Guest: The Harlequin Digital Chicks

Today please welcome three great ladies who are on the digital content team at Harlequin. I’ve come to think of them as the ‘digital chicks’ (though one of them may insist on ‘digital goddess’). They are behind a lot of what you see online when you surf the Harlequin/Silhouette website—and so much more! So I thought it would be great if we could get a peek behind what their jobs involve. And they’ve brought along some exclusive sneak peaks and a chance to win a copy of my latest Nocturne Bites “After The Kiss”!

A Week in the Life of Harlequin Digital

Hello from the Harlequin digital content team! We’re Malle Vallik, Director of Digital Content and Social Media; Jayne Hoogenberk, eHarlequin Community Manager; and Amy Wilkins, Digital Production Coordinator. Our fourth member Jenny Bullough is on maternity leave but we’re all eagerly awaiting her return in October!

Many people are curious about what we do, so when Michele asked us to guest-blog we thought we’d take the opportunity to offer a little glimpse into our world. Here’s a peak at some of things we worked on last week (including a hint or two about some special projects never before revealed!):

Jayne received news that the community was nominated by BBAW for Best Community Builder W00T!!!

This is particularly cool since we were also nominated last year for a 2008 Weblog Award for Best Online Community. But of course, Jayne has an AWESOME team of moderators!!

Reviewed video for
INTERTWINED and had it revised. Check out our
Harlequin YouTube channel for other great book trailers.

M Malle and Jayne updated Harlequin community strategy for 2010

M Malle created polls for the Harlequin Insider September edition (I know, I run tight to deadline!)

E External vendor presented their digital galley process to us. Greatly improved over last 2 years and something we will now discuss internally

J Jayne updated our Community and Social Media pages with information on the new online read, One Indian Summer by Nicola Marsh featuring an Indian heroine, which totally rocks.

C Chatted with colleagues back from vacation

Pi Pitched Blogger Backlist Bundle idea to digital team

M Met about a Peak Freens Lifestyle cookie giveaway and Harlequin. We will tweet about Toronto cookie giveaways

T Talked with designer about what the Harlequin Blog should look like (Mon). He promised designs for later in week

U Updated the Harlequin blogs & and scheduled blog posts for September. Flurry of emails with authors on deadlines & “seed questions” for posts.

R Researched titles for the November 2009 batch of backlist eBooks. Amy is excited about bringing out eBooks like some classic Jayne Ann Krentz, a complete Silhouette Desire Dynasties continuity, and making all LUNA books available in digital.

J Jayne approved the final version of a book trailer for a Harlequin non-fiction title Eat Your Way to Happiness by Elizabeth Somer code name: ‘Dancing Veggie Video’. Every time she plays the video spontaneous dancing ensues….

A Amy sent eBooks & metadata to her star proofreader, John, to tackle. His hard work keeps Amy sane : )

J Jayne finalized details of live editor chat with senior editor Linda Fildew in the UK for September 4th. She is now wrapping her brain around time zones….be afraid!

Tr Tracked down missing files for eBook conversion & for legal to submit for copyright registration.

J Jayne customizes the Harlequin Flickr account and uploads pics of Cedar Cove Days, a Debbie Macomber inspired event…and really, REALLY wishes she could visit Debbie’s most awesome yarn shop. She also updates the Harlequin Books FaceBook page with the pics because…well, that’s just how she rolls.

C Called an aspiring author who had questions about the Harlequin Presents Writing Contest 2009. It was nice to talk to a blog reader off-line — all the more so since she wasn’t expecting it!

T Twitter, twitter, twitter!

C Checked digital rights for March 2010 eBooks (and you thought Fall came quickly — we’re already planning next Spring!)

Ja Jayne confirmed login information for the new HarlequinTeen MySpace page and worked with the designers to upload the templates and design. Handed off to the curator for her to populate with content and book Harlequin Teen Sweepstakes information. She would very much like you to know that you can win $10,000 and have a chance to win extra prizes by posting the Intertwined widget on YOUR site…hint, hint!

S Scheduled titles to be released in downloadable audio from

J Jayne built a Facebook and Twitter page for MIRAbooks author Heather Gudenkauf whose most excellent first book The Weight of Silence is currently no. 4 on the New York Times bestseller list. Jayne would like to suggest you Friend’ Heather on Facebook and make her feel welcome. If you want to check out the book trailer for WOS (which Jayne also worked on) you can view it here.

