Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Promoting Jean Auel's 'Land of Painted Caves' as an E-Book

By Julie Bosman, New York Times

Since the 1980s, the publication of a Jean M. Auel book has often called for enormous print runs — about one million copies — and elaborate displays in the front of bookstores to draw in readers.

But to prepare for the release on Tuesday of “The Land of Painted Caves,” Ms. Auel’s sixth book in the best-selling “Earth’s Children” series, her publisher retooled the usual campaign for the digital age.

The print run for the United States was slimmed down to 465,000 copies, in anticipation that many people would instead buy e-books. Instead of building illuminated caves in bookstores, as it once did, the publisher tried to contact readers on Scribd, Facebook, Goodreads and Web sites like, Ms. Auel’s most popular fan site.

“The truth is, when you have a brand like Jean Auel, the real challenge is to make sure it reaches the fans who love her so much, and they are legion,” said Molly Stern, the publisher of Crown and Broadway Books, part of Random House. “What we really had to think about was, what’s the 21st century version of reaching these people?”

There has been a sea change in publishing since Ms. Auel’s last book, “The Shelters of Stone,” released in 2002. In the last year, many anticipated novels have sold as many e-books as print books in the first week of publication. Random House has also reissued her previous five novels in the “Earth’s Children” series in paperback and e-book. (Ms. Auel’s books have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide.)
Full piece at The New York Times.

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