August 14, 2013 Last Updated 1:53 pm

Book publisher Harlequin to launch new digital-first publishing initiatives

Toronto-based publisher Harlequin today announced that it would begin a series of digital-first, and digital-only publishing initiatives beginning in October with the release of Stir Me Up by debut author Sabrina Elkins. The new eBook be part of the Harlequin TEEN line, with both Harlequin MIRA and Harlequin HQN launching their digital first programs in the first quarter of 2014.

“We’re thrilled to further expand our reach in the digital space,” said Loriana Sacilotto, EVP, Global Editorial at Harlequin. “In a retail environment that’s increasingly challenging for new and emerging authors, digital publication and promotion allows us to continue to encourage author discovery and growth, bring books to market more quickly, leverage popular digital trends and offer authors an outlet for their nontraditional and ancillary streams.”

The publisher will be looking for authors to produce 10,000 minimum word count works targeted at the mystery, romance, erotic romance, young adult, fantasy, fantasy romance, sci-fi and sci-fi romance categories. Each title will get the full benefit of Harlequin’s existing editorial, marketing, art, production and publicity departments.

“The challenge in the digital marketplace is in finding ways to make titles stand out,” said Ms. Sacilotto. “By publishing books under the Harlequin brand, a powerful attraction for readers, we’re providing authors with the exposure they deserve.”

The move is most likely designed to address the growing self-publishing and micropublishing markets that have arisen, including the services offered by Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

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