Will BookShout Change Everything For Readers? VIDEO


For thousands of years, reading has been a solo activity.

With the advent of the e-reader, the game has been rapidly changing. Remember our 2012 publishing predictions? They are starting to come true.

“I think ‘social reading’ is still a huge opportunity for the e-reader space. So far, only Rethink Books seems to have the vision for this,” said publishing industry giant Michael Hyatt in a blog post last December. Hyatt is also rumored to be on the board for the company.

Think of BookShout as an online book club…on steroids.

Rethink Books is the parent company of BookShout, an app that is causing quite the buzz in the sector where social media and publishing collides. With this social reading application, you’ll be able to:

  • compare notes with readers from all over the world,
  • start discussion threads on passages, and
  • read the author’s notes.

Listen to what BookShout founder Jason Illian has to say –

Users will be able to subscribe to anyone’s feed, similar to Facebook. For instance, if you wanted to read Hilary Clinton’s notes on Sarah Palin’s book (or vice versa), you’d only have to subscribe. The catch is that in order to read the notes in context, you’ll have to purchase the book.

BookShout is a win-win for everyone.

For users, it provides a richer reading experience. For authors, they can find out just what people think about their books. Publishers win by harvesting the analytics – they can now discover what people love (or hate) about a book, the most popular passages, and when someone puts down the book.

Currently, all the major publishing houses are on board with BookShout.

Publisher’s Weekly says, “BookShout is certainly a timely venture that offers social connectivity, easy access to digital books, and a new retail outlet at a time publishers are certainly looking for one.”

BookShout will be released in April 2012 for the iPad.  BookShout will be released in April 2012 for the iPad.

The question is, what do you think about BookShout? Will you be using it?



6 Responses to Will BookShout Change Everything For Readers? VIDEO

  1. Turndog Millionaire March 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Thanks for that, it sounds quite interesting. a site i will have to look at :)

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    • Caitlin Muir March 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      I hope you do. It’s going to be fun to see the way it influences change.

  2. Mark Oetjens March 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    It looks interesting. I watched the video and I have to be honest, the whole religious slant of the video kind of makes me wary. Nonetheless, I signed up for the beta test.

    • Mark Oetjens March 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      I meant the video on the BookShout website.

      • Caitlin Muir March 22, 2012 at 10:39 am #

        I appreciate the clarification, Mark. Let us know what you think of the product!

  3. Elizabeth March 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Hi Caitlin Muir,
    Thanks for your excellent interview with Jason Illian, founder of the collaborative ereading platform Bookshout. I can see that you were a valuable member of the editorial team at Social Media Club House 9 during SXSW 2012. But I also can sympathize with the comment about the off-putting religious nature of the Bookshout website.

    Your interview with Illian helped me understand what a game changer Bookshout could become by enabling readers of ebooks to connect and share notes with anywhere from 10 to 10,000 fellow readers of a book. I’m also interested in Bookshout’s potential to alter the book trade by generating analytics with an unprecedented level of granularity about the way readers engage with a book.

    As soon as the video of your interview ended, I immediately went to the Bookshout website to learn more and possibly sign up. But, like fellow commenter, Mark, I was taken aback at the message on the page, where a headline invited readers to “read together as a small group, ministry or church.”

    Huh? Curious to learn more, I watched the two-and-a-half-minute video, really a Powerpoint-type of presentation played to the sound of a droning, electronic loop.

    I was taken aback by the content of the presentation on the Booklist home page. It is an unabashed call to action for Christians to use Bookshout to spread Christianity beyond the 10 percent of the world population currently practicing the religion, quoting a biblical instruction to “make disciples of all nations.”

    It’s a far cry from the decidedly secular Booklist described in your interview with Illian. For non-Christians, it’s actually a little scary, especially where it declares that the Bible “trumps” all other books and that, ‘It’s time to share our faith again.’ As a non-Christian, I felt like an intruder on a message intended for proselytizing Christians.

    Here is a word-for-word copy of the text in the Bookshout video:,

    “Faith. Is it just a word? Or a movement? Can faith impact technology? Gutenberg’s Printing Press, circa 1441 (picture of Gutenberg’s historic, moveable-type press, associated with the Gutenberg Bible). We led it once… We’re going to lead it again.

    “Culture influenced digital music. Faith will influence digital books.Faceook has over 800 million users. If it were a country, it would be the third-largest in the world. Users spend 18.5 billion minutes on social sites. Every day. The first text message was sent December 1992. Today, over 6 million are sent and received. Daily! 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile phones.

    “So what does all of this really mean? World population: 7 billion. Less than 10 percent are Christian, meaning 90 pecent are not. Apple will sell 55 million iPads in 2012. They built the medium but not the message. Google has digitized over12 million books. But one book trumps them all (picture of book with “Holy Bible” stamped on cover). In 2008, 275,834 titles were traditionally published. But soon 300,000 churches will be able to share and discuss any book.

    “Most people connect with church only one day a week. Now they can connect to church — and one another — any day of the week. The church is not just a building. We don’t learn only from pastors, we learn from each other. We are not called to go to church … we are called to be the church.

    “How will this change how we share our faith? What if we could read together? Share to Facebook? To Twitter? To ‘the ends of the earth’? Study and share any book? Read and share on any device? Follow authors, leaders, pastors and friends! What if books were experienced? It’s time to share our faith again. ‘Go and make disciples of all nations …’ -Matt 28:19. Bookshout! Register at …” etc.

    You might want to plan a follow-up interview exploring the Christian nature of the Bookshout site, how it might affect adoption of the technology and what it means that the major book publishers have signed on with it, religious overtones and all.