In what it says is the first in a new service it will offer to authors, estates and other rightsholders whose books it publishes, HarperCollins has created a new e-book platform that will allow it to sell e-book editions of C.S. Lewis titles directly to consumers from two Lewis Web sites, and According to Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer at HC, the new platform is a partnership between HC and the Lewis estate and will give consumers in the major English-speaking countries direct access to Lewis e-books in local currency. Consumers who visit the Lewis sites can also order print editions of the books by clicking on affiliate links. The platform was built with Accenture Digital Solutions.

HC has not sold e-books directly from its Web site for a number of years and the new service does not involve offering any e-books for sale other than the Lewis titles.

Restivo-Alessi emphasized that while HC plans to offer other HC rightsholders the same service, the rollout will be a deliberate one. “We need to walk before we can run,” she said. HC created the Lewis e-bookstore after receiving a request from the estate to help it grow the Lewis brand as it commemorates the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death. (For more events planned for the commemoration click here).

The platform includes tools to help HC analyze purchase data. Restivo-Alessi said this type of initiative would work best for authors that have a robust catalogue and also have a presence that can drive traffic to the site. The e-bookstore, Restivo-Alessi added, gives authors who are looking to directly reach the consumer market more options than relying only on affiliate links.