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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, AvonSocialReader.com, 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 allromanceebooks.com.  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 allromanceebooks.com 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, www.facebook.com/avonromance or via the direct link, www.AvonSocialReader.com.

*posted with permission from Avon

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I love erotic romance and have ever since I stumbled across HELLION by Bertrice Small when I was 13 years old. I had no clue it was an erotic romance (I didn’t even know that existed) but I curled up to enjoy the adventures of Lady Isabelle and her Saxon knight. That’s when I read my first menage scene. And I found out about anal sex. I didn’t even know a penis could go there! I’d been living in the romance world of “throbbing manhoods” and “clenching wombs.” I was shocked and more than a little giggly. It was a few more years before I started to appreciate how the more erotic aspects built the stories. How it added depth to the characters and helped define the relationship.

From there, I moved on to authors like Emma Holly and Susan Johnson. I may not have loved all the stories but I never finished an Emma Holly book and thought meh. They all made me feel. Then about 6 years ago, I found digital books. Glory, glory! Tons of erotic romances were right at my fingertips. I found books like COLTERS’ WOMAN by Maya Banks which is totally over the top and I loved every second of it. It’s still one of my most frequent rereads. Through digital, I also found Lauren Dane and read all of her books, both digital and print. LAID BARE broke my heart. Yes, an erotic romance that many  casually dismiss as “chick porn” left me a sobbing mess and made such a huge impact. That’s just a few examples of the books I’ve loved over the years.

Unfortunately, it takes my trusted authors months to write a book and it only takes me a few hours to read them. They just can’t keep up with my reading schedule and that has me constantly on the hunt for something new. Which brings me to now. I’m about 20% into my current read, an erotic romance, and it is dragging for me. I’m feeling kind of meh about the whole thing. Then I realized this has been the norm for me for a while. I checked Goodreads and discovered in the last 6 months, I’ve only read five erotic romances that have hit over 3 stars. That’s unheard of for me. This is my go-to genre yet I’m starting to sound like a broken record in my reviews. “The sex is hot but…” That but is usually followed by me saying I didn’t connect with the characters, I didn’t believe the ending, or I felt no emotion between the lead characters.

That leaves me with a question I don’t know the answer to. Is it just me? Am I finally burning out on the genre? Or, with the 50 SHADES OF GREY popularity, is the market so glutted with erotic romance that we are sacrificing quality for quantity with the emphasis being on how hot the sex can be and no longer focused on the emotional aspect?

Thoughts? Opinions? Have you ran into this problem? Or is it just me?

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Part 2 of Vince August’s interview with Artist Jon Paul went up today. 🙂

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Found this video in my inbox today. The Art of Romance, Part 1, with Jon Paul. A behind the scenes look on how Jon Paul works. 🙂 I love his work, the covers are so gorgeous.

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RomanceLive!

The ‘Traditional’ Book Signing Revolutionized:

New York Times Bestselling Authors Julia Quinn and Elizabeth Boyle

Featured in Streaming Online Book & Author Event

 

Friday, June 3, 2011; 7:00pm PST/ 10pm EST;

Live from Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing (Beaverton, OR)

www.avonromancelive.com

New York Times bestselling authors Julia Quinn and Elizabeth Boyle headline a much-anticipated virtual book signing, powered by Vivo, taking place at 7:00pm PST on Friday June, 3, 2011. Veteran romance writers Quinn and Boyle will discuss their latest releases JUST LIKE HEAVEN and LORD LANGLEY IS BACK IN TOWN (respectively). Both authors with answer questions and sign copies for virtual event attendees, as well as those who attend live from Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, OR. Information regarding the streaming event can be found online at www.avonromancelive.com.

“This is the seventh live-streaming event brought to fans by Avon Books,” says Senior Publicity Director Pam Jaffee. “Our recent ‘online signing’ from Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro MD featured authors such as Nora Roberts and Jeaniene Frost, and was enjoyed by more than 1500 romance fans around the world via Livestream.  Attendees travelled (virtually) from as far as Germany, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Ireland, Nigeria and Tunisia!”

What is an “untraditional” event in this day and age? These new streaming signings marry bricks-and-mortar with online; driving a dedicated digital fanbase to support stores at local independent booksellers.

“We’re eager to have Julia back,” says Regional Marketing and Publicity Manager of Powell’s Books Michal Drannen. “That she’s joined by Elizabeth Boyle, and that the evening will be streamed live makes the event doubly exciting. Fans of romance, this is one event you won’t want to miss!”

Readers can contact the skilled staff at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing (503 228 4651) to order personalized copies of the participating authors’ newest titles.  Newly released books from both authors include JUST LIKE HEAVEN by Julia Quinn and LORD LANGLEY IS BACK IN TOWN by Elizabeth Boyle.

More information is available online at www.livestream.com/romance and http://www.powells.com/biblio/2-9780061491900-42

WHEN:

Friday June, 3, 2011

7:00pm PST/ 10:00pm EST

WHERE:

Virtual event at www.avonromancelive.com

Live Book Signing at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing (3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR, 97005)

NOTE: Readers can log onto the Powell’s website to pre-order signed and personalized books.

http://www.powells.com/biblio/2-9780061491900-42

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Spreading the News!

