Sunday, June 2, 2013

Big Library Read: an initial success

In eReader: "The Four Corners of the Sky" by Michael Malone
Image source: OverDrive
According to Mercy Pilkington, writing for, the Big Library Read saw an initial success of more than 7 million cover impressions, or views, for its featured title, The Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone (Sourcebooks, 2010).

Pilkington quotes Steve Potash, CEO of Overdrive who, with Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks, talked about early results during BookExpo America:
“There are a lot of so-called industry experts who don’t know the library market and don’t the value that libraries bring to authors. I said ‘Let’s try an experiment.’ I naturally called Dominique, who is an entrepreneur on 360-sides of this book business. I came up with a check list to demonstrate very quickly how libraries are helping readers connect with authors and get authors discovered.”
During their joint experiment, the Big Library Read promotion, The Four Corners of the Sky was made simultaneously available to all patrons at more than 7,500 OverDrive partner libraries. I accessed the title through the Oregon Digital Library Association’s Library 2 Go OverDrive platform.

The Four Corners of the Sky is at once a romance and espionage tale, centering around the relationship between a U.S. Navy pilot, Annie P. Goode, and her father, Jack Peregrine, a con artist. When she was 7 years old, Jack abruptly left her with his sister Sam and her housemate Clark and disappeared.

On her 26th birthday, Annie is unexpectedly drawn into an investigation involving a gold statue of the Virgin Mary. The Cuban government and a Miami diocese both have an interest in the statue while Annie has never been sure the statue existed, as it was one more fantastic tale told to her by her father. Annie has questions of her own for her father, about the identity of her mother.

The story is fast-paced and enjoyable, with characters whose personalities are vividly conveyed. Malone’s story caught my interest in its opening pages and I am enjoying the adventure.

I’ll allow Pilkington the final word declaring the promotion a success: “With over 40,000 public library patrons currently reading the title, it would seem so. Libraries are already ordering a copy of all of Malone’s other works, but Potash predicts that sales to libraries are going to take off.”

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