Harlequin Turkey is Open for Business!

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By Katie Fisher, Director of Overseas Business Development

Earlier this month, Harlequin officially opened its 19th office in Istanbul, Turkey, and I was lucky enough to have been there for the launch.

It was my second visit to Istanbul—the first was in the summer of 2008, when Adam Kapusta (Managing Director of Eastern Europe) and I were visiting to assess the market potential.  We liked what we saw—from a business perspective, Turkey is a large country with a stable economy, a high literacy rate, and a growing urban population—lots of potential women to buy our books. There is also a well established publishing industry, lots of bookstores, books for sale in many different kinds of stores, and a high proportion of translated fiction. If you name a bestselling fiction author, I’ll bet you’ll find his or her books on the shelves in Istanbul. 

Our recommendation after this visit was that we should be in Turkey—about a year and a half later, we saw this recommendation turn into reality.

Fast forward to the launch of Harlequin Turkey (or Harlequin Türkiye, as it is known in the local language). On February 2, we held a luncheon for a small group of about a dozen local media at an absolutely gorgeous hotel right on the Bosphorus. Have a look at the room—stunning!

Hotel on the Bosphorous

Speeches, interviews, questions & answers, and a great meal kicked off the day’s events. Here we are just before the event kicked off.

Harlequin Turkey Launch

(From left to right: Arda Gedik, our local partner, Steve Miles, EVP of Overseas for Harlequin, me, Adam Kapusta, MD, Eastern Europe & Turkey)

We are working with a local company, Ekip, who looks after translation & editing, coordinates local printing, and helps us with marketing & distribution. Combining their local knowledge with Harlequin’s global knowledge feels like a recipe for success.

After the luncheon our PR agency sent a kit out to about 100 more media and we were thrilled with the results—the story of Harlequin Turkey’s launch has been picked up by news agencies, newspapers, internet and television channels across the country, and we are expecting further coverage in the March issues of many women’s magazines. A great way to get the word out to the women of Turkey!

Right now, we are selling 8 stories per month in Turkey, but we plan to expand our program during this year. Here’s a look at our Turkish books:

15 SUBAT ikili 06 1TEMMUZ 2009 TEK 07 New Harlequin Turkey Series Romance

I managed to sneak in a little bit of free time to see some of the sites around Istanbul—it is such an interesting city with so much history. I would love to go back and spend more time there, though maybe next time I’ll go when it won’t be snowing!

Istanbul3

The Blue Mosque

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12 Responses to Harlequin Turkey is Open for Business!

  1. Love the chandelier! :-)

  2. Congratulations on taking Harlequin to Turkey! I hope the women enjoy the stories.

  3. Congratulations on expanding to Turkey…What building did you take the picture of??? It looks familiar.

  4. Katie, how great! Big congrats on the expansion into the Turkish market. And I’m proud to be one of the authors included in your example here.

  5. Ellen: Ooops, that’s my bad! It IS very familiar because it’s the Blue Mosque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Ahmed_Mosque)

    Poor Katie, I forgot to add the last sentence of her blog post–which says exactly that! I’ll go add it now. :)

  6. Katie Fisher

    Thanks everyone for your warm wishes.

    And thanks Olga for adding that info about the Blue Mosque. I took that picture from the rooftop patio of my hotel.

  7. How exciting,Istanbul is one of my favourite cities! Next time you go you must get inside the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia. And the underground cistern, there is nowhere like it! And…and…

  8. Oh how exciting that Harlequin is now in Turkey, particularly as in 2010, Istanbul is the Europeon Capital of Culture.
    Like Carol, I adore Istanbul, having spent a few days there last autumn doing research for an upcoming book…
    The people are very friendly and you must get to the Topkapi Palace to see the Harem etc. The food is fantastic and if you have not had a proper Turkish bath, you have not lived.

  9. Fantastic! Glad to see Harlequin doing so well.

  10. This is fabulous! Congratulations to Harlequin and I’m honored to be a part of the Turkish launch!

  11. Helen Bianchin

    Congratulations to Harlequin for expanding into Turkey.
    This is fantastic news.

  12. Congratulations on expanding the market to Turkey. I’ve also been to Turkey and love the country and its people. I have a special fondness for Istanbul and have photos on my website under “Romantic Travels”.(quite appropriate for a romance novelists, isn’t it. :-)) There are some photos inside the Blue Mosque, too. I’d love to go back again!

    I just received my first Swedish translation and hope I’ll eventually have a Turkish translation of one of my books to add to my shelf.

    Cheers!!

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