Author interviews are everywhere these days. The BBC, NPR and CBC all have longstanding book shows that review and talk to authors. Radio, whether you listen to it online or the old fashioned way often has the highest reach. HarperCollins is betting that the future of author interviews is not Soundcloud, but Shazam.
HarperCollins Publishers has announced a new deal with music identifying service Shazam. Starting today whenever Shazam users wave their mobile phone over any HarperCollins book or promotional content with the Shazam camera logo on it, they will instantly get taken to custom mobile experiences from HarperCollins, including exclusive content, author interviews, special offers, videos, playlists and more. They will also have the ability to purchase books or share them with others. Users with the latest version of Shazam installed on their mobile phones can simply open the app and tap the new camera icon to start the visual experience.
HarperCollins U.S. titles included in the program throughout 2015 are: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, Daddy, Stop Talking!: And Other Things My Kids Want But Won’t Be Getting by Adam Carolla, American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice, Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff, Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline and The Greatest by Timbaland. HarperCollins Canada titles include The Illegal by Lawrence Hill and The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Additional HarperCollins global divisions will contribute to the program in the coming months.
Why is HarperCollins partnering with Shazam anyways? Its primarily to draw attention to the new visual recognition technology they have developed. It allows people to scan QR codes in posters, packaged goods, print media and transforms the content from static images into dynamic pieces of content.
Publishers are always looking for different ways to experiment with getting content to readers. The big question I have, is will readers gravitate to a platform that has no prior history in promoting books or authors? I give this initiative six months before its quietly discontinued.