BEA 2005 was a great event for the NBD team—we had a lot going on. For starters, we announced the launch of Harlequin Ginger Blossom MANGA (MANGA is another word for Japanese-style graphic novels). They’re in Special Releases at eHarlequin.com—you can learn the secret reading pattern of MANGA comics and actually turn a few sample pages right online. It is really pretty cool.
Our licensee, Dark Horse Comics, translated titles previously published in Japan by our Japanese MANGA publisher. It’s a great opportunity to bring Harlequin stories to a whole new audience. We’ve created two lines—Harlequin Ginger Blossom Pink is for a younger reader—girls 12 and above, and Harlequin Ginger Blossom Violet for a slightly older reader—girls 16 and up. The two titles are out now: Response by Penny Jordan and Girl in a Million by Betty Neels, and four more are scheduled for the first half of this year. Mary is our MANGA Maven.
Toot: When a journalist on a BEA panel on Shojo MANGA (comics for girls) was asked “what’s the big news in MANGA at the BEA” he said, “Harlequin’s launching a MANGA line.” Really. Take that Frank Miller and Harvey Pekar!We also had a chance to attend the IDPF (ready? International Digital Publishing Forum. Hey, it used to be the OEBF) and meet all the key players in the e-book world in preparation for our e-book launch in October. There are still a number of challenges with e-books—multiple formats, downloading issues and the audience is not large—but there’s a wonderful spirit and determination in the e-book world to make this work, which is great to see & fun to be part of.
Malle has been doing an amazing job developing the e-book program, working with each e-Retailer, getting our titles “racked” in the e-book stores in the same special way they are in retail stores. Harlequin is a unique publisher in terms of the strength of our brands, in the consistent quality of our stories—which keeps our readers coming back for more—and our close connection with our customers/readers. These unique strengths, coupled with the convenience of e-books could help build the market. Imagine having all six of Silhouette Bombshells “The It Girls” (concept: Paris Hilton & her friends are kick-ass spies!)—in your tiny Kate Spade clutch. You can click through on the eHarlequin store!
I’m also going to be participating in a discussion thread in the eHarlequin community on film and TV. I’m hoping to get suggestions on which Harlequin titles I should be pitching to be considered by production companies to be made into movies, so please stop by and help out with ideas.
Those are just a few of thing we’re up to. I am new at this Blogging experience, but hope to post at least weekly. Stay tuned for audio, mobile, Kimani Romance, and whatever else I feel like talking about!