Using a new web site, www.AvonFanLit.com, HarperCollins will stage a writing contest for their audience, with competition to write chapters and possible email contact from the authors in the Avon romance line. The authors will judge the competition and contact fans individually where they feel they have something to share. Trachtenberg and Steinberg note that similar contests have not always fared well. The publishers hope to defray the costs by selling advertising space on the web site and in the email announcements, but they have to find third-party marketers who can benefit from that environment.
WSJ.com: HarperCollins Turns to Web, In a Search for More Romance, 2006-Jul-26, by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Brian Steinberg
"We're creating an online community that will bring the fans closer to the authors we publish," said Jane Friedman, CEO of HarperCollins. "If you are a fan and you get a communication from Julia Quinn, somebody you've been reading for years, then you'll be a fan of hers for life. And I think you'll become a fan of Avon's for life."