Thursday, October 06, 2005

BREAKING NEWS--Harlequin to acquire BET Books!

Harlequin Enterprises Limited purchases the assets of BET Books
Popular imprints Arabesque, Sepia and New Spirit added to Harlequin portfolio

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (October 6, 2005) – Harlequin Enterprises Limited today announced the purchase of the assets of BET BOOKS, the publishing arm of Black Entertainment Television. The new ownership deal is expected to close November 30, 2005.

This is a key acquisition for Harlequin, and represents a strengthening of the Company’s strategic position as one of the world’s leading publishers of women’s fiction. The addition of BET Books, a leading publisher of African American women’s fiction and the imprints Arabesque, Sepia and New Spirit, to the Harlequin portfolio will enhance the position of Harlequin within a strong growth segment in the US book market.

“This acquisition supports a key strategic initiative for Harlequin of offering greater breadth in publishing niches that can create future growth for the overall Harlequin franchise. The BET editorial strategy dovetails perfectly with that of Harlequin – romance, women’s fiction and inspirational publishing,” states Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO.

“We are delighted that Linda Gill has agreed to join Harlequin and lead the growth of this new venture, which combines BET Books with Harlequin’s own African American program. We are also very pleased to associate ourselves with such an excellent group of authors and are confident that under Linda Gill’s strong leadership, we will continue to build a strong publishing program for these authors,” says Hayes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful move by HQ - and further proof that they are 100% serious about women's fiction.

I'm curious for the opinion of TKA on something. While it seems that agents are somewhat hesitant to want to take on category-only authors (especially newbies), does HQ's continued expansion (this BET acquisition, NEXT, HQN, RDI...) make that a little less so? E.G. - a category writer could be "grown" to write for other HQ entities that are not series-focused.

I'd love your thoughts.
(who can't seem to log into Blogger so am going anonymous...)

Thursday, October 6, 2005 at 5:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Val said...

Hmm...that's interesting. Harlequin seems to be furthering their intentions to take over the world. ;-)

Thursday, October 6, 2005 at 6:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. I personally don't see this as good for BET, more like the beginning of their demise by the Evil Empire.

Friday, October 7, 2005 at 1:08:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if this will change the flavor of traditional BET books. BET provided an outlet for African Amercian voices and perspectives. Will this move require manuscripts submitted to those imprints have a more 'universal' tone and style?

Friday, October 7, 2005 at 8:45:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a particularly "new" concept that a cateogry author "can be grown". TKA has sold brand new authors into ST lines at Harlequin (Gena Showalter) as well as breaking out category authors into single title lines at other houses (Chris Green, Nalini Singh, many others).

TKA agents also handles some authors that are, at the moment, writing strictly category. There is really a lot you can learn about an agency just by studying their list.

Friday, October 7, 2005 at 9:21:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Wayne said...

As an Arabbesque author, I'm been following this development with interest, but since I have no ideas how it will affect us, since we've not heard anything formal, I won't say much.

However, the decision to keep the BET books under the leadership of Linda Gill, suggests that Harlequin intends to maintain the kinds of stories, BET readers have grown accustomed to. Many the only significant change to readers will be the Harlequin Arabesque, Harlequin New Spirit, Harlequin Sepia, but that's all speculation.

For the authors, I'm sure there will more likely be internal changes...

Wayne Jordan

Friday, October 7, 2005 at 11:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

We all feel that this is a tremendously positive move. Many of the issues that have plagued BET as a publishing outfit will be eliminated by Harlequin taking over contracts and payments. This can only be VERY good, and I believe it's being seen that way by the authors. Deidre

Monday, October 10, 2005 at 12:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Evangeline Holland said...

It's iffy at the moment, but from my standpoint, I think it's a good move for both BET books and HQ--possibly more exposure for the authors.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 at 12:47:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Useful information about eHarlequin books!! Thanks!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 5:47:00 AM EST  

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