Book publishing has morphed along with technology. Authors no longer need to wait on that one contest win, great review, or publisher acceptance. DIY came swiftly to the writing world in the form of self-publishing. Marketing and distribution have not.
“rĀthe will do for publishing what the web did for newspapers,” says CEO, Marjorie Mancini. “More people aren’t reading books, because they’re not packaged to fit in their lives. Yet, all we do is read on our phones. We rarely talk on them anymore. We use them for all kinds of things to entertain ourselves, most of which involve reading. We are just providing some new entertainment.”
rĀthe will take books and short stories and ship them out to phones in a bite-sized format referred to as Episodes.
The design and vision of the rĀthe app are reflected in its name, a unique word that means eager, at the ready, and early in the blooming cycle. “We are both,” says Mancini.
This will be like hand delivering books and short stories to every iPhone in the US (sorry Android users, version 1 is iPhone only; Android to follow) while compensating Authors for their work.
Book and story content will be released in 350-word Episodes each day. The first Episode is always free. App Users can choose to purchase subsequent Episodes for pennies or not. Our users can enjoy any traditional printed book Authors have available. Marjorie explains, “We are not a bookstore. We are happy to give our Authors the tools to advertise their work in other formats for our Readers who absolutely cannot wait for all the Episodes to be released. We want Authors to be successful. We simply believe there is an untapped market of people who would be entertained by the stories being created if those stories were available, packaged, and delivered in a way that can be easily integrated into their lives. Like Gogurt. Kids didn’t care anything about yogurt until you put it into a popsicle tube and called it Gogurt. Mom throws it in the lunch bag, easy peasy. This is innovation, and it is happening.”
The book world is overdue for fair payment for Authors. Traditional printed book publishing royalties don’t rise above 20 percent. The age-old practices pay Authors on a schedule that can be as long six months in arriving. The accounting is arcane and frustrating.
“Writers coming into the Author space today are not going to buy into that kind of arrangement, and why should they? Mobile technology exists. We have a computer in the palm of our hands. We have literally turned that model upside down to compensate the creators of the content and used technology to package and distribute that content,” said the CEO.