Publishing Innovator of the Year: Harlequin
"Wherever women are, we are,” says Malle Vallik, director, digital content and interactivity for Harlequin Enterprises. You’ll hear this mantra uttered by other Harlequin executives, but it is much more than corporate speak. It is part of a “deliberate strategy,” says Vallik, and the driving force behind Harlequin’s evolution over the past 60 years. “We were the first publishers to take books into the supermarkets and to mass merchandisers because that’s where women shopped,” Vallik says. The company—which publishes more than 120 titles each month in 28 languages—was also one of the first publishers to launch a full-scale e-book program (dating back to 2005) and the first to make its entire front list available in e-book format, as well as offer “enriched” e-books with interactive content. It was one of the first in the industry to launch mobile content, and has been a pioneer in offering short-form content via e-books and mobile platforms.