HarperCollins has launched a new series of international author podcasts, expanding its direct-to-consumer marketing approach.
The series, HarperCollins Presents, is being released weekly on several sites, including iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher, in both the UK and US, featuring authors such as Patricia Cornwell and Wilbur Smith.
Nick Perrett, group director of strategy and digital for HarperCollins UK, said that the new series stemmed from existing success in reaching readers through podcasts. "HarperCollins has proven adept at creating vibrant podcasts", he said. "With 1.4 m current SoundCloud subscribers across the US and UK divisions, we feel a global network of podcasts will benefit both our authors and their fans. HarperCollins is a global company with global authors benefiting from a global direct-to-consumer approach – and HarperCollins Presents is a great addition to our strategy."
According to HarperCollins, the series will focus on "conversation and inspiration from authors, editors and creators, and promises new perspectives on the world of books, culture and arts."
Ana Maria Allessi, publisher of HarperAudio and VP of digital innovation, said: "Our authors are some of the most interesting people in the world. Now you can hear their voices and thoughts in addition to reading their words. It’s an exciting time for audio and we’re happy to support new ways for authors to engage with their readers."
An episode featuring Garth Nix and Ilona Andrews speaking about writing sci-fi and fantasy was uploaded at the end of last week, while future episodes will include David Baddiel, Wilbur Smith and Veronica Roth, as well as Patricia Cornwell, Bernard Cornwell, David Cronenberg and Alexander McCall Smith.
In September, HarperCollins relaunched its UK website with direct-to-consumer sales, following in the footsteps of HarperCollins US.
Many publishers have been expanding their direct-to-consumer strategies, both through direct sales and through publicity, such as Pan Macmillan's online books programme, Book Break. HarperCollins UK previously produced BookD, a fortnightly podcast each featuring a single guest which has now been collated on the HarperCollins Presents pages, while Penguin has produced podcasts themed around different topics sick summer escapes, heroes and nostalgia.