Harlequin teams with wireless publisher to deliver romance fiction
In the two months since launching the first female-focused mobile phone entertainment application, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., the Toronto-based publisher best-known for its romance and women’s fiction, says it’s seeing success with its first foray into wireless content.
Partnering up with Vocel, a San Diego-based publisher of applications for mobile phones and other wireless devices, Harlequin began offering its mass-market stories to download at the end of April. So far, subscribers have paid $2.49 a month to receive a serialized chapter-a-day of three new stories delivered to their phones or PDAs.
“We are very excited about the initial response to Harlequin On The Go,” says Mary Abthorpe, Harlequin’s vice president of new business development. “This mobile application is a key thrust in Harlequin’s digital delivery strategy, which also includes downloadable audio and ebooks. Harlequin is very excited to be able to offer women the opportunity to access great Harlequin reading and entertainment wherever she is, simply by using her mobile phone.”
The company declined to disclose subscription figures.
The application, the first created specifically for women’s fiction, will make the publisher’s popular romance novels available anywhere.
“The Harlequin On The Go service was designed to appeal to women who love to read whether they be current Harlequin readers or whether they be women who would like the convenience of accessing great reading content on their mobile phones,” she says.
Harlequin produces more than 125 titles each month, some of which will be included in the wireless service.
“The entertainment provided is a combination of new content and previously published content,” Abthorpe says. “What is new is the tremendous convenience of having this content delivered directly to the subscriber’s mobile phone. This convenience is extended to the book-purchasing experience. If a woman sees a title she likes, she can either order it immediately using the order feature on the mobile phone or she can save the title to her ‘book list’ which can be referenced when she is next in front of the retail book section.”