Given all the subscription services we have for music and TV/movies, you really have to be surprised it took this long for one of the major romance publishing houses to put together such a service for voracious romance readers.
Harlequin Plus is the new multimedia service available to readers for $14.99 per month or $149.99 annually.
What is it?
According to Publishers Weekly, the subscription service offers subscribers monthly book bundles, access to an ebook library, plus a selection of movies and games just for romance readers that are upgraded regularly. The service is available through both the Harlequin Plus app and website.
Brent Lewis, Harlequin executive VP, and publisher said Harlequin Plus was “one of the first multimedia subscription-based services to come out of book publishing.” While Harlequin has run a direct-to-consumer book club for more than half a century, Lewis says Harlequin Plus is that system evolving to expand into other media arenas.
Lewis explains that with Harlequin Plus, readers have a one-stop destination for Harlequin content and additional entertainment.
Book bundles will be monthly themed and feature titles from all nine of the publisher’s imprints, selected by “a team of romance publishing experts” according to Lewis. Subscribers have a choice of receiving physical books sent to their homes or ebook bundles. Themed book bundles for February, for example, include the Romantic Comedy Collection, Romance by Black Authors, Amish Romance, the Sweet Magnolias Starter Pack, and LGBTQ+ Romance. The ebook library on the platform will refresh to offer 10-15 new books each month.
Working closely with other organizations for licensing on the offering of games and movies, and they will also be updated monthly, there’s a decided slant towards “feel-good entertainment.” The film library for February 2022 will feature 4 Minutes (2009), The Greatest (2009), Love Will Keep Us Together (2013), and Crazy Kind of Love (2013). Games will include Unicorn Blast, Bubble Invasion, and Kawaii Jump.
The launch of the Harlequin Plus platform is the publisher’s attempt to go beyond literature’s boundaries to a more broad content category.
The targeted curation of the offerings on the platform, according to Lewis, is in an effort to prevent “content overload.” He explained that the new service is an example of the new direction the industry is taking. It’s a way to be competitive against other entertainment options.