Bertelsmann DirectGroup Division Introduces International Book-of-the-Month

'No Second Chance' by Harlan Coben to be Main or Editors' Choice Selection in

Book Clubs in United States, United Kingdom, China, Italy, Spain, and France

Among Other Countries

New Global Selection to be Offered at least Three Times a Year from Book Clubs

Operated by Bertelsmann AG's DirectGroup division

Mar 19, 2003, 00:00 ET from Bookspan

    NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- For three-quarters of a century, the
 Book-of-the-Month Club(R) has helped guide America's reading habits by
 championing novels from "Catcher in the Rye" to "The Lovely Bones" as Main
 Selections before they became blockbuster best sellers.
     Now, the DirectGroup division of Bertelsmann AG, co-owners of
 Bookspan(R)'s Book-of-the-Month Club, is announcing that for the first time
 its clubs worldwide have agreed on the selection of a single title as a Main
 or Featured Selection in a new program, the International Book-of-the-Month.
 The first International Book-of-the-Month is "No Second Chance," the latest
 thriller by critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling novelist Harlan
     The novel will be offered in book clubs spanning four continents and more
 than 15 countries, including China, the United Kingdom, the United States,
 Germany, Italy, Australia, France, Canada and the Czech Republic, among other
 locations. The book will be published in the native language of each country.
     DirectGroup expects to sell one million copies of "No Second Chance."
     The International Book-of-the-Month is the first-ever global program of
 the DirectGroup to provide club members with one pre-selected title that has
 been chosen by the editors of clubs in the United States, Europe, Asia and
 Australia. Bookspan, a partnership of Bertelsmann AG and AOL Time Warner Inc.,
 initiated the program.
     Ewald Walgenbach, DirectGroup Chief Executive Officer and member of the
 executive board of Bertelsmann, said, "The campaign pinpoints the core
 competencies of the DirectGroup's club businesses, including the pre-selection
 of books at discounted prices for our 28 million members. We also work with
 the publishing industry to discover new trends and promote new and talented
 authors. We believe this is a unique position in the highly competitive book
     Markus Wilhelm, Bookspan Chief Executive in the U.S., said, "We're excited
 to offer 'No Second Chance' to readers worldwide. We believe this excellent,
 suspenseful book has worldwide appeal. Harlan Coben is ready to become a
 superstar author and we have confidence that Coben will attract readers across
 oceans and borders. The International Book-of-the-Month is the first pure
 example of a global marketing initiative."
     Mel Parker, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of Bookspan,
 said, "With thousands of books published annually, it is difficult to break
 through. By selecting one book as the International Book-of-the-Month, we will
 shine a spotlight on a book we feel readers around the world will enjoy and
 will cross international borders."
     Harlan Coben said, "It's wonderful, marvilloso, wundervoll, fantastico,
 incoyanle, fabuloso ... well, that covers my knowledge of foreign languages."
     Harlan Coben, the first author to win the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony Awards
 in the United States, is a "terrific storyteller with a knack for action,
 whose suspense will have you squirming," said the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. The
 Times in London described his writing as "high-adrenaline entertainment" and
 the Denver (Colo.) Post said Coben delivers "fast-paced (writing) layered with
 both fun and tenderness." And the San Francisco (Calif.) Chronicle said Coben
 "serves up everything you can ask in a can't-put-down book."
     In "No Second Chance" (to be published April 28, 2003 by Dutton, a member
 of Penguin Group (USA), a Pearson Company) Coben writes a thriller that grabs
 your attention from the very first sentence: When the first bullet hit my
 chest, I thought of my daughter.
     The novel's central character, Marc Seidman, awakens to find himself in an
 ICU. Upon asking how long he has been recovering there, he is told 12 days.
 Further, he is informed that his wife has been killed and his six-month-old
 daughter has vanished. He soon receives a note: We are watching. If you
 contact the authorities, you will never see your daughter again. There will be
 no second chance.
     Coben's earlier novels include "Tell No One" (2001) and "Gone for Good"
 (2002). Born in 1962, Coben lives in New Jersey, is married and father of four
 children under the age of eight -- now that's suspenseful living!

SOURCE Bookspan