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Engaging Readers Through Sound

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by Cameron Drew, publisher

Cameron Drew

It’s never easy to be a pioneer. You have to draw your own maps, wander into unexplored territory, and develop partnerships based on the promise of good things to come. Being a pioneer in the digital publishing space requires you to navigate two different worlds at once. Not only do you have to cut your path through the wide-open terrain of the digital world, but you also have to clear the hurdles of the traditional publishing world.

When we began pioneering an immersive audio-enhanced reading experience at Booktrack, independent authors and publishers were among the first early adopters. Independent publishers know what it’s like to navigate challenging environments, and they know how to stay focused on providing the best possible experience to readers.

Booktrack is a reader-focused platform that allows users to dive deeper into narrative worlds through the addition of a synchronized, movie-style soundtrack. As users read their favorite books on our platform, our technology tracks their reading speed and enables ambient noise, sound effects, and background music to play at precisely the right points in the text.

It’s something new in an industry that loves tradition. It’s perfect for publishers and authors who want to offer their readers something more than text but don’t want to take anything away from the beauty of the written word. Because the soundtrack enhances a reader’s sense of place rather than taking them out of the narrative, Booktrack actually improves reader engagement and enjoyment of the text. The Booktrack versions of titles aren’t meant to replace the paper-based versions, or even the straight e-pub versions. The Booktrack experience is not for every reader; it reaches the readers who are ready for something outside the norm.

The platform is also designed to be accessible to publishers and authors at all levels. Self-published authors who want to try their hand at soundtracking their own work can use our creator tool for free to create a Booktrack version of their work. Some authors have taken to using Booktrack as a promotion tool by embedding a Booktracked version of the first chapter of their work on their website.

For our premium content from our publishing partners and top indie authors, our trained sound engineers create fully customized soundtracks. Publishers and authors review the soundtrack at several points throughout the production process to ensure the soundscapes we create match the mood, tone, and plot of the story. In the end, publishers end up with a new way to bring their stories to a wider audience and a new marketing moment for each title.

We currently have more than 200 premium titles for sale across all genres, half of which came from partnerships with top independent publishers including Sourcebooks, Skyhorse, Orca Books, Mighty Media, Light Messages, and Canelo.

And we’re just getting started. As we develop new iterations of our technology, we will continue to look to independent publishers to provide the narratives to make this technology shine.

About the Author:

Cameron Drew is a veteran of the publishing industry with extensive experience in online retail and B2B e-commerce publishing. His wheelhouse includes content acquisition, growing new and existing business models, contract negotiation, international expansion, and hunting down strategic partnerships.

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