Donna Hayes

The year 2011 may well go down as the annum of the e-reader. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony and Kobo went all-in for holidays to get their e-readers, tablets and apps into as many hands, purses and briefcases as possible. In 2012, we'll see the results of that push, as publishers anticipate the next step in the digital evolution. Book Business interviewed executives across a wide swath of the industry, from giant trade publishers to university presses, educational outfits and upstart indies. We found that while digital is on the march, print is far from dead, and the next bold move in the industry may be maximizing the synergies between the two.

Expanding its international operations, Toronto-based Harlequin Enterprises Limited has signed a deal to acquire full ownership of its German publishing business, CORA Verlag, from Axel Springer Verlag, pending German regulatory approval. Harlequin and Axel Springer have been joint venture partners in Germany since 1976.

Not long after kicking off a commemoration of its 60 years in the publishing industry, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. now has another cause for celebration—the announcement this week of its launch of Carina Press, a digital-only publishing house.

From multimillion-dollar acquisitions to multimillion-dollar best-sellers, powerful women stand at every pivotal, decision-making point in the book publishing process. Book Business’ first annual “50 Top Women in Book Publishing” feature recognizes and honors some of these industry leaders who affect and transform how publishing companies do business, and what—and how—consumers read.

"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.

Book Business has named Toronto-based Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. Publishing Innovator of the Year in book publishing. The women's fiction publisher will be honored at an awards dinner to be held Monday, March 23, during the Publishing Business Conference & Expo at the New York Marriott Marquis. 

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