This week saw the release of the first instalment of Emily Dubberley’s new erotic romance ebook Blue Mondays, and its publishers are claiming its serialisation is a first-of-its-kind for this sector. Hodder & Stoughton’s promotional push for Blue Mondays has included online, mobile and an outdoor guerrilla marketing campaign, based around livening up the morning commute.
Subsequent instalments will be released on consecutive Mondays for the next seven weeks, priced 99p each, and readers can pre-order each part or download it once available, with each instalment appearing on their e-reader at midnight on Sunday. Blue Mondays, and its unusual marketing strategy, has already been featured in The Times and Daily Mail and a number of other media outlets, and it soared into Amazon’s Kindle chart on release.
The plot focuses on journeys taken by the two protagonists, Lucy and Ben, following their first meeting in a London Tube carriage. With her groaning laptop bag balanced precariously over her shoulder, scorching coffee about to spill and skirt already badly creased, Lucy is not feeling particularly enthusiastic about her morning commute. So when a man carrying a large food hamper, seeming strangely out-of-place, starts chatting to her, she is pleasantly surprised – and intrigued – but it’s not long before he arrives at his stop. It’s only when he gets off that she notices that he’s left his wallet on the train. She follows him in a bid to reunite it with its owner, and is drawn into a situation she never dreamed possible, behaving in a way she never thought she would.
Familiar locations in the first episode include High Street Kensington, and Victoria train station, and subsequent instalments see the protagonists visiting locations around the UK. Designed to alleviate feelings of depression and despair often associated with Monday mornings, each chapter will take the average reader around 30 minutes to read on their Monday morning commute. Ideal journeys (whereby the entire chapter could be read during the commute) include Balham to Bond Street (26 minutes), West Hampstead to Bank (25 minutes) and Hammersmith to Covent Garden (30 minutes).
Hodder & Stoughton say the title “will capitalise on the explosion of the erotic romance market in recent years, but set itself apart with its commuter-targeted, concept-focused strategy. Eschewing the recent territory of dungeons and sadomasochism, Blue Mondays will be a stylish story of love and romance that readers can relate to, set in the UK, and packed with red-hot sex scenes.”
Editor Suzie Dooré said: “Blue Mondays is different because it’s aimed at commuters who want to spice up their journey to work, but also because it’s erotic fiction the reader can actually imagine happening to her – these aren’t high-flying S&M businessmen and meek submissives, they’re real, believable characters having the kind of great sex we could all be having if we were brave enough to catch someone’s eye across the train carriage and let one thing lead to another.”
Author Emily Dubberley added: “I wanted to step away from aspirational romance to something more realistic – if still fairytale. Love, romance and great sex don’t come with a price tag attached and I wanted to reflect this. Readers could feasibly make the fantasy come true, if they wanted to.”
Emily Dubberley is the founder of Cliterati, the UK’s original female focused erotica site. She has had 27 books published internationally, and regularly writes for publications such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan and, it must be emphasised for transparency purposes, ETO. A print version of Blue Mondays will be published in October.
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