Harlequin News: Writing Contest and Explanation of Its Reorganization
Entrants into the contest portion of the conference will experience the path a professional writer undertakes from the genesis of a story idea all the way through to the publication of a novel. Participants will initially be asked to submit a first chapter accompanied by a maximum 100-word pitch. An online vote, open to the public, will narrow the field down to 25 contestants who, along with three “wildcard” entrants selected by Harlequin, will then be required to submit a finished manuscript. Harlequin and Mills & Boon editors will select three finalists whose manuscripts will be judged in an online vote, again open to the public, and a winner will be named and awarded a publishing contract to write a series romance novel for Harlequin/Mills & Boon.
For more information please visit soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com.”Pres Release
Harlequin reorganized this year and apparently it has caused some confusion amongst people about what it means. I’ve heard some crazy rumors from Harlequin eliminating one of its single title lines to Angela James leaving Carina Press. I asked Craig Swinwood if he had a response to these rumors and this is what he said:
1) What does the Harlequin re organization mean?
In May Harlequin reorganized a number of departments within North America. The primary goal of the restructuring was to better serve our readers. Included in the reorganization was the merger of our print and digital marketing and sales groups. Initially, as digital emerged, two distinct groups were warranted. However, with the growth and popularity of digital reading (and the overlap of customers reading both formats) we feel our readers are better served with a single marketing and sales group focused directly on them. Our goal has always been to “serve customers however, wherever and whenever they want great reading entertainment.” This restructuring, creates synergies which, in turn, leads to a better customer experience regardless of format.
2) What does the Harlequin re organization mean for the digital component of Harlequin, in particular Carina Press?
Harlequin has been involved with digital-first publishing for over a decade—long before the term “digital-first” was introduced. Our original, free, online reads have been available on Harlequin.com during that time and remain so today. As ebooks grew in popularity it was a natural progression to extend some of our existing print publishing programs into digital-first initiatives, such as Nocturne Bites and Historical Undone. Just over two years ago we launched Harlequin’s digital-first imprint, Carina Press.
We’ve been very pleased with the growth of Carina Press and the feedback from the authors. In fact, the recent organizational change includes an even greater commitment by Harlequin to Carina Press. These changes include additional dedicated editorial and marketing resources focused on the growth and success of the Carina Press business. In addition to Carina Press, we will continue with and investigate other digital-first opportunities for Harlequin. Let me add that Angela James has been an incredible asset to the Carina Press business and, as Executive Editor and valued spokesperson, has been a key driver in Carina’s success. Angela will continue to play this key role and now, with a marketing team headed by Farah Mullick, our director of digital-first marketing, will have more resources at her disposal to ensure Carina Press’ continued success.
3) The separation of Carina Press seems deliberate, but is it to help create its own distinctive identity or to allow Harlequin to shed it easily if it is not successful? (In other words, why isn’t it Harlequin Carina Press?)
Let me reiterate, Harlequin is committed to Carina Press. Dedicating additional resources to Carina Press underscores our commitment. From the very beginning, we felt it was important for Carina Press to have its own identity. This independence allows Carina Press to publish a broader parameter of editorial, exploring many new genres such as science-fiction, gay & lesbian romances, steampunk and more. From its launch, Carina Press’ motto has been “where no great story goes untold” and we believe it has lived up to that credo. . We are thrilled with how far Carina Press has evolved in such a short time and look forward to accelerated growth and success.
4) Any thoughts on the future of DRM at Harlequin?
The most popular question of the year! Harlequin has long been a leader in the digital space, which included launching Carina Press over two years ago without DRM—a first for any major publisher. The thinking was that in the highly competitive digital-first space it was requirement to remove DRM. Furthermore, we were interested in understanding what the impact of removing DRM would be—including upon reader behavior. At this time, Harlequin remains committed to DRM for our publishing programs outside of Carina Press and continue to watch and learn from a non-DRM Carina Press.