Jumping on the Bandwagon

   Posted by: Faith   in Everything Else

Have you heard? Been reading your copy of ‘Shelf Awareness’ e-newsletter every morning, if you’re a librarian or bookseller? Done a Google search for YA publishers lately?

If you haven’t kept up with what’s going on, it’s pretty big news: Harlequin is jumping on the YA bandwagon with a new imprint, called Harlequin Teen. The website isn’t complete yet, and there are only 3 titles officially announced so far, but this is big stuff. With the popularity of teen/young adult fiction, I suppose it was only a matter of time before everyone jumped on the bandwagon… and for ‘unagented’ authors like myself, a new imprint such as this is a hynotizing, flashing neon sign.

Before you jump out of your seat in outrage, thinking of all the horrible possibilities for teen-directed Harlequin romances, I’ll remind you that in the past decade, Harlequin has branched out create a new image. Yes, they still sell smut, but they also have imprints for Christian romance, fantasy/paranormal fiction, chick lit, historical romance, and now… teen fiction.

For this imprint, they’re looking for:

“Fresh, authentic teen fiction featuring extraordinary characters and extraordinary stories set in contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, science-fiction and historical worlds.”

Hmm. Interesting. The first book in the imprint comes out July 29th, called My Soul to Take, about a teenage bean sidhe (ie. banshee). Now that sounds like an interesting concept! (I wish I’d thought of it… hrrmph.) To help promote this first novel, the author is offering an 80-page e-book prequel for free on the book’s website – which I plan to read. If it’s not half bad, I plan to pick up the book when it’s released, and see how that is. If it’s not half bad as well, I plan to wait for the August & September releases, read those, and see what they’re like.

The good thing about Harlequin imprints is that they take unsolicited manuscripts, and many a writer has begun their career with Harlequin. In the past, that’s meant writing smut and moving upward, but thanks to their new imprints, that isn’t always the case…

Then again, it’s still a publisher known for the “romances” it publishes. Would I be comfortable, morally speaking, being published by a place like this? That’s a question only I can answer for myself (and you for yourself), but it’s something worth considering in the process.

At the very least, it’s a new opportunity to think about, pray about, and examine carefully. Many changes in the publishing industry have recently been viewed as negative – small presses closing, imprints shutting down – and it’s easy to forget all the new and exciting things that are happening. This could be one of them! And I, for one, will be watching closely.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 5:25 pm and is filed under Everything Else. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


I’d heard about this, but I don’t write YA. I never considered if it would be bad for me to be published by their Love Inspired section. Each imprint has such a strict set of boundaries that I think it would be more than fine to be published by them. :-) You should go for it, imo. :-)

July 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Jessica! That’s what I’m thinking… being a light in dark places is what some of us are called to do, right? Besides… I already have some outlining on a YA novel I think would be perfect for this… so we’ll see. Write first, worry about the rest later!

July 22nd, 2009 at 8:14 pm

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