Mills & Boon, the undisputed UK market leader in romance fiction publishing (think Harlequin romance novels), has decided to become disruptive by developing its own app that allows their fans to read eBooks on the go.
Digital supermarkets run by companies like Apple, Amazon and Kobo currently dominate the eBook market, taking a big slice of the profits-pie each time a book is downloaded.
In an effort to streamline the publisher-to-reader process, Mills & Boon has created their own app reader that users can easily download to their iOS or Android mobile device. The company is hoping that, since more people are reading eBooks on their smartphones and tablets, their big gamble will pay off.
The app lets users read eBooks from their own eBookshelf on the Mills & Boon website, as well as ePub and PDF books from retailers and libraries around the world. Electronic publishing has allowed Mills & Boon to double its output. It now releases more than 100 eBooks per month, more than in print, and sells more e-books than physical books. According to Tim Cooper, digital and marketing director for the publisher, “digital lends itself to the habitual nature of our content. Our readers finish reading one and they can download the next.” Author Sharon Kendrick’s opinion is similar: “[Mills & Boon] are an intense reading experience, and they can be read quickly. People read four to five in a few days so that’s a lot of books to carry around.”
But will they be successful and will other publishers follow suit? Tune in tomorrow…