Keen to tap into the UK’s enthusiasm for real-life book discussion groups, Random House today launches a social networking site to stimulate debate among readers, offer a platform for discussion and of course encourage people to buy more books. Readersplace.co.uk goes live today offering book group organisers reading guides for more than 200 RH titles, occasional live chats with best-selling authors and discounted offers to buy from the company’s e-commerce site rbooks.co.uk. The company launched Authorsplace.co.uk last year.
Despite the growth of online media, old-fashioned books have held up fairly well in recent years and retailers are still keen to drive sales of paper versions as the UK waits impatiently for a decent, affordable mass market e-reader like Amazon’s Kindle (European release date: still unknown). Bertelsmann-owned Random House made