Friday, May 22, 2009

Random House Group Launches New Social Network For Book Clubs
Press elease from Random House - Friday 22 May 2009

The Random House Group is launching ReadersPlace ( - an innovative social networking site for book clubs. ReadersPlace provides complete online guides for book clubs and enables users to interact with each other and like-minded groups around the globe.
Friends separated by geography or time restraints can meet up virtually online to swap thoughts and ideas about their favourite books. They can also webchat live and direct with authors – giving an extra special new dimension to book club discussions with unique and firsthand insight into featured titles.

ReadersPlace is bursting at the seams with rich content designed to enhance the book club experience. The site hosts bespoke expert reading guides for more than 200 titles including author details and interviews, plot summaries, starting points for discussions and suggested further reading.
The site offers competitions to win titles for the whole group and special discounts to use when ordering titles at online shop where all the featured titles can be purchased – allowing a complete start to finish resource.

Author Sara Stockbridge will be kicking off the service on Wednesday, May 27th when she logs on at 7pm GMT to talk about Hammer, her blistering tale of lust and burglary set in nineteenth-century Whitechapel. The following month Tim Clare will join the chat room to talk about We Can't All Be Astronauts, a humorous look at the life of an aspiring novelist.

The easy-to-use site allows any book club or reading group to set up their individual profile page where they can rate and review books, share their favourite reads and add photos and videos from their reading sessions.
There will also be regular competitions for reading groups to win a personal book club meeting with an author living in their area. Next month Sulaiman Addonia will be meeting with a reading group in London to discuss his debut novel The Consequences of Love.
West Midlands Library Authorities have been part of the pilot work to develop the site to use as part of the region's reading group programme being developed with The Reading Agency, which promotes books and reading through a number of social reading creative and imaginative projects.
Debbie Hicks, Director of Research, The Reading Agency, said: "ReadersPlace has been a great way to get virtual reading group activity under way, adding huge value to the regional library reading group offer we are developing with West Midlands library authorities. It's proving really popular with regional groups, offering readers a brilliant opportunity to connect directly with writers to talk about their work."

Fionnuala Duggan, Director, Random House Group Digital, said: "We are passionate about using digital technologies to promote the joy of reading so wanted to provide an online forum where reading groups could meet to discuss their favourite titles with each other, other reading groups and even with the author."

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