News Corp, which owns HarperCollins, made the announcement on Friday. It has acquired one of the leading publishers in women’s fiction.
Harlequin publishes the works of more than 1,300 authors and releases more than 110 titles monthly. About 40 percent of Harlequin’s revenues come from books published in languages other than English. Currently, 99 percent of HarperCollins books are published in English, according to a release.
There is an interesting statistic above regarding how Harlequin books are sold. About 40 percent of its revenues come from books that are not published in English, yet the overwhelming majority of Harlequin books are published in English. Without market research, however, this looks like an enormous an area of growth potential.
While the U.S. and U.K. may be saturated with e-books, there are a dozen regions around the world where digital growth is just starting.
“Harlequin is a perfect fit for the new News Corp, vastly expanding our digital platform, extending our reach across borders and languages, and is expected to provide an immediate lift to earnings,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp in a release. “Harlequin has a devoted audience around the globe and an empathetic insight into contemporary cultures, which is itself a remarkable resource. This acquisition will broaden the boundaries of both HarperCollins and Harlequin, and is a significant step in our strategy to establish a network of digital properties in the growth regions of the world.”
The Harlequin name will still be preserved, and still be based in Toronto.
News Corp bought Harlequin from Torstar Corporation for C$455 million in cash.