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?



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