Simon&Schuster has announced a new initiative designed to meet those critical needs in a way that not only keeps their authors in the forefront for readers, but also can lead to further book sales from a video-centric audience. The format, which will include online courses that run a spectrum of costs for participation but are expected to include a variety of value-added content, hopes to reach out to a consumer base that may already know these authors, but also may not be your typical reader.
Unfortunately, S&S plans to charge for this product; while the authors get to set their prices for their video courses, they’re up against a mindset where online information is available for free. So why should readers pay for it?
In cases where authors become speakers, there’s also a very real danger of backlash from attendees against the perception that courses, seminars, workshops, or other forms of speaking engagements are simply “commercials” for the authors’ books. However, these courses are not expected to be “add ons” to existing books but rather new content that happens to be aimed at an existing fan base, this should help alleviate some of the balking at paying as much as $85 to hear the author speak online.
While the publisher is rolling out a small offering of courses to launch the program through its website SimonSays, more courses are expected to be announced on a fairly ambitious schedule.