What combination of words excites Americans quite like all-you-can… READ? So maybe “read” doesn’t hit the ears – or the gut – with the same punch as “eat,” but there’s no question as to which better nourishes body, spirit, and mind. Make no mistake, book lovers and haters, there is an epic tale in the making here.
The Epic Reading Experience
Epic! is an all-you-can-read eBook subscription service for kids ages 12 and younger. For $9.99 a month, kids can read as many books as they like on their iPads. Kids love mobile devices, so the startup hopes that making reading more accessible and enjoyable will entice them to read more rather than play video games or watch videos.
Books stream instantly rather than download, which is helpful, because who isn’t raised to expect instant gratification anymore? Kids may keep a record of all that they’ve read through the service, share titles with friends, receive recommendations based on age and interests, and even earn badges and awards for finishing books.
Another Book, Please
Perhaps most importantly, kids don’t need to hound parents for reading material or wait for permission. Quality, age-appropriate books are immediately at their fingertips. It only makes sense that if we want children to read more, they should be able to find books as quickly and easily as possible. While no caring parent would complain about going to the trouble of buying their kids books each time they’re asked, Epic! saves parents the added effort – and until the joys of reading work their charms, the less effort required of everyone to get kids reading the better.
There’s Always Brains and Bucks in the Books
Epic! is co-founded by Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue. Markosian previously founded the social gaming company Crowdstar. Donahue was an original team member at YouTube and also worked at Google on strategic partnerships. The company recently closed a $1.4 million round of funding, led by Menlo Ventures, Webb Investment Network, and Innovation Endeavors, among others.
Over 2,000 titles have joined Epic!’s catalogue so far thanks to partnerships with top publishers. Perhaps the money and attention – and (fingers crossed) success of the service – will heat up the race to build the Netflix of eBooks. For now adults will have to wait and cheer on this encouraging attempt by Epic! to enlist kids on the thrilling journey of reading in our digital epoch.