Harlequin Reaches nearly 3 Million Free Books Downloaded in 2009

As part of their 60th Anniversary year, Harlequin gave away 16 free titles and set a goal of putting a romance in the hands of over 1 million women.

I inquired at the end of the year as to the total number of downloads they received for their free book promotion, and got the final tally as soon as they’d finished counting: over 2.5 million romances were downloaded as of 29 December 2009.

That is numerically and romantically awesome. Way to go.



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  1. 1
    Anonymousie says:

    I wonder how many people downloaded all 16?  If most did, then you’re looking at about 156k readers.  But probably people downloaded on average half the free titles, so it’s more like a third of a million readers, which is totally awesome!

  2. 2
    scribblingirl says:

    I wonder what those naysayers of Romance would have to say about that…

  3. 3
    Bonnie says:

    I wonder what those naysayers of Romance would have to say about that…

    They’d probably say that this is yet another sign of the world being in a sorry state. 

    Fuck ‘em.

  4. 4
    Jessica G. says:

    I think I downloaded three or four. Tell you what, I bought a lot more Harlequin books because of that special.

  5. 5
    Ashley Ladd says:

    As part of their reader’s panel, Harlequin just sent a free book to me to read. It’s “The Cowboy’s Christmas Miracle” by Raeanne Thayne. I’m about halfway through and really enjoying it. I also downloaded some of the other free stories and told my friends about them.

  6. 6
    Keira says:

    That’s just totally made of awesome right there. :D Thanks for getting the stats from HQN for us!

  7. 7
    Kristin says:

    I am glad to have helped bump those numbers up some.

  8. 8
    Michael says:

    Yeah….I just downloaded about six of them.  Thanks for the head’s up!

  9. 9
    Ros says:

    I’m not sure how many I downloaded – four or five, maybe?  But I’m another who has started reading a whole lot more HQ romance this year, in part because of the freebies, and in part because it’s so easy and cheap to download them as eBooks.  So I’d say their promotion worked for me.

  10. 10
    Carin says:

    I downloaded Harlequin books, and the promotion worked on me… I’m a Blaze addict now, and the freebie (Slow Hands) was the first one I read.  Go Harlequin!

  11. 11
    Joy says:

    I downloaded one because there was only one Regency. I have the rest of that author’s work on my wish list now.  I think free giveaways are great promotions.

  12. 12
    ~B says:

    I downloaded all of them (in all of the various formats), but have only read one so far.

  13. 13
    Leslie Kelly says:

    I’m a Blaze addict now, and the freebie (Slow Hands) was the first one I read

    Whoop! Thrilled to read that Carin!

    Giving away Slow Hands was, without a doubt, the best promo I’ve ever had in my career.

    Go Harlequin!

  14. 14
    Jessica G. says:

    @Leslie Kelly – Glad to hear it! I downloaded your book, and as a result I fell in love with the Blaze line and have also checked out more of your books.

  15. 15
    brooksse says:

    I think I downloaded all but 1 of the ebooks from Harlequin’s 60th anniversary giveaway.  Plus the 10 freebies that Mills & Boon is offering. I’ve only read 3 or 4 so far. 

    p.s.  Harlequin mentions 16 free ebooks but I found a total of 19 freebies related to their 60th Anniversary via the below two links. 



  16. 16
    brooksse says:

    @Leslie Kelly – Of the 60th anniversary ebooks I’ve read so far, Slow Hands was also my favorite.  You can count me as another person who discovered your books and the Blaze line due to the 60th anniversary giveaway.  Sounds like it was good for the individual authors and good for Harlequin too!

  17. 17
    caligi says:

    I downloaded all but the Christian ones. Before the promo, I had never bought a Harlequin. Now, I buy 3 or 4 a month, sometimes twice that.

    It made a Susan Napier, Elizabeth Rolls, Blaze and Presents fan out of me.

  18. 18
    SNJ says:

    Its a darn good way to market your book by giving it away. I must admit tho I downloaded the book read a couple of pages and felt that I rather read the actual physical book, not my cup of tea all this digital stuff

  19. 19
    Tricky says:

    Count me as another person who found new authors via this program. I found Elizabeth Rolls and promptly put her on the “must buy” list.

    Went out and bought a huge amount of her back list, (in ebook AND physical book format) and put the rest firmly on the “to be purchased” list.

  20. 20
    Sabrina M. says:

    I downloaded 10 of the freebies and loved it. Great idea to celebrate with the readers.
    I normally read the books by Harlequin Presents and Silhouette Desire so the free downloads were a great chance to read some of the others as well.

  21. 21
    sableheart says:

    @Carin – The exact same thing happened to me. I’m a ebook convert and increased my HQN romance reading thanks to those free books.

    @Leslie Kelly – I loved Slow Hands so much I bought all the ebooks by you I could find online =)

  22. 22
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