Penguin Random House Ups Its D2C Efforts With Site Relaunch
Penguin Random House relaunched its website yesterday, designing the new platform to drive book discovery and build community -- and perhaps most importantly, collect data. The trade publisher has listed its entire catalog on the site, complete with author pages, book recommendations, interactive games, and an ecommerce platform. It released a brief video which shared the site's new features and emphasized that it is a place where readers can come to find the books they love and discover new ones.
"Tailored book recommendations and author updates help new voices find their audience, and make it easy for readers to follow the authors they love," wrote PRH CEO Markus Dohle in an email to employees. "Accessible on all devices, [the new website] will allow our readers access to information seamlessly on the go."
The relaunch represents a more concerted effort on PRH's part to connect directly with its readers. The publisher is creating original content and is prompting visitors to submit their email to "Stay in Touch" and receive that content regularly. Like HarperCollins' daily deals newsletter Bookperk, the newsletter will allow PRH to collect data on how readers interact with their all of their content, eliminating the data siloing that occurs when marketing to readers through an author-branded site or single imprint.
Jim Hanas, director of audience development at HarperCollins, leads the Bookperk initiative and believes it is an invaluable data collecting tool precisely because it allows the publisher to market across imprints and authors. "There is almost no one in the world who purely buys in the verticals that publishers tend to define and go after," said Hanas in an interview with Book Business. Bookperk has allowed the publisher to market much wider selections of titles to readers than it could before. It is likely that, as PRH collects more data from its newsletter subscribers and website users, it too will be able to personalize its marketing messaging and more effectively sell titles directly to 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.