PRH reviews online teen spaces, closes Spinebreakers

PRH reviews online teen spaces, closes Spinebreakers

Penguin Random House said it needs to move to online spaces where “our audiences are already present”, and will close its teen book community Spinebreakers on 30th September.

The Spinebreakers site was set up in 2007 as a place for young people to talk about books and write reviews or stories, and in 2010 between 10,000 and 15,000 people visited it every month.

However, last month its members received an email from Penguin Random House saying that community was to close “after seven fantastic years”. Users are being encouraged to save any stories they have written on the site before the closure date.  
 
The publisher is currently planning a new strategy, based in research and conversations with young people, to deliver “exciting and shareable experiences” around authors. “Capturing the passion of young adults is critically important to us at Penguin Random House,” said consumer engagement director Layla West. “It is vital that we change and evolve as our consumer does.”
 
She added: “We will take the energy and creativity that fuelled Spinebreakers to the next level, and build on the phenomenal success of our publishing such as John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.”

The final Spinebreakers editorial meeting with its panel of young contributors took place in London last week.   
 
The Spinebreakers Facebook and Twitter accounts are still active but are currently under review.