Note: Harlequin Enterprises logo // //
In the early 1990s, many of Harlequin's authors began leaving the company to write single-title romances for other publishers. To retain their top talent, in October 1994 Harlequin launched the MIRA imprint to publish single-title romances. Most of their early novels were written by well-known Harlequin authors, including Heather Graham Pozzessere, whose novel Slow Burn (2001) launched the imprint. For its first few years, MIRA produced four novels each month. Of these, one would be an original novel, while the other three were repackaged backlist by other Harlequin authors.
Harlequin has expanded its range of books, offering everything from romance novels under its various Harlequin and Silhouette imprints; thrillers and commercial literary fiction under the MIRA imprint; erotic fiction under the Spice imprint; Bridget Jones-style "chick lit" under its Red Dress Ink imprint; fantasy books under the LUNA imprint; inspirational fiction published under the Steeple Hill and Steeple Hill Café imprints; African-American romance under its Kimani Press imprints; male action adventure books under Gold Eagle imprint; and single title romances under the HQN imprint.
Harlequin Horizons/DellArte Press
In 2009, Harlequin Enterprises announced the creation of a vanity press imprint, Harlequin Horizons. The Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Science Fiction Writers of America denounced the move and revoked the eligibility of Harlequin's other imprints for their associations' conferences and awards. Following the backlash, the imprint changed its name to DellArte Press.
In 2002, Harlequin published 1,113 romance novels, more than half of all romances released in North America. The next most prolific publisher was Kensington Books, which released only 219 romance titles. In 2006, Harlequin published books in 26 languages in 109 international markets. They sold a total of 131 million books, similar to the company's sales in 2005.
The company is considered one of the most profitable in publishing. Over $585 million worth of books sold in 2003, for gross profits of $124 million and a profit margin of 21%. Its large profit margin can be tied in part to the amount of advance that its authors receive. These advances are often smaller than the industry average and can total to only a few thousand dollars for a series romance. Despite its profitability, and a 37.2% pay hike for Harlequin President and CEO, Donna Hayes in 2011, the firm's royalty program for authors is controversial. In 2011, the Romance Writers Association sent a letter to all members to "exercise due diligence in reviewing contracts" with Harlequin because "several members of RWA have expressed concern regarding" Harlequin's digital royalty rate changes and non-compete clauses. This is not the first time Harlequin had been called out by the Romance Writers Association regarding Harlequin's treatment of their authors. In 2009, Harlequin was called out by the Mystery Writer's Association, Romance Writers of America, and Science Fiction Writers Association for schemes of making their authors pay for publishing. In 2012, Harlequin faced a class action lawsuit from authors alleging the publisher had fraudulently licensed e-book publishing rights at low rates to one of its subsidiaries in order to pay royalties only on the licensing fees instead of on the full sales receipts; the publisher responded that its authors "have been recompensed fairly and properly".
Class action lawsuit
In 2012 a class action lawsuit was filed against Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. The lawsuit alleges that Harlequin deprives plaintiffs and the other authors in the class, of e-book royalties due them under publishing agreements entered into between 1990 and 2004.
Harlequin category romance imprints
- Harlequin American Romance
- Harlequin Bestselling Author Collection
- Harlequin Blaze – erotica
- Harlequin Desire – rich and successful protagonists
- Harlequin Historicals – historical romance
- Harlequin Intrigue – romantic suspense
- Harlequin Medical Romance
- Harlequin Nocturne – paranormal romance
- Harlequin Presents – "alpha males, decadent glamour and jet-set lifestyles"
- Harlequin Presents Extra – with additional erotica
- Harlequin Romantic Suspense – also romantic suspense
- Harlequin Showcase – novel series
- Harlequin Special Edition – "features relatable characters"
- Harlequin Superromance – "a strong emotional punch and a guaranteed happily ever after"
Love Inspired imprints
- Love Inspired
- Love Inspired Classics
- Love Inspired Historical
- Love Inspired Suspense
- Kimani Press Arabesque
- Kimani Press Kimani Romance
- Kimani Press Special Releases
- Kimani Press TRU
- Carina Press
- Gold Eagle
- Harlequin TEEN
- Harlequin Nonfiction
- HQN Books
- LUNA Books
- MIRA Books
- Worldwide Library
Harlequin More Than Words
Harlequin Enterprises operates Harlequin More Than Words, a community investment program to reward women's work in communities across North America. The company solicits nominations of women who are making notable contributions to their communities. Five women are chosen as Harlequin More Than Words award recipients each year, and a donation of $50,000 is divided equally among their charitable causes. A collection of romance-fiction short stories inspired by their lives is then written by five of Harlequin's leading authors. Authors contributing to the More Than Words anthology include Diana Palmer, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, and Linda Lael Miller. The first anthology was published in 2004, with a new volume published annually. Proceeds from the sale of the book are reinvested in the Harlequin More Than Words program.