I had to share a note from Pam Laycock, Executive Vice President of Strategy & New Business Development:
“Anyone in the vicinity of our offices may have heard the screams of delight when we looked at the daily bestseller list for eReader.com, our largest eBook retailer. We had Harlequin Presents titles in the #1 and #2 spots….followed by The Da Vinci Code at #3!
“Imagine, we beat The Da Vinci Code. In total, we had 7 titles in the top 50. Our eBook program is still small, but it is definitely holding its own against more diverse lists from other publishers. And when you look at the entire list, it definitely shows the relevance of romance – especially in the digital age.
“Many thanks to the multi-functional team that has brought eBooks to life!”
eBooks offer the opportunity to connect readers to “big books” but also provide a wonderful opportunity to link readers to all kinds of different types of stories and allow publishers to offer a much broader range of choice. There was an interesting article in Wired Magazine some time ago that introduced the concept of The Long Tail—talking about the ability that new technology offers to search for and cost-effectively sell content beyond the bestsellers. For some types of businesses and creators, the potential new business model illustrated by The Long Tail may offer some intriguing new opportunities.
Along the lines of the power of stories, I also got a note from Anne Fontanesi, one of our National Account executives, talking about a January 2007 title, Silent in the Grave by Deanna Rayburn. She’d been sharing a few advanced reading copies (ARCs) of the title and just heard from one of her buyers that they “couldn’t put it down.” Music to our ears! She gave a copy to Lani Clegg of the Carmel Apple Book Club, who simply said, "Finished SITG. Loved it!"
Another great story Anne shared was that she gave a copy to Patricia Pinkerton, the UC San Diego head rowing coach, who shares a passion for rowing and reading with Anne. “A few weeks later she marched up to me, shook her fist and said, ‘You are evil! I stayed up all night reading Silent in the Grave. It is wonderful.’ Since Pattie coaches a nationally ranked crew and regularly gets up at 4:45am for 18 hour days, that is compelling praise indeed!"
And I'd just like to add: Thank you Pattie, and GO TRITONS!!!!!!
That is what a great story can do—it can capture people’s imaginations, transport them to a different place, somewhere they don’t want to leave…even when their eyes are closing!
It really is all about the story.