HarperCollins and Skype team up to host first 'virtual' world author tour with International bestselling author Cecelia Ahern

LONDON, 2 November 2009 — This November HarperCollins and Skype have created an innovative world first event - 'Cecelia Ahern's Virtual World Tour' - to promote the publication of her latest novels, The Book of Tomorrow and The Gift, across the globe. Cecelia, one of the UK's best selling authors, who wrote PS: I Love You which was made into a highly successful Hollywood movie, will join events around the world via Skype video. Unable to embark on her regular worldwide promotional tours this year due the arrival of her first baby this autumn, HarperCollins and Skype are bringing Cecelia together with her fans through real-time Skype video. Cecelia will join events live from her home in Dublin and will appear on screens at selected retailers in central city locations. Events will range from celebrity-hosted evenings to invite-only retailer events. Fans will be able to speak to Cecelia and buy pre-signed copies of her new books. The tour kicks off with an event at the new Liverpool Waterstones store on Friday 13th November with further events scheduled in Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Sydney and Singapore. Cecelia Ahern has sold 12 million books in over 48 countries in only five years. At 28, she is one of the biggest success stories in commercial fiction. She is also the creator of the successful TV drama series, Samantha Who? Kate Fitzpatrick, Digital Marketing Manager says: "Our partnership with Skype has given Cecelia a fantastic opportunity to reach her fans in all corners of the globe at a time when she is unable to travel. As a first truly international PR event for HarperCollins the use of Skype has proved that distance doesn't have to be a barrier for fans to engage and interact with their favourite authors." "Skype is delighted to make it possible for Cecelia to connect in a meaningful way with her fans even though she can't be with them in person," said Jonathan Watson, Skype's marketing manager. "We hope this is first of many virtual book tours we will facilitate with Harper Collins."

Schedule of events

  • Waterstones - Liverpool, UK (Friday 13 November)
  • Thalia Bookstore - Frankfurt, Germany (Monday 16 November)
  • Johannesburg, South Africa (Monday 18 November)
  • Shearers Bookshop - Sydney, Australia and Kinokuniya - Singapore City, Singapore (Thursday 19 November)
HarperCollins UK publishes a wide range of books, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction, to block-busting thrillers, from fantasy literature and children's books to enduring classics. It also publishes a great selection of non-fiction titles, including history, celebrity memoirs, biographies, popular science, dictionaries, maps, reference titles and education books, and its digital business is thriving. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins publishes some of the world's foremost authors, from Nobel prizewinners to worldwide bestsellers. In addition it publishes the works of Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. It was the first major UK trade publisher to go carbon neutral in December 2007. HC UK and International is responsible for the UK and Ireland, India, Australia and New Zealand and is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English-language book publishers in the world. HarperCollins Publishers is a wholly-owned division of News Corporation, the media conglomerate and parent of Times Newspapers Ltd, British Sky Broadcasting and Twentieth Century Fox.

About Skype

Skype is software that enables the world's conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Everyday, people everywhere also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles. Download Skype to your computer or mobile phone at skype.com. Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for your traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling. Skype, associated trademarks and logos and the "S" symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.