Project of the week: iClassics

Project of the week: iClassics

iClassics, the project behind the iPoe app, is making its next big push in its mission to create digital honey-traps that suck the next generation into our literary greats.

The pitch

iClassics is a project that combines literature, art and technology to promote reading of great past authors. From Poe to Wilde to Lovecraft, iClassics transforms classic works into interactive experiences for mobiles and tablets that resonate with modern audiences. 

Who's behind it

Two Barcelona-based friends who have run several businesses together over the last decade. Illustrator and creative director David G. Forés coordinates the creative side of the project while Efrén Garcia i Artero heads up the business and marketing. They lead a team combining skills in programming, motion graphics and communication.

What's the gap in the market? 

"Classic books are frequently deselected from libraries because their titles are not in demand anymore," Garcia i Artero explains. "We are unwilling to accept it: classics don’t belong to the past, their wisdom can help us to build the present. iClassics is a magic combination of elements that helps us hook bookworms into enjoying essential books, as well as persuading those who haven’t yet discovered the pleasure of reading. In essence we aim to engage youth, who write in 140 characters, to read and enjoy classical literature."

Success so far?

Fores and Garcia i Artero have been working on the project since 2012, and have so far developed and launched seven collections for iOs devices, comprising more than 22 stories. You've probably heard of their most famous app, iPoe Collection, which snagged the Publishing Innovation Award at Digital Book World and was finalist for Best App Ever in the Visual Design Category (beaten by Google Maps). iClassics boasts a fanbase of more than 300.000 people across social media.

Biggest challenges?

Unsurprisingly, funds. "We need €100K for the next stage of the project so that we can adapt all apps to Android to reach a bigger audience and make it available for everyone everywhere," says Garcia i Artero. "We also want to include more languages and adapt more stories." This month is a crucial time for the team as they are currently trying to raise the next round of funding via a Kickstarter campaign.

Ultimate ambition?

The iClassics team want to build a huge global community around the project, which originially gained momentum via a Facebook group.  "We'd like to create a place where all the members can interact, participate, share, talk and more," Garcia i Artero explains. "We aim to gather readers, teachers, comic lovers, book lovers but also associations, organisations, foundations and other organisms and companies that believe in our project and want to support it."

Advice to other publishing entrepreneurs?

"It's very hard to make a life in the publishing industry but it's worth it. If you are looking to built a community around your project and want to make it a reality, try crowdfunding. Running a Kickstarter campaign is a very exciting and rewarding experience."