Romance fans are getting their own version of Facebook thanks to the world's biggest romantic publisher, Mills & Boon, according to a Guardian report.
The publisher, which sells a book every 6.6 seconds in the UK, is launching a social networking site next week in an attempt to up its brand presence online. Just like Facebook and other online communities, users will be able to set up their own profiles, upload photos, make friends and post updates. "Obviously it's not going to be as big as Facebook," admitted digital director Tim Cooper, "but it will work in the same way".
Together with Penguin, Mills & Boon is the only widely recognised publishing brand name in the UK, and claims 180,000 visitors to its website a month. It plans to offer live chats with authors, advice for would-be writers from its editorial staff, forums and reviews on the new community site, which will go live on Monday, linking from Mills & Boon's main website. Members will also be set a "book challenge": if the entire community can read 5,000 books by the end of the year, Mills & Boon will donate 5,000 books to charity.