Mills & Boon and sister imprint Mira are trying different strategies with e-book shorts releases.
M&B is releasing ten original e-book only shorts for Valentine's Day, to be priced at £1.99. The seven novellas, all by established M&B authors, and published on 14th February itself, will be His Darling Valentine by Carole Mortimer, The Billionaire's Blind Date by Jessica Hart, The Bridesmaid's Proposal by Rebecca Winters, The Ordinary King by Nina Harrington, Chosen as the Sheikh's Wife by Liz Fielding, Their Baby Bond by Amy Andrews, The Governess and the Earl by Ann Lethbridge, Italian Boss, Housekeeper Mistress by Kate Hewitt, The Reluctant Queen by Caitlin Crews, and The Count's Secret Child by Jennie Lucas. The e-books will be available across all digital formats and devices.
Harlequin digital and marketing director Tim Cooper said the plan was to release more e-book shorts at regular intervals from now on. He said: "We just want to find a way of getting our content out there to readers, and it's an easy entry point; they are enjoyable little bite-size pieces of content."
He added that M&B has discussed releasing e-book only content by new authors, and said it was an option for the future, but said: "For a start, we wanted to go to our existing authors and give them the chance to write short stories, it's something our readers love."
Meanwhile Mira will be releasing e-book shorts in advance of authors' paperback publications. Three 10,000 word shorts by Victoria Fox will come ahead of the her novel Temptation Island in June. Rivals will be released in March, followed by Pride in April, and Ambition in May. Each of the stories will focus on one of the three main female characters in Temptation Island, with their price point to be confirmed. Mira also plans to release e-books shorts ahead of the paperback publication of works by other key authors, including Anne O'Brian.