Hachette Relaunches Website With Responsive Design, Sharable Book Excerpts & More Original Content
This week Hachette Book Group (HBG) quietly updated its website in an effort to better align it with HBG’s direct-to-consumer marketing strategy. The upgraded site include a responsive design that improves mobile experience, original audio and video content, and sharable online book excerpts. Currently the site features an audio excerpt from the Jordanna Max Brodsky’s The Immortals and a video previewing James Patterson’s next installment in his illustrated series House of Robots. The site also highlights HBG’s latest book releases and featured authors.
“The goal was to refresh the look and feel of the site and to position it more clearly as a consumer-facing site,” says Heather Fain SVP, director of marketing strategy at Hachette Book Group. “. . . We see this update as a foundational part of our overall efforts to engage directly with consumers, learn more about the books they love, and help them discover our titles.”
Although the ultimate goal of consumer-facing sites like HBG’s is to sell more books, an equally important mission is audience development. Fain explained at last year’s Book Business Live event that Hachette does not anticipate a significant revenue impact from its direct sales, but that D2C marketing will enable the publisher to build it’s audience and form direct connections with readers. This focus on audience development is crucial for publishers to learn more about reader interests and discover more effective ways to market books. Fain said that that data is as valuable as the sale itself.
HBG joins a slew of publishers, mostly from the Big 5, that have revamped their homepages to become platforms of book discovery that promote original content, recommend books, and foster avid reading communities. Most recently, Penguin Random House U.K. revealed an ambitious site redesign that promotes its original podcasts and interviews with authors. It will be interesting to see how these types of platforms develop and how publishers utilize new insights about their readers.
Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.