Introducing the Harlequin Showcase Series

by Marsha Zinberg, Executive Editor, Feature and Custom Publishing

We’re always trying to put things in neat little boxes, aren’t we?  It’s how we organize our lives, or maybe even how we try to make sense of the world.  So when it comes to books that give us pleasure, we’ll often categorize stories as certain kinds of “reads”.  It’s “a road trip” story, or a “fish out of water” story, a “reunion” story, or “Cinderella” story.

Here at Harlequin, we’ve been trying to make the reader’s preferences for our broader categories easy to spot by the color coding we incorporate into the covers in particular niches within the romance genre:  purple for romantic suspense, red for more sensual stories, etc.

But nowadays, authors are considered “brands” in and of themselves, and their names alone will signal a certain type of story to loyal readers.

How to give our readers more of the very thing they know they love and make it easier for them to find what they like on our racks?  The answer to us was our new Showcase Program, which will highlight favorite authors AND their popular stories with the opportunity for reissued bestselling books  and authors in a 2-in-1 format, at a great price!

As Executive Editor of Feature and Custom Publishing, I’m so thrilled to have this opportunity to shine a light on some wonderful stories that may have been missed the first time around, and bring them together thematically in 2-in-1 volumes! Showcase is launching this month, with two volumes per month, each containing two complete books by bestselling authors.  And at $6.99/7.99, it’s a terrific value.

From now until December, we will feature the Passion category, which means readers will be treated to stories by favorite Presents, Desire and Blaze authors.  Some volumes will contain two books by one author, and others will feature two different authors from the same series.  If it’s western stories you love, look for Vicki Lewis Thompson’s and Kathie DeNosky’s linked books.  Alpha males, handsome Mediterranean heroes, arranged marriages?  Lucy Monroe and Julia James have it covered. Hot, hot, hot?  Leslie Kelly, Tori Carrington, Rhonda Nelson and Joanne Rock turn up the temperature. Pregnant brides, winter brides, wrong brides? Look for Sharon Kendrick, Penny Jordan and Merline Lovelace.  And of course, who doesn’t love Christmas stories?  Maureen Child and Lynne Graham will be providing those for us.  And there’s more to come…

But aside from a great author line-up, we’re really excited about the packaging of this new program.  For some time, we have been watching with delight the success of a cover treatment successfully executed by Harlequin France, and it seemed to our Showcase team that this new program was the perfect one on which to try such an approach in North America.  It is a more photographic treatment than some of our series looks, yielding a fresh, big-book, contemporary feel. By reducing the size of branding, we’ve allowed the imagery, author name, and title to stand out more, and hopefully be more readable at first glance on the rack. We feel these new covers are quite striking, and hope you do too!

Do let us know what you think of this new program , and if there are “categories” of reads that are your favorites, I’d love to hear about them!

I’ll be a guest on the Harlequin Blaze Authors blog on May 19th, so check out that blog as well!  Meanwhile, leave a comment on this post this week and we’ll pick three lucky winners and send them a copy of the first two books in the Showcase series: Two in the Saddle & Boone’s Bounty by Vicki Lewis Thompson and The Sicilian’s Marriage Arrangement & The Greek’s Virgin Bride by Julia James and Lucy Monroe. Contest is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Leave a comment on this post by May 21 11:59 pm EST and we’ll announce a winner on Monday morning. Full contest details are here. Good luck!

Marsha Zinberg

Executive Editor, Feature and Custom Publishing

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Comments ( 23 )
  1. Bella F.
    May 19, 2010 at 7:27 am
    Reply

    I think it’s a great idea! I’m really liking the covers.
    My favorite romance genres are paranormal, YA, and historical:)

  2. Dottie
    May 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    Reply

    Many times I have read a book that is part of a series and could not find the sequels, later finding out that they were in different categories; i.e., one was Harlequin American, another might have been Blaze or one of the others. If this will allow me to find all the sequels without wondering which category to look in I am all for it! I think it’s a great idea and I love the covers.

  3. Tina Russo Radcliffe
    May 22, 2010 at 11:28 am
    Reply

    Love the covers. Very lovely and standout. Looking forward to what you do with other series also.

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