One publisher, Tor/Forge, truly understands reader engagement
April 7, 2013 | 12:42 pm
By Juli Monroe
It’s easy to always talk about publishers who get it wrong, and yes, lots of them do.
Bookish, anyone? (Where you can get recommendations, but it’s all a one way street, and many, if not most, of their articles are aimed at books or authors published by the houses behind the site.)
Tor, an imprint of Macmillan, gets it right. About once a week, they send out a newsletter packed full of information about movies, TV shows and books. Because they are a sci-fi/fantasy imprint, most of the news is about those genres, but that’s OK. Most of their readers are likely to be interested in them.
And they don’t just publish articles about their books or products. No, they cover a cross-section of genre news. In fact, their newsletter is where I get most of my information about Doctor Who!
The items in the newsletter have links to blog posts, which have comments enabled, unlike another site which has been previously named, and sometimes the discussion gets heated. A recent thread on a teaser video got a bit exciting when the first person to comment mentioned a spoiler, and the rest of the folks jumped on him for ruining it for the rest. The author of the article calmed things down, adding a spoiler comment warning to his post, and everyone was (mostly) happy.
That’s exactly how it’s supposed to work. They promote their stuff, sure. But they also find good related content and allow spirited discussion.
That newsletter is the only one I read religiously. It’s never deleted unread. Ever. How many e-newsletters can you say that about? (Exactly.)
It didn’t surprise me when Tor started releasing their books DRM-free last year. They just continue to prove that they have a clue that their real customers are readers.
And now that retailers are discounting Macmillan books, we have more reason to like them.