In a recent interview we had Blake Orlandi recall the historical journey of Bookspan from Book of the Month club.
What is Book of the Month club?
In the year 1926, Harry Scherman founded Book of the Month club – a subscription based website to get your hands on the premium collection of novels and fictions. Once subscribed, a user would get a box of five books every month during the duration of the subscription.
What led Harry to create Book of the Month club?
Harry started his careers as a copywriter for a famous advertising agency – Walter Thompson. It was only in 1916, that he along with his partners conceptualized the “Little Leather Library”. As Blake Orlandi recollects, this new library had the concept of selling the best 30 books of the time for only $2.98.
With the huge success of Little Leather Library selling over 40 million books in the first five years, Scherman along with his partners founded their own advertising agency for marketing books.
It was the crucial problem of accumulating interest in a new book, that pushed Scherman and his partners to conceptualize and bring into existence the “Book of the Month” club.
The journey from Book of the Month club to Bookspan
The club started with 4000 subscribers and in the next twenty years, the number of subscribers grew up to 550,000 subscribers. In 1977, the Time Inc. acquired the Book of the Month club and in 1989, Blake Orlandi remembers, the club to merge with Warner Communications. The final merging of the Book of the Month Club, Inc. with Doubleday Direct, Inc. happened in the year 2000, leading to the formation of Bookspan – a joint venture between Bertelsmann and Time Warner before Bertelsmann completely took over the ownership.