Anyone catch Nightline on ABC News the other night? They ran a piece on Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary and the success of romance novels during the Recession, and featured an interview with paranormal romance author Gena Showalter! Our CEO Donna Hayes is quoted as saying, “in the case of Harlequin, the must-have in the formula is that you must have a happy ending. Trials and tribulations as you date and break up, argue or all those things, but at the end you are going to be together with the love of your life and you are going to feel really good about it. So that’s the key and that’s why people love to read our books.”
So what could be better in tough times than a little romance and the certainty that things will all work out? It’s like comfort food for the soul.
If you missed it, you can watch the video online here and read the accompanying article that includes more quotes from Gena. The Romantic Readings by various celebrities are hilarious, I loved Wolfgang Puck, who was YOUR favorite?
At Harlequin our guiding vision is to be a leading global publisher of great reading entertainment for women. And we’ve been working to fulfill that vision for some 60 years now. In this Anniversary year, we’re celebrating some unique and wonderful accomplishments, such as unprecented appearances on the New York Times bestseller list, our gift of 16 FREE downloads that will put a book in the hands of every woman in America, and our recent acknowledgement by Book Business Magazine as 2008 Publishing Innovator of the Year. It’s also very nice to brag about our Community challenge to donate 100,000 books to the National Center for Family Literacy. But, I’m always astonished by the sheer number of books we publish on a monthly basis, and of course by some of the fun facts listed here:
- Over 1,200 authors from around the world are currently published by Harlequin.
- Harlequin publishes over 120 titles each month under the Harlequin, Silhouette, Red Dress Ink, MIRA Books, LUNA Books, Steeple Hill Books, Steeple Hill Café, HQN Books, Kimani Press, SPICE Books, Gold Eagle and Worldwide Mystery imprints in North America. In addition, Harlequin publishes four Spanish-language series (16 titles monthly) and four French-language series (20 titles monthly) in North America.
- During the past decades, Harlequin characters have kissed each other over 20,000 times, shared about 30,000 hugs, and headed for the altar at least 7,000 times.
- If you set out to read all of the Harlequin books sold over the past 10 years, and averaged about two hours per book, you would be reading for the next quarter of a million years.
- Harlequin sold 130 million books worldwide last year, or just over 4.1 books per second.
- Approximately half of Harlequin’s books are sold outside North America through a combination of wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures, licensee arrangements and multi language exports.
- An average of 12.5 million Harlequin Presents books are sold every month around the world.
- Over 800 Harlequin titles hit the stands each month around the world, generated from publishing operations in 15 countries. In total, Harlequin has shipped more than 5.63 billion books around the world.
- More than 50 million women read Harlequin books worldwide.
- Harlequin books are sold in 107 international markets on six continents, in 29 languages around the world.
- Approximately one in every six mass-market paperbacks sold in North America is a Harlequin or Silhouette novel. More than one third of American females have read a book published by Harlequin Enterprises at some point in their lives.
- Harlequin purchases more than two original works of fiction every day.
I’m also VERY proud to say that more than 53 of our Community members have been included in those recent purchases. So, if you have an opportunity (and a finished manuscript) don’t hesitate to sign up to pitch your work in one of our many online editor appointments held in our eHarlequin.com chat rooms. Keep your eyes peeled on our Write Stuff forums for announcements, but in the meantime….KEEP WRITING and reading all the great stories we have planned for YOU in our in our 60th Anniversary!