Bloomsbury has begun releasing prequel e-novellas for free through online girls’ magazine Sugarscape as part of the build-up to publication of its YA début Throne of Glass by American writer Sarah J Maas (2nd August, £6.99).
The novellas—The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld and The Assassin and the Empire—follow daredevil assassin Celaena Sardothian, the heroine of Maas’ fantasy romance. They are also for sale on Kindle (99p).
Bloomsbury has acquired global rights to two novels in what will become a series about Celaena. Publicist Emma Bradshaw said that Maas had “a huge online following, particularly in the US” for her stories, having begun to develop Celaena’s world online at fictionpress.com at the age of 16. She is now 26. “Her book is the first children’s book that we have put on [digital proof site] netgalley.com, and we are getting requests from all over the world,” Bradshaw added.
Maas claims the series has been inspired by the fairytale Cinderella: “In the 10 years that I’ve been working on the series, Throne of Glass has become more of an original epic fantasy than a Cinderella retelling, but you can still find a few nods to the legend here and there.”
Bloomsbury’s marketing campaign includes a one-month takeover of Sugarscape’s Book Club channel (30th July–30th August), a Facebook fan page, 80,000 samplers at cinema venues, digital six-sheet advertisements in shopping malls (including a QR code to a Throne of Glass Facebook app), plus sampling at the Underage Festival in Victoria Park in London on 31st August.