TaleHunt Taps Flash Fiction Trend, Publishing Stories 250 Characters Long
Co-founder and CMO Aby Mathew says that the TaleHunt app is breaking new ground in literature, championing very short stories or “flash fiction” for aspiring and professional authors. The app, which launched in January and has about 10,000 users, is the first dedicated platform for flash fiction, limiting stories to just 250 characters. Mathew says that TaleHunt is a valuable audience-building tool for authors and helps them showcase their creativity and test new ideas. Users can follow trending tales, share their favorite tales, and follow specific authors. Verified TaleHunt users also have the option to sell their books on the platform, using Amazon. Following, Mathew shares why the flash fiction trend is one worth watching and how the app is creating new audience development and marketing tools for its authors.
How did you come up with this idea?
TaleHunt was co-founded by Ameen Rashad, Salmon Kollaparamban, and Aby Mathew.
I (Aby) was jogging one morning when I thought up a short poem inspired by Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier.” I wrote the poem and posted it on Facebook and Twitter, but I didn’t get much attention from my friends. Salmon KP liked the poem and shared it in a WhatsApp group. The members of the group responded to compliment my creation. I found it interesting that even though I didn’t get much appreciation from my friends, I got it from some people I didn’t even know. Salmon and I discussed this with Ameen and found that such creative writings are well received among like-minded people. That was the moment when we decided to build a community for aspiring writers. Since it was for aspiring writers, we decided to make it “very short,” showcasing short stories and poems.
How are you disruptive and innovative?
TaleHunt is creating a new category of literature -- very short stories (flash fiction). For online novel publishing people are using Wattpad, Scribd and others. But for very short stories writers are still depending on their Twitter and Facebook, since there is no platform available for creative short story writing. We are addressing a large market of aspiring writers who are using their mobile devices to showcase their creativity and build followers. In addition, TaleHunt helps professional writers sell their Amazon books (currently Amazon books only) through short stories. Usually people buy books based on recommendations or based on the previous work of that author. What happens if you are an unknown author with a high potential book, and you don’t have a powerful publisher? Then TaleHunt will help you to build audience through your short stories, and you can then sell your books to this powerful audience.
Right now, book selling through TaleHunt is available for verified writers only, and verification is free of cost.
What are the most important trends in publishing today?
Short is the new trend. There’s Twitter for short social media, SnapChat for short time messages and photos, and Vine for short videos. So there is a gap for short literature. There are a lot of Twitter and Facebook pages for very short stories and haiku poems. A few of them are using Facebook groups and forums for running very short story competitions, since they don't have a dedicated mobile app. TaleHunt is filling this gap and helping writers to build audience for their short literature creativity.
For those skeptical of how successful short fiction can be, it’s worth remembering that Ernest Hemmingway is credited for the famous six-word story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” which is well under 250 characters.
Who is your competition?
20lines and Wattpad are our competitors in the story entertainment business. But TaleHunt is not an app for book publishing. It acts as a catalyst for books sales through short stories. These short stories can act as a “movie trailer” for novels and stories. Around 75% of the existing users are readers who love to read tales written by other users in the app.
TaleHunt currently supports English stories only. The majority of the stories come from English writers from around the world. But the app is still getting submissions in Spanish, French, Chinese, Hindi, and German. Our earlier plan was to go to multi-language in one and a half to two years. The volume of submissions we’re getting has pushed us to try to move that timeframe up to six to eight months.