Re Reviewed draft cover images for Silhouette Nocturne Bites

A Amy proofread October schedules (yes, amidst the fun bits there is still plenty of work-work)

Ja Jayne scheduled the authors of the Harlequin Superromance blog through September and October (insert another flurry of email), a different author every day, with books and fun prizes and great conversation so you totally have to check out their blog or, Jayne will hunt you down…did we mention a different author EVERY day?? Oh, and Jayne says that we have over 200 authors at now in our social blogging network, probably more authors online than any other publisher, in one spot ….so you don’t have to go to 200 different websites to find out what your favorite author is doing…er, or NOT doing!

J Jayne provided information for the September Anniversary Spotlight hub on all the great discussions/blogs and chat the Community is hosting. September shines the spotlight on Harlequin Superromance and Community is featuring a fabu conversation with 4 ‘Super’ authors who will be taking you behind the scenes of the new Diamond Legacy miniseries and the reading of a family will but…wait, what is this?? It’s the lawyer….”Before I get to the actual will, I have a short letter Sarah asked me to read to you. Come into the lawyer’s office, hear what’s revealed. And what isn’t. Experience it all through Sue, Belle, Joe and Daniel’s eyes as the author’s write in character.

Ja Jayne worked up concepts and secured music and images for THREE Christmas videos for Harlequin holiday editorial…more dancing ensues.

J Jayne sends out book prizes to the winners of the July Community Harlequin Presents themed BINGO game…under the B (Billionaire!) under the T (Tycoon) and we have 10 winners!!!

J Jayne (and Amy) blogs at Michele Hauf’s blog and reveals her TBR pile and sends a Harlequin Anniversary bag to one lucky commenter. She just MIGHT be prompted to give another one away to someone who comments on THIS blog entry!

J Jayne identified the books to be included in the next shipment to the National Center for Family Literacy as part of our commitment to literacy through the Community 100,000 Book Challenge. What? You don’t know what this is?? Clicky-Clicky people!!!

J Jayne attended a Social Media Webinar, Trust Agents with Chris Brogan and discussed how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how to use those networks to positively impact your business. …she MIGHT have been eating a tuna sandwich at the time, but who’s to know?

And that’s just SOME of what we all worked on last week!

So…what do you think of our work week? Anything in particular that intrigues you or you want to know more about? We’ve got two prizes for someone who comments: a coupon code to download a free copy of Michele Hauf’s new Silhouette Nocturne Bite After the Kiss and a Harlequin Vintage tote bag!

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33 Responses to Guest: The Harlequin Digital Chicks

  1. What intrigues me is who wrote or copied this post. lol! cause whoever did left off parts of letters or even whole words! But seriously, do you goddesses ever read the works that you're out to put on the web/promote on the web?

  2. Debra Dixon says:

    Thanks to Team Digital for a excellent blog. Very interesting!

  3. Cindy Gerard says:

    Well, I'm tired now after reading this. You ladies need to go take a nap after all that work. Great post. Very interesting. Thanks so much for the incites and for joining us here today.

  4. Michele Hauf says:

    Sorry, people. When I posted this last night it looked fine. I'm trying to fix it right now.

  5. My heavens! I'm exhausted just reading this. I'm going back to bed. LOL!eHarlequin is an awesome community though I don't get to play there as much as I used to. Thanks for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at all these folks do.Marilyn

  6. traveler says:

    What an impressive and interesting post. Rather busy and involved workweek. It seems like a wonderful and fascinating job.

  7. Michele Hauf says:

    All right, I think I have all links fixed! But no matter how much I reformat or tab or whatever I cannot get the first mention of 'Jayne' to appear with a 'J'. So sorry! (I think people will get it, though Fingers crossed!)

  8. GunDiva says:

    I'm tired and need a nap now. Thanks.I can't believe everything that you guys do in a work week. I feel like such a slacker now.

  9. lois greiman says:

    Hey Malle, haven't talked to you forever. This web stuff is the bomb, isn't it?

  10. Helen Brenna says:

    Whoa! I echo several others' comments about needing a nap now! Geez, you guys seem to move at lightspeed!Welcome to the vert!

