To enter the world of Harlequin is to travel the globe. In just over 50 years this company evolved from a small Canadian reprint house into the largest publisher of romance fiction in the world. Now an international concern, Harlequin is known throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Japan and China for its unique brand of romance fiction, currently translated into 25 languages and sold in various formats in over 100 international markets.Harlequin Books was founded by Richard Bonnycastle in 1949. Specialising in reprints of British and American books, the first 400 titles under the Harlequin imprint were a varied collection of westerns, thrillers, craft books and classics. It was the inclusion of romance titles which formed the foundations of Harlequin's development into a leading publisher of romance fiction.
In 1957 Harlequin began buying the rights to romance novels from the English firm Mills & Boon Ltd. So successful were these Doctor Nurse romances that the Canadian Company began to concentrate on selling them and by 1964 romance fiction comprised the entire Harlequin list.
In the late 1960s Harlequin began a period of extraordinary expansion that propelled it into the international stage following the 1971 acquisition of Mills & Boon Ltd, then the largest romance publisher in the English speaking world. By the end of the decade, Harlequin's overseas acquisitions and partnerships were taking the company's brand of love stories to bookshelves around the world. In 1975 Harlequin Holland was opened, followed by a joint venture in Germany. Harlequin France, Sweden, Japan and Greece soon followed as well as another joint venture in Italy. In 1981, Canadian communications giant Torstar Corporation completed its purchase of the dynamic Harlequin operation. Expansion into the overseas market continued with the 1990s seeing the opening of offices in Eastern Europe. Harlequin Hungary was soon followed by Poland in 1991 and the Czech Republic in 1992. Books are now also sold under license in Russia, Latin America, Estonia, Lithuania and Taiwan.
Having shipped more than 3 billion books since 1949, Harlequin continues to write its own remarkable publishing story.
- 50 million readers worldwide.
- +130 million books sold per annum worldwide = 4.4 books per second.
- Harlequin Mills & Boon books are sold in over 25 languages in over 100 countries on 6 continents.
- Romantic fiction accounts for 20.5% (vol) of all fiction books purchased at retail in UK.
- 57% of buyers spend 3 hours or more reading during the week.
- 1500 authors worldwide; 1,400 new titles per annum; over 100 titles per month.
If you stacked every book sold in a single day on top of each other, the pile would be 35 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower.
If you set out to read all the Harlequin Mills & Boon books sold over the past ten years, averaging a little over two hours per book, you would be reading for the next quarter of a million years.
The weight of all Harlequin Mills & Boon books sold last year would equal the maximum carrying capacity of more than 169 Boeing 747 cargo planes.
Over the last forty years, Harlequin Mills & Boon characters have kissed each other over 20,000 times, shared about 30,000 hugs and headed for the altar at least 7,000 times.
1. How do I submit a manuscript or write a M&B?
Please refer to our website under Aspiring Authors for detailed submissions instructions, writing guidelines and tips. If problems accessing try our sister sites, www.eharlequin.com or www.millsandboon.co.uk.
2. How can I sign up subscriptions? I want books delivered to my home?
Soon we would be launching our subscription service. You can refer to Buy Online section on our website and purchase books online.
3. Where do I get ebooks from?
Unfortunately at this time we do not have this service. You can however purchase them from our sister website www.eharlequin.com.
4. Can I purchase books directly from this site?
Unfortunately at this time we do not have this service. You can refer to Buy Online Section on our website and purchase books online.
5. Where can I physically buy books?
You can refer to Store locator section on our website and locate the nearest store, Where you can purchase Mills & Boon books.
6. How do I sign up to be a Member on your site?
It’s very simple. Simply click here and fill in the appropriate information on the registration form.
7. What information do I need to provide to be a Member?
To be a member on our website, you just have to provide with your full name and email address.
8. Where do I register my suggestions/complaints?
You can write us at [email protected].