Live-streaming video platform and app OOOOO has launched a dedicated channel Book.TV with an integrated purchase and gift function.
Author Melanie Blake helped launched the channel on Monday evening (8th March) to mark International Women’s Day to discuss her latest thriller Ruthless Women (Head of Zeus) while the channel’s founders suggested that “the retail industry will never truly recover from this year”.
OOOOO is a social media and shopping app which has 160,000 users after launching three months ago and it predicted around 10,000 users of its platform community would attend the Book.TV launch.
“Book.TV is a channel devoted to celebrating talented authors, independent bookshops and bookworms, delivering a lucrative platform and much-needed boost for the UK’s publishing industry impacted by the pandemic,” tech company OOOOO said. “Book.TV is an informative and interactive live shoppable channel with the aim to provide entertainment and education to the OOOOO community, immersing them in the world of written word and literature through live, entertaining and shoppable readings."
The new channel “provides the opportunity for established and emerging authors to perform live readings to a highly engaged, interactive crowd. At the same time, the audience can discover new talent, virtually ‘meet and greet’ their favourite authors and enjoy free live, intimate performances”.
Content will also be tailored to capture different audiences, with live shows dedicated to the reading of commercial fiction, crime thrillers, YA romance, literary titles, children’s books and comics hosted by the authors themselves. Live shows on the platform are currently reaching up to 10,000 viewers, OOOOO said.
“The platform is also a unique, lucrative sales channel for the author, publisher or book retailer to gain earning potential during real-time performances. Copies of the narrated book, including exclusive first editions and signed copies, will be available for purchase during the show,” the founders said. “What really makes the live-streamed experience on Book.TV inimitable is both viewers and performers can enjoy two-way interaction, with a cutting-edge integrated ‘tipping’ feature to further bolster earnings during the show. This feature enables fans to purchase and send virtual ‘gifts’ to the narrator, with each symbol representing a monetary value they receive post-show.”
Laura Palmer publishing director at Head of Zeus, described the channel as "a game changer for the publishing industry", saying: "Imagine if authors could directly sell books to their fans via twitter or Instagram? This is exactly what OOOOO.com offers. At a time when we need diverse retail channels more than ever, when book festivals are postponed and authors are unable to go to signings, OOOOO.com has come up with a solution that the publishing industry badly needs."
Blake described it as a particularly important retail avenue with bookshops currently closed due to lockdown. “When I wrote Ruthless Women last March, during the first lockdown, never in a million years did I believe we'd still be in lockdown when it came out. OOOOO.com launching a new channel dedicated to books is a game changer for authors everywhere in the UK. At the moment, as an author, I can’t meet my readers or sign books. Being able to sell signed copies of my book and speak to my readers on OOOOO.com is the closest I will get to a book signing or author event in lockdown. “
OOOOO co-founder Sam Jones said: “The launch of Book.TV is part of our wider goal to provide educational and informative channels for the OOOOO community. Book.TV will connect the audience with the wonderful world of the written word, renowned authors such as Melanie and emerging talent through a unique, live and interactive experience. “
“Our view is that the retail industry will never truly recover from this year. Instead, people will form new habits and seek new ways to earn a living. We want to be part of this inevitable shift, with Book.TV playing a key role in bolstering the publishing industry.”
For more information or to download OOOOO and access Book.TV, visit OOOOO.com.