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Avon Books Announces DRM-Free eBooks (Yay!) and New Social Reading App (Boo!)

Avon Books, a HarperCollins imprint sent out a press release today announcing a couple new initiatives.

First, they’re coming late to the social reading arena. They’ve just greenlighted a Facebook app, which can be found at It’s a fairly limited app which appears to only offer access to excerpts from Avon’s latest books. Readers can share what they’re reading with friends and discover new content based on what their friends are reading.

The reason I’m scratching my head is that the app will only have 20% of each book will be available to read, and I don’t see that as enough to0 bother with logging in to the app. But on the upside the app will also have links to Avon is going to have a limited number of titles available DRM-free at this one ebookstore. At least, they plan to have ebooks available there; none currently show up in the search.

Color me unimpressed.

Social reading was the hot new idea for 2010, and a short time later many readers decided they hated the idea. I’m not sure anyone who actually likes the idea of sharing what they read, and I would expect that goes double for those who read romance ebooks.

Not that I am criticizing anyone’s choice of reading material, but chances are you know at least one person among your colleagues, mom, and acquaintances that you don’t want to tell the specifics of your reading habits. I myself read a diverse, eclectic, and sometimes bizarre variety of content. I don’t share many details about what I read on either Twitter or Facebook, and I would expect I am not alone.

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David October 16, 2012 um 5:48 pm

I use goodreads to participate in social reading. I don’t feel the need to use a publisher specific app. I don’t even know if I want to use Kobo’s social nonsense. But then again, if I were to read a bunch of romance books I wouldn’t want the rest of the world to know.

Mikaela October 17, 2012 um 3:56 am

Nate, The Avon books are already there, but you have to search for Harper Collins to find them.

That said, I am also rather unimpressed, since the big leap would be for all Avon books to go DRM free.

Nate Hoffelder October 17, 2012 um 6:59 am

Whoops. I searched for Avon. Thanks!

Thomas October 17, 2012 um 1:23 pm

I’ve never liked the idea of "social reading". I read to get away from other people.

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