Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is proud to announce the launch of a dynamic new website at www.AvonRomance.com. The AvonRomance.com site is a groundbreaking home for the active romance community, featuring sneak peeks at forthcoming novels, full access to beloved backlist gems, content-rich author microsites, expansive beyond the book content, original videos, author essays, sweepstakes, and book tour information. There will even be a direct click-thru to Romance Radio, a new BlogTalkRadio.com station hosted by Avon Books which gives voice to the writers of America's most popular fiction genre.

The site showcases HarperCollins' “Browse Inside” feature, which enables readers to flip through chapters of new and backlist books online, creating a “virtual bookstore” reading experience. The new AvonRomance.com site will also roll out Avon’s exclusive "Love Gives Back" campaign, which allows readers to preview the opening chapter of the season's Avon romances two full weeks before they are in stores!

In addition, a number of Avon authors' favorite books will be available online in their entirety, for free, within the Browse Inside reader, throughout the summer and fall. As fans view the pages of the new advance preview books, Avon Books will track these visits and donate books to ProLiteracy Worldwide, a nonprofit international organization that champions the life-changing benefits of literacy for adults and their families by sponsoring educational programs that help adults and their families acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives.

Liate Stehlik, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Avon Books, notes, “The recent explosion of viral marketing tools provides evidence that easily accessible online content (videos, audio, and interactive text) has forever changed the way that readers reach out to the authors they love, and discover what they want to be reading next. Online interactivity is the future of the romance genre--and romance readers are among the most tech-savvy of all consumers; we've created Avon's new web presence specifically to enable readers to get a more integrated experience of author, book, and community.”

AvonRomance.com aspires to be the top online destination site for romance readers. The site will actively bring fans closer to authors; help them discover new authors, and keep consumers entertained with fresh, updated content. Sneak previews of upcoming titles and full access to backlist favorites are expected to help increase the site's “sticky” appeal: “Books that are sneak peaked get more than 100 times the visits of books that don't have online previews,” notes Stehlik. “It's a win-win situation. Fans get a taste of forthcoming novels before they hit shelves, and, when readers are allowed to browse inside a book early, these page views are converting to the preview links being forwarded to a friend, and book pre-orders increase exponentially.”

Consumer click-throughs of these “Browse Inside” previews will help Avon’s "Love Gives Back" charity initiative (www.lovegivesback.com). From August 19, 2008 to December 23, 2008, Avon will donate books to ProLiteracy Worldwide, an organization that promotes literacy around the world. “We're urging people to 'CLICK, BROWSE, SHARE' to start reading and share the love,” says Stehlik.

As part of Avon’s focus on building a romance destination, the imprint is thrilled to be a part of Authors on Air, an online radio station where Avon has launched the Romance Radio program. This new platform allows authors to directly connect with their fans and gives Avon the ability to bring authors together to discuss what’s hot in romance right now. A recent program can be heard HERE.

Visitors should check into AvonRomance.com on a regular basis to get advance access to a variety of promotional videos, host a hub of author sweepstakes, and showcase a sampling of current media coverage promoting Avon authors and the romance industry. The new website will link to the Avon blog (www.avonromanceblog.com).

To top it off, AvonRomance.com provides a central location for readers to browse compelling author microsites. These content rich, multifaceted author pages enable authors to create and post new information, images, and links that will engage and entertain readers. All these pages will be centralized for fans into an exclusive, comprehensive and authoritative information hub about all their favorite authors…and will help readers discover what fresh new voices to read next.

“Readers are asking us to provide much more author content. Our proprietary Author Assistant platform, which Avon has piloted for HarperCollins, puts a free tool in the hands of authors to enable them to share more of themselves and their work with their fans,” says Stehlik. “From search engine optimization to cross marketing, we're working for our authors, who can then focus on writing more of what their fans want.”


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