Hoping to attract a wider and younger audience for A. Manette Ansay, HarperCollins's William Morrow imprint will release her next book, Blue Water, simultaneously in hardcover and trade paperback later this spring. Ansay, whose six other books have been strong sellers (her 1999 Vinegar Hill was an Oprah book club pick) for the house, is still far from a household name. "Frankly, it's a test," said Carrie Kania, senior v-p, publisher of Harper Perennial and Harper paperbacks. "We feel it [the dual release] will increase her readership and attract younger readers."
With plans to do an initial hardcover run of 10,000 (at $24.95) and a paperback one of 75,000 (at $13.95), Kania said the thinking is to offer Ansay's established fans the more collectible and more expensive option—which is also preferred at book signings—while drawing book clubs and new readers with the more affordable softcover. "Her work is huge among book clubs, and they are traditionally known for reading paperbacks," added publicist Sharyn Rosenblum.
Kania said the idea of simultaneous editions came from conversations with sales reps. The upcoming summer season—a time when consumers are on the lookout for inexpensive beach reads—made the new approach seem even more ideal, she said.