Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Harlequin Expanding Its Non Fiction Catalog

Harlequin has dabbled in the non fiction market in the past  , but is launching a new imprint specifically for non fiction.   It’s launch title is Love Matters: Remarkable Stories that Touch the Heart and Nourish the Soul by a nighttime radio host called Delilah.   

The publication date for this book is end of this month.   The line will include “memoirs, health, diet, fitness, self-help, motivational and relationship books that cater to women, as well as nonfiction books by its bestselling fiction authors, and nonfiction companion pieces to its bestselling novels.”   Some of the 2009 lineup can be read here  .

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jia
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 21:16:22

    What a strange coincidence. My mother loves Delilah’s radio program.

  2. roslynholcomb
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 21:30:54

    I like Delilah as well.

  3. RfP
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 21:33:34

    Ogod. Must romance be permanently associated with self-help?

  4. Jane
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 21:42:11

    Ogod. Must romance be permanently associated with self-help?

    I know and health, fitness and diet too? Outrageous.

    The lineup seems pretty innocuous to me.

  5. RfP
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 22:01:43

    Okay, I was cryptic. To expand:

    Usually I’m not super sensitive about the image of the genre, but this move strikes me as playing into the idea that romance is self-help for lonely[or whatever epithet] women. However, I recognize that it’s probably a fab business move for Harlequin.

    I agree that the lineup is in itself innocuous–there’s nothing wrong with self-help offerings. And there’s nothing wrong with romance *functioning* as self-help either; that’s one way books can be read. But my initial reaction to the combination was that it fit a little uncomfortably.

  6. veinglory
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 22:31:45

    Innocuous yes, but if their desire was to cater to me as a ‘typical’ romance readers it would replace: memoirs, health, diet, fitness, self-help, motivational and relationship books that cater to women

    with: bioscience, techno-gadgets, postmodern philosophy, polical satire, manga and fetish photography that caters to women.

    It looks, to me, a little like a massive stereotype about femininity in general and romance readers in particular.

  7. RfP
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 22:33:37

    Just so. But again, probably massively marketable.

    I wonder, though–RWA seems to be all over romance readers’ basic demographics, and I tend to assume Harlequin’s savvy about what their readers want, but are there more detailed data out there on other reading and lifestyle factors? My list of other books would look more like veinglory’s than like Harlequin’s, and while I’m not claiming to be typical, I doubt I’m that rare a bird.

  8. veinglory
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 22:44:27

    RT’s description of their ‘average’ reader is a 30’s woman with an degree. That is a demographic that is pretty culturally diverse. I think the readership is broad enough for them to mine some new non-fiction opportunities. I mean the self-help and muffins crowd are already pretty well catered to. But I can’t find a magazine that interests me to save my life.

  9. Anion
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 04:12:44

    I agree; I find that list of topics depressing. For good or for ill, a lot of people see HQ as the exemplar of women’s fiction/what women readers want, and by picking those particular subjects they do support the stereotype of romance readers as lonely fools who just can’t resist a piece of chocolate, giggle.

    Nothing’s wrong with any of those topics in themselves, I don’t mean that. It’s that HQ is focusing solely on them that’s the problem. If they were publishing those topics along with, say, historical nonfiction or social issue topics, it wouldn’t be an issue for me (and I do think they’re seriously missing out by not publishing historical nonfiction; I think a sort of “Everyday life in Regency/Medieval/whatever England” or “in the old West” or whatever would fly off the shelves. Books on writing would sell well too, I imagine.

    Lol on “the self-help and muffins crowd” veinglory. Awesome.

  10. DS
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 07:18:41

    This one actually made me cringe:

    113 Things to Do By 13 by Brittany and Terri Macleod. This
    one-of-a-kind, celebrity-driven book is packed with lists,
    how-to’s, the hottest stars and all things tweens should do,
    contemplate or gossip about before they hit the age of 13.

    I’m glad no one told me what to do, contemplate or gossip about at that age based on celebrities.

  11. SandyW
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 07:52:48

    Looking at the list in the linked article, I don't do collections of ‘inspirational’ essays, how-to-lose-weight books, or puzzles. I think they'll all sell well, lots of people seem to like that type of book. The lingerie book looks fun.

    But I have to say that Harlequin gets a free pass to publish a lot of stuff I don't personally like in return for reprinting the Ida Cook memoir.

  12. Jane
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 09:02:40

    I hate those annual Harlequin survey things but I think that they did them to get a sense of what to publish for its non fiction line (I’m totally speculating here and have no inside information). They are pretty savvy about what its readership wants to read.

    I guess I don’t find the line up to be so offensive because every publishing house has gross titles.

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