Harlequin Enterprises: the Mira Decisions Essay

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The primary issue facing Harlequin is the "steady loss of share in a growing women's fiction market", due to the growing popularity of single-title novels. With the volume sales dependence that is inherent in series publishing, the unit sales stalling that occurred in the late 80’s and early 90’s acted as a warning signal to Harlequin. A change in pricing strategies enabled revenues to continue to rise, but this was a short-term solution and Mira has the potential to become a long-term solution. However, there are a number of issues surrounding the launch of Mira.

As the world’s largest publisher of romance fiction, Harlequin has a strong global foothold in series publishing with a presence in more than 100 international markets and 23
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Although, the Worldwide experience gives Harlequin a true appreciation of their strengths and provides a strong foundation from which to avoid future mistakes.

Harlequin’s inferior presence in traditional retail environments for single-title novels and limited advertising portfolio centred on print media somewhat restricts their sales to their existing, or stereotypical, customer base. Existing distribution partnerships are unlikely to resolve this issue and may force Harlequin to seek out new partnerships and/or mechanisms.

According to the market research, “customers were reading as many single-title romance and women's fiction books as series romances.” This implies that there is significant overlap with other subject areas and market segments within Harlequin’s existing readership base and it should be possible for Harlequin to cultivate their customer loyalty and translate it to direct-to-reader sales in other genres. Mira also provides the opportunity for authors to develop beyond the series format without moving to another publisher, and still remain available to the Harlequin series genre. This promotes employee loyalty and job satisfaction, while allowing Harlequin to invest in promoting individual authors and benefit from the cross-segment marketing.

The overheads that Mira would incur, although substantial, would remain competitive with other publishers and would benefit from Harlequin’s global infrastructure. Foreign language markets, in

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