Penguin Random House and NYC Launch Subway Ebook Promotion

Penguin Random HouseIf you live in New York City, you are probably aware of the state of the city’s subway stations. Lots of people, lots of heat, and scattered access to WiFi. And while there’s little that can be done about the first two, recent improvements to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s WiFi system have given New Yorkers something to be thankful for.

With 175 of the city’s 278 underground stations connected, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of “Subway Reads,” an eight-week promotion, in partnership with Transit Wireless and Penguin Random House, that will provide commuters with access to five free e-shorts, as well as extensive samples from full-length books from the publisher’s catalogue.

“New York’s transportation network must continue adapting to the changing needs of its ridership and a key part of that is delivering the amenities that have become essential components of everyday life,” Governor Cuomo said.”Bringing WiFi into underground stations helps riders stay connected throughout their commute, allowing them to check in with friends or family and access news or entertainment. We’ve made tremendous progress in modernizing the system and Subway Reads is a fun way to introduce riders to the new Wi-Fi experience.”‎

Commuters who use one of the WiFi-enabled subway stations will be able to log into the free Transit Wireless WiFi and access PRH’s offerings.

The free full-length e-shorts include High Heat, a Jack Reacher novella by Lee Child; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story The Diamond as Big as the Ritz; 3 Truths and a Lie, a short story by Lisa Gardner; The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe; and At the Reunion Buffet by Alexander McCall Smith.

Commuters will also be able to access extensive excerpts from 175 PRH publications over a wide range, including poetry by Walt Whitman and acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, like Beloved by Toni Morrison, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, and Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.

PRH has also created a feature for the book excerpts called “read time” that enables commuters to sort the short stories and samples by the amount of time it would take the average reader to complete them. A commuter who therefore expects to spend half an hour on the train, for example, could click “30 minutes” on the PRH page and be given a list of stories or samples that would take that long to read.

Commuters will also be able to purchase the ebooks in the promotion directly from various retailers. The MTA will receive a revenue share for any books sold.

“For millions of New Yorkers, having a few minutes to get lost in a great book is one of the true pleasures of riding the subway,” said Markus Dohle, CEO of PRH. “This fun promotion provides commuters with a new twist on that classic – and classically New York – pastime, with great short fiction, and the chance to access extensive samples of some of the very best, and most entertaining books in the world.”

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