HarperCollins Publishers' New Interactive Writing Platform for Teens Is Part of Effort to Build Direct-to-Consumer Business
HarperCollins Publishers announced this week the launch of inkpop (www.Inkpop.com), an interactive writing platform for teens, which the company says is the first of such sites to be backed by a major publisher. Created by HarperTeen to attract young readers and writers, inkpop combines community publishing, user-generated content, and social networking to connect rising stars in teen literature with talent-spotting readers and publishing professionals.
According to a company press release announcing the launch, “inkpop represents the next step in the company's overall digital strategy designed to build and expand its direct-to-consumer business. [It] will be the anchor of HarperCollins' ongoing teen strategy, enabling the company to have a continuous dialogue directly with its audience to determine what the community cares about, as well as an unfiltered look at what's in and what's out.”
"As with all of our online consumer programs, the concept of community-building is aligned with our ongoing corporate digital marketing efforts to cultivate a two-way dialogue with our readers," says Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books.
"Across our business we are looking to build consumer reach and engagement," says Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins Chief Digital Officer. "Inkpop is the latest iteration of these direct-to-consumer efforts this time for the teen market."
According to HarperCollins, since the site's soft launch in Q4 2009, it has attracted more than 10,000 members and nearly 11,000 submissions, including novels, poems, essays and short stories. The visitors are teens ages 13 and older, from 109 different countries and territories. Additionally, it has engaged a select group of international HarperCollins editors and authors to review the site's top five monthly selections, providing feedback and mentorship opportunities to the young authors, while also considering their work for publication.
HarperCollins says it will “announce partnerships throughout the year that will further enrich the inkpop community experience for teen members.” Plans for the site include incorporating the ability to share other formats such as photography, video and artwork “to enhance inkpop projects and promote additional forms of creativity.”