The sugar candy romance factory, Mills and Boon, has come to India on the eve of its centenary year in 2008. Started in 1908 in the United Kingdom, and exporting to India for the last 30 years, M&B now has an office in Mumbai.
Its Mumbai office set up in India in August, M&B will now print in India.
The publishing house has already appointed an exclusive distributor to release five new titles every month on the same schedules as the UK and North America. Also, there are plans to have more Indian settings and characters in the romances published from now on. The books will be available at Rs. 99.
“For the first time we will have dedicated, on-the-ground resources to address India’s modern woman and her desires. We want to create entertaining and enriching experiences for our Indian consumer, whether she is a college student, a business executive or a stay-at-home mom,” said Andrew Go, Director, M&B Indian operations.
“Culturally it is also a great fit. India is the land of love, be it Bollywood films, music or TV soaps, romance is always in the air,” he added.
Fans are equally excited. “What’s most appealing about M&B is that it is always told from a woman’s point of view, we don’t know what’s on the man’s mind, which keeps the suspense alive. That’s the difference between other classic romances like Pride and Prejudice and an M&B novel,” says Namrata Singh, a chief research officer with an NGO.
In 2007, the firm is poised to sell 130 million books worldwide, which is four books per second. The first of new M&B books, on a monthly magazine model, was also released this month. There are plans to release six brand new ‘Modern’ titles too.
M&B has 15 series worldwide but they will be focusing on three of the best-selling ones in India first before introducing more. There is some good news for aspiring writers as well. “In addition to selling books, we are keen to get some new Indian voices into M&B books,” says Andrew.
“M&B makes me believe each time that there is a knight in shining armour somewhere who will come and sweep me off my feet. I would love to write for them,” says Madhuri Samana, a literature student at JNU.