Thursday, October 04, 2007

Harlequin Closes Lines - Again

Well, I'm sure you all heard the news that Harlequin is closing lines again. This time it's Next and Everlasting that take the bullet. This seems to be a regular occurance at H/S and I can't help but wonder when they're going to figure out why.

Let's start with they don't jump on a genre bandwagon until it's pulling out of the station. Look how long it took the Nocturne line to start and let's just all hope (for the authors sake) that it's not next. But that's not the case with Next and Everlasting. They are both women's fiction lines. One a shorter contemporary type book and the other a family saga type book.

So why did they fail??????

I think the second problem H/S has is their target audience and their expectations. Let's face it - H/S has long established themselves as a ROMANCE publisher. And if you take a look at the lines that have cut production (RDI) or cancelled altogether without combining with another line (Bombshell), the one thing they had in common is that they weren't romances. Ultimately, I think that's where the biggest problem comes in.

H/S can advertise all they want but if a reader sees the H/S logo, I think they're expecting a romance. Mira seems to be doing all right, but I've spoken to several people who didn't even realize it was a division of H/S, so maybe that's why.

So what's the solution? I don't know. It seems no matter how they advertise, the expectation of readers lends toward the usual. But with H/S distribution abilities and overall readership, it is a sad commentary that they can't get something other than straight romance to work.

I'm very sorry for all the authors who will lose their jobs over this and once again reminded that in this business, nothing is permanent and diversifying can be a lifesaving event.


Kelly Parra said...

Yeah, it's sad, Jana. I feel like these lines don't last long, and maybe it is the marketing. Couldn't say.

But congrats on the new job--I'm happy and relieved for you! You made me tired reading about all your traveling. *g*

Jana DeLeon said...

Thanks, Kelly!!!! And it's very sad - I know you got caught in the Bombshell fray and it's so disappointing, especially since these new lines launch so many new authors.

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