M&B doubles sales; to publish book penned by Indian author

Bangalore: Television and Internet have not taken the lure off the Mills and Boons books, which have been close to any teenaged girl`s heart, as their sales have doubled.

Mills & Boons (M&B), an over 100-year old brand, which was imported into India for the last 60 years, commenced its India operations in 2008 by printing and marketing books locally.

Now, with popularity soaring, the publishing house has proposed to come out with a book penned by an Indian Milan Vohra in the next 4 to 6 months.

"We have doubled our sales in the last two years. Our sales are as expected," Manish Singh, Country Manager Harlequin Mills and Boons India, publishers of M&B, said.

"India is one of our biggest potential overseas market", he said while launching an initiative called `Friends for Life`, aimed at connecting the readers of M&B.

The author for India launch was selected from the 550 entries received for a story writing contest. The plot of the book titled `The Love Asana` was based in Delhi and had Indian characters, he said.

The firm has a multiple-product format offering, including digital, hand held mobiles, PC, he said. Currently the brand was available in the book format in India, but it was keen on rolling out the other formats once the market was ready and big enough for these roll outs.

Going by the popularity of the brand, the publishers launched two titles with setting in India last year.

M&B globally releases 60 titles in 10 categories every month. In India the group releases 14 titles in four categories every month. The categories were Modern, Romance, Desire and Special Moments. "These categories were chosen based on a research on Indian readership," he said.

Currently, the M and B products, were distributed in 150 towns. It had also tied up with various partners like Barista, and Bollywood films like `I Hate Love Stories` for promotion.

The firm is open to more Indian authors, he said.

Currently, he said the English publication readership was growing around 10 per cent annually.

Milan said that her new book `The Love Asana` was set in India and had an Indian flavour to it.

The book revolves around a yoga instructor who meets the hero when he steps into the yoga class.

Asked whether she had to fine tune her story to fit a global audience, Milan, an advertising executive who has been brought up on M & B, said that women readers anywhere were looking for that perfect guy who respected her, complemented her and was committed despite being successful.