From The Huffington Post:
Reading a novel isn’t what it used to be.
There you sit, nose stuck in a book, á la Belle the Disney princess, when your phone buzzes with a text from your mom. After a long back-and-forth with her about when you’ll be able to make it back for a visit, you finally turn back to the book. Oops, another buzz — a text from your bestie containing just a string of random emojis. While you laugh, you swipe over to Instagram. I mean, as long as you’re checking your phone. Maybe you should just toggle over to Twitter too — surely you have some new faves on that last tweet; it was so clever. No? Well, it’s only been a couple minutes. OK, back to the book; you can check Twitter again after a page.
Bookworm Belle might have been able to remain engrossed in a book even as she wandered through a plaza packed with singing villagers, but she probably wouldn’t be any match for a smartphone’s endless stream of alerts.
So, what if all these distractions were part of the story?
. . . .
A new romance book app, Crave, which launched late in 2015, claims to reimagine the reading experience for today’s Snapchat-addicted consumer, and it looks like part of that means embracing those breaks in concentration.
As you scroll through an ebook on Crave, the app periodically breaks into the narrative to show you a text message conversation between two characters, a video of an actor portraying one of the characters doing an interview about the book’s events, a filmed moment (like the hero first looking up at the heroine) or even a reaction GIF.
But after around 1,000 words, you’re cut off. Crave slices each book into mini-chapters intended to take only three or four minutes to read, including multimedia. You can tune back in the next day for another bite-sized installment, generously salted with supplementary videos and text exchanges. Later, after you’ve returned to scrolling aimlessly through Twitter, you might receive a text alert from the book’s author, or even from the romantic lead of the novel you’re currently following.
Texts, notifications, GIFs — every part of how we communicate on mobile now becomes part of the storytelling medium in Crave’s platform.
And the folks behind Crave think this format might just save the novel.
. . . .
While the first week is free, a monthly subscription fee of $3.99 then kicks in — basically, once the reader is hooked, Crave starts to charge. But real devotees may find the price worthwhile; the app’s version of the book is packed with bonuses that provide behind-the-scenes glimpses at their favorite characters.
Paragraph created Crave after a meeting with Judith Curr, the president of Atria Publishing Group, a division of Simon and Schuster, in which she mentioned she’d like to forge still-stronger connections between their best-selling authors and fans. The app currently features major authors from Atria’s New Adult and romance offerings, like Hoover and Abbi Glines. These authors already have well-rooted fan bases and books that sell like hotcakes — ripe audiences for ambitious marketing.
“Romance readers are voracious,” Navoth pointed out, eagerly. “They read twice as many books as any other reader does. And when they discover an author that they love, they’ll read all of her back catalog.”
Link to the rest at The Huffington Post