Penguin Books India has recently launched a website targeting young adults between 13 – 21 years of age called Inked which also has an offline imprint division.
The company claims to have over 20,000 registered young adults on Inked website, although we didn’t find any registration process on the site at the time of writing this article, so we are not quite sure on what company means by registered users.
Just a blog targeting Young Adults?
Penguin Book claims that Inked is a creative platform for young adults and focuses on books and writing for young adults as well as topics like music and art.
However, at the time of writing this article, we noticed that the website is just a simple blog which features blog posts across various topics like music festivals, iPhone apps, inspirational ideas, among others. It also features works from various youngsters on the site and also allows them to submit their work for showcase on their website.
What could Penguin Books do with Inked?
This initiative appears to be an attempt by Penguin to tap into younger audience who are tech savvy. While their idea is worth appreciating, we believe their approach could’ve been significantly improved. Firstly, its just a simple blog which is publishing articles across various topics, rather than being a platform for creativity as they claim. While they do offer the option for youngsters to submit their work, there is currently no room for interaction which can make it a creative platform.
At the least, Penguin Books could probably add a forum type of feature that enables youngsters to engage with other youngsters with similar interests. The website would also become more interesting to youngsters if they introduce collaboration features, which allows youngsters across various regions to collaborate on a work which can then be showcased on the Inked website and also can possible be published offline as a book.
On the social media integration as well, there is so much more that can be done with its extensive repository of youth related books. For instance, Pottermore by J.K.Rowling & Sony is a good example of a similar kind of engagement with young readers who seem to come back to the website even after the Harry Potter series is over. Besides unpublished stories, Pottermore also offered games, tasks, and activities around the Harry Potter books.
Gamification done with enough thought could be something that could keep the interest of youngsters and make them come back on a daily basis, however we don’t currently see enough incentives for them to keep coming back to the website.