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Sourcebooks NEXT.

Sourcebooks Next Blog

We’re at a historic point in the transformation the book.

Ebooks, reading devices, retailers and e-tailers, software and apps, and all the cool things we haven’t even imagined yet are changing the face of reading, entertainment and learning. Sourcebooks Next is our blog looking not from the perspective of pundit or prognosticator, but from the perspective of a publisher deeply engaged in the workings of the transformation. Please feel free to join us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

by Dominique Raccah


About two years ago, I came to the conclusion that we needed to have a decidedly more direct relationship with our readers. I was especially intrigued by watching some of the smart ways publishers in other spaces (most notably O'Reilly and Baen) were engaging with their readers. It also came from watching how e-tailers like Amazon.com repeatedly used their customer information to build products, services and user engagement. Having a direct, ongoing relationship with our readers could not only make solid business sense, it could also help create enormous impact for our authors.

Discover a New Love is our first major project in this direction. Its focus is primarily on lovers of great romance novels, or novels with strong romantic elements. Among other things, we believe it will make us a stronger publisher—one better able to satisfy the desires of our readers. We believe we'll be better able to further the careers of our authors and to provide insights that may prove useful to our retail partners, as well as our authors, their agents and our international publishing partners. We think it will actually help us to create better books and market them in more interesting ways.

Specifically we’re hoping to accomplish 3 things:

  1. FEEDBACK: We need to be constantly learning to make better books, particularly in a world as noisy and crowded as that of romance novels. To do so, we actually need to ask more questions and gather more data. We need to learn more about what really can make a difference. It’s one of the essential ways that publishers can add value for authors.
  2. COMMUNITY: We think we can create new ways of connecting authors to readers. We’re going to start with regular parties online and several live events throughout the year. Your hostess is the incomparable Barbara Vey! We’re launching at the RT Booklovers Conference here in Chicago this week!
  3. TRENDS: Having a place to listen and learn: What do readers want more of?  What do they want next? What new directions is romance fiction going? As Joe Wikert pointed out “One of the most important reasons publishers should invest in a direct channel is because of all the data it provides.”

Fundamentally, we’re interested in one problem: how can we help a reader discover the next book or author they will love?

We know people who read Susanna Kearsley love her books, so how do we help more readers to discover her books? (And so on for other authors obviously.)

Like many new developments, we expect how we tackle this problem to evolve—starting immediately. Here are some of the ideas we’re starting with:

  • In response to reader demand, many of the eBooks will be available all over the world. It won’t be for all titles due to some contract restrictions, but we’re paying attention and looking for ways to connect the world-over.
  • The eBooks offered will be Digital Rights Management (DRM) free and portable to ALL eReader devices. We want readers to own the ebooks and for those ebooks to be portable across eReading devices and platforms. DRM is controversial because on the one hand it offers some protection from piracy (people disagree with how much). On the other hand, it’s hard on consumers—they can’t share, they can’t take advantage of all the devices they own. And there are many who don’t like it. The question is how best to balance these competing interests?
  • We invite other publishers to join us (though as the Wall Street Journal pointed out DRM may well be an issue for others). Possibly more to come on that topic.

Discover a New Love is not intended to replace our valued partnerships and promotions with other retailers. Many who know Sourcebooks know we’re aggressive in testing promotions that find both greater readership and value for our authors, so we do and will continue to do frontlist and themed ebook promotions with our retail partners. Discover a New Love is envisioned as another avenue to help readers. If you’re a romance reader, it’s one more platform for discovery (with loads of neat pluses). The data we’ve seen shows that romance readers are heavy users and that they buy from many different outlets. We see this is an expansion and addition to the current space.

Discover a New Love is a new model built directly in response to what we’ve heard from authors, agents and readers. Expect a lot of changes from us. This is just the beginning. And we look forward to learning together.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions are all welcome.

With warmest wishes,

Dominique

Monday, April 09, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sourcebooks Launches Discover a New Love
Online Readers Club Focuses on Connecting Romance Authors & Readers

(Chicago, IL) April 10, 2011—Sourcebooks, one of romance fiction’s fastest growing publishers, announces the launch of www.DiscoveraNewLove.com, an online readers club that offers members exclusive, early access to some of the hottest new authors, deep discounts on new and bestselling romance ebooks, and a nonstop party for both readers and authors.  

At the heart of Discover a New Love are monthly ebook selections that offer members the opportunity to download an ebook from one of the major romance subgenres: contemporary, paranormal, and historical (plus a special “wild card” title thrown in for fun).  While many selections will feature sizzling new debuts and rising stars, members will be pleased to find nationally bestselling authors like Georgette Heyer, Grace Burrowes, Catherine Mann, and Carolyn Brown in the monthly mixes.   

“Readers have a hard time figuring out what they should try next.  It’s an issue of discovery—finding great new authors with amazing stories,” says Deb Werksman, Editorial Manager.  “Now, they can choose their favorite categories, and we’ll treat them to something new on a monthly basis, sometimes even before these new books are available to the public.”