  11. Amy says:

    Hello everyone! Amy here :)To answer Lou Gagliardi's question — absolutely we read Harlequin books! Of course we can't get to all 120+ titles every month, but we're all romance fans. For example, Jayne is a huge fan of "The Weight of Silence", and I'm reading "Intertwined" right now.Plus, I read every Harlequin Historical Undone, Spice Brief, and Nocturne Bites as part of my ebook production tasks — I have to know the stories for blurbs, formatting & writing BPAs, etc.

  12. Can I just say I'm envious of your job? Nose deep perhaps, but I think I'd love it. It's obvious you ladies love it too!! Thank you so much for all that you do!!

  13. Kylie says:

    Welcome to the digital goddesses! I find the newly revamped website so much easier to navigate and find my way around. Kudos!(also see you *everywhere* on the web and social networking. very cutting edge!)

  14. Malle says:

    Hi Lois, It has been ages! Was RT the last time…?Reading is the best part of our jobs although most of that is done after hours – and I am not sharing what kind of hours we keep. Definitely not 9-5. I'm reading the new C.E. Murphy WALKING DEAD. Loving it!

  15. Gem says:

    Interesting stuff! how does Twitter fit into the world of publishing? Is it not seen as killing off leisurely long reads?

  16. EHarlequin is a marvelous community and I guess I'm one of those who nominated you last year for Weblog and this year for BBAW. I'm also participating giving away Harlequin books. You all do such an excellent job.To Jayne, if you ever decide to go to Debbie's Port Orchard, let me know as I live just across the water and our family also has a summer home close to the town. It's an incredible town and I wanted to attend at least one Cedar Cove event but with family weddings it was not possible.

  17. Melissa says:

    Melissa said… GREAT blog,and you guys do a super job!! But I have one thing about the blogs and communities I don't like. Love the content, you guys have some great stuff going on, but I think it's a PITA to navigate. I always get frustrated going from page to page looking for the blogs I want….but I love them, so hunt them down, lol. Wonder if there is a way to make it more user friendly to us not so savvy readers??

  18. Liz Fielding says:

    Well, good Golly Miss Malle, don't you have fun! (And work jolly hard, too…)

  19. Minna says:

    I have tell about that sweepstakes to a friend of mine.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think you do a great job. The site is very user friendly. I don't know how you manage to get it all done. You ladies are very special. Keep up the great work. We all appreciate you.Linda Henderson

  21. Pamk says:

    great blog and even you work work sounds like fun to me.

  22. flip says:

    Your work week sounds busy and fun. What could be better? Love the vintage tote..too cute.

  23. C. A. R. says:

    Wow! What do you guys eat to keep you going!!Thanks for all that you do.Chris R

  24. elaing8 says:

    Great post.i'm tired just reading all that.That's alot.elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

  25. Jenn says:

    When do you sleep? Great post!

  26. lunaticcafe says:

    Wow! You gals are so busy and I feel like I might take a break for you, and maybe a nap. I was glad to see that you took some time to do non work stuff- like chat with colleagues- at least its not all work. However, I think your jobs sound interesting and dare I say…fun. I'm truly envious of all the books you get to read. I haven't had the opportunity to visit eHarlequin lately and I have sure missed out. I'm adding Harlequin to my bookmarks so I can keep up.

  27. Carolyn says:

    Great Job! Love to read!!!!

  28. ddurance says:

    Wow, I thought I was busy. What's the deal with the cookies?Deidre

  29. Oh I also need a nappy after reading this blog. How do you keep it all straight? I don't check eharlequin often enough perhaps I need to make it my start page.Love & Hugs,Pam Keener in PA

  30. Amy Kathryn says:

    Wow! I can see why you need a digital team. It still amazes me how much goes on on the web these days. I remember learning how to use a computer in 6th grade by playing Oregon Trail back when there were no graphics and DOS commands!

  31. Anonymous says:

    What an interesting post. Thanksladies.Page

  32. Abby says:

    Thanks for the interesting read. I know that you guys were kinda "late" jumping into the digital world but youve made leaps and bounds. Its strange that I started reading romance e-books almost 10 years ago now but have suddenly fell in love with the printed word again. What I do appreciate is all the writer-reader connectivity you guys are providing. The free stuff doesn't hurt either. Thanks for all your hard work.

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