Avon Books is launching AvonSocialReader.com, a free Facebook app that targets the romance reader, offering an extensive list of sample excerpts from Avon romance e-books at up to a 20% discount. The AvonSocialReader app also allows readers to purchase DRM-free Avon titles via the AllRomanceebooks.com retail site as well as DRM-enabled titles through other online retailers and allows readers to easily share titles they like with friends on Facebook and to comment on them.

Consumer surveys show that romance readers are often some of the most digitally savvy readers, very interested in e-books, digital readers and sharing their book interests via social media, Facebook, especially, said Liate Stehlik, senior v-p and publisher of William Morrow and Avon Books. “Many are using apps to share the new stories that they are reading online instantly with their friends,” she said. “Women are talking about the books they are reading in equal measure,” she said, “Thus, Avon worked to create a simple way for friends to connect on Facebook over the books they are most passionate about.”

Romance readers have also long been frustrated by publishers’ use of DRM, which can prevent readers from moving legally purchased e-books to their various e-reading devices. Avon’s partnership with Allromanceebooks.com allows the publisher to offer its readers DRM-free e-books for the first time. Stehlik called the AllRomanceebooks.com DRM-free e-book partnership a “publishing capability many of [our readers] had asked us to pursue.” For more information on the Avon Social Reader go to AvonsocialReader.com or Facebook.com/avonromance.

“The Avon Social Reader is a fun, user-friendly way for readers to sample an interesting mix of excerpts posted to this Facebook app every month,” Stehlik said, “and then virally spread the news about what they are reading via social media.”