Earlier this week, Simon & Schuster announced the launch of Crave, an app created by its imprint Atria Books and Paragraph, a tech company that provides solutions to “help people discover, tell, and experience great stories.” Crave is a subscription service which offers users access to serialized fiction from their favorite romance authors. Users choose the author they want to subscribe to and receive daily installments of her latest work before that novel is sold to the public. The subscription also comes with extra content that enhances the story, like video featuring the main characters and messages from the author. A subscription to Crave costs $3.99 a month.
Atria Books is relying on Crave's exclusive content to hook new subscribers and lead them to experience stories in a new way. For example, the app polls its readers on what celebrity they think resembles a book’s leading man and then hires that celebrity to film short videos as that character. They can even get messages from their “book boyfriend” through the app. “Today’s romance reader isn’t satisfied with simply reading a story,” said Atria Books author Colleen Hoover in a press release. “She wants to be immersed in it. She wants to get closer to the characters and she wants to have a relationship with them and with author that created them.”
This is not Simon & Schuster’s first foray into delivering content directly to its readers. Another Simon & Schuster imprint, Touchstone Books, launched a pop-culture, “bingeworthy” site called Glommable in July. The site offers polls, listicles, and book reviews in an effort to develop a direct relationship with its readers and foster a lively online reading community. Crave seems to take this one step further by creating personalized experiences for its subscribers and creating a direct connection between readers and authors.
Read the complete press release below.
NEW YORK (December 2015) – Paragraph and Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, today announced the launch of Crave (ThisIsCrave.com) – a new app that matches bestselling authors with the hottest actors to offer romance fans an entirely new reading experience. Crave will be available for download on iOS at launch with Android to follow shortly after.
The first books to launch on Crave are Atria’s November 9, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, followed by books from #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines, and USA Today bestselling author K.A. Tucker.
Subscribers will receive one installment from the book each day, and every new segment of the story is coupled with instant notifications, videos and photos from the lead character. Books are released serially, typically in advance of their official publication date, creating a new reading paradigm where the only place to experience the enhanced story will be in the app.
“The way we consume information has changed dramatically in the past few years,” said Ziv Navoth, Paragraph’s CEO. “We took the romance novel and asked ourselves how can we create an experience that fits the way people like to experience stories these days. The result is Crave.”
The Crave Studio scours the world and polls fans to discover actors who resemble the actual book characters so much that they might have well been the inspiration for them. Crave then turns them into real-life stand-ins for their characters, turning the audience’s fantasy into reality.
“Today’s romance reader isn’t satisfied with simply reading a story,” said Colleen Hoover. “She wants to be immersed in it. She wants to get closer to the characters and she wants to have a relationship with them and with author that created them.”
“This is an exciting endeavor for us. Truly the way readers consume, share and talk about books has changed greatly, and with Crave we are able to marry new methods of delivery with high-quality, value-added content to engage readers in an entirely new type of experience,” says Judith Curr, President and Publisher, Atria Publishing Group.
Crave is a subscription-based service. Fans subscribe to an author’s channel for less than a dollar a week ($3.99/month) and receive daily installments from their newest books over a period of 90 days. Crave is available starting today through the Apple App Store, and will be available soon on Android. Crave requires an iPhone 5s, 6 or 6+ running iOS 8 or later or an Android phone running OS 4.0.3 or later.
Atria Books is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information about Atria, visit our website at http://imprints.simonandschuster.biz/atria.
Paragraph builds products and services that re-imagine the way people discover, tell and experience great stories. For more information on Paragraph, visit http://www.paragraph.com.
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