A recap of last night’s official launch of Harlequin Australia’s digital-first imprint, Escape Publishing.
Harlequin went all-out with a photo shoot for its authors around Sydney harbour, interviews with mainstream media, and cocktails at ECQ Bar. Upon entry, attendees were photographed and given an ornate key (in the fashion of Escape’s logo) that may open a treasure chest of prizes. Sadly, I didn’t win the iPad Mini, but everyone also got a USB key with all the launch titles in it. The bar served cocktails tailored to each of the launch titles, the hors d’oeuvres were lovely, and there was even a DJ (although, sadly—or not, YMMV—no dancing).
Michelle Laforest, Managing Director of Harlequin Australia, officially launched Escape’s first five titles and their authors.
- In Safe Hands by Lee Christine
- Chains of Revenge by Keziah Hill
- Chaos Born by Rebekah Turner
- Grease Monkey Jive by Ainslie Paton
- Christmas Wishes by Rhian Cahill
(Note: All the launch titles are discounted to $0.99 for a limited time only.)
Laforest talked about Harlequin’s commitment to it readers and its understanding of what romance readers want. Laforest emphasised Escape Publishing’s philosophy of giving readers the stories they want to read. Each book will include a link to a survey where readers can provide feedback to the publisher. Laforest also talked about tailoring a marketing strategy for each individual author.
Certainly, it seems that the launch authors have been given some great publicity opportunities, and it’ll be interesting to see if Escape Publishing can sustain this level of promotion with what seems to me quite an aggressive pipeline. The imprint won’t have a set number of books released per month—it will depend on which books they have ready to go—but I believe they’re releasing about 6 or so titles in December and maybe up to double figures in January (but I’d had some drinks by this time so I might have remembered that wrong).
The night was a fantastic way to reconnect with authors, bloggers and tweeters I’d previously met at ARRA and RWA events. I spoke with a couple of authors who will have books out with Escape next month, and there was a very positive atmosphere in the room.
I had a chat with acquisitions editor Kate Cuthbert and each of the launch authors today, so stay tuned for some author quickies soon!