On January 7, Penguin UK released a free iPhone app to share the first three chapters of Paul Hoffman's debut novel The Left Hand of God. According to The Bookseller, the app, Penguin UK's first, was downloaded by more than 10,000 users by January 13, putting it at number one in the iTunes UK books apps chart.
The app, which Penguin calls a "digital sampler," offers users a free download of the book's first three chapters plus the option to buy the full version.
According to Penguin digital publisher Jeremy Ettinghausen, the company was able to create the app thanks to a recent change in Apple's policy: Apple now permits the purchase of a full title from a free book application. With many major publishers currently looking for ways to increase their digital presence, this new policy could open the doors for other companies to follow in Penguin's footsteps.
The Left Hand of God, published in the UK on January 7 and due out in North America from Dutton Adult on June 15, features a boy names Cale whose only hope for survival is to escape the cruel Sanctuary of the Redeemers. The title is the first volume in a trilogy.