06 February 2008

Spreading the Love: The LoveLetter Magazine

By Sandra Schwab

Today is the official release date of the re-launched German romance magazine LoveLetter. Therefore I'd like to take the opportunity to look at the evolvement of the magazine in the past three years and at the achievements of the editorial team during that time.

When it came to romance novels, Germany used to be a bit of a desert: we might have the second largest romance market in the world, yet most romance reading happened in dark and dusty closets, with the doors firmly closed, bolted and locked (well, considering what some of the covers looked like, this is no big surprise). Fortunately, things have considerably changed and this is in part due to the influence of the LoveLetter and the hard work of its editor, Kris Alice Hohls.

After getting to know the American romance market fairly well, Kris realized that what Germany was missing was a romance magazine which would offer its readers reviews, articles about romance, and interviews with authors, and she started thinking about creating such a magazine. In April 2005, her dreams finally bore fruit when the first issue of the LoveLetter was published. At first it was available only to subscribers, who only had to pay the postage (imagine that!). Back then, the magazine didn't yet contain any pictures (or an editorial), but nevertheless, it had exciting things to offer: interviews with the US authors Kresley Cole and Eloisa James, with the German authors Angeline Bauer and Mona Vara, as well as with Isolde Wehr, a German romance editor. This first issue also contained a news section, a short story, and the first installment of the "Romance around the World" series, which consists of interviews of readers from countries ranging from Australia to Pakistan.

The changing faces of the LoveLetter

As the team and the readership of the LoveLetter grew in the following months, so did the magazine itself: already the second issue was eight pages longer than the first and contained a lot of new things, such as an editorial and reviews. On its second anniversary, the LoveLetter managed the jump from black-and-white newsletter to real magazine: not only was it now published in colour, but for the very first time it was also available at newsagents'. It was 50 pages long (compared to 20 pages of issue #1) and contained 26 long reviews (compared to 3 reviews in issue #2)

And after a break of few months, in which the magazine and its team underwent some resturcturing, the LoveLetter is now back -- bigger and better than ever before, with a brand new layout and an even wider distribution.

It is still the only romance magazine available in German-speaking countries; it has featured interviews with and articles from authors like Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Julia Ross, Teresa Medeiros, Gaelen Foley, Nalini Singh, Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, Majorie M. Liu, and many more. This list alone bears testimony of the high reputation the LoveLetter enjoys among the romance publishing industry not only in Germany, but also in the USA. Creating such a magazine out of nothing took a lot of effort and hard work as well as a lot of courage. So I would like to congratulate the whole LoveLetter team, and especially Kris Alice Hohls, for all their achievements! I hope readers will get to enjoy the LoveLetter for many more years to come!