Harlequin Line Closures


In her blog yesterday, US literary agent Kristin Nelson announced that ‘The rumor is now official. Harlequin is closing its NEXT and Everlasting lines.’*
I have not been able to validate that claim – no press release that I can find from the New York office or e-Harlequin PR, but these agents are close to their editors. Let me know if this rumour is not correct.

This must be a difficult decision to make for any publishing house when they’ve invested so much time and energy into developing the authors and promoting these lines, which are intended for the older reader.

And seriously bad news for the authors. These stories are not the kind, which could easily be rewritten into other Harlequin lines.

I know how gutted I was when the decision was made to close the ‘Bombshell’ line after I had just submitted a manuscript to that line.

‘Hen Lit’, or ‘Empty Nester Lit’ or whatever the media is calling it these days, has been praised as a new dimension in women’s fiction, where the heroines are not all 20 something city girls working in the fashion business etc.
In the UK we have Transita**, and stand alone books from various publishers, such as Elizabeth Buchan’s ‘ Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman’, but no dedicated line outside Harlequin.

As a reader, there are no doubt excellent business reasons for the closure, but frankly it does not make sense to me, considering the current demographic on the growing number of older working women with large disposable incomes.

As a writer I despair.

What’s playing on my YouTube right now? The scene from 1989’s “Say Anything” with John Cusack and the boombox.


*http://pubrants.blogspot.com/
** http://www.transita.co.uk/
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