HC runs digital innovation contest

HC runs digital innovation contest


HarperCollins is challenging developers to create new digital products that reimagine the book, via a four-month-long challenge called BookSmash.

The contest is being run in conjunction with software competition platform ChallengePost.

HC said it was looking for "innovative thinkers interested in using imagination and technology to build software that goes beyond the traditional ways we read and discover books." Content from over a dozen HC authors - including sci-fi novelist Debra Driza, management guru Peter Drucker and Narnia creator C S Lewis - is being made available for participants to use in their entries.

Nick Perrett, HarperCollins UK group strategy and digital director, commented: "I recently said at the Futurebook Innovation Workshop 'books are software now'. This challenge directly connects our authors with entrepreneurial software developers to dream up something different. Our goal, simply put, is to revolutionise our understanding of what a book is and how stories are connected to readers. We hope to find the idea that changes storytelling forever."

Chantal Restivo-Alessi, HC's chief digital officer, said: "Developers who wish to innovate around book products often find challenges in gaining access to authors' content, as well as understanding rights, distribution and legal issues. We hope to bridge this gap by making content and guidance available, and encouraging participants to think outside the box about the reading experience as a whole."

Submissions will be accepted until 5th December via the challenge website. They can be developed as software programmes or mobile apps and should be available to readers on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Window Phone, PC, Mac or web/mobile platforms. Four prizes totalling $25,000 in cash will be awarded, with judges including entrepreneur Steve Rosenbaum and N3TWORK co-founder Erik Lammerding.