Membership to Discover a New Love is offered for as little as $1.67 per book and provides access to the monthly selections, “members-only” deals, sneak peeks of forthcoming titles, and author chats. “For what you’d normally pay for one romance, you can now buy two or three,” says Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks Senior Editor. “It’s a fabulous way to read your favorite authors and get a chance to try new ones without putting a big dent in the book budget.”  

In addition to great ebook deals, each month readers can join Barbara Vey, romance fiction expert and blogger of Beyond Her Book, as well as featured authors, for online parties to celebrate their books and discuss all things romance!

“I’m thrilled to be involved in a venture that brings readers and authors together, because what’s more fun than talking about romance with like-minded people?” says Vey, who will be regularly blogging and hosting parties for Discover a New Love. “The only thing better than reading good romance is talking about it with other readers who love it just as much as you do.”

A couple of other notes about Discover a New Love:

  • In response to reader demand, many of the featured ebooks will be available on a worldwide basis.
  • The ebooks offered will be DRM free. Sourcebooks wants readers to own the books and for those ebooks to be portable across ereading devices and platforms.
  • Discover a New Love is starting with Sourcebooks titles, and is looking to work with other publishers to make their authors available on this new model.

“Discover a New Love is a new model built directly in response to what we’ve heard from authors, agents, and readers,” says Dominique Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks. “Expect a lot of experimentation from us.”

DiscoverANewLove.com officially launches at 9:00 a.m. CST officially Tuesday, April 10, in time for the RT Book Lovers Convention in Chicago. The featured titles for the month of April are: One Hot Cowboy Wedding by New York Times bestselling novelist Carolyn Brown, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal by New York Times bestselling novelist Grace Burrowes (released one month early to members), Tempted by Elisabeth Naughton, and Mariana by New York Times bestselling novelist Susanna Kearsley.

For more information about Sourcebooks, its authors, and new initiatives, visit www.sourcebooks.com.

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ABOUT SOURCEBOOKS:
Sourcebooks is a forward-thinking, independent publishing house with a passion for books and a dedication to the belief that books change lives. We are committed to innovative publishing, where every book is personal and every author’s voice has a place. We are a group of passionate, energetic, and enthusiastic book lovers, and we are committed to helping readers experience each book. Sourcebooks has more than 70 employees, publishes more than 300 new titles each year, and celebrates its success with 18 New York Times bestsellers, including Carolyn Brown, Grace Burrowes, Georgette Heyer, Susanna Kearsley, Jill Mansell, and Terry Spear. Please check out the Sourcebooks blog and follow us on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Danielle L. Jackson, Senior Publicist – Sourcebooks
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(630) 536-0526
@SourcebooksCasa

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In celebration of today’s anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach, Sourcebooks MediaFusion is releasing an enhanced, introductory ebook on the life and music of the famed classical music composer. Johann Sebastian Bach 2Go, along with enhanced products on three additional composers—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 2Go, Ludwig van Beethoven 2Go, and Joseph Haydn 2Go—are available now for $2.99 in the ibookstore.

The classical music enhanced ebooks were designed to give you an introduction to the world of classical music through the composer’s work. In each ebook, you’ll not only discover the life and work of each composer through a thorough introduction to the artist and cues for what to consider when listening to his work, but, more importantly, throughout the text you’ll find embedded audio excerpts of the composer’s work. You can listen to short, representative samples as well as longer pieces by the composer.

For anyone from classical music aficionados and devotees to students and newcomers, this interplay of text and audio will allow you to more fully experience each composer’s contributions to classical music, and will become a jumping-off point through which you’ll want to discover more.

Sourcebooks has also released Presidential 2Gos from the multimedia book My Fellow Americans, by Michael Waldman (director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995–1999). Ronald Reagan 2Go, Franklin Delano Roosevelt 2Go, John F. Kennedy 2Go, and George Washington 2Go are also available in the ibookstore $2.99. With these enhanced ebooks, you’ll discover some of each president’s most notable speeches, including the entire text of the speech and a brief introduction by noted political journalist and broadcaster George Stephanopoulos. Most importantly, you’ll be able to hear the heart of the speeches, either faithfully re-created by a guest contributor or delivered by the president himself.


Monday, March 19, 2012

This Sunday I had the opportunity to present during the Tools of Change (TOC) conference at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, a daylong event filled with a ton of interesting conversation on the digital world of kids’ books.

A number of people I met there have asked me for my slides and as promised, I’ve posted the full presentation below. The presentation focused on the changing world of children’s books, and these were some of the key points that I found interesting. 

I would love to hear your thoughts and/or questions!

dom-sig sm

 

The slides can also be found directly on SlideShare.
Sourcebooks Publisher and CEO Dominique Raccah’s presentation on the changing world of children’s books, from the the 2012 Tools of Change (TOC) conference in Bologna, Italy.

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