convenience of romance novels in downloadable formats.” Ms. Laycock illustrates this fact by pointing to the success of the company’s eBooks on the bestseller lists of many eBook Web sites, including eReader.com, where Harlequin titles out-performed The Da Vinci Code just prior to the release of the film.

Responding to reader demand for even more romance fiction in a digital format, Harlequin is launching the Harlequin Mini eBook. These are short-series eBooks written by Harlequin authors, including New York Times and USA Today bestselling writers—ideal for readers who want a “quick fix” but don’t have the time for a longer novel. “No other publisher is doing anything like this,” says Malle Vallik, Editorial Director of Harlequin’s New Business Development department. “These delicious ‘bite-size’ stories are exclusive to eHarlequin.com’s eBook Boutique.” Ten Harlequin Mini eBooks will be available during the August launch of the imprint. Four new Harlequin Mini eBooks will appear every month thereafter. Each story costs only 99¢ to download.

The Harlequin Mini Round Robin eBook is an outcome of Harlequin’s collaboration with its readers. These stories are launched by a published author, and subsequent chapters are created—and hotly competed for—by fans and aspiring writers. Many of Harlequin’s talented new voices have been discovered through this interactive round robin challenge, including launch author Mia Zachary. The popular Writing Round Robin has been a feature of eHarlequin.com since 2000. This is the first time it will be available as an eBook. As a special introduction, the Harlequin Mini Round Robin eBook will initially be available for free download.

Harlequin Enterprises Limited is at the leading edge of digital publishing, offering about 40 new titles every month in eBook format. As of today, all of these titles will be available in the new eBook Boutique at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com/. It will be the exclusive eRetailer for the Harlequin Mini and Harlequin Mini Round Robin eBooks. eBooks from the eHarlequin Boutique will be available in three formats—Adobe PDF, Microsoft Reader and Mobipocket.

“Harlequin has an unmatched involvement, engagement and participation with its readers,” says Pam Laycock. “Because of this intimate relationship, Harlequin is going beyond reader participation in the Round Robin to tap the creativity and wisdom of our global community via

http://www.writeharlequin.com/. We ask such burning questions as “What Is Love?” or “What Was Your Worst Date Ever?” and anyone and everyone can send in responses. A collection of the most appealing answers will be published in a digital format early in 2007 and then later as a print version.”

Harlequin’s drive to develop and offer more content in more ways furthers the company’s digital strategy, which also includes downloadable audio from Audible.com (www.audible.com), the leading provider of digitally delivered spoken-word audio, and the Harlequin On the Go™ mobile phone content subscription service (HarlequinOnTheGo.com). Readers can keep up with further digital developments at www.isabelsblog.com or http://isabelswift.blogspot.com/.

About eHarlequin.com
The eHarlequin.com community provides Harlequin with an outstanding opportunity to speak directly to its readers around the world on message boards, in chat rooms and through author blogs. Whether looking to buy the latest books, reading original stories from bestselling authors, or sharing the love of reading with other readers and authors, eHarlequin.com visitors will discover the ultimate online women’s fiction experience.

About Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Harlequin Enterprises Limited is the global leader in series romance and one of the world’s leading publishers of women’s fiction, with titles issued worldwide in 25 languages and sold in 94 international markets. The company produces over 115 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Harlequin’s Web site is located at www.eHarlequin.com. Harlequin has offices in 18 countries, including Toronto, New York and London.

For more information please visit http://www.eharlequin.com/cms/index.jhtml or press.eHarlequin.com.


  1. Okay, I'm all about eHarlequin having ebooks, but yeesh, couldn't they at least make them cheaper than the print books? or at least the same price I could get them at Target or Walmart?

  2. Awesome, I hope they have great success. I picked up a romance novel at the grocery store and couldn't believe how much more it was than buying it at walmart or target!

  3. Or, in the case of some books, MORE than the print book. Um, Harlequin, that's not the thing to do.

  4. No kidding. I like buying ebooks but I am not paying full price for them. Come on harlequin. Your margins for these ebooks are tiny. Take a leaf from SimonSays and offer then 40% off.

  5. I know a Christian publisher that offers small print books that are only a dollar so that doesn't seem out of line to me, but are you thinking it's expensive because they aren't paying for paper to print/publish? I'll be happy to check it out, especially to see which writers participated. However, I'm very traditional in liking to have something to hold & don't have a laptop to take it out on the deck so when the weather is gorgeous, I wouldn't like to be tied to the computer inside. And I get muscle cramps, strains from sitting too long & eyestrain so I'm doubtful. But I also never thought I'd get hooked on a cell phone either and thought I'd expire when I didn't have one for a month. So it's all in how you use it & what you get used to. TV remotes, car door/trunk & garage door openers are blessings I am thankful for.

  6. I don't do eBooks, but I too was a little surprised by the cost. My boss was at a conference recently and HQ was telling her how well their eBooks have been going over so far. Personally, I think it satisfies the needs of "closet" romance readers and those folks overseas who don't want to pay shipping costs to get the print books mailed to them.

    I'm intrigued by the Harlequin On The Go idea. Frankly, I think it would be a pretty cool way to kill some time if you had a daily commute that relied on public transportation. NYC anyone?

  7. I only read print books. I like to hold them and look at them on my shelf. Even if they cost less, I won't be buying them. However, I don't understand why they the same price as a print book. I think they are making too much profit on them.

  8. sorry

    I don't understand why they are the same price as a print book.