Recession? Apparently not at Harlequin

Torstar Corporation, Harlequin’s parent corporation announced their 4th quarter and 2008 full-year earnings yesterday. The corporation as a whole suffered losses in the hundreds of millions, which they sounded surprisingly sanguine about in their press release.

However, while the parent company suffered as a whole, it is interesting to note that Harlequin is doing well. Very well, in fact. For three years in a row, Harlequin’s earnings have steadily risen. In an era of publishing horror stories, this is encouraging to hear.

Though the article doesn’t give reasons for Harlequin’s great success, one can’t help but note that novels from the various Harlequin imprints are almost ubiquitous. I see at least a few in every bookshop, Target or grocery store that I frequent – not to mention the fact that their website makes ordering very easy. I know that I usually order at least a few every month – and I have a friend who downloads their e-books regularly.

In addition, the various imprints give readers a fair amount of variety. Some lines suit my tastes better than others, but I generally find at least a few titles each month that intrigue me. Harlequin Historicals, in particular, has become my go-to line when I need a break from the Regency period. While the trade size books tend to follow standard pricing, many of the mass market books, especially in the category lines, are cheaper than the average paperback, a very welcome fact in this economy.

Whatever the reason, I hope the earnings trend continues for Harlequin. In the meantime, I plan to keep reading and see what happens next.

-Lynn Spencer

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12 Responses to “Recession? Apparently not at Harlequin”

  1. library addict says:

    Glad to see something is going right in this economy. I like that Harlequin/Silhouette books can be purchased a month early via their website and that they still offer subscription services to each of their particular lines.

    I read a lot of category romances though not nearly as much as I used to. Sometimes one is just in the mood for a shorter book. And I usually have a category book in my purse for when I am stuck in line at the grocery store, etc.

    I often feel the quality of the books isn’t what it was during the heyday of the 90s, but there are still some definite gems in the category genre.

  2. LinnieGayl says:

    Lynn, this is good news. You’re right about being able to find Harlequin/Silhouette books all over. I can find them at my grocery stores, drugstores, Target, and various other places. I haven’t downloaded directly from their website, but generally download one or two a month directly from Amazon.

  3. Lynn Spencer says:

    Yes! I love being able to order books a month early, too. The free shipping deal on the website definitely doesn’t hurt either. I don’t read quite as much category as I used to, but I still manage to find a few each month. It depends partly on which authors are up, what blurbs strike my fancy, and how cringeworthy the titles are in a given month. Historicals are starting to go the way of Presents on the titles and I’m not liking that trend at all – but that’s a topic for another blog.

  4. Katie Mack says:

    Glad to hear that Harlequin is doing well. I really enjoy their Blaze line, and several authors I read are published under HQN. And I love that I can buy a brand-new Blaze at Target for what I can purchase a single-title for used.

    One of the things I appreciate is that Harlequin’s One-Click Buy e-book feature has made it more affordable for my local library to carry all the category books from several of their lines each month. Before, category books were hit and miss at the library. Now they are consistent.

  5. Danielle D says:

    Whoever is behind Harlequin’s marketing department is doing a dang good job. I love the “Bundles,” their promotions — free shipping and/or extra discount on books on their website. The free ebook giveways. But most of all I like the ability to order one of their lines one month in advance. Way to go Harlequin. WOO HOO

  6. Leigh says:

    I didn’t know that you could get them a month early! I just was talking to someone about Harlequin Present, and how it is my guilty reading. Sometimes, you just got to have a gorgeous, kind heroine who takes in stray dogs & cats, works three jobs to take care of her orphaned nephew who falls for the rich arrogant tycoon (and of course he thinks she is a bimbo at first) who solves all her problems. Helen Bianchin, Jane Porter, and Michelle Reid almost always are auto buys for me, even if the books are not politically correct.

    Also, I am impressed with their Mira line. Susan Mallery, Susan Andersen, Kristin Higgins are all auto buys for me with that line. .

    I think too the length is perfect for a harried mother or career woman. You can read the book in a couple of hours.

  7. Danielle D says:

    I should have said that you can order their Harlequin (Blaze, Historicals, Presents etc) and their Silhoutte lines a month in advance.

  8. I love amazon but the kindle needs to be jail broken asap :)

  9. You just earned yourself a lifetime reader with this post. Came across your site on a search and love it!

  10. Cameron258 says:

    Our country had been so much affected by this Economic Recession. there are lots of job cuts and company shutdowns. We are seeing some signs of economic recovery right now and we hope that it would continue.

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