Workman Publishing’s new monthly eCookbook Club offers readers discounted and free e-books from its backlist for Kindle, ipad, Nook, and iphone. Called Blue Plate Special, the club allows readers to sign up for a monthly e-newsletter, and to visit the club’s Facebook page to get seasonal recipes for $3.99 a month.

The month of June begins with a barbeque bonanza, offering e-books by BBQ master Steven Raichlen. His best sellers Beer-Can Chicken,Miami Spice, Indoor! Grilling and Barbecue!, Bible Sauces, Rubs & Marinades are all available for $3.99, and Raichlen’s Burgers can be downloaded for free. July will bring readers Summer Cooking and Entertaining recipes; August is back to school; and September is Harvest Time.

Andrea Kleck-Nesbit, Workman’s executive director of digital publishing, explains the origins of the program: “We were eager to find a way to improve discoverability of our backlist ebook titles, particularly within popular reference genres. The idea was to put together an ongoing promotional program based on specific seasons or themes that would allow retailers to plan merchandising around our titles well in advance.”

“We have seen other publishers down-price their content in a thematic way," Kleck-Nesbit says. "However, we've taken the promotion an extra step by adding a direct-to-consumer component. Readers can sign up for our ecookbook club newsletter and download a free short ebook each month. This allows us to grow our email lists and communicate directly with our audience. Instead of hoping that our customers will find our ebooks by chance, we can reach out to them directly and let them know when we are running special deals or promoting specific titles.”

As far as which Workman cookbooks will be selected, Fleck-Nesbit says “Any of our backlist cookbooks will be eligible for inclusion in the program if they fit the specific theme of the month, but the goal is really to raise awareness of titles that may have fallen off our customer's radar.”

The program will be extended to all e-tailers, including independent bookstores, through Google Play and IndieCommerce, the American Booksellers Association’s e-commerce solution.