TORONTO, Aug. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Random House of Canada Limited (RHC) today announced the debut of its ground-breaking online magazine and an e-books originals program as key components of its innovative new corporate digital publishing strategy. This strategy is focused on engaging with readers and providing them, and writers, a new platform for quality content that can transcend formats.
"The internet offers unprecedented opportunities for everyone to engage with ideas and narratives beyond those in a physical book," said Brad Martin, President and CEO of Random House of Canada. "While traditionally many book publishers have been primarily using their websites for sales and marketing purposes, we want to also use ours to publish original content. In this age of cultural and technological change, RHC's digital efforts will support the central role of writers in our collective conversations: informing, entertaining and inspiring readers."
RHC's new online magazine is now live. It is named after nineteenth-century journalist, critic, and commentator William Hazlitt, who is considered one of the great essayists of the English language, and who wrote, "Books govern the world better than kings or priests." Hazlitt will serve as the company's signature online editorial content and digital habitat—the first-ever original digital magazine initiated and curated by a Canadian trade book publisher. Exploring culture and current affairs, Hazlitt will publish great original and contemporaneous writing from both Random House of Canada and outside authors on everything from politics, music, the environment, warfare, art, film, business, sports, pop and literary culture, and more. Informed by editorial excellence and reader-first instincts, Hazlitt content will be regularly refreshed, with pieces ranging from blog posts, feature-length articles, podcasts and short films.
Hazlitt will be under the leadership of Director of Digital Publishing and Hazlitt editor-in-chief Christopher Frey, and Hazlitt senior editor Alexandra Molotkow, magazine journalists who joined Random House of Canada earlier this year. They have assembled a talented roster of journalists and writers that includes Lynn Crosbie, Kaitlin Fontana, Billie Livingston, Jason McBride, Drew Nelles, and Carl Wilson, as well as filmmaker Scott Cudmore. This Canadian-based magazine will serve an international audience, deriving insights from the local to serve a global context. "Our writers are smart, insightful, occasionally combative, funny, and well read - our cast is wildly diverse. We will feature best-selling, award-winning authors alongside young, emerging writers," says Frey.
A key piece of the Random House of Canada digital strategy is the launch of Hazlitt Originals, the e-book originals program that will bring publishing to digital-first formats. The inaugural publication is by award-winning Canadian journalist Patrick Graham, titled The Man Who Went to War: A Reporter's Memoir From Libya and the Arab Uprising (August 21, 2012).
Over the coming fall months, Hazlitt Originals will publish a wide variety of thought-provoking and ideologically diverse e-books. Among the first are the anti-foodie polemic You Aren't What You Eat by UK journalist Steven Poole; and Ivor Tossell's The Gift of Ford, about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, that explores what happens when voters themselves throw a wrench in the gears of democracy. Hazlitt Originals will be produced in close collaboration between RHC's publishers and digital department, and aims to publish each idea at its appropriate length, addressing the appetite for experimentation as digital reading experiences develop and mature.
RHC's website will be entirely re-imagined to house these new ventures and further define RHC as the leading curator and creator of quality content. RandomHouse.ca will highlight new titles, remind audiences of the riches of RHC's backlist, and bring readers to books in imaginative ways. Robert Wheaton, Vice President and Director, Strategic Digital Business Development, envisions the overall experience of RandomHouse.ca to be akin to that of visiting the best bookstore: reliable recommendations; delightful chance discoveries; and presenting an editorial sensibility that challenges tastes and expands horizons.
"By establishing a rich and compelling online reading experience and by developing new ways for readers to discover books, our digital strategy brings writers and their ideas closer to audiences both in Canada and around the world," says Wheaton.
Random House of Canada Limited is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann, a leading international media company.
SOURCE Random House of Canada Limited