‘Building the frontier of digital publishing’
Recently I have seen various references to The Pigeonhole on social media and was very curious to find out more. Many readers/bloggers are now availing of their services but who are they and what do they offer?
Launched in September 2014, The Pigeonhole has been nominated for the Digital Innovation Awards at the London Book Fair, Future Book’s Digital Campaign of the Year for its work promoting Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire, and its founding editor Anna Jean Hughes was named as a Rising Star of the publishing industry by The Bookseller magazine.
The lovely Ellie Pickles, Junior Project Manager with The Pigeonhole, is my guest today and has kindly written a piece explaining their story..so far!
The Pigeonhole Explained
by Ellie Pickles
Welcome to The Pigeonhole, a mobile book club that delivers brand new books for free. New titles from your favourite authors are delivered in serialised instalments where you can read along with hundreds of other users and often the author themselves – leaving comments and exchanging thoughts as you go.
The Pigeonhole is an online publishing platform that works with a huge range of UK publishers and allows authors to energise their existing fanbase as well as reaching new audiences. In September 2014, co-founders, Jacob Cockcroft and Anna Jean Hughes, inspired by the serialised format of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, came up with the idea to launch their titles in bitesize chunks, called staves.
So next time you sit down to catch up with some evening television, just think, you could be settling down with the latest instalment of Jodi Picoult instead! We make sure that you don’t have to think about a thing – we even email you each stave so you don’t have to search for it.
Before I started working for the Pigeonhole I was a passionate believer in the paperback effect. There was no better way of reading than turning a physical page, circling my favourite parts, and seeing that cover on a shelf. But the Pigeonhole does all of that and more!
We offer samples of each book before you download them to your digital bookshelf so that you can be sure they are the book for you. And if you are the indecisive type like I am, then you can always look at the Pigeon Picks section for recommendations. We include extra content for each title, which includes exclusive interviews with the author, illustrations, playlists and more. We try our best to take advantage of the possibilities of digital, so that your reading experience is completely unique.
Each title has digital margins along the side of the text, allowing you to write your own thoughts and feedback on the book. Is there a character you dislike? A sentence you adore? Each comment can be read and replied to by other subscribers, just like your old-fashioned Monday book club, but on a global scale. And because the Pigeonhole works so closely with the authors, they can reply to you too! What real-life book club do you know that does that?
But if you’re finding the idea of sharing your reading experience with other subscribers, and the authors themselves, a little too daunting, you can invite your friends and start a private book club with one of our classics. We give away a free hard copy of our new releases to the user who leaves the best social media comment. So in addition to the benefits of digital, you can still feel those pages with your fingertips.
We try to encourage our community of readers to keep up with each stave as they are released. But we do understand that life is busy, so anyone who joins in the middle of a serialisation will receive all previous staves in one go. That same title will be available on your bookshelf for a month after its last stave is released as well, so there’s no rush!
All books are free to read on The Pigeonhole but they are not unlimited. Most serialisation are first-come-first-served while the projects we think will be oversubscribed are run as prize draws. So what are you waiting for? Join the Pigeonhole today and start reading! https://thepigeonhole.com/
Follow @The PigeonholeHQ on Facebook or Twitter to get an idea on what books we have coming up.
Thanks so much Ellie!
Well? What do you think? Have many of you have used this service? Would you consider signing up?
I would love to hear your thoughts….
There is also a very handy section on The Pigeonhole website which should help with any other queries you may have https://thepigeonhole.com/faq
I love The Pigeonhole and have read quite a few books with them this year that I wouldn’t normally read. I’ve also won two hardbacks for sharing my thoughts on Twitter whilst reading them.
Fab to hear this Nicki. You read the staves on your mobile always? Is that it? I’m trying to get my head around the concept…hence the approach re guest post.
I started off by reading them on my browser and then got the app and read on that now.
I expect it’s a market that will grow fast! Thanks Nicki 🙂
Since I’ve been using it it’s grown so much with so many more books available.
I’ve read 3 books on The Pigeonhole so far and I really love it. I also like to read the comments by other users (and even comment a few times myself).
Sounds very different Inge. Quite a unique concept I think!
Glad you are all enjoying it!
Laurence thanks for featuring. Delighted to have you *drop by*. Very interesting piece from Ellie!
I’ve enjoyed quite a few books on The Pigeonhole. I usually read them on my laptop.
I have never read off my laptop Nicola! I must download the app I think and maybe try off my phone. This really is a whole new discovery for me….
Brilliant guest post – thanks Mairead for helping to keep our fingers on the pulse! Sounds very intriguing – not sure how authors will feel about comments in the side-notes (eek!) but it sounds like a great community of readers 🙂 I’ve read so many articles recently about people losing their focus when it comes to reading books (thanks to social media), so maybe this is a good way to hook readers back in x
Apparently the authors get quite a bit out of the whole experience Evie… Yes with so many on mobiles ( myself inc) ALL the time it might just add a little variety to the commute of many. I think the fact it’s in short bursts might encourage folk…not so daunting perhaps!
I am reading my first book on there but I am behind with the staves because of the reading but I love it! I love reading like this although it is a bit frustrating when it ends on a cliffhanger lol x
O great to hear Zoe. You might keep us posted when you finished!
The feedback we get from authors is really really encouraging – especially from first time authors. It gives authors a unique experience on publication date, whereby they can see hundreds of people ploughing through their book and leaving lots of lovely comments. It also leads to lots of reviews on publication date as the final stave of the book is revealed and readers are encouraged to leave reviews. We have authors who will use The Pigeonhole for every book they publish now – and our partnership with Unbound has led to the Unbound community of authors holding The Pigeonhole in high esteem! Please do come and check us out.
That’s fantastic Laurence. Congrats. I suspect you are on the cusp of something big!
Thanks for this informative post Mairead. I had not heard of “The Pigeonhole” but it sounds like an innovative tool for reading. And who can protest a new reading tool?
Personally, I probably wouldn’t use the service due to having a plethora of digital ARCs waiting to be read. I DO think it will catch on quickly and that it will be useful to many readers.
I agree Lynne. I too think it’s an exciting and innovative service that will appeal to many…. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!