Carole Baron intends to "find new ways to reach readers" in her new post as senior v-p and publishing director of Bookspan. Since her departure from Penguin last month, Baron said she had "lots of choices" about what to do next, but she decided to cast her lot with Bookspan, "to try something new. I've been in publishing a long time, and I thought it was time I learned about a different part of the business."
Baron said she is eager to begin working with Bookspan CEO Markus Wilhelm to explore methods the clubs can use to better connect with its members.
She has ruled out, at least for the moment, the idea of developing a proprietary publishing line for the giant club. "That won't happen any time soon," Baron told PW. Baron said that while Bookspan's niche clubs "are right where they need to be," the general clubs "need to change to some extent." She noted that the main clubs, which include Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild, still have "a huge amount of members." The trick, Baron said, is to find ways for those members, who obviously like books, to buy more.
Baron said she was intrigued by the success of Bookspan's International Book-of-the-Month Club. She credited IBOMC's selection of Harlan Coben's No Second Chance with helping to boost retail sales of the book, which Baron published at Dutton. She also said Bookspan's move to offer James Patterson's Honeymoon to club members a month ahead of its retail release was a success for both the club and retailers. "I'm curious to follow up on that," she said.
Baron's appointment follows the departure of two high profile Bookspan executives—Seth Radwell and Brigitte Weeks—over the last month. She starts at Bookspan April 4 and will be located at the company's new editorial offices on East 26th Street in New York.