Penguin has unveiled a new program, aimed at raising the discoverability of its books, that will allow customers to read some of its most anticipated titles months before they go on sale. Called First to Read, the program will allow its members to access excerpts from forthcoming books, and to request e-galleys.
The publisher is hoping First to Read will "harness the power of word-of-mouth," encouraging readers to share information about the titles with their friends. The program features a points system--they can be used for galley access and, Penguin said, "other member rewards"--and is free, but does require consumers to sign up. Titles included in the program will run the gamut, in terms of genre, and upcoming books featured include Hotshot by Julie Garwood; The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert; and Sister Mother Husband Dog by Delia Ephron.
The launch of the program, which consumers can sign up for with their Facebook account, will be announced at www.firsttoread.com. Suzie Sisoler, Penguin's senior director of consumer engagement, said the Facebook connection was key. "We know people love to talk about and recommend the books they’ve read and are reading, and to encourage that, we’ve integrated social sharing throughout the site."