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:
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:
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,