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I just had this come through my email and felt the need to share. I love things like this. 🙂 Author Ashley March has started a new company called Book Giveaways Today. Website says it starts up in April 2011. From her blog post, she says:

To those of you who are my readers: Don’t worry. I’m still writing books. This is just another passion of mine.

One night a while ago when I was up in the middle of the night with the baby, I had an idea. That idea has evolved into a project of mine called Book Giveaways Today (www.bookgiveawaystoday.com). Book Giveaways Today is the parent company/site, with 10 different subsidiary sites:

Romance Giveaways (www.romancegiveaways.com)

eRomance Giveaway (www.eromancegiveaways.com)

YA Giveaways (www.yagiveaways.com)

Fiction Giveaways (www.fictiongiveaways.com)

eFiction Giveaways (www.efictiongiveaways.com)

Non-Fiction Giveaways (www.nonfictiongiveaways.com)

Kids’ Book Giveaways (www.kidsbookgiveaways.com)

Christian Book Giveaways (www.christianbookgiveaways.com)

Christian Fiction Giveaways (www.christianfictiongiveaways.com)

Christian eFiction Giveaways (www.christianefictiongiveaways.com)

At each of the sites listed above, you will be able to enter every single day for a chance to win 9 books. That’s a total of 90 books! The best part is that there’s no registration, no logging in, etc. All you have to do is enter your email address for the book that you are interested in winning. Another great thing? All of the giveaways are open to international residents.

If you prefer to read e-books, there are three sites dedicated just to e-books: eRomance Giveaways, eFiction Giveaways, and ChristianeFictionGiveaways. In addition, print books and e-books will be offered on the other seven sites. Self-published books can be found on the three dedication e-book sites, and also in their own separate category on the other seven sites.

And another very important thing, which I feel really strongly about: 10% of any proceeds received by Book Giveaways Today through author promotions or advertisements goes to ProLiteracy to help the fight against illiteracy.

So why did I want to create Book Giveaways Today? When the idea first came to me, my first thought was that it would simply be awesome. 90 books a day? Yes, my name is Ashley, and I’m an overachiever. I ran the idea past a few of my readers, and received some very excited, enthusiastic feedback. That’s when I knew that others would think it was just as awesome as I did.

But when I continued thinking about the idea (meaning, when I finally got a full five hours asleep after I put the baby back to bed), I came up with three reasons why I wanted to do this.

1) Supporting Authors

As an author, I know how difficult it is to get our names and books out there in front of readers who are actually interested in the types of books we read. I wanted to create a platform where readers would come to the authors. If I created only one website, that didn’t give all types of authors a chance to interact with readers. By creating ten different websites with various sub-genres/categories on each site, people who like to read specific books can easily find the authors who write them. In addition, because I’m an author and know what our budgets look like, I wanted to create a promotional avenue that wasn’t cost-prohibitive.

2) Growing the Reading Community

If you’re a reader like me, you love free books. Who wouldn’t? And a chance to win the type of books you like to read every single day…? As I said above, that’s just plain awesome. But beyond the great opportunities readers have to win free books, my dream is for readers to tell others about what they’re reading, to write reviews, to spread information about the books they win through word of mouth. I want Book Giveaways Today to spark a reading community throughout the world, larger than the one we already have.

To that end, each site will include online book clubs for each category inside that site. (For example, in Romance Giveaways, there will be book clubs for historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, etc.) This way, people who don’t have an opportunity or the time to join a book club in their city can come together and discuss books with other fellow readers. The books chosen each month for the book clubs are chosen by you–when you enter to win a book each day, after you read about that book (including an excerpt), you’ll be able to nominate that book for the next month’s book club. The book in that category that has the most nominations becomes the next month’s book club. This way, the book isn’t just a random title selected by Book Giveaways Today; it’s a book that most of the readers thought looked interesting and decided they wanted to invest their time and money (if they didn’t win it!) to discuss it online.

And because I love giving things away (as those of you who follow me on Facebook already know), each site will feature a readers rewards program: the more you interact in the online book clubs and the other future programs we’re planning, the more points you receive. And when you get a certain number of points, you can earn a prize. Think of it like your grocery store club card–only a lot, lot better.

3) Fighting Illiteracy

As I mentioned above, 10% of all proceeds through author promotions and advertising will go toward fighting illiteracy by donations to ProLiteracy. This simply makes sense to me. If one of the goals of Book Giveaways Today is to grow the reading community, then the best way we can do this is by helping others learn how to read. I know some people choose not to read, but I think everyone wants to read should be able to.

And that’s about it: Supporting Authors. Growing the Reading Community. Fighting Illiteracy.

The first site to be launched will be Romance Giveaways, coming in April 2011. If you’re a romance reader, be sure to sign up for the launch notification on www.romancegiveaways.com. Also, you can follow Romance Giveaways on Facebook and have a chance to win one book every day (soon it will be 9 books each day in April!).

If you’re an author, publisher, or advertiser interested in learning how you can promote with Book Giveaways Today, you can email me at: ashley@bookgiveawaystoday.com.

Thanks for reading about my new project!

How cool does this sound? I wish I had thought of something like this but am very happy to help get the word out for Ashley. So go! Go sign up for the newsletter. Sign up for whatever genre grabs your attention. Have fun & Good Luck! 🙂 You can also find them at Twitter and on Facebook.

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