Famed romantic book publisher, Mills & Boon, is set to launch its own social networking website. The site, which functions like any other social net working site, will enable fans to create their own blogs and personal pages, and will also feature a photo and information page connecting friends and fellow fans.
The community site is accessible through the publisher's homepage, and it will go live on April 6. It will boast forums, blogs from popular authors, and the opportunity to rate and review books, as well as tips for budding storytellers on the art of romance writing.
“This community is a chance for us to give something back to our readers,” the Telegraph quoted Tim Cooper, director of direct and digital marketing at Mills & Boon, as saying. “We have a fantastically loyal readership who are very passionate about our product. It''s great to be able to give them a portal to each other, as well to as us,” he said.
The launch of the social networking site is part of a new marketing strategy by the publisher, which is seeking to modernise its image. Tom Tivnan, features editor of The Bookseller magazine, expects the social networking site to prove a hit with fans of the series.
“In recent years, the company hasn''t been shy about trying out new and trendy things,” he said. “They''re confident in their brand and know what they are, so this social networking site will be great for them. "Mills & Boon has a growing readership of 25- to 30-year-olds, and this whole exercise is probably aimed at capturing some more of that market."
Last month, the Mills & Boon website attracted more than 180,000 visitors, which Mr Cooper believes shows there is an appetite for a web-based community.
“Our website is already popular, and sales in our electonic book range are hugely exceeding expectations. “This tells me that our readers are tech-savvy and keen to interact and engage in an online environment,” he added.