It's a sad day for Harlequin.
We received news this Monday that five of the series romances are being shut down, including Superromance, where I started my writing career. As a result of the shrinking business, many of my longtime colleagues and friends will be laid off.
Series Last Pub Month
Harlequin Western June 2018
Harlequin Superromance June 2018
Love Inspired Historical June 2018
Harlequin Nocturne December 2018
Kimani Romance December 2018
There's been lots of chatter and criticism on social media about why these programs failed or are being cut. As I work for Harlequin as a full-time employee and am bound by certain rules, all I can say is that these programs were specifically chosen because they make up a minuscule percentage of series earnings.
I wasn't surprised that Superromance was disappearing--since I published Her Son's Hero in 2011, I saw the series go from full runs of regular and large print in retail, to large print only, to direct to consumers only. It was only a matter of time before they disappeared altogether, and there are lots of reasons for it: increasingly competitive pricing with ebooks, a shrinking mass-market paperback business, shrinking DTC demand, a dwindling hunger for women's fiction in series format, branding issues, decreased marketing budgets...it's a tough game right now in publishing.
All that said, I'm still employed, and I still have my young adult weird West series, THE DEVIL'S REVOLVER, coming out soon from Brain Mill Press. I might go back to romance one day, and it would be an honor to write for Harlequin again. But for now, I'm sitting down with a glass of whiskey.