“Hooked” on a New App for Short Fiction

By Rebecca Winterburn

Telepathic Inc., a narrative technology company founded by Perna Gupta and her husband, Parag Chordia, released a new app this week called Hooked. Hooked features young adult short fiction meant to be read on an iPhone or Apple Watch.

Each book is approximately 1,000 words and is designed to be read in a few minutes. They are told through dialogue that appears on the screen like texts; new messages appear as readers click through.

Gupta describes her app as “Twitter for fiction” and likens it to Bram Stoker’s Dracula,  told entirely through letters.

Writers for the app were recruited through MFA programs and received what Gupta describes as “competitive” pay. For now all of the content is from screened contributors, but the goal is that users will eventually be able to submit their own content. The app is rated 9+ for infrequent suggestive themes, mild horror, and occasional crude humor.

At the moment there are over 200 stories available with more being added daily. They are grouped according to “Channels” (categories) like “Love As Deep,” “Dark & Stormy,” “Primal Terror,” and “Android Dreams,” among others.

Hooked is free to download and users receive one free story per day. They also offer a subscription service that enables readers to access more stories. The price for one week is $2.99, one month is $7.99, and a year of unlimited stories is $39.99.

While writing 100,000 pages of a sci fi fantasy trilogy, Gupta was inspired by the “technology of reading” to stop writing and create the app. It was the possibilities of new innovations in reading that drove her to begin working on new tools for modern readers.


Sources

http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/19/technology/hooked-reading-app-prerna-gupta/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hooked-0-0/id1024818709?mt=8

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Wales Plans National Library Card

Last week, SirsiDynix was awarded a contract from the Welsh government to develop a library card that would enable citizens to utilize any library in Wales. This would give citizens access to borrow and return books to any library in the country as well as utilize free computer access in any library. This would enable creation of a national service for free downloads of e-books and digital magazines.

“Currently library users can only use public library cards within the local authorities they are registered. The system would provide a new and modern approach, which will benefit customers, for example those who work in a different local authority to which they are registered, and widen choice.”

The government expects that, after the system is adopted next year, local authorities will save as much as 70% of platform costs, although many find this estimate to be “highly optimistic”.

Wales is not the first to create a unified library system – some other countries and even large cities are currently using them. New York City has a public library system and has a greater population to serve than Wales’ 3 million. Wales does, however, have a national library organization that will, once the system is up and running, assist visitors in easily finding and accessing e-resources at other libraries.

Source

Rebecca Winterburn