Hooked Is An App For Readers Who Assume Fiction Ought to Be Extra Like Textual content Messaging
Will the subsequent nice novel be nothing greater than a collection of textual content messages?
Uh, perhaps not, however there’s all the time room to experiment with new codecs. That’s what husband-and-spouse workforce Parag Chordia and Prerna Gupta try to do with their new startup Telepathic, which is launching its first app, Hooked.
Telepathic can also be saying that it has raised $1.2 million in new funding, bringing its complete raised to $1.9 million. Buyers embrace 500 Startups, Greylock, Basis Capital, a syndicate assembled by Gil Penchina, Rivet Ventures, in addition to angel buyers like Employed founder Doug Feirstein, BranchOut founder Rick Marini, Zynga co-founder Justin Waldron, MightyText CEO Maneesh Arora and Lean Startup writer Eric Ries.
Chordia and Gupta bought their final startup, Khush, to music app-maker Smule. They left Smule in 2013 (CEO Jeff Smith is an investor of their new startup) and spent a while touring and dealing on a science fiction/fantasy trilogy of novels. Within the course of, they began researching the publishing business, which made them assume there was room to do one thing new.
Chordia in contrast their imaginative and prescient for Telepathic with the work they did at Smule and Khush, taking an present artwork type (beforehand music, and now fiction), then “rethinking how does it match into individuals’s lives.”
“We don’t assume fiction’s dying,” Gupta added — however they do assume there are methods to enhance “the best way it’s at present introduced and produced.”
So with Hooked, they’re commissioning brief tales that take the type of textual content message conversations. As an alternative of turning pages, you faucet the display to convey on the subsequent message. The app presents a restricted variety of free tales however costs a subscription payment (beginning at $2.ninety nine per week) for limitless entry.
Chordia prompt that this presents a few benefits over a regular guide or e-e-book. For one factor, readers aren’t confronted with “this block of textual content simply doesn’t that simply doesn’t have that pure really feel in your telephone that a informal recreation does.” It might additionally make it simpler for readers to eat the story in small bites, say once they’re ready in line or driving the subway.
On the similar time, the tales are supposed to maintain you, nicely, hooked. I learn one among them, “Unknown,” and whereas I don’t assume it was a terrific piece of literature, I’ve to confess that the thriller grabbed me — I stored hitting the “Subsequent” button till I reached the top.
“Each line has to both advance the story or advance the relationships,” Chordia stated. “Each message is a cliffhanger.”
He additionally emphasised that the corporate is taking an experimental, “agile” strategy, each inside Hooked and maybe with new apps.
For one factor, Telepathic will begin gathering knowledge about which tales are getting actual engagement from readers, which in flip can affect the later chapters. That additionally helps the corporate determine the titles that may profit from a heavy advertising push. And Chordia advised that the messaging format might ultimately lend itself to extra interactive approaches, like branching tales.
By the best way, Gupta acknowledged that there have been different fascinating experiments over the previous few years, just like the New Yorker publishing a Jennifer Egan brief story over Twitter. (There’s additionally an entire style of cellphone novels that was popularized in Japan.). Oh, and there’s Wattpad, which has hundreds of thousands of customers on its social platform for readers and writers.
“There’s a big demand for fiction,” Chordia stated. “For us, [Wattpad] was one strategy, however there’s far more that may be achieved.”
Featured Picture: Telepathic