January 19, 2020
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Donna Hayes

The world's leading publisher of romances, Mills & Boon, on launching their Indian operation

Donna Hayes
Donna Hayes
Why an office in India now?

You hear about India’s growth everyday and it’s the largest English-speaking population in the world. In 10 years, we expect it to be our biggest market.

So are your books going to be about romance in India?

Our first title,The Virgin for the Billionaire’s Taking, is about an Indian hero, although the heroine is from UK.

Haven’t your romances become very dated in the new millennium?

On the contrary, we have had a double digit growth for several years now.

In this post-pill era, who in the world would still want to read Mills & Boon?

Our romances will always be popular because women everywhere want to fall in love.

Among the 109 countries where you now sell, which one tops in readership?

The US is almost half of our market, followed by the Nordic countries, UK and then Japan.

Have you changed with the times?

Some things don’t change: a happy ending, for one. But our romances reflect contemporary women in the workforce and premarital sex.

Do you have men writing romance as well?

Only two men write regularly for us, and one of them writes along with his wife—they turn out the steamiest books!

Do you have guidelines for writing?

Yes, we do: a happy ending is a must, and there are grades of how much sex is brought in.

What’s the difference between your books and soft porn?

The man and woman have to be in love before they have sex, and sex has to be consensual, between only one man and a woman.

So when are you going to get Indians to write for you?

We plan to have a contest this year, like we had in Japan, to find new writers.

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