Your next copy of Mills & Boon may boast of the romance genre’s first male author.
Harlequin, Toronto-based publishers of Mills & Boon, which has remained overwhelmingly a company by and for women, is looking for male authors in India.
Officially, till date, no male author globally or in India have written any Mills & Boon novel, though there have been rumours that in the seventies, a couple of male authors wrote under female pseudonym.
“In India, many young men are writing breezy or emotional romances set in the country. So clearly there is a space for and male authors within this genre,” said Amrita Chowdhury, country head, Harlequin India. “While Mills & Boon India has not published a novel by a male author so far, we would be now open to it,” she added.
Though Harlequin’s offering, Mira, has been publishing thrillers for sometime now and has a number of male authors on its lists, the company has been popular mainly for women-based romantic fiction genre.
Harlequin clocked revenues worth $426 million (about Rs 2,556 crore) in 2012-13.
The publishing house, which operates in 114 markets globally, has given a local twist to Indian Mills & Boon where few of these titles sell as many as 100,000 copies annually. To drive growth, the company plans to woo college girls and young women professionals who are most likely single and have reached a marriageable age.
“We are also planning to push children publishing segment especially adventure books for kids aged between three to 18 in India,” said Chowdhury.