HarperTeen (a division of HarperCollins) has partnered with MySpace to create an interactive community for teen readers. Or in other (less cool) words, a MySpace Book Club. I have conflicting feelings about this initiative. On the one hand, it’s nice to see MySpace trying to bring something of greater cultural value to their users. But it doesn’t have the best track record, what with racy photos, inane comments, pedophiles, AnNoYiNg TyPoGrApHy, questionable videos and blaring music atop ugly wallpaper. Is this really the best platform to connect with readers?
Sure, some MySpace teens read. But do they admit it? Is is cool to read? Maybe HarperTeen can help make it cool, right? Sadly, it seems a stretch to me.
While at Alibris I bought 500,000 impressions (that’s not a lot for those not in the business) on the MySpace Books page. The clickthrough rate was actually pretty decent, but unfortunately after 6 weeks (that’s a long time) they hadn’t filled even half of the impressions I’d ordered. Sure MySpace could do more to promote books (it’s not in the top navigation bar), but I concluded that MySpace wasn’t the best fit for books.
So who is? Could it be Facebook? Or Piczo? Or Amazon? I can’t say for sure. I’m all for promoting reading to our youth, but this seems like a square peg in a round hole. I wish them luck and give them both points for trying, but the cynic in me thinks this is a bust.