<p>Harlequin Mills & Boon India (HMBI), the Indian subsidiary of publisher of Mills and Boon novels, is planning to launch their digital operations by the end of this year.
Till now, HMBI vends most of its novels through news-stands, kiosks and retail stores.
HMBI started its Indian operations in February 2008, printing and marketing books locally. It is currently publishing 20 new romance titles every month, focusing on five series: modern, romance, desire, special moments, historical and the latest one being nocturne.
Manish Singh, country manager, HMBI said the e- book operations would be launched later this year that initially would commence with limited test marketing.
With the Indian e-book market still in nascent stage, the company would be closely monitoring the growth through e-books. The launch of e-books would help the novel publisher to expand its reach to new cities across India. Apart from e books to expand their reach, HMBI is also trying to capitalise on growth of retail revolution.
Manish added they were further trying to penetrate the retail operations form where they expect sale to grow. Although majority of the sales is coming through news-stands and kiosks, but it is not growing. As of date the main sale for HMBI novels comes through news-stands and kiosks which contribute 55 per cent with rest coming from retail stores.
The next growth driver for novels would be retail revolution because with expansion of retail stores the outreach of novels would be extended to new cities.
Manish Singh maintained having evoked good response for their novels from bigger cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, the company was now focusing on other cities like Chandigarh as well.
“Chandigarh with advancing urbanisation was a city where HMBI is generating good response for its novels. In last-two-and-a-half years, we have double the supply of books in Chandigarh which reflects the sales also have moved in proportion of supply.”
Singh added he would be evaluating the retail strategy for Chandigarh in next couple of days by identifying new retail points that would act as point of selling for the novels.