Harlequin’s April Launch of MMP Max Format Shows Positive Reader and Sale Trend in First Month of Publication
This month, Harlequin’s market introduction of the new Mass Market Paperback (MMP) Max format has been positively received by retailers and consumers. The MMP Max is a larger trim size than standard mass market and premium mass market formats and priced at $9.99. Harlequin was first-to-market with the publication on March 24, 2020 of four titles: The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr; White Pine Summer by Sherryl Woods; Heartbreaker by BJ Daniels; and The Heart of Home by Nora Roberts. The second month of MMP Max titles went on sale April 21, 2020.
Harlequin created the larger MMP Max format in Fall 2019 and presented the change to accounts, authors, agents, and consumers; the response was overwhelmingly positive in terms of the upgraded reading experience. Harlequin conducted consumer research throughout Fall 2019 and found that readers preferred the reading experience as well: the larger, more comfortable size that fit better in hands, the higher quality paper, the larger font and more space on the page, and the fact that the book lays flat during the read, without the spine cracking, akin to a trade paperback.
Craig Swinwood, Harlequin CEO says, “We knew there was a need for an innovation in mass market paperbacks. From our consumer research and early discussions with authors, agents, and retailers, we were confident that MMP Max would be received positively when we launched, but the feedback in the last month is even better than expected. Readers are choosing this format because it’s standing out on shelves and has a premium look and feel.”
Dennis Abboud, CEO of ReaderLink (the largest U.S. full-service book distributor) said, “Consumer interest in the traditional mass market format has been fading for the last several years. We applaud Harlequin’s innovation, and we believe that the new MMP Max format will reinvigorate mass market book interest. Initial results have been very promising, and we expect that more growth will occur as consumers gain more understanding of the MMP Max format’s considerable attributes and value.”
Literary agent Liza Dawson of Liza Dawson Associates noted, “When Harlequin sent me a copy of one of their new MMP Max titles, I was immediately impressed. This is such a game changer. It’s a series of seemingly small changes, but overall, the reading experience is far more satisfying. I think readers will be reaching for these books and will be very comfortable giving them as gifts.”
The full rollout across all Harlequin mass market titles is scheduled for September (August on-sale dates). Series is not included in this rollout.
The list of the sixteen initial titles published as MMP Max are below.
April—On Sale March 24
The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr (MIRA)
White Pine Summer by Sherryl Woods (MIRA)
Heartbreaker by BJ Daniels (HQN)
The Heart of Home by Nora Roberts (Silhouette Single Title)
May—On Sale April 21
Beachside Beginnings by Sheila Roberts (MIRA)
A Second Glance by Debbie Macomber (HQN)
Sisters of Summer’s End by Lori Foster (HQN)
Unleashed by Diana Palmer (HQN)
June—On Sale May 19
Royal Kiss and Tell by Julia London (HQN)
Chasing Trouble in Texas by Delores Fossen (HQN)
Seeing Darkness by Heather Graham (MIRA)
The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller (MIRA)
July—On Sale June 23
Reunion at the Shore by Lee Tobin McClain (HQN)
Summer at Lake Haven by RaeAnne Thayne (HQN)
Twenty-One Wishes by Debbie Macomber (HQN)
The Bad Boy of Redemption Ranch by Maisey Yates (HQN)