Hi there! Thanks for reading this first post on our « Let’s give a try to pop literature » blog!
This new year starts for Alexandra and me, Catherine, with a new adventure. Our startup is incubated in Montpellier, in the South of France, at Ionis 361 and within the Business and Innovation Center (second World’s top incubator according to UBI Global: ) promotes a “new literary experience”.
episod’in consists in one app with two aims:
1/ The possibility to read SLEDs (Series through Literature Enriched with Data) on you IOS and Android phone.
Let’s make it clear: SLEDs are not e-books. They are inspired from tv series, but you can read them on you phone. Series are made of episodes, are enriched with media (drawings, videos, sounds, musique and animation effects). These series constitute our “pop” (i-e accessible to as many people as possible) literary offer.
What do we mean when we say, “pop literature”?
First-of-all, we mean a new way to access to literature in a straightforward way, as Netflix gives access to TV episodes and movies. We mean giving access to a certain type of culture to the many. B movies, straight-to-TV movies, art films (Alfonso Cuaron with Roma).
episod’in aims to become the literary series Netflix and to gather successful authors and unknown ones on its catalog.
But “pop” means more than that, and Andy Warhol knew it.
Pop literature also means pop culture. A contemporary, colorful culture, dealing with societal subject matters, neither with taboo, nor with snobbery. Pop literature is open to the world and questions it.
2/ The possibility for professional and non-professional authors to create their own enriched literary series.
episod’in offers them the possibility to write and/or to read stories sequenced in episodes, through a freemium or premium version.
You may wonder why we need to do all that, here and NOW?
There are many reasons to defend this new literary media but let me present the more convincing ones:
In France, 85% of the 15/34 years old’s say that they have no time to read. In the same survey, they confirm spending one to two hours a day on their smartphone. And to me, this is the low hypothesis. I have been working with students for EPITECH school in Montpellier (18 and 20 years old) and I can say that the time spent on their smartphone is higher than that: social networking, listening to music while working, video and video games during the breaks, Google for any question which needed an immediate answer. To be clear, this did not prevent them from doing a great job!
A second reason arises from this analysis: young adults have a fractional approach of knowledge. Therefore, a catalog proposing literature through episodes is probably a way to bring them (back) to reading.
Third reason: the author status is changing. The development of e-edition, of blogs of existing writing and production platforms (Wattpad, SoundCloud, Instagram, YouTube, etc.). Beforehand, there were the writers and the readers. But now, authors are everywhere, whatever their age, social environment. And these authors, who are sometimes very talented, cannot generate enough revenue from their creativity. Only 5% of the French authors generate more than 700 euros per month.
Our platform will allow these authors, whether professional or not, to generate more revenue.
Now, you understand our vision: between two adversarial visions, opposing the “true” literature and the daily use of a smartphone, we choose an in-between way: to create a new form of literature using the most common and popular tool in the world. The smartphone.
Young adults don’t move towards literature and spend more and more time on their smartphone? That may be true.
And we have two different ways to handle that. We can deplore it. Or we can find a solution to renew literature and adapt it to shorter reading periods, add media to make it dynamic, even sensual.
This is the choice we make with episod’in. With no hesitation, with a huge enthusiasm, we will bring readers, authors, artists, publishers with us in this adventure.
4th reason. Reading SLEDs is great, writing them is even better!
Our positioning consists in offering to everyone the possibility to create their own SLED, not only to read the other’s.
That is where this project is so ambitious. With this double possibility (reading and writing), we will raise energy and enthusiasm.
Once again, we aim to create a desire for young adults to write stories, to confront to a unique experience: tell a story, their story, any story they want to tell.
We will do everything to attract them, encourage them, help them, congratulate them all along their creative path. We will have them interact with other authors of our community episod’in. We will make them proud of their creative boldness, of their work. More than that. We will show them that it is not possible to publish inconsistent stories, stories which are full of typing errors, spelling errors, stories with hateful or shocking words.
episod’in is a platform which promotes quality. Pop does not mean bad quality in any way.
This quality is mandatory if we want non-professional writers and professional ones on this catalog.
So, welcome to all authors, lovers of thrillers, science fiction, heroic fantasy, biopic, diaries, travel narrative, etc. episod’in exists so that you can express your talent in a new way, to give its fame to a new form of artistic expression: The SLEDs.
Last reason to defend this new literary experience: young adults are overwhelmed by pictures, sounds, music, immersive games where they move through a 3D environment with their fingers or with a virtual headset, usually to kill apocalypse monsters with very sophisticated weapons. Let’s be clear: we do not want to fight this cultural offer. We just want to convince people that reading words, sentences are a unique cultural experience to become a free, open-minded human being and to be able to well-consider fake digital experience in this troubled world.
Reading gives women and men the freedom to reinvent the world, without bounds, without preconceived ideas.
Mastering the language, the writing means mastering our life. Where Gmail proposes to answer emails for us (which is totally frightening for the future of our creativity and imagination), Alexandra and me, hope you will support our project.
To end this first post, and if our project arouses your interest, please feel free to let us know so that you don’t miss what’s coming next. In few weeks, we will launch our first crowdfunding campaign on Ulule website to go on developing our platform and to offer you the first SLED of the catalog consisting of the 30 episodes thriller, which story takes place in Montpellier, in the South of France. Our website will be ready soon but do not hesitate to send us your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be so happy to answer your email!
Catherine Feunteun, cofounder and CEO episod’in
Alexandra Connac, cofounder and CLO episod’in
This project is supported by :