|1||44% of general population interested in Rooster|
|2||Library of top award-winning authors|
|3||Market of 600 million smartphone readers|
|4||Unique team of world-class engineering + editorial talent|
Look around any doctor’s office waiting room, subway car or post office and you’ll see almost every head bent over a smartphone — most scanning Facebook or fixed on a game of Angry Birds. Few people kill time with a quality work of fiction.
“We’re saying you can take all of those minutes that feel like the throwaway minutes of your day, and you can use them to enter into a completely immersive reading experience,” says novelist Yael Goldstein Love. “Reading can be a part of your life again.”
Making fiction fit into an on-the-go lifestyle is the goal of digital publisher Plympton, founded by Goldstein Love with her friend from college, Jennifer 8. Lee, author, former New York Times reporter and Plympton CEO. The pair know good writing and want to bring the way we read it into the 21st Century.
How it works
After partnering with Amazon to produce some of the first titles in the Kindle Serials program, Plympton has just launched their mobile reading app, Rooster. The app curates content for readers, recommending a couple of books each month—a solution for those overwhelmed by too many titles. A contemporary work is paired with a classic novel, and both can be sent in short installments to users’ phones each day. It’s free to download, and readers can sample the first installment of any work. Those who want to keep reading will pay a $4.99 monthly membership fee.
The installment format is a throwback to the serialized fiction of the 19th century, Lee says. The approach will challenge writers to create stories that fit the new style of publishing — and hopefully generate the type of anticipation that surrounds good TV.
Lee and Goldstein Love teamed up with Plympton co-founder and CTO Jacqueline Chang, a former Stumbleupon research engineer and MIT computer science grad. Chang has been solving problems with technology since college, but as an avid high school reader who lost the habit, she can personally relate to the issue Rooster tackles.
“Part of my identity is that I’m a reader,” Chang says. “It was pretty dramatic for me to realize at some point that I didn’t read anymore. It’s a little horrifying. It’s a problem that’s very dear to my heart because of that.”
As author of the successful “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles,” Lee sees a chance for Rooster to help writers connect with their readers and get feedback more quickly than in the traditional publishing world. Eventually Plympton will track information for authors so they’ll know what keeps readers engaged.
Helping people rediscover reading won’t just be good for authors — or commuters. Plympton’s founders think it could drastically benefit society.
“I think fiction makes us all better people,” Goldstein Love says. “Fiction is the only time that we really really try to know what it’s like to be other people. … It changes our political views. I think it changes how we think about our place in the world, what we owe to other people. I think it’s just morally and civically transformative.”
Rooster is conducting a Regulation D offering via Wefunder Advisors LLC. CRD Number: #167803.
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