Harlequin has appointed current Orion Books publicity manager Sophie Calder as its first in-house publicist.
Calder will join in July as head of publicity.
Reporting to Alison Lindsay, head of marketing and communications, Calder will work on Mills & Boon and the new HQ imprint which launched at The London Book Fair in April.
The company has previously used Cherish PR to manage publicity for Mills & Boon and Midas PR to handle the adult and YA fiction imprints, Mira and INK, which will be replaced by the new HQ imprint. Calder will maintain Harlequin's established relationships with agencies and freelancers and build an in-house team.
Harlequin’s executive publisher Lisa Milton said: “Publicity is crucial to trade publishing, now more than ever as we can see and measure the impact of coverage on sales. I’m delighted we can further enhance the effectiveness of our publicity with Sophie’s appointment. As an award-winning, clever and creative publicist, I’m excited to see what she can achieve”.
Calder joined Orion Books as publicity manager in 2013 and is also the co-creator of The Gollancz Festival, the UK's first combined traditional and digital book event. Her campaigns have included launching fantasy novel The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris, comedian Tim Minchin's graphic novel Storm, and dystopian thriller The Fireman by Joe Hill. Calder has been shortlisted for five Publishers Publicity Circle Annual Awards and The Gollancz Festival 2015 is on the shortlist for Marketing Strategy of The Year at The British Book Industry Awards 2016.
Calder said: “Working with fantastic colleagues at Orion and the brilliant authors on the Gollancz list has been remarkable experience, but I could not turn down the opportunity to join the team at Harlequin at such an incredibly exciting stage of their journey in becoming a major player in commercial publishing. With Lisa Milton at the helm, the HQ list is evolving extraordinarily rapidly and I am incredibly proud to be joining the team during this exhilarating new chapter in the company's history. I am looking forward to promoting the iconic Mills & Boon brand and to raising the profile of HQ and the range of outstanding commercial fiction and non-fiction authors who will be published by the imprint”.