Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Harlequin Invades YA

Literally. What do you think of when you hear the word 'Harlequin"? Romance, right? A bare-chested Fabio on the cover with some big-boobied woman draped all over him? Primarily, that's what Harlequin does. Romance. But now they're broadening their market into the teen sector.

Now I understand their want to expand but I just don't know how I feel about it. Harlequin means one thing to me and if I see that publisher stamped on the spine of a book, I'm immediately going to put it down because I don't read out and out romances. I just don't enjoy them except for the spork factor. But they say they're not just doing romance but everything else that every other YA publisher does: sci fi, fantasy, realistic, whatever. They even want to get male main characters in there to try and adopt a male readership.

Uh, I don't know. Harlequin is deeply rooted in the romance sector. I don't know one guy that would be caught dead and rotting with a Harlequin book in his hands even if Rambo was on the cover. Let's face it, the publisher name is stigmatized. That's not necessarily a bad thing but I think they're going to have a seriously hard time breaking out of the adult romance, heaving bosom category. And that's not even factoring in the parents that are buying for teens. What are the chances that parents are going to pick up a Harlequin book, even if it's in the teen section, and buy it for their kids?

What do you think? Do you think this could prove beneficial for Harlequin or do you think this is going to be an experiment that isn't going to work to their advantage?

12 comments:

ralfast said...

My first reaction to the title was "Oh, oh!". I think that says it all.

Book Junkie said...

Hmmm... hard to say. But I know I can't wait until fall to see how the first book turns out.

cupcakewitch said...

They must be making an imprint name to distance themselves from the other books they put out....
Also- is it just me or is Fabio totally freaky?

prophecygirl said...

Oh, hell no.

Donna said...

Yeah, I don't know at all. And yeah, Fabio tweaks me a little. I don't see the appeal.

Benjamin Solah said...

You'd think they'd look at this logically and print the YA books under a different name, due to the connotations.

Donna said...

You'd think . . .

Jen said...

Well the more YA out there the better I guess. You'd think they would pick a different name.

PS I find Fabio somewhat menacing and scary-looking

prophecygirl said...

He looks like He-Man.

Diana Peterfreund said...

I've been reading Harlequin novels for years and I've never seen any covers with Fabio on them. I think he was mostly a Harper cover model -- but you never see anyone saying they think of fabio when they read a Harper book.

Donna said...

Any book I see that has an over-muscled pretty man with blonde hair flapping in the breeze gets an automatic Fabio label from me, even if he's not Fabio. As someone that has about 1% experience in the romance novel department, the terms 'romance novel' and 'Fabio' always went hand in hand simply because he was a huge name in romance book covers. I actually didn't know he was a Harper cover model and you're right, the last thing I think of when I think of Harper is Fabio. I guess it's just that type of guy. To be they all look the same so it might as well be Fabio on every romance cover! LOL!

Insert Book Title Here said...

If the book is good I will read it. I don't really care about publishers.

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