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Harlequin Pursuing New Markets for Its Authors

Capitalizing on a growing global market (or maybe just exploiting the existing one), Harlequin is making comic book adaptations of its novels for mobile digital distribution in China. The digital comics are currently distributed by SoftBank Creative Corp., a leading Japanese digital content provider. Currently, nearly a million Harlequin digital comic files are downloaded each month by Japanese consumers. Given that the Chinese population is exponentially larger than Japan, this could be hugely profitable for Harlequin.

The digital comic titles sold in Japan are now translated into simplified Chinese characters and made available in Celsys’s ComicSurfing format for mobile digital distribution on a Wireless China mobile site. Wireless China is one of the largest mobile portal and E-channel providers in China. Launch titles include comics based on books by New York Times bestselling authors such as Debbie Macomber, Sharon Sala and Betty Neels.

Harlequin Comics are digitalized into a ‘frame-by-frame’ format utilizing innovative new technology that allows the user to see each comic frame individually and then slide forward to the next frame. Each frame can be easily enlarged or shrunk via the touch screen.

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. Sherry Thomas
    May 27, 2009 @ 08:24:28

    Oh wow.

  2. Sunita
    May 27, 2009 @ 08:38:41

    I wonder if these are digital mobile versions of those manga books that Harlequin made available here for about half a minute? They were a line called Ginger Blossom, and they had a Pink and Purple line. I bought the Betty Neels one and it was a hoot. I’d love to see more of these here that were readable on smartphones!

    Asia gets *everything* smartphone related before (and better than) we do. Harumph.

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