BOOKSPAN Launches Two New Book Clubs for Women -- Mango and Rhapsody

New Mango Book Club Is Geared Toward Today's Modern, Savvy Young Woman;

Rhapsody Book Club Is Designed for Women Who Love to Escape

with Romance Novels

Apr 25, 2000, 01:00 ET from BOOKSPAN

    NEW YORK, Apr. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- BOOKSPAN, the joint venture book club
 partnership between Doubleday Direct, Inc. and Book-of-the-Month Club, Inc.,
 today announced the launch of its new Mango and Rhapsody book clubs.
     The Mango book club is designed for the 21st-Century woman who strives to
 balance her lifestyle with a successful career, meaningful relationships, and
 a sense of independence and self-confidence.  The club is targeted towards
 young, predominantly single women in their 20s and early 30s who have an
 affinity for popular culture and who look to books as a key source of
 entertainment and enrichment.
     The Mango woman is career-driven, decided in her views about style and
 culture, and extremely cognizant about the world around her.  She is
 self-assured, yet also the girl-next-door who is just as likely to unwind by
 meeting her girlfriends at a trendy restaurant as staying at home and losing
 herself in a good book with a cup of cappuccino.
     Rhapsody was created for the woman who is passionate about romance novels
 and who dreams of being swept off her feet to another time and place.  The
 Rhapsody woman is a voracious reader who has many demands on her time
 -- taking care of herself, her job and her family -- and is looking to escape
 with some quiet time for herself.  Whether she enjoys contemporary or
 historical romance fiction, suspense or westerns, Rhapsody will offer her the
 best of all genres and bring it straight to her door.
     "Consistent with our mission to reinvent the book club model for the
 Internet, we are tremendously excited about launching these two new clubs as
 part of the new BOOKSONLINE umbrella.  These clubs typify how much book clubs
 have changed," said Seth Radwell, President and CEO of BOOKSONLINE, the online
 subsidiary of the BOOKSPAN joint venture.  Both Mango and Rhapsody are
 available to members via the Internet, as well as through traditional catalog
     "These new clubs provide members with rigorous pre-selection of titles to
 better serve these dynamic market segments.  Our success to date shows that
 many people want to join an online community of book lovers, not just be
 another customer of an e-commerce conglomerate," Radwell added.  "These new
 clubs will allow us to deliver a great experience to new communities, both
 online and offline."
     Mango offers the most talked-about, popular fiction and nonfiction books
 that reflect a desire for cultural and social gratification.  Titles include
 contemporary fiction, current best sellers, and the most sought-after
 nonfiction, as well as guides on dating, cooking, decorating and more, at
 prices up to 50 percent off publisher's editions.  In addition to books, Mango
 also offers blockbuster films, lifestyle and fitness videos, chart-topping
 music selections, and home decor and beauty products to suit a whimsical
     "Mango is the perfect place for the modern, urban woman to find books to
 help her balance her life and change the way she views herself," said Mel
 Parker, Editorial Director of BOOKSPAN.  "Rather than taking time out of her
 busy life to browse the bookstore or other Internet sites, she can find the
 best books and other lifestyle products all in one place at Mango.  The Mango
 woman strives for stability and success in both her personal and professional
 life, and knows she has to stay ahead of the trend to achieve her goals.
 Mango provides a way for her to do so, without spending hours searching for
 her resources."
     Rhapsody offers the finest selection of books by leading romance authors,
 all in one place at a great value.  The Rhapsody pledge guarantees that every
 romance is priced at $9.95 or less.  Rhapsody club members will also save up
 to 40 percent off publisher's prices on select national best sellers, and will
 also have their choice of music, videos and merchandise with a special appeal
 to the romance lover.  And since romance readers tend to be collectors and
 share books with their friends, all books are sturdy hardcovers.
     "For the woman who understands how a gentle flirtation can blossom into
 wild passion, and knows that true love defies all obstacles, Rhapsody is the
 perfect place to find that terrific escape book," said Sharon Fantera,
 Editor-in-Chief of Rhapsody.  "Many women love the pleasure that a great
 romance novel can provide.  With Rhapsody, they can browse to their heart's
 content at their leisure to easily find the romance books they crave."
     "Community is a very important element in Rhapsody, so the premiere issue
 of our club bulletin features a column of romance news from Romantic Times
 magazine editor Kathryn Falk.  We plan to include a column from her at least
 four times a year," Fantera added.  "Rhapsody will have a presence at both the
 Romantic Times conference in November and at the Romance Writers of America
 annual convention in July.  We also plan to involve our authors as much as
 possible.  They are as excited about the launch of Rhapsody as we are, for it
 gives them a chance to speak directly to their loyal readers."
     Mango and Rhapsody, like all other BOOKSPAN book clubs, are managed by a
 team of experienced editors who review dozens of new books each month and
 select only the best to include in the clubs.
     Mango ( and Rhapsody
 ( may be accessed through their own web sites,
 as well as through BOOKSONLINE (, the BOOKSPAN
 Internet division that includes more than 50 general consumer, special
 interest and professional book clubs.  BOOKSONLINE unites all the former
 Doubleday Direct and Book-of-the-Month Club book clubs onto one place on the
 Internet, as well as the many new clubs that are being created.
     The Mango and Rhapsody club web sites, like other BOOKSPAN club sites,
 will be enhanced with interactive features such as live author chats, member
 bulletin boards and online polls, as well as author interviews, reviews and
 book excerpts not available in regular club mailings.  Club members can place
 orders and manage account activity online, while new members may join through
 the club web sites.  Members will continue to receive regular mailings, and
 will continue to have the option of ordering through either the print catalog
 or the web sites, as they wish.
     BOOKSPAN is the new joint venture partnership between Doubleday Direct,
 Inc. and Book-of-the-Month Club Holdings LLC.  Operating separately for nearly
 75 years, the two companies have joined forces to create a new entity that is
 designed to make the book club experience more satisfying to members.
 BOOKSONLINE, a subsidiary of BOOKSPAN, aggregates more than 50 general
 consumer, special interest and professional book clubs under a single umbrella
 site ( that combines the time-tested advantages of
 the traditional book club with the convenience, ease of use and interactivity
 of the Internet.  The combined BOOKSPAN book clubs have approximately 8.5
 million members and more than $900 million in annual revenues.  BOOKSPAN,
 based in New York, is a joint venture with partnership interests held by
 subsidiaries of both Bertelsmann AG, based in Germany, and Time Warner, Inc.,
 based in New York.