Monday, August 06, 2007

Editorial Changes at Harlequin Superromance

Sorry I've been out of the blog/loop for so long. It seems like my summer has started late but with a vengeance - it's been nothing but beaches and cottages the last two weeks...it's a rough life but someone has to sit on that deck chair.

So, by now word has spread about the change in senior editor at Harlequin Superromance. Laura Shin was replaced a few weeks ago by Wanda Ottewell. Of course rumors and theories abound as to why this happened - but I think it all comes down to what we writers usually forget - business and numbers. As a writer for the line I can attest to a pretty substantial leak in sales and printruns and cashola, and from what I have heard from other writers it's been going on for a while. It's going on almost across the board for category romances, with the exception of a few lines. The romance reading world has changed and category has had to scramble to maintain readership - and a lot of that responsibility falls on the senior editors of the lines. It's a job I do not envy. And Laura Shin was a great editor - a classy smart lady. But with numbers where they were something had to happen.

I think what Harlequin and Silhouette has done in the past is been at very start of trends - christian romance, chick lit (RDI was there from the get-go), the various paranormal lines that have come and gone over the years as well as the romantic suspense lines, and the Blaze line pushed the envelope in terms of sexual contact leading the way for mass market erotica.
But there are a lot of lines stuck in ruts of their own making -- Superromance being one of them. The last year Laura did a great job of bringing in new authors with new and interesting story lines and voices, but Superromance is a huge boat and it takes a while to turn it around.


I've worked with Wanda for years - since the doomed Flipside line - she's brilliant. And, if anyone can pull Superromance around - it's her.

5 comments:

DDC said...

Molly, thanks for the update. I'd been wondering what happened and I couldn't find any talk about it anywhere in the "blogosphere"... I'm glad I checked here today.

I wonder how Superromance will change in the coming months. And I wonder if the book I'm finishing up for the Superromance contest might not fit in quite the same way now.

Molly O'Keefe said...

The only things I've heard in terms of editorial content is a real focus on romance and conflict between the hero and heroine -- less slice of life books or women's fiction style books. Romance romance romance....

Christine d'Abo said...

I'll be intereste to see what Wanda does. I'm sure she'll be able to spice things up again and the line will pick back up. Thanks for the update Molly.

Sinead M said...

Great update, Molly. I'm sure Wanda will do great things with Superromance.

Kimber Chin said...

One thing that I noticed in the States is that Harlequin is now pushing category books in the club stores (Sam's, Costco). They're grouped in multi book bundles as a sample pack.

The marketer in me thinks this is brilliant.

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