Electronic books are here to stay, whether downloaded to Kindles and Nooks or scrolled through on smartphones. But the days of simply swiping through the pages of the new bestseller or old classic are starting to coast by into the past. What is the future of digital literary content and discovery? HarperCollins is interested in finding the answer.
On June 6th, the BookSmash Challenge (Break the Binding) was issued by HarperCollins with the promise of prize money and recognition to the developer(s) who create an innovative app that changes the way readers experience and discover eBooks. These apps can be for smartphones, tablets, or desktops, but must provide a new experience for users that helps them rediscover their favorites or find recommendations for their next read.
All applications submitted must utilize the HarperCollins OpenBook API being made available to participating developers during the course of the competition. The API only features select works from authors who have agreed to have their material accessible for the challenge, but use of other APIs and datasets is highly encouraged.
Applications submitted can be newly developed by contestants or can be re-imaginings of existing applications that did not feature the OpenBook API prior to issue of the challenge.
The challenge website has all essential information for interested parties, particularly on the Resources page that contains proposed ideas and links to existing APIs and “Current Out-of-the-Box Reading Apps”.
The deadline for submissions is set for 5:00 PM EDT on September 5. Entries will be judged by a panel selected by HarperCollins and by popular vote between September 23 and October 4.
Winners will be announced on October 10 at 2:00 PM EDT. Individuals, teams, and small organizations are welcome to participate for prize money. The Grand Prize is $15,000 and the Runner-Up will be awarded $8,000. The Popular Choice will be given $2,000. Any organization consisting of more than 50 employees is eligible for the HarperCollins Recognition Award.
This is an opportunity for developers to prove their skills and readers to voice their demands. The challenge website is open to suggestions in the discussion forums, providing an opportunity for non-participating parties to place their opinions into capable hands.