By Alex Mutter
Romance publisher Avon Books announced on Tuesday a new, free Facebook app called the Avon Social Reader, which will allow users to read excerpts from Avon’s newest titles, share favorites with friends and discover new books based on what their friends are reading.
Users can read up to 20% of each title on the app, and then choose to post the book on their timelines or News Feed for friends to see and comment on, and Avon has partnered with allromanceebooks.com to provide buy links to DRM-free versions of their titles.
The app looks to capitalize on the fact that many romance readers are highly active online, buying numerous e-books and frequently sharing information about new titles and authors with other readers. Avon has paid close attention to the success of some recent blockbusters, as well.
“The recent word-of-mouth phenomenon surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey confirms that women are talking about the books they are reading in equal measure,” said Liate Stehlik, Senior Vice President and Publisher of William Morrow and Avon Books, in a press release. “Thus, Avon worked to create a simple way for friends to connect on Facebook over the books they are most passionate about.”
This marks the first time that Avon has offered DRM-free options for their authors and readers, a move that many requested. The DRM-free files are delivered as Adobe EPUB editions, and it marks the one of the first times a Big Six publisher has opted to go with out the prophylactic of DRM.
The Avon Social Reader is available now on Facebook, with excerpts and buy links for nearly thirty titles.