Digital Comics of Harlequin Novels to Be Made Available for Mobile Distribution in China

This press release went out a couple of days ago and I thought we might be interested in how other part of the world are embracing reading on mobiles.  Plus it’s our entry into China. 

Toronto, Canada, May 22, 2009 – Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. have announced that digital comics based on Harlequin novels will immediately be made available for mobile distribution in China.  

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. is the global leader in series romance and one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women. Harlequin Comics are adaptations based on the publisher’s romance novels. The digital comics are currently distributed in Japan jointly by Harlequin and SoftBank Creative Corp, one of Japan’s leading digital content providers. Each month almost one million Harlequin digital comic files are downloaded making Harlequin digital comics among the most popular comic content downloaded by Japanese women. Harlequin Comics are also available print editions in Japan. 

The digital comic titles sold in Japan are now translated into simplified Chinese characters and made available in Celsys’s ComicSurfing format for mobile digital distribution on a Wireless China mobile site. Wireless China is one of the largest mobile portal and E-channel providers in China. Launch titles include comics based on books by New York Times bestselling authors such as Debbie Macomber, Sharon Sala and Betty Neels. 

Harlequin Comics are digitalized into a “frame-by-frame” format utilizing innovative new technology that allows the user to see each comic frame individually and then slide forward to the next frame. Each frame can be easily enlarged or shrunk via the touch screen. 

“Reading novels and comics on mobile phones is a way of life,” said Belinda Hobbs, Vice President, Harlequin Asia. “As Harlequin celebrates 60 years of pure reading pleasure we are thrilled to be able to bring digital comics based on the original English novel to a new audience. This reflects both the world-wide appeal of our editorial and Harlequin’s focus on providing entertaining reading to women via innovative new channels and formats.” 

Harlequin is a leading digital publisher and the first major house to make its entire frontlist available in eBook simultaneously with print. Harlequin titles are frequent residents on eBook bestseller lists. 

About Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Harlequin Enterprises Limited is the global leader in series romance and one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in 28 languages and sold in 114 international markets. The company produces over 110 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,100 authors from around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Harlequin’s Web site is located at http://www.eHarlequin.com. Harlequin has offices in 19 countries, including offices in Toronto, New York and London. For more information please visit www.eHarlequin.com or press.eHarlequin.com.

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