Harper Collins announced a pilot launch of the Author Assistant program, designed to help authors build and maintain personal websites to promote their books. This web-based toolset will allow authors to create a website and include biographical information, blog posts, coming attractions, Q&As, photos, links to other articles and posts, browse inside widgets, and even a map of other Harper authors that fans have in common. Authors own any content they create for their pages.
The initial launch involves 40 Avon Romance authors but the program will roll out through all HarperCollins U.S. imprints by mid-2008.
The current feature set “reflects the basics of what authors need to publish content on our site,” according to SVP for Global Marketing Strategy and Operations Carolyn Pittis, who says they plan to add numerous other features, driven in large part by “what authors want.” One of the most likely additions is a video component, as well as feeds to provide third-party syndication. They expect to be adding more two-way features.” In general, the program is intended to be a way of matching up author-generated content with marketing know-how.
Sounds like a great way to help everyone sell more books. That’s another idea we like a lot.