Readers want to share their reading experience with other readers. Unlike movies or television, however, where masses of people go to the theater on the same day or watch an episode of "Game of Thrones" on television and then have a ton of friends to discuss the movie or show with, reading is a solitary pursuit. Not only don't readers all read the book at the same time, they do not finish it at the same time. How then can you discuss books with other readers. Some people have joined neighborhood book clubs to join together and read the same book, but it's only a few friends and not the legion of people who might have read a book. Shouldn't readers get help from social media.
Enter Librify.com, a startup online subscription reading service that seeks to renew interest in the book of the month club model, but by melding e-books and online book clubs together, help readers join online book clubs to discuss what they read. Librify is the brainchild of industry professionals, including Joanne Herman, its co-founder and CEO, who used to work as an investment banker in media at DeSilva+Phillips. Herman thinks that the book of a month club model can be updated for the 21st century and used with e-books and social media so that readers can band together online, read the same book and talk about it -- all in online book clubs on her site.
Librify is not only a web based platform. There is an app for the I-Pad and people will also be able to buy and/or subscribe at Target, the giant retailer, which think so highly of the idea that they have partnered up with Librify, to be their exclusive bricks and mortar retailer. People can apply to join the service right now and a trial membership includes one free book. The Librify app is available on the I-Pad. According to the site, https://www.librify.com/ the app will soon be available for the iphone and android.
How will it work. Librify is a paid membership subscription service. For $8.99 a month, people will get access to a Librify's recommended book and discounts on all of their other online book purchases. The first book that you buy will be part of the standard monthly subscription and additional books will be available a la carte. Librify has over 500,000 title for purchase right now. According to Librify, book club members would be able to form book clubs, read the same book, be able to track where people were in the book and chat about the experience, all on their site. Librify envisions itself being the "central hub for anything book club whether you want to use Librify to manage your existing book club or virtual book club, join, form or find a book club or just have a book club-like experience."
According to Herman, Target will offer expertise in selecting the book that is the recommended read of the month through its "club picks", which are books selected by Target employees based on what they are currently reading. Target says that it "will be selling pre-paid Librify gift cards in store that can be redeemed via the Librify app." Target presently sells books to shoppers in store but now will be able to expand to readers online.
What makes Librify standout from Amazon and other online booksellers. Herman thinks its Librify's ability to "curate books to meet our users preferences, our unique focus primarily on women and book clubs, our partnership with Target and most importantly, our social reading platform" which she hopes will bring a "whole new reading experience to eBooks that has never existed before."
The Book of a Month Club succeeded in an era where each monthly selection was the big read of the day. Everyone was reading it and discussing it. If Librify can tap into the desire of people to read the next big book and discuss it, maybe it can help readers meet other people and have their own 3 minute water cooler social experience. Now that would be a something worth getting involved in.