A new start-up wants to bring all-you-can-eat style ebook subscription services to the kids market.
Readers can pay $9.99 a month for access to Epic!, which launches with over 2,000 titles for school-aged kids to choose from by publishers such as Simon & Schuster and Open Road Media.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company was founded in 2013 and has secured $1.4 million in seed funding from venture-capital firm Menlo Ventures and others. Epic! has seven employees.
Publishers partnering with Epic! will get a percentage of the overall subscription take, divided among them based on usage, the company’s founders told Digital Book World.
Epic! hopes to keep kids engaged with it and with reading in general by offering rewards and badges for reading behaviors.
Former Gamers Debut Epic!, First All-You-Can-Read eBook Service for School Aged Kids
Top Publishers On Board to Give Children 12 and Under an Epic Reading Experience
Epic!, the first all-you-can-read eBook subscription service designed for kids 12 and under, today launched its iPad application which instantly gives kids access to unlimited books for just $9.99 per month. The app, designed by former game developers and publishing industry veterans, enables the discovery of thousands of high quality books from well-known publishers and creates a unique and fun experience to get kids excited about reading.
The company also announced today that it has closed $1.4M in seed funding from Menlo Ventures, Webb Investment Network, Innovation Endeavors, Maven Ventures, Morado Ventures and others.
“We’re a team of parents and former game developers putting our experience to work for good,” said Suren Markosian, Co-Founder and CEO of Epic!. “Previously, we created games that hooked hundreds of millions of people. Now we’re using our experience to get millions of kids hooked on reading.”
With Epic!, young readers can seamlessly choose from a catalogue of thousands of eBooks from well-known publishers including Kids Can Press, Lerner Publishing Group, Open Road Integrated Media, Simon & Schuster and others. Books are streamed, rather than downloaded, meaning zero wait time for readers and instant access to content without having to ask parents to buy each individual title.
By focusing on kids 12 and under, Epic! gives parents the comfort of knowing that the content children can access is age-appropriate and curated by leaders in children’s publishing. To ensure this, Epic! has established a board of expert curators and advisors from the children’s book world including Kate Klimo, former VP/Publisher at Random House Young Readers Group and well-known children’s book author; Joanna Cotler, former SVP and Publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books; Holly McGhee, President & Creative Director of Pippin Properties; Jenni Holm, noted children’s book author and three-time Newbery Honor recipient; and Emily Scheinman, Founder & CEO of Bananaseed Children’s Book Fairs.
“Kids love books, but they spend most of their time playing games and watching videos on their tablets rather than reading,” said Kevin Donahue, Co-Founder of Epic!. “As a dad, I wanted to build a product that would allow children to continue using the devices they love, but engage them with an epic reading experience.”
Key features of the Epic! app include:
· Unlimited access to thousands of curated, high quality children’s books from the world’s best publishers
· Personalized book recommendations based on age and interests
· Instant streaming – no waiting for books to download
· Badges and rewards for reading achievements
· Ability for kids to rate books and collect their favorites
· Offline reading when not connected to Wi-Fi
· Just $9.99/month or $79.99/year
· One-month free trial
The free Epic! iPad app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. All readers receive a one-month free trial after which unlimited books are available for $9.99 per month or a discounted annual price of $79.99. To learn more about Epic!, please visit www.getepic.com.
Epic! opens the doors to a new world of reading for kids 12 and under by providing an unlimited selection of eBooks that can be instantly discovered, read and shared with friends. Personalized for each individual reader, Epic! is the only place to access thousands of high quality, curated children’s books without the need to purchase or download them one by one. Beautifully designed for mobile and featuring fun, game-like elements, Epic! provides kids with a personal library they can take anywhere. In a world of unlimited screen time, Epic! is a smart alternative to games and videos. The company, based in Palo Alto, CA, is founded by Suren Markosian, serial entrepreneur and founder of social gaming leader CrowdStar, and Kevin Donahue, former YouTube, Google and Disney executive, with the support of top tier investors and veterans of the children’s publishing industry. To learn more about Epic!, visit <www.getepic.com>, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.