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Steeple Hill Purchased by HarperCollins

Steeple Hill - Love Inspired

Steeple Hill, which publishes a line of mass-market inspirational fiction titles under the Love Inspired imprint is part of today’s announced sale of the entire Harlequin Group to HarperCollins for $455 million. The company, currently owned by TorStar, the parent company of The Toronto Star newspaper will remain headquartered in Toronto.

Harlequin publishes a wide variety of promotional-priced fiction under different imprints, with an emphasis on romance and suspense. Steeple Hill, seen as the Christian imprint of the company has done exceptionally well with the Amish fiction craze, and has also been home to a number of authors who have also written for the regular trade market including Delia Parr, Colleen Coble, Deborah Raney and Gilbert Morris. The company also purchased the budget line Heartsong Presents from Barbour a few years ago. While bookstores carry Harlequin products, many are also sold at newsstands in the same paradigm as magazines, where copies are displayed for a short-term and then covers are stripped and returned for credit and books are recycled and pulped.

For that reason, it’s unlikely that Steeple Hill will be folded into HarperCollins Christian Publishing, aligning better with the rest of Harlequin, though Christian stores might expect to see some Steeple Hill titles included alongside Zondervan and Thomas Nelson sales presentations.

More info is available at CTV News, TorStar and Publisher’s Weekly. The deal is expected to close mid-summer and requires both U.S. and Canadian regulatory approval. If the merger with Thomas Nelson is any indication, it could be a long time after that before Harlequin product is integrated into the HarperCollins Canada distribution system.

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