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Posts Tagged ‘Harlequin’

Cosmopolitan & Harlequin to Publish ‘Red Hot Reads’

Cosmopolitan magazine and Harlequin will publish a line of romances called Red Hot Reads, a series that “will present independent, adventurous women in contemporary settings and feature fast-paced plots, great dialogue and compelling romance.” The snappy eBooks will all be about 30,000 words apiece.

Starting in May, the series will release two original eBooks by Harlequin authors every month. They will feature “modern young women living the free-spirited and outgoing lifestyle espoused by the international magazine.” 

Cosmopolitans editor in chief Joanna Coles had this statement in the release: ”Cosmo readers love fabulous fiction and if you picked up Fifty Shades of Grey then this is the book series for you … This is fiction for the modern girl negotiating modern love – with all its unpredictability and complications!”

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Authors Sue Harlequin Enterprises for eBook Royalties

A few authors have filed a class action suit against the romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises and two European corporations it created. We’ve embedded a copy of the complaint below.

UPDATE: Harlequin publisher Donna Hayes responded: “Our authors have been recompensed fairly and properly for their work, and we will be defending ourselves vigorously.” The company added that “this is the first it has heard of the proceedings and that a complaint has not yet been served.”

The suit alleges that the publisher owes some authors eBook royalties from contracts signed between 1990 and 2004. During those years, these authors “entered agreements” with a Swiss corporation created by the romance publisher.

The lawsuit outlined the problem: “However, Harlequin, before and after the signing of these agreements, performed all the publishing functions related to the agreements, including exercising, selling, licensing, or sublicensing the e-book rights granted by the authors. Instead of paying the authors a royalty of 50% of its net receipts as required by the agreements, an intercompany license was created by Harlequin with its Swiss entity resulting in authors receiving 3% to 4% of the e-books’ cover price as their 50% share instead of 50% of Harlequin Enterprises’ receipts.”

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Checking In on the Harlequin-Nascar Partnership

When NASCAR decided to join forces with Harlequin to produce original novels with a racecar theme, reaction was – and still is – rather curious, as the Christian Science Monitor’s Harry Brunius found out. “I think this might be seen as a curious melding of audiences,” said Sara Nelson, editor in chief of Publishers Weekly. “But certainly the romance-of-the-road theme has long been a part of this genre, and this is where they come together…. And it’s an interesting marriage, too, since a number of different types of women read romance, which could really benefit NASCAR.”

Others, however, see it differently. “Of course NASCAR and Harlequin should be together,” says Stacy Holden, a Massachusetts native and professor of Middle Eastern history at Purdue University in Indiana. “It’s just perfect. I have four of them spread out on my bed right now. And I can give you – if you want to know the top 12 divers in the Nextel Cup point standings – I can give you everything. And Tony Stewart is my driver – he has a New York attitude.”

And so we get to the books themselves, which started being published in February with Nancy Warren‘s SPEED DATING and Pamela Britton‘s IN THE GROOVE. For both of them, the NASCAR logo has made an enormous difference in their sales. “Oh my goodness! It’s been a very successful relationship,” Britton says. “It just worked. There were skeptics at the beginning, but … my agent said, ‘You are a rock star!’ when my royalties came in.” Warren explains that whenever she goes to a book event, her fans ask more about her NASCAR books than the others. In other words: expect more of these books. Lots more.

Harlequin Sees Small Increase in Q2

Torstar, the parent company of Harlequin, announced its second quarter results for the period ending June 30. Operating revenue of $397.0 million was up $6.7 million or 1.7% in the second quarter of 2007 with growth in both the Newspapers and Digital segment and the Book Publishing segment. Net income was $30.1 million in the second quarter of 2007, up $4.5 million or 17.6% from $25.6 million in the second quarter of 2006. Net income per share was $0.38 in the second quarter up $0.05 or 15.2% from $0.33 in the second quarter of 2006.

Book Publishing operating profit was $12.5 million in the second quarter of 2007, up $2.3 million from $10.2 million in 2006. Year over year foreign exchange rates had no impact on Book Publishing operating profits in the second quarter. Excluding the impact of the shipping disruptions that occurred in the second quarter of 2006, the Book Publishing operating profits were up just slightly year over year.

Good Results for Harlequin; Pearson Shares Up

Reuters reports that Torstar reported a higher first-quarter profit on Wednesday, as the newspaper and book publisher enjoyed strong profit growth in its Harlequin and Metroland Media divisions. Torstar, which publishes the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, said it earned C$15.7 million, or 20 Canadian cents per share, for the three months ended March 31. That was up from a profit of C$9.8 million, or 12 Canadian cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Operating revenue gained 5.7 percent, to C$377 million and Harlequin’s book publishing revenue was C$124.5 million, up C$6.2 million.

Meanwhile, the news that NewsCorp and Rupert Murdoch are circling around the Dow Jones Co., parent company of the Wall Street Journal, was an unexpected boon to the fortunes of educational publisher Pearson, owner of the Financial Times and Penguin. Pearson shares ended 4.6 percent higher at 901 pence, a 5-year high.

Soft Sales for Harlequin

In a statement released yesterday by parent company Torstar, Harlequin reports that its revenues were up $9.4 million in 2006 excluding the impact of foreign exchange. North America Retail was up $9.9 million, North America Direct-To-Consumer was down $5.7 million and Overseas was up $5.2 million. Its operating profits were down $2.5 million in 2006 excluding the impact of foreign exchange. North America Retail was up $2.7 million, North America Direct-To-Consumer was down $6.5 million and Overseas was up $1.3 million. Harlequin reduced its global workforce by 4% through a restructuring completed during the second half of 2006. The Overseas markets had mixed results in 2006 with improvements in the United Kingdom and the Nordic Group offset by lower results in Germany.