Subtext Unlocks Potential of eBooks, Transforms Reading Experience

Collaborates with Bestselling Authors from Several Major U.S. Publishers to Provide the First Reading Experience Enhanced by Community Discussion, Author Commentary and Web Content

Raises $3M from Google Ventures, Mayfield Fund, New Enterprise Associates and Omidyar Network

18 books enriched with author/expert notes (Graphic: Business Wire)

PALO ALTO, Calif. & LOS ANGELES--()--Subtext, a digital reading company with plans to unlock the full potential of ebooks, today released its first product, a state-of-the-art reading app for the iPad. Subtext was designed from the ground up to power the first community of consumers, authors and experts in the pages of ebooks. The service’s social networking and enrichment features lay over standard ebooks to transform reading into a social activity and, for the first time ever, connect books to the Web.

Right from the pages of their ebooks, Subtext members can:

  • Engage in conversations with friends, community members, authors and experts,
    even if they are not on the same page at the same time
  • Access author, expert and community-generated insights and information and
    contribute their own
  • Easily add and explore links to relevant articles, images and multimedia on the Web
  • Personalize the experience so they can engage with the people and information that
    matter to them

Members can also see all the discussions and activity related to the books they are reading in “Discuss,” a Facebook-style reading feed that serves as the community center of Subtext.

“Our goal is simple: to transform the way people read,” said Andrew Goldman, chief executive officer of Subtext. “Whether you want to talk about books or tap into all kinds of great insights and information as you read, we help you get more out of—and more into—your books.”

“Here, at last, is a platform that allows authors to add video, audio, photos, links and notes to enhance their books—and it is as easy as changing their Facebook status. Best of all, Subtext frees authors up to approach their subject in a different way, to speak in a more intimate voice and to lift the curtain on their process,” explained Amy Stewart, the New York Times-bestselling author of Wicked Bugs. “I'm midway through my next book, and I'm already thinking about how I can enhance it in Subtext.”

Subtext’s First Shelf Showcases 18 Enriched Books

For its launch, Subtext collaborated with notable authors from several U.S. publishers—including Byliner, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Penguin Group (USA), Random House, Inc., Simon & Schuster and Algonquin, a division of Workman—to offer consumers a collection of eighteen books spanning genres such as literary and popular fiction, mystery, suspense, business and science. All books are enriched with additive content, including author and expert commentary, and available with free previews. The company also announced that it has integrated with the open Google Books API, allowing Subtext users access to their Google eBooks library as well as the ability to add additional books from the Google eBookstore.

This initial effort aligns with Subtext’s plan to serve as a platform that connects authors and publishers directly with consumers and supports the first marketplace for value-added book content.

Examples of Additive Content in Subtext:

  • George R.R. Martin’s editor and researcher offer insider commentary in A Game of Thrones
  • David Eagleman, a popular neuroscientist and author of Incognito, spends a week “in the book” discussing the complexities and contradictions of the human mind
  • Frances Mayes refreshes her classic Under the Tuscan Sun with updates on popular characters and new off-the-beaten-path locations
  • Spencer Quinn reveals the secrets behind a good mystery in The Dog Who Knew Too Much
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is brought to life with scenes from the new movie and interviews with author Lisa See and director Wayne Wang
  • Amy Stewart uses quirky notes and multimedia to educate and entertain in Wicked Bugs
  • Lev Grossman gives a behind-the-scenes tour of the magical world of Fillory in The Magician King
  • Book critic David L. Ulin offers a modern interpretation of the classic Miss Lonelyhearts

Complete Lists of Books on First Subtext Shelf:

The Baby Chase, a Byliner Original, Holly Finn

The Chairs Are Where the People Go, Misha Glouberman & Sheila Heti

The Dog Who Knew Too Much, Spencer Quinn

A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin

Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok

Incognito, David Eagleman

In the Plex, Steven Levy

It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs…, Larry Smith & Rachel Fershleiser

The Lotus Eaters, Tatjana Soli

Machine Man, Max Barry

Miss Lonelyhearts, Nathaniel West

The Magician King, Lev Grossman

A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick

The Sherlockian, Graham Moore

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See

The True Memoirs of Little K, Adrienne Sharp

Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes

Wicked Bugs, Amy Stewart

Subtext will continue to curate and deliver new bookshelves with additive content at regular intervals throughout the year. In addition, consumers can purchase any book available in the Google eBookstore, and it will be automatically added to their Subtext bookshelf.

Subtext was designed to allow consumers to access and read books from multiple sources. The Subtext bookshelf can sync with users’ bookshelves on other platforms, and its system supports annotations across different ebook editions.

Subtext received $3 million in seed investment from Google Ventures, Mayfield Fund, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Omidyar Network. The company’s first product is a free iPad app currently available on the App Store.

About Subtext

Subtext is a digital reading company with a vision to power the largest community of readers, authors and experts in the pages of ebooks. The service offers social networking and enrichment features that lay over standard ebooks to enhance the reading experience. Subtext was founded in 2010 by Andrew Goldman, CEO; Adam Iarossi, CTO; Todd Robertson, vice president of engineering; and Rachel Thomas, vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships. Subtext received $3 million in seed investment from Google Ventures, Mayfield Fund, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Omidyar Network. The company’s first product is a free iPad app currently available on the App Store. For more information, visit www.subtext.com or contact info@subtext.com.

Product imagery and an introductory video are available at www.subtext.com/press

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50041974&lang=en

Contacts

Sparkpr
Mary Devincenzi
Direct: 408.559.1820
Mobile: 408.761.4285
mdevincenzi@sparkpr.com
or
Subtext
Rachel Thomas
Mobile: 650.319.5653
rachel@subtext.com

Contacts

Sparkpr
Mary Devincenzi
Direct: 408.559.1820
Mobile: 408.761.4285
mdevincenzi@sparkpr.com
or
Subtext
Rachel Thomas
Mobile: 650.319.5653
rachel@subtext.com