I hadn’t heard much about serial e-publisher Serial Box since it was founded in late 2015 and inked a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish completed serials in print in early 2016. But a recent piece in Publishers Weekly reveals the service is still alive and kicking.
PW reports that the start-up has secured $1.65 million in seed investment funds, and quotes founder Molly Barton as saying “We’re successfully attracting and retaining a loyal premium audience.” Deadline has a little more detail, but not much more actual content.
The idea behind Serial Box is to create a more “TV-like” reading experience by posting one episode per week. These weekly episodes are $1.99 each to get both the text and audio version, or $1.59 each as part of a subscription; the stories run from 13 to 18 episodes per “season.”
From the standpoint of someone who usually wants to read a whole book at a time, I’m not sure whether this gimmick is really all that attractive. But if Serial Box is finding enough customers to support its business model, then more power to it.
But the question is, is it? If it’s making good money, why does it need a further $1.65 million investment? And what does it actually plan to do with all that money? None of the articles about the matter seem to have any idea.
In any case, it seems that Serial Box is going to be worth keeping an eye on in coming months. If nothing else, perhaps its idea of bundling text and audio together at one price might give the major publishers some ideas.