News from HarperCollins:
New York, NY (January 25, 2010) — HarperCollins Publishers broadens its digital offerings with the launch today of inkpop (www.inkpop.com ), the first interactive writing platform for teens backed by a major U.S. publisher. Inkpop, created by HarperTeen to attract young readers and writers, combines community publishing, user-generated content, and social networking to connect rising stars in teen literature with talent-spotting readers and publishing professionals.
The launch of inkpop represents the next step in the company’s overall digital strategy designed to build and expand its direct-to-consumer business. Inkpop will be the anchor of HarperCollins’s ongoing teen strategy, enabling the company to have a continuous dialogue directly with its audience to determine what the community cares about, as well as an unfiltered look at what’s in and what’s out.
“As with all of our online consumer programs, the concept of community-building is aligned with our ongoing corporate digital marketing efforts to cultivate a two-way dialogue with our readers,” says Susan Katz, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books. “Inkpop provides us with an interactive platform to engage directly with our audience, encourage a passion for writing, and discover new trends and opportunities in this growing and important community.”
Katz adds, “Teens are a key consumer group with significant financial impact. Teen fiction is one of the most robust and fastest-growing categories in publishing today.”
“Across our business we are looking to build consumer reach and engagement,” says Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins Chief Digital Officer. “Inkpop is the latest iteration of these direct-to- consumer efforts this time for the teen market.”
Since its soft launch in 4th quarter 2009, inkpop already has more than 10,000 members and nearly 11,000 submissions, including novels, poems, essays, and short stories. The visitors are teens ages 13 and older, from 109 different countries and territories. Additionally, it has engaged a select group of international HarperCollins editors and authors to review the site’s top five monthly selections, providing invaluable feedback and mentorship opportunities to the young authors, while also considering their work for publication.
“What sets inkpop apart from other writing communities is the Editorial Board,” says Kat Musallam, an inkpop user. “Other communities only have that writer-reader interaction, but to have a panel evaluate your work is something that we writers—especially those who aren’t so familiar with the publishing world—can only dream of.”
Carolyn Mackler, author of Tangled and the Printz-Honor book, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things says, “I would have loved to have a community like inkpop when I was a teenager. I desperately wanted to connect with people who liked reading and writing, to compare notes on a character or maybe even not feel so alone with all my words and thoughts. So as an author, it was a huge treat to be able to chat with my teen readers during an inkpop forum event. The inkpoppers came out in droves, with major enthusiasm and loads of questions.”
HarperCollins will announce partnerships throughout the year that will further enrich the inkpop community experience for teen members. As inkpop evolves in the months ahead, this exciting community will continue to expand and encompass other formats such as photography, video and artwork sharing in order to enhance inkpop projects and promote additional forms of creativity.
HarperCollins has launched several successful digital initiatives designed to engage consumers globally including Book Army, Authonomy, Browse Inside and Full Access. The company was also the first publisher to digitize its content to create a global digital warehouse across all divisions with capabilities to distribute digital content to retail partners, search partners, online partners and consumers, making the company uniquely positioned to create and sustain this type of community.