The Transformation of Harlequin

By the 1990s, Harlequin had become synonymous with romance novels, grown the category into a score of successful subgenre lines, opened offices around the world, and seen its books made available in more than 100 countries and 30 languages.

In 1994 Harlequin began to expand the breadth of its editorial into all genres of fiction for women with the launch of MIRA Books, its first mainstream commercial fiction imprint. MIRA Books offered readers thrillers, suspense, and paranormal novels, small-town dramas, and more complex romances. The imprint both acquired new authors and expanded the offerings of existing authors who already had sizable followings in Harlequin’s category romance lines.

Four years later, Love Inspired, an inspirational fiction imprint, was introduced as Harlequin moved beyond the mainstream and into niche markets. In 2004, Harlequin launched HQN Books, its bestseller romance trade program, introducing some of the publisher’s top romance authors to mainstream audiences. In 2009, Harlequin TEEN, a young adult trade paperback imprint, was established, capturing the imagination of a whole new audience of readers and further expanding the publisher’s reach. In Japan, Harlequin launched an immediately popular manga comic line.

Harlequin scaled fresh heights with its new imprints. Multiple number one New York Times and USA Today bestseller placements, overseas triumphs, films, and television shows adapted from its novels have all served to help transform the company from the dominant romance publisher into a leading publisher of books in all formats and a variety of genres.