Random House of Canada rolls out apps to engage readers
By Rimma Kats
October 4, 2010
Random House of Canada has stepped into the mobile space with an application based on features and fun facts from its bestselling books.
The Conversation Starters application is available for Apples iPhone and iPad. The application was created to engage readers via books published by Random House of Canada and McClelland & Stewart.
We saw that content-hungry consumers were trading in their basic mobile phones for Web-enabled smartphones and we wanted to be there to feed them with our interesting and fun book content in a fun and interactive way, said Lisa Charters, senior vice president of digital at Random House of Canada, Toronto, Ontario.
Steve Jobs recently shared that the pace of downloads is now at 200 apps per second, she said. Recognizing that, we need to connect with readers in whatever way they want it. Mobile and apps needed to be added to our digital marketing mix along with social media and traditional Web sites and newsletters.
Random House of Canada is the Canadian division of Random House Inc., which claims to be the world's largest publisher of general interest hardcover, paperback and audio adult and children's fiction and nonfiction books. German media giant Bertelsmann owns Random House, whose imprints include Random House, Alfred Knopf and Doubleday.
Not random house
Users can test their knowledge and share facts and tidbits with friends via email, Facebook and Twitter.
Additionally, users can read expanded selections from books.
Here is a screen grab of the application:
Marketing start[ed] this [past] weekend with a Globe and Mail [newspaper] ad and then the app will be included at the bottom in our many other print ads throughout the fall, Ms. Charters said. As well, we are for the first time placing in-app ads via the AdMob network.
Our app will be featured with banners throughout all our Random House of Canada Web sites, as well as in our over 20 different newsletters, she said. We see our Conversation Starters app as the newest member to our marketing team and so we created a business card for her which will be handed out at our numerous author events.
Text book example
Random House of Canada worked with Web2Mobile on the applications.
The publishing house is again working with Web2Mobile to launch a six-month text messaging campaign that will promote a number of McClelland & Stewarts fall books.
This content strategy is new for the book publishing space and we are excited to develop both the technology solution and creative strategy that help open up new channels in the mobile space, said Deborah Hall, managing director of Web2Mobile, Toronto.
Rimma Kats is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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