Publishing platform Juggernaut Books has gone live with an Android app listing over 150 books that users can browse and read. Many old books like Sherlock Holmes, Mark Twain, Jane Austen etc., are available for free, with paid books starting at Rs 10.
Juggernaut’s app lists four categories, Discover, Read, Write and Me. Discover lists various books available on the platform based on categories like short reads, top of the charts, in focus etc. Users can ‘star’ these categories for easy access later. Tapping on a book lets users check out the price of the book, its reviews and a preview. Users can use Paytm or a credit/debit card to make payments.
Purchasing a book from the discover section adds it to the Read section of the app, which lets users read the books, bookmark them, change the font size & background color etc. Users can also add free books here. The Me section simply lists the profile and transaction history. As for the Write section of the app, the company says that this feature is coming soon. Users need to sign in with Facebook or email before they can read or make purchases.
Paid membership: Interestingly, speaking to the Mint, Durga Raghunath, CEO of Juggernaut Books, said that the company will start offering daily memberships two weeks after launch followed by monthly memberships. The membership will cost Rs 15 for a day or Rs 299 for a month. Memberships will likely allow users to read any book as much as they want for the duration of the membership.
Funding: In September last year, Juggernaut Books raised an undisclosed round of funding from FabIndia’s founder William Bissell, Infosys’ co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Neeraj Aggarwal, managing director of Boston Consulting Group India. At the time, the platform which was in a beta phase, planned to publish 50 titles every year. In January, the company appointed Priya Ramani as editor-at-large for its digital properties.
Other developments in digital publishing:
– Last month, Bloomberg and Raghav Bahl’s The Quint signed a joint venture agreement to launch a co-branded television news channel and website.
– In December, independent magazine Swarajya partnered with Quintype for its integrated CMS with features for audience management, engagement, monetization and analytics.
– In November, S Chand, the publisher of textbooks and competitive exam material, raised $27 million for scaling up operations in education publishing, digital education and augmenting textbooks with multimedia and digital content.
– In the same month, Quintype launched SpeakWrite, a platform for digital media startups where it would provide design services, developing and testing for websites and apps and 1,000 hours of professional services over 12 months.
– In September, nonprofit trust Pratham Books launched StoryWeaver, an open source digital platform, which featured 800 stories in 24 languages (14 Indian and 12 international languages), with an image repository of over 2,000 images.