James Kellow, Kathleen Scheibling, Sue Brockman, Adam
Sue – Australian market
- Dedicated space in Big W and Kmart for category
- Now in amazon – small, but long tail
- Independent sellers – more single title
- Sweet is getting stronger and stronger
- Booktopia is strong online seller
- UK – romantic suspense, domestic noir
- 20th century historicals becoming very big
- Publishing more in women’s fictions
Kathleen – US market
- Pet fiction (dogs) – heartwarming
- Single title has darker edge
- Packaging and marketing books so readers can differentiate between different lines and categories
- Regency (dukes) doing well
- Other historicals soft at the moment
- Have been going to book festivals to check influencers on decisions to purchase a romance book
- Blurb or description
Most influential online:
- Goodreads is by far the stronger
What do you love about Mills & Boon?
- The story
- The escapism
- It’s convenient
- Easy to read
- The characters
- The variety of different
How many do you read on average?
What is your age group?
- Biggest is 36-50
- 25-35 next
- Penrith is biggest buyer area, followed by Toowoomba
Single title imprints
- Mira – romance, strong women’s fiction with romantic elements
- 20 books / year in Mira. US as well as Australian
- MIRA – 15 years in australia. Increased from 10 / year
- HQ Imprint – diverse fiction, non fiction and teen titles
- UK sister company also publishes under HQ, including thriller and domestic noir
- Digital First – escape. 4-6 / month, wide range of genres
- Taken major collaboration to print – 7 stories by different authors, set in the same town
- Mills & Boon – refreshed look of the range. Includes new Dare line
- Packaging is to clearly show the different category lines at a glance for readers
Harlequin Trade Publishing
HQN – Single title
- Happy to grow authors into this from category
- Commercial women’s fiction (with romantic elements)
- Park Rove – literary fiction
- Hanover Square – thrillers, narrative non-fiction
- Carina – digital first. Includes LGBTQI stories
- Category – 12 lines
Sue – monthly meeting to discuss. Consider the following questions:
- What’s the pitch / one liner / headline statement?
- What are the themes of the book?
- What are our readers?
- How do they like to relax?
- What else are they reading?
- Comparison titles?
- How do we deliver the message?
Examples of existing authors who have changed subject / style. Changed up cover art to reflect this, refresh. Keep author branding to take readers with them, but goal is to also pick up new readers.
Kathleen – look beyond regular romance community
- Category romance to a wide range of
- hero and heroinE backgrounds
- Body types
Let’s talk about:
- Crafting relatable, realising characters within the series romance fantasy
Adam – making sure they are going out to the right reviewers on Goodreads
- Who are top reviewers
- Make sure they receive a galley / net galley to review
- Word of mouth is key component to getting books in reader’s hands
- Identified women 35+ who may not be bloggers, but have an interest in reading, and have a decent following (5-10k followers) – encourage them to set up book clubs and write reviews on Goodreads and Amazon in particular
- Introducing new platform that celebrates all things romance in Australia:
Culture, pop culture, all genres, trending topics, author info, ebook deals
- Always keen for content
Mills & Boon Dare:
- NEWS 360: Harlequin is now part of Harper Collins, which is part of News Corp
- Campaign to driver relaunch of Harlequin (Harper Collins) new romance genre, across NewsCorp Mastheads with Sky News Australia support
- Highest sales of a new line of Mills & Boon in over a decade
- Rollout of exclusive content across three weeks in all national and regional News Corp mastheads including:
- Extensive feature on Aus romance fiction, featuring exclusive author interviews, news stories based on exclusive data around reading habits and a survey on romance in real life, and an entire Mills & Boon DARE short novel release free online for subscribers, a News360 first
- A competition to find budding romance writers, with the winner receiving a masterclass with a M&B Dare editor and author plus prizes for runners up (more than 120 entries)
- Support from other News360 partners including stories and videos on new.com.au and HHIMN.com.au, a Sky News Australia Valentine’s Day interview on romance fiction and REA running stories on our most romantic suburbs