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

Harlequin’s Profits Are Up and HarperCollins Profits Are Down

The good news is that Harlequin is following up its successful FY2008 4th quarter with a FY2009 1st quarter profit.   Revenue in the first quarter rose $13.5% and operating income increased 19.1%.   Even including the forex effect, both sales and profits are showing positive gains.   The gains were in North American Retail and Overseas.   (I recall that Mills & Boon is making a big push in India).   Direct to Consumer group is declining. (This has been trending downward for a while I believe).   

The report at PW states that a decline in print sales was “partially offset” by increased digital sales and that digital sales is what is driving the Overseas increases.   Harlequin is making a big push in Japan in the digital segment.

Conversely, HarperCollins is suffering another big loss.   A $30 million charge due to corporate restructuring resulted in an operating loss of $38 million in the third quarter fiscal year.   Even beyond the $30 million charge, though, was the sales decline of 19.5%.   For the nine month period ending in March 31, 2009, HarperCollins has had a net loss of $12 million with total revenue down 16.8%.   You can read more about both stories at Publisher’s Weekly.

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. Sandra Cormier
    May 07, 2009 @ 17:35:15

    I work for Metroland, a chain of community newspapers owned by Torstar, which also owns Harlequin. We received a memo today from our parent company stating that Harlequin and our Metroland newspapers are still strong, helping us all keep a positive attitude during a difficult time.

    We lost a few key members over the last year, but we count ourselves lucky that we still have our newspaper after over 150 years.

  2. Jessica G.
    May 07, 2009 @ 19:07:18

    Hooray for Harlequin!!! I know I keep buying their books :D

  3. Mari
    May 07, 2009 @ 20:01:14

    Great News – I love Harlequin books!

  4. Sherry Thomas
    May 08, 2009 @ 07:53:42

    What’s keeping HarperCollins down? Anybody knows? The article gave no details.

  5. German Reader
    May 08, 2009 @ 11:08:54

    What's keeping HarperCollins down? Anybody knows? The article gave no details.

    Higher prices would be my guess.

    Both have browse inside features on their websites. HarperCollins lets you even read a few chapters – a good way to get readers hooked and an improvement to the insufficent first chapter excerpts – but Harlequin offers discounts for print and ebook, HarperCollins does not. So readers look for a better price elsewhere.
    (That’s like asking your local specialized dealer for advice and then get the item from an online shop because the price difference is huge.)

  6. DS
    May 08, 2009 @ 14:03:36

    I’m wondering about the books Harpercollins is putting out. I just posted about a YA book on the reader’s thread that is probably aimed at the Twilight reader– has a Stephenie Meyer quote– but was just too bland. According to the ARC I have it is getting a national marketing campaign (and it may work to push sells) but they might have spent that money more profitably on a better book. I also hope they did a little more editing because I noticed at least one grammatical howler.

  7. Topics about Love-stories » Blog Archive » Harlequin’s Profits Are Up and HarperCollins Profits Are Down
    May 09, 2009 @ 03:42:03

    […] Lena Nelson Dooley added an interesting post today on Harlequinâ Permalink Comments [0] […]

  8. Juliana Stone
    May 10, 2009 @ 11:43:46

    I would hazard a guess that because of the diversity of Harpercollins, the many imprints that they have, including literary and other non romance type books, that it is one of the reasons sales are down. The romance genre, mass market paperbacks from what I understand as a whole, is flourishing. It’s the other more literary works, and hardbacks that are suffering.

%d bloggers like this: