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Posts Tagged ‘Gather.com’

ITW Prepares for a Serial Thrill

In May 2006, the International Thriller Writers organization was gearing up to launch its first anthology, THRILLER; its first fan conference, ThrillerFest, and a whole host of related activities. The infrastructure was in place for what would prove to be a successful anthology and conference, but as always, a big question loomed: what to do next?

The same question was on the minds of the folks at Audible, the Newark-based audio book publisher. Sales of titles were growing and a partnership with iTunes continued to help land them new listeners. But what of something wholly original, built entirely from the ground up that would grab people’s attention in a major way? They couldn’t do it alone, though; a partner would have to be brought on board.

It would take a few months of coordination and logistical hurdles, but in the end, ITW and Audible found common ground in the form of what’s currently titled the Serial Thriller. Set to launch “sometime this fall,” according to Audible Director of Content Steve Feldberg, the project, edited by Jim Fusilli, is a book-length format written in series by some of the genre’s top names and emerging talents. Jeffery Deaver will author the opening and closing chapters; others announced as adding intervening 14-odd chapters include Lee Child, Lisa Scottoline, David Hewson and Joseph Finder. Once all the chapters are written (something that Fusilli says should happen by the beginning of July) Audible will recruit a single narrator to record the entire serial novel, which Feldberg adds is tentatively scheduled to be released`2 chapters at a time over the course of eight weeks.

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Touchstone Tries the Contest Thing Again With Gather.com

So the Sobol Awards are toast, and the winner of that “contest” won’t be published by Simon & Schuster‘s Touchstone/Fireside imprint. But that hasn’t stopped the imprint from trying again on the contest front, this time with Gather.com (which recently inked a deal with Borders), described in Julie Bosman‘s NYT piece as a “social networking site for grownups.” The idea for the contest was hatched on a Gather.com literary cruise in October, when S&S marketing executives casually brainstormed with Gather.com employees on how the companies might combine their efforts. The publisher was looking for new ways to recruit literary talent, and Gather.com executives were trying to supplement their popular short-story contests with a contest for a full-length work of fiction.

And so the contest, called First Chapters, was born. Unpublished writers can enter free by submitting a manuscript for a full-length work of fiction. Each entry’s first chapter will be posted on Gather.com and voted on by members of the site. In the next round, the second chapters of the top 20 manuscripts will be posted, followed by a vote; a subsequent round will post the third chapters of the top 10, followed by a vote. In the fourth and final round, the entire manuscripts of five finalists will go before a “Grand Prize Judging Panel,” to include Carolyn Reidy, the president of the adult publishing group at Simon & Schuster, and George Jones, the chief executive of Borders. The winner will receive a book contract from Touchstone and $5,000 from Gather.com. “It is akin to an ‘American Idol’ for thinking people,” snarked Tom Gerace, the chief executive of Gather.com. We’re thinking it’s rather akin to the UK’s Lit Idol which garnered headlines a couple of years back.

Borders Joins Forces with Gather.com

Borders and Gather.com have announced a joint project in which shoppers at the superstore chain can click on to the social media Web site and share their thoughts on books, music and other entertainment, the Associated Press reports. Under the new program, Borders customers who receive informational e-mails from the chain will be offered links to a Borders.Gather.com chat room that will also feature author interviews and information on author readings. Users of the new site will be able to accumulate points redeemable for Borders gift cards and other products.

“The power of social networking and social media is changing the way companies interact with their customers,” Gather.com CEO Tom Gerace said Tuesday in a statement. “Borders is a brand that appeals to highly educated and highly informed adults who are the core of the Gather.com community.”