I read almost everything I read on my iPad these days: Newspapers, magazines and books. While I love reading my books in digital format, the bit I hate is trying to find new books to read. Searching Amazon or iBooks doesn’t work well for me, and I find myself often cruising through old-fashioned bookshops for ideas. So I’m intrigued by publisher Random House’s clever idea to provide an app that showcases its new books.
The app is as simple as can be – you see a listing of new books and can read the first chapter for free. If they capture you there’s a prominent ‘buy’ button. Now I don’t know about you, but once I’ve read the first chapter of something I’ll likely end up wanting to read the rest unless it’s truly awful. So I can only think this is a really neat marketing idea.
Random House is not stopping there though. They’ve just launched a specialised edition of their app that focuses on Crime & Thrillers and ties in with a specific website and Facebook page aiming to create a community of interest around their crime books. Their rationale comes from a survey the commissioned in 2013 which:
…gained insights into the motivations of fans of crime & thriller books. Some of the key findings were that readers were extremely passionate about the genre, and delight in finding others with similar tastes. They also discovered that recommendation is fundamental to discovery and sharing; readers rely on word-of-mouth to unearth new authors and books.
I love to see innovative thinking from publishers and this all makes a great deal of sense to me. Or at least it did until I realised that the press release announcing all this doesn’t actually say where to find the new website. One step forward…
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