Books, Beads & Blogs: How Simon & Schuster has its apps covered

What if avid readers could share audio and video around their favorite books? Well, thanks to a new digital partnership, they can. Beginning this month, Milq is joining forces with Simon & Schuster on the launch of Books as a new content category for its culture sharing app and site.

Simon & Schuster authors Anna Todd, Kresley Cole, Becca Fitzpatrick, Jenny Han, Christina Lauren, and Walter Isaacson (biographer of Steve Jobs) are starting Beads around topics tied to their writing to maximize the digital marketing success of the launch.

“It’s inspiring to work with the team at Simon & Schuster, who see in Milq the many ways to create new experiences around books and engaging ways to connect with the authors themselves,” notes Milq co-founder Don Mackinnon. “We’re in love with Walter Isaacson’s Bead – it’s so great to see all the vintage video of the advances in technology he writes about in the book, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the world adds to the conversation.”

In the past, Milq members have begun Beads by asking a question. Members join the conversation by posting answers to the question using video or audio from YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud and soon more sources