Open Road Launches New Book Club With Fab Over Fifty

In News by Porter Anderson

Open Road Integrated Media works with Fab Over Fifty to create a new book club, ‘Spread the Words,’ which opens this month with Erica Jong’s ‘Fear of Flying.’

Image – iStockphoto: Rido Franz

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘New and Mutually Beneficial Partnerships’
A new monthly book club in the US called Spread the Words has been announced by Open Road Integrated Media in association with the Fab Over Fifty program.

The book club is tied to Open Road’s daily Early Bird Books newsletter, which offers recipients ebook deals and a dedicated site.

The FabOverFifty is a community “where women of substance share their style,” established by magazine publisher Geri Brin in 2010. Each month, the Early Bird Books and Fab Over Fifty staffs will choose a book and encourage consumers to read along. According to media messaging on the new program, “Throughout the month, discussion questions and other material related to the book and the author will be posted on the Facebook group page, culminating in a Facebook Live event with the author in which readers can ask questions and talk about the book.”

The first title chosen for the program is Erica Jong’s 1973 Fear of Flying, the 40th anniversary edition of which was published by Open Road in 2013. Currently described in promotional copy as, “The blockbuster novel of female freedom and empowerment that launched a sexual revolution,” the five-year-0ld edition from Open Road includes an introduction by Fay Weldon.

Jong, the author of more than 25 books read in at least 45 languages, is scheduled to participate in a Facebook Live event on September 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET (22:30 GMT).

Descriptive material on the new Spread the Words book club landing page at FabOverFifty reads, “As a busy FabOverFifty woman, finding time to read is not always easy—and finding a good book can be even harder. Yet reading is one of life’s true joys. We’re launching this Spread the Words book club in partnership with Early Bird Books to inspire you to read more.

“We’ll save you the time it takes to research and find your next great book. And we’ll connect you with other women reading the same book—so you can get more out of your reading experience and share your thoughts, observations, and questions. We’ll also introduce you to the author, who will host a Facebook Live chat at the end of each month, [in which] you can hear his or her personal insights and inspiration—and even ask your own questions.”

The program offers a digital copy of the book for US2.99, which Open Road’s sales page says is 85 percent off the usual price of $19.99.

Reading guide questions recommended for readers to consider as they read Jong’s book include:

  • “Isadora struggles to be her own woman in a man’s world. How do you think things have changed for women since the 1960s and how are they the same?
  • “Isadora says relationships are always unequal, that those who love us most we love the least, and vice versa. Do you agree?
  • “How was Isadora shaped by her mother and sisters? Do you think her mother’s advice to reject the ordinary caused her pain or happiness?
  • “The book ends on an ambiguous note. What do you think happens when Bennett walks in on Isadora? Is the ending affirmative or a comeuppance? Is the bathtub scene a rebirth, as some have said?
  • “What is it about Isadora that provokes empathy?
  • “Isadora often blurs the distinction between fantasy and reality. Is this seen as a virtue, a vice, or both?
  • “Isadora seems to feel most free when she’s experiencing sexual pleasure and when she’s writing. What’s the connection between these two aspects of her world?”

In a prepared statement about the creation of the new book club, Open Road chief marketing officer, Mary McAveney, is quoted, saying, “The launch of ‘Spread the Words’ expands Open Road Media’s audience and underscores our commitment to developing new and mutually beneficial partnerships that bring great books to more readers.”

Open Road’s Early Bird Books is one of a suite of newsletters which have become the vehicles of various verticals through which the company provides its Ignition program marketing opportunities. They include The Lineup (true crime, horror, mystery, paranormal); The Portalist (science fiction, fantasy); Murder & Mayhem (mystery and thrillers); The Archive (history, nonfiction); and A Love So True (romance).

Open Road Integrated Media indicates on its site that it now has more than 1 million newsletter subscribers and more than 3 million page views from 1.4 million unique visitors per month.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Open Road Integrated Media is here. And more of our Industry Notes series is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.