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Learning From ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ Avon Books And Facebook Tap Social Romance Market

We’ve known for years that word-of-mouth marketing has been partially co-opted by word-of-post, but the power of that lesson continues to impress when words like Grey (as in Fifty Shades) cease to instantly invoke Goose, sky or sweaters.

Romance publisher Avon Books has learned the lesson. Starting today, the company is partnering with Facebook to take the next logical step in sharing and discovering one’s passion for passion with

“The recent word-of-mouth phenomenon surrounding Fifty Shades of Gray confirms that women are talking about the books they are reading in equal measure,” Liate Stehlik, SVP and publisher of William Morrow and Avon Books said in a release this morning. ”Thus, Avon worked to create a simple way for friends to connect on Facebook over the books they are most passionate about.”

Here are the key details:

  • Up to 20 percent of each book will be available to read right on Facebook;
  • Once a book is browsed in the app, a person can choose to have that book show up in their News Feed or timeline for friends to see. (Opting out during sign-in is fairly simple, but it does default to “Everyone.”)
  • There will also be clickable buy links to Digital Rights Management-free editions of the selected Avon books from (Share with any device.)
  • Consumers can also choose to purchase DRM-enabled versions of the books at other online retailers. (Such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.)

About reginajeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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