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Posts Tagged ‘HarperPerennial’

Rise of the Co-Ed Book Club

Popular culture has taught us that book clubs should be divided by gender. HarperPerennial and Plume hope to encourage co-ed book clubs with the “Ultra Violet Reading Challenge.”

To support Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman and The Violets of March by Sarah Jio, the publishers are encouraging co-ed book clubs to host violet-themed book parties. Follow this link to sign up on Facebook–co-ed clubs can win prizes and interact with the authors online.

Jio gave this statement in the release: “I know very few women who read books with the men in their lives, and zero women who go to co-ed book clubs. I found that Domestic Violets and The Violets of March share themes that men and women can all relate to: loss, the complexities of marriage, trust, forgiveness, finding our way, and so much more. We both write about the male and female experience from two different perspectives.”

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Not Exactly an Average American Marketing Plan

Yesterday the WSJ’s Jeff Trachtenberg featured HarperCollins‘ efforts to reach the widest possible target audience for Chad Kultgen‘s hot-potato debut novel THE AVERAGE AMERICAN MALE, highlighting the still-unusual (though not for much longer) tactic of marketing a novel almost exclusively online. Originally, the publishing house thought to market the book cheaply with lots of stories in the press but that proved a no-go when the ribald novel purporting to show, in crudest possible fashion, how men really think proved to be too steamy for most newspaper and magazine editors to touch. Even with the more permissive atmosphere we enjoy online, Ron hesitated to embed the following clip without warning readers that while it’s not quite NSFW, it’s not exactly appropriate for work, either…

This and two similar videos were uploaded to YouTube and have since spread elsewhere on the Internet, including MySpace. Now THE AVERAGE AMERICAN MALE has gone back for a third printing and the videos have become a Web sensation, with more than one million verified views in the past two weeks. “We needed to go where the average American male readership would be: online, passing around funny quirky videos,” said David Roth-Ey, editorial director of HarperPerennial, adding that he is talking about men under the age of 40. “If we were going to find them, it wouldn’t be by advertising in the New Yorker.” Still, the limits of the strategy are clear. Only a fraction of the million views has so far turned into sales, likely because the people watching the videos aren’t frequent book buyers. As Kultgen said, “Now we’ll see if the views translate into book sales.”