Publishing News: Avon Social Reader

Avon released the following announcement Tuesday concerning their new social reader app:

The Avon Social Reader
New App integrates with Facebook to allow advance excerpts, sharing, and DRM-free purchasing

New York, NY – October 16, 2012 –Around the world, women are reading in new ways, often online or on a device, and sharing what they read via social media outlets. In many cases, Facebook has become a key part of the equation. Consumers are spending hours each day browsing the latest headlines while interacting with their friends, families and acquaintances through the platform. Now, leading romance publisher Avon Books is piloting a free Facebook app, , which will give readers the chance to read excerpts from Avon’s latest books, share their favorites with friends, and discover new content based on what their friends are reading. Up to 20 percent of each book will be available to read, and once a book is browsed in the app, a person can choose to have that book show up in their News Feed or timeline for friends to see. There will also be clickable buy links to DRM-free editions of the selected Avon books from Consumers can also choose to purchase DRM-enabled versions of the books at other online retailers.

A recent online consumer survey indicated that romance readers are highly active in the digital arena, purchasing e-books and sharing information via social channels. Many of the respondents pointed to Facebook as being the center point of their social/digital sharing world. “Many are using apps to share the news stories that they are reading online instantly with their friends,” says Liate Stehlik, Senior Vice President and Publisher of William Morrow and Avon Books. “The recent word-of-mouth phenomenon surrounding Fifty Shades of Gray confirms that women are talking about the books they are reading in equal measure. Thus, Avon worked to create a simple way for friends to connect on Facebook over the books they are most passionate about.”

She continues, “The Avon Social Reader is a fun, user-friendly way for readers to sample an interesting mix of excerpts posted to this Facebook app every month, and then virally spread the news about what they are reading via social media.”

Partnering with allows Avon, for the first time, to offer a DRM-free option to their authors and readers, “a publishing capability many of them had asked us to pursue,” Stehlik says. The files can be delivered as secure Adobe ePub -book editions. Bestselling author Tessa Dare expresses her excitement, saying, “I know that DRM can be a frustration for honest, paying readers who just want to purchase and read books on their preferred devices. Avon’s experiment will help me reach a new segment of the digital readership.” New York Times bestseller Cathy Maxwell says, “I’m excited that readers will now have a new way to get the inside scoop on our books – and what a great, easy way to share with all of their friends on Facebook!”
The Avon Social Reader is intuitive and easy to use. Fully integrated within Facebook Platform, the app enables readers to flip from status updates to a book excerpt that a friend is reading with one quick click. The more they use the app and interact, the better it gets!
The Avon Social Reader will be launched out via Facebook today, with excerpts and buy links for the following titles:

· A Blood Seduction: A Vamp City Novel by Pamela Palmer
· A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare
· A Night Like This by Julia Quinn
· A Scandalous Scot by Karen Ranney
· A Warrior’s Promise by Donna Fletcher
· A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
· After the Abduction by Sabrina Jeffries
· Chosen: A Dark Breed Novel by Sable Grace
· Confessions from an Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville
· Darkness Becomes Her by Jaime Rush
· Dark Desire by Christine Feehan
· How to Be a Proper Lady: A Falcon Club Novel by Katharine Ashe
· Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure: A Summersby Tale by Sophie Barnes
· Last Vamp Standing by Kristin Miller
· Lyon’s Bride: The Chattan Curse by Cathy Maxwell
· Mating Season: A Cabin Fever Novella by Alice Gaines
· Nine Lives of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista
· Once Burned: A Night Prince Novel by Jeaniene Frost
· Perilous Pleasures by Jenny Brown
· Sins of a Virgin by Anna Randol
· Skies of Fire: The Ether Chronicles by Zoe Archer
· Tarnished: The St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper
· The Art of Duke Hunting by Sophia Nash
· The Way to a Duke’s Heart: The Truth About the Duke by Caroline Linden
· Under a Vampire Moon: An Argeneau Novel by Lynsay Sands
· Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks
· When Dreams Come True by Cathy Maxwell
· Wicked Road to Hell: A League of Guardians Novel by Juliana Stone
· Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

More information about The Avon Social Reader is available online at Avon’s Facebook page, or via the direct link, .

What are your thoughts on this news? Is this a social platform you will use? Something you never knew you needed until it was there? Is the idea of substantial excerpts or DRM-free purchasing something that will draw you in? Or are you already tapped out on social media and sharing?

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15 Responses to Publishing News: Avon Social Reader

  1. farmwifetwo says:

    A – it’ll be this side of never before I use facebook…. so that’s not a problem.

    B – I’ve spent a lot of years finding my fav corners of the net and again don’t see the need to play anywhere else.

    C – I’m a lazy buyer and although I get the kindle freebies for my phone, I only buy via Kobo.

    I’m quite comfortable now in “internet-land” and don’t feel the need to play anywhere else.

  2. maggie b. says:

    I don’t like the idea of everyone on Facebook knowing what I am doing. I rarely use the site and this just frightens me frankly. I am waiting for the court case where someone is convicted based on their facebook activity.

  3. Leigh says:

    I might use it but not that much. Not many of my fans on Facebook are romance readers.

    • Leigh AAR says:

      Leigh: I might use it but not that much.Not many of my fans on Facebook are romance readers.

      LOL – friends, not fans. I have no ideal how I typed fans -

  4. VictoriaS says:

    I must second farmwifetwo on points A ,B on point C change Kobo to Amazon and her conclusion. I too, have found my internet comfort level and am fine where I am.

    What is DRM-free?

  5. LeeB. says:

    I’m on Facebook but I don’t want to discuss all of my reading material there. And just to discuss excerpts? Nah.

    • Kayne says:

      I agree. I would much rather go to an author’s website to get excerpts. I don’t want to have to join someone’s Facebook page and have it show up onto my Facebook page. Facebook is moving more and more towards advertising and I resent it. I agree with others that have already posted on this and appreciate your comments. I thought I was the only one. I stay on Facebook to see friends and family photos and news, not to be a marketing tool.

  6. Jane A says:

    No way am I using Facebook for this purpose! Not my cuppa.

  7. Eggletina says:

    I don’t use facebook for any type of consumerism. I rarely use it, but when I do, it’s only to keep up with family and a few close friends who use it. I don’t like the idea of people knowing everything I think or do, either. It’s rather suffocating, actually.

  8. Jean Wan says:

    I’m not on Facebook. I deliberately deactivated my account. I’m not interested, and it pisses me off actually that the DRM-free version privileges only those who are on Facebook. Give the DRM-free version to a special Avon Romance Club Member? Sure. Spread it to those who happen to be on a social networking site? Fundamentally unfair.

    But that being said, I’ll just speak out for the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are interested (and may not say so here) – this new venture will be a way to streamline their romance interactions and get extra perks on a platform that they know and love. And considering that 1 in 7 people globally are now on Facebook, my voice (and several others) are probably in the minority of the romance community, and that’s not going to change. So I get over it, and find other ways to get books.

  9. Leigh says:

    I hate to sound ageist but I can totally see young girls (who used to spend hours on the phone) totally loving this – but only if the offerings are something that is in now . . . like the Twilight franchise

  10. Tessa Dare says:

    Just popping by to say that the DRM-free versions of the books are available for anyone to purchase from the All Romance site. Using the Facebook application isn’t required.

    • LeeB. says:

      Tessa Dare: Just popping by to say that the DRM-free versions of the books are available for anyone to purchase from the All Romance site. Using the Facebook application isn’t required.

      Thanks for letting everyone know Tessa!

  11. Blythe says:

    @Tessa Dare – that’s good to know.

    Maybe I am the only one who will admit to fairly heavy facebook use? I check it all the time. Really, all the time. I am kind of annoyed with the way ads pop up in the mobile version. (I’m not really sure how many times I have to tell facebook that I am not going to “like” Mitt Romney or Wal-Mart, but apparently, it’s a lot). But for all it’s flaws, I still enjoy it. I just like seeing what everyone I’ve ever met is up to every day.

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