As Scribd learned to its dismay, romance readers are the most voracious, often powering through one or more books a day.
Currently only available for the iPhone, Crave sends readers a segment a day from their favorite romance authors. Each installment arrive automatically, and comes with instant notifications, videos, and photos from the lead character. The text is displayed as a single scroll, and not as pages, and there are no options like bookmark, sharing, etc, but on the upside the aforementioned videos and photos are embedded in the text for your enjoyment.
“Today’s romance reader isn’t satisfied with simply reading a story,” said best-selling author Colleen Hoover. “She wants to be immersed in it. She wants to get closer to the characters and she wants to have a relationship with them and with author that created them.”
The service launched this week with Colleen Hoover's November 9, which was published last month (and can be bought for $8). More titles will be added as time goes on, and eventually Simon & Schuster plans to start collecting a subscription fee (there's available no info on the cost).
If S&S is smart they will keep the cost as low as possible, and possibly even charge no fee at all.
There are many ebook subscription services, and there's even one that sends you daily installments for $5 a month. The market doesn't need another such service, and what's more readers will be hard put to justify spending their limited budget on a monthly fee to S&S when they could get far more content in Kindle Unlimited for $9 a month.
That's why it might be better to turn this into a promo service which teases readers with books in the hopes that they will go buy the book elsewhere.
With its daily installments, Crave is already set up to tempt readers, so all it would take to turn this app into a pure marketing service would be links at the end of each segment which lead to ebookstores where the ebook can be bought.
If you found a compelling ebook, wouldn't you be tempted too go buy it rather than wait for the next installment?
I would not be tempted to buy a romance title, but I could be tempted into buying an SF ebook if I found it through a service like Crave.
How about you?