Harlequin to publish M/M

Carina_Press_coverHarlequin Romances has decided that if you can’t beat them join them. The company, which is based in Toronto, has just announced the formation of a new digital division, Carina Press. Here’s the press release

Announcing Carina Press, Harlequin’s new digital-only publishing house – launching Spring 2010!

We’re taking submissions now for Carina Press, our first eBook-only business, for a Spring 2010 consumer launch. Visit www.CarinaPress.com for more details!

What makes Carina Press unique?

Digital Distribution only:

  • Carina Press titles will be released solely in eBook format
  • The eBooks will be sold through the Carina Press website and 3rd party distribution on other eBook retailer websites

Advantage of “swift-to-market” digital production:

  • Steampunk, Scifi, Futuristic Fantasy and sub-genres like Egyptian romances – if readers are blogging about a genre with passion and interest, we’ll publish it
  • The swift-to-market digital production process will allow us to compete aggressively in popular digital editorial niches

Flexible publishing schedule:

  • Frequency is key in the digital space. Carina Press will release new titles weekly to remain competitive with other digital publishing houses such as Ellora’s Cave.

Digital Business Model:

  • As is the case with most digital publishing houses, Carina Press contracts do not offer an advance but are strictly royalty-based
  • In order to be competitive, Carina Press titles will not have the DRM-protection that is currently on all Harlequin titles

I will be interviewing Angela  James who is the Executive Editor for the new company and Angie will give you, authors AND readers, the full scoop.

Of course Carina will be publishing all types of romances as well as non romance titles, but on this site we are only interested in one area, Male/Male romances, and it looks like a new major player just hit town!

Welcome to the new age Harlequin and Carina Press


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


  • It sounds good indeed. But as Mary said what about the content?
    Maybe Angela knows her way around m/m romance but if there are company policies in place it will be hard to work to get something fresh and original on the market.

    On the other hand it could be good for established m/m publishers. And for us, the oldies in m/m reading. All the edgy, new, fresh stuff will end up at the known publishers.

    • Ingd
      I have a lot of faith in Angie. She was Executive Editor at Samhain and was in charge of all the editors at that publisher; she also had a fairly large load of authors whose work she personally edited.


      This is a new company set up strictly for digital publishing so I assume that the books will not be formulaic. I’m sure that the company recognizes it will have to compete with the established pubs in the business.

  • Really? Cool! I read about this new line on Smart Bitches earlier today but didn’t understand it was planning on including M/M in it; I guess they only say so on their website and I didn’t check it. That’s great news for M/M authors and the genre as a whole – I mean, recognition from the biggest romance seller in the world is a feat to be celebrated – , but on a personal level I will express some concerns about what an Harlequin M/M would be like. Harlequins as a rule tend to be formulaic and cliché and over-the-top in their old-fashionnest and the few I bother to read I’m usually disappointed in, or at best I forget about them in the following days.

    Anyway, time will tell :).

    • Mary
      The press release was not absolutely clear, but Angela wrote me and indicated that this will definitely be part of their business model.


      Even though Carina is a Harlequin company I think they will definitely be different – for one thing, they are strictly digital, they know they have to compete aggressively in the market for good authors to bring the readers in, and they are also aware that we won’t buy a book just because it comes from a Harlequin spin off. So we’ll have to wait and see.

  • Lauriji
    I mentioned a couple of days ago in a post that Amber Allure’s sales are now about 80% M/M, and it can’t have escaped Harlequin’s notice the increasing numbers of women who are now reading this sub genre. I still remember the old Harelequins where the het couple kissed on the last page of the book and no one went below the belt. 😀 This is going to be a new world for them.

  • I cut my eye teeth on old Harlequins (I’m talking early seventies vintage, sixties, some even earlier than that) and I am…well, delighted is far too mild a word. I had a conversation early this year with a friend (who happens to be closeted, due to his family’s religious beliefs) about whether or not Harlequin would ever publish m/m romances. I told him I had hope, but never, EVER did I think it would happen this soon.

  • What will this mean for smaller publishers that have been supporting m/m for years? Will they go out of business?

    When you interview James, ask her if they are going after established m/m authors or if Harlequin plans to develop their own stable of talent.

    This is good for m/m as a genre because I’ve always believed that the potential audience for this material would be considerly larger if only people knew it existed, and Harlequin definitely has the publicity machine in place to do that. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

    • Hi Diane

      That’s an excellent question and I’ll definitely ask Angie. If you can think of anything else email me within the next couple of days because I have to get the questions to her ASAP.

  • How terrific to see Angie James in a new and exciting venture! With her behind the wheel of the Harlequin engine this would appear to be a real winner to me. Great news!

    • Kris
      I was so happy when Angie sent me the information about her new job and Carina’s focus on digital media, which includes M/M romances. I can’t wait to interview her!!

  • Hi Val

    Isn’t it? It makes me feel good that a company based in Toronto where I live had the foresight to see where the romance readers are headed, although maybe they are a bit late to the game. Hopefully this will expand the market for readers in this genre.


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