Magazine article Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities

Harlequin Leads the Way as the Role of Women Bloggers and the Internet Grows among Book Publishers

Magazine article Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities

Harlequin Leads the Way as the Role of Women Bloggers and the Internet Grows among Book Publishers

Article excerpt

"The top reason people buy books? It is recommended by a trusted source," says Harlequin's Brent Lewis. Women book readers comprise a critical component of the publishing industry. They are more likely to be book readers than men (58% vs. 42%) and they purchase 65% of all books, according to Bowker's.

Even though the publishing industry has been slow to embrace new media options, the Internet is now a primary way for publishers to reach women. The majority of all readers (67%) are more likely to turn to online resources rather than print media for book information and 55% rely on online ads to learn about new titles.

In addition, more books are purchased online than at retail book chains (23% vs. 21%). (The rest are primarily purchased at warehouses discount clubs, retailers such as Wal-Mart, and through book clubs.)

Harlequin, for one, has been eager to court women over the Internet. "It's difficult to get [the] awareness that we need to hook them and break through the noise," says Lewis. The Internet is another channel to help achieve that goal.

The publishing house uses the Internet to listen to reader's advice and promote its titles. Its newly launched Harlequin Teen division's website, Harlequin TeenPanel.com, actively solicits input on story ideas, cover artwork, and subject matter.

Publisher's are elevating the role of women bloggers in their campaigns. It's now standard procedure to use them as promotional tools. That said, there are a few guidelines in making the relationship work. "It's important to involve them in the process. You cannot tell them what to do," says Big Honcho Media's Dina Vathis, whose company has handled campaigns for Random House and HarperCollins. …

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