Harlequin is expanding its publishing programs with the launch of new digital first initiatives. The Harlequin, Harlequin Teen, Harlequin Mira, and Harlequin HQN imprints will all publish e-book originals in the coming months.

“We’re thrilled to further expand our reach in the digital space,” said Loriana Sacilotto, executive v-p, Global Editorial at Harlequin. “In a retail environment that’s increasingly challenging for new and emerging authors, digital publication and promotion allows us to continue to encourage author discovery and growth, bring books to market more quickly, leverage popular digital trends and offer authors an outlet for their nontraditional and ancillary streams.”

Harlequin Teen will publish a digital title every other month, beginning with Stir Me Up by debut author Sabrina Elkins on October 1. Harlequin Mira and Harlequin HQN will launch their first programs with two titles in January 2014, and will each publish twelve titles in the first year. In addition, Harlequin announced the launch of Harlequin-E, a digital first series program releasing its first digital story in fall 2013. Harlequin-E will initially focus on mystery, romance, erotic romance, young adult, fantasy, fantasy romance, sci-fi and sci-fi romance categories and feature stories with a minimum word count of 10,000. By the first quarter of 2014, Harlequin-E plans to publish two to six titles per month.

“The challenge in the digital marketplace is in finding ways to make titles stand out,” said Sacilotto. “By publishing books under the Harlequin brand, a powerful attraction for readers, we’re providing authors with the exposure they deserve.”

Harlequin launched Carina Press, a digital imprint, in 2010 and it will continue to publish titles under its own unique imprint. In addition, the publisher announced that all digital first titles may be published in print at a later date.