HC, Book Report Ink Author Web Deal Pact
Calvin Reid -- 11/6/00

Less than three weeks after announcing its Amistad/ Web content deal (News, Oct. 23), HarperCollins added another alliance to its Web portfolio through an agreement with the Book Report Network to create a series of official author Web sites for HarperCollins authors.

Originally launched as a book interest site on America Online in 1996, the Book Report Network ( has since developed into a network of consumer Web sites focused on information about books, authors and reading for a variety of age groups. TBRN's sites include,, and, as well as a continued presence on AOL.

Under the new agreement, TBRN will create official author sites for at least 50 HarperCollins authors. These sites in turn will be featured as part of TBRN's, an author information portal site set to launch this month.

TBRN sites already feature reviews, interviews and fan-generated content, but Carol Fitzgerald, CEO of TBRN, told PW that the new HarperCollins sites will "be full-blown official Web sites," with friendly gossip, media appearance commentary, debut authors and author factoids and links. Fitzgerald said the network of sites reports over 400,000 unique visitors a month.

Jane Friedman, CEO of HarperCollins, called the deal an "extraordinary opportunity to serve our authors and establish a dialogue with interested readers. It's a marketer's dream to have the ability to reach an audience so directly."

Fitzgerald told PW that the portal will be "the People magazine" of authors online. TBRN generates revenues through advertising, syndicating content and Web site construction. The network is about to launch an author Yellow Pages, an online author index marked by age group and category, and the company will generate revenue by offering enhanced placement and marking for a fee. Fitzgerald said the site has also been working with, the free online reading service, to help orient TBRN users to e-books.

"We're not just interested in frontlist hardcovers, we're about the backlist, helping readers fall in love with authors and pointing them to all their books," said Fitzgerald. "We've been quietly building a one-stop shopping network for author information."