Publisher Spotlight: Escape Publishing launches today!

Escape Publishing is the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Australia and officially launches today, November 14. Please welcome Kate Cuthbert to the blog to share the details of this exciting new publishing initiative…

1. What sorts of stories can readers expect from Escape Publishing in the coming months?

As I keep telling everyone: we’re into everything! Our five launch titles are now available, and they include a sophisticated Romantic Suspense, a groovy contemporary romance, a short holiday novella, an erotic fantasy novella, and a debut urban fantasy.

In the coming months, you can expect science fiction, fantasy, erotic romance, YA, romantic suspense, and a whole range of contemporary romances that really span the spectrum of living – and loving! – in Australia today.


2. Will there be a certain number of titles releasing each month?

We’re really focusing on quality over quantity, so we’re not looking to reach any quotas. If we have 15 fantastic stories ready to go, then we’ll release all 15. If there’s only one, then we’ll let it fly solo. However, it’s definitely looking like more of the former than the latter, based on the high quality of submissions that are coming in.


3. What are the advantages of digital publishing over traditional print publishing?

Risks! Print publishing really has to focus on reaching as broad a market as possible, whereas digital-first can really spread its wings and take on niche titles, cross-genre titles, rule-breakers, and innovations. Naturally we want our titles to reach as many people as possible, but we’re just as happy if they find a home as a cult favourite or a niche title.


4. What makes Escape Publishing unique?

Unlike other digital-first publishers, we’re focused on Australian romance. We really want to bring Australian voices, characters, settings, and stories to the romance world. A local focus means we can celebrate our roots, and a romance focus means we can target our market. We are absolutely happy to accept submissions from international authors and settings outside of Australia, but we’re really interested in building an Australian presence in the international romance world.


5. Can readers purchase books through all available ebook retailers worldwide?

Absolutely – all the biggies (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc) as well as smaller and local stores. Our stories are published without DRM or geographic restrictions.


6. Are there any particular types or genres of stories that Escape is looking for but hasn’t found yet?

I can tell you that, personally, I’d love to see some more Australia-set historicals, and we’re also happy to explore the emerging subgenre of ‘new adult’ romance fiction.


7. These days authors are expected to be more proactive in their marketing efforts, how important is social media for authors and what types of marketing strategies does Escape employ to spread the word about their books?

One of the contributing factors to the success of romance fiction is the relationship between the author and the reader, and social media has made this so easy. I would encourage authors to get involved and online in the way that best suits their comfort level and time restrictions, but without fail, all authors need an up-to-date, easy-to-navigate website.

We’re really lucky at Escape, because we get to build on the networks that Harlequin Enterprises and Harlequin Australia have built over the years, as well as a targeted digital strategy to get our titles out there and connect our readers with our stories.


8. Will you be publishing any novellas or short stories? Is there anything in particular you’re looking for when it comes to shorter works of fiction?

We publish anything from 5000 words to 250 000, so yes, novellas and short stories. The only restriction we put on our lower word counts is that they are still a complete story with that lovely emotional arc that we (and our readers!) want to see.


9. How can aspiring authors submit their work to Escape?

The best way is via our website: There’s an online form that covers all the bases, and a direct email contact if you run into trouble.


Thanks for your time and congratulations on the launch of Escape!

You can find out more about Escape at their website, facebook, and twitter!


Leave a comment


  1. Hi Kate,
    Congratulations on such an awesome achievement. You mentioned historicals and Australiasian settings. Are you also looking for the more traditional historicals, Regency and other British/European settings and time periods


  2. Nas Dean

     /  November 14, 2012

    Congratulations on the launch today, Kate! Harlequin Escape seems the most fantastic place to look for every taste in reading as it would be catering to all!

  3. Hi Jane
    Absolutely – we’re looking for all of the traditional subgenres as well as the more unusual. Being a historical romance lover from way back, I can tell you personally that I *love* when a historical romance comes across my desk 🙂

  4. Aww, Nas! Thanks. That’s absolutely what we’re trying to be!

  5. Congratulations Kate. I can’t wait until I have something to submit. Fingers crossed for the new year.

    Hope you all have a great day.

  6. Congratulations on the launch, Kate. What an exciting moment for romance writers and Escape. I love that you’re looking for Australian stories. We have so many wonderful places and characters in this great land of ours. Nothing quite like a strong, tanned, sheep-shearing hero or perhaps a sweet romance set in Humpty Doo, Northern Territory. Loads of opportunity for romance here! Come on ladies (and gents 😉 ) it’s time to write…

    Good luck!

  7. Thanks Eden, Juanita – I look forward to seeing your submissions very soon!

  8. I am so pleased that at last there is a home for Australian romances. My first two romances set in Australia (one historical) have gone to US publishers. Second Australian historical is almost finished. What a great opportunity. I better get my skates on.

  9. Hi Amanda – do! I’d love to see some Australian historicals – convicts optional.

  10. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

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