Harlequin Mills & Boon, the romantic fiction publisher, is launching a brand of books for men in the UK.
The Stony Man brand of James Bond-style action adventures will launch next week in an exclusive deal with 340 WH Smith stores in the UK.
Four books will launch at a special introductory price of &£2.99. After that, one will appear each month at the normal price of &£3.99.
The one book per month mechanism is similar to that followed by the publisher’s other brands, Mills & Boon and Silhouette.
The tie-up between Harlequin Mills & Boon and WH Smith stemmed from a mutual desire to attract men to buying fiction.
Harlequin Mills & Boon marketing manager Joanne Oliver says: “We would like to establish a regular readership for Stony Man.
“We want to encourage men to buy fiction – something they’re not used to.”
The Stony Man brand of books has been available in the US since the Eighties under the Gold Eagle imprint, which is owned by Harlequin Mills & Boon. The launch also marks the imprint’s UK debut.
Brand identity company Reach designed the book covers, after working on the relaunch of the Mills & Boon brand (MW July 13). The brand will be promoted in-store and through WH Smith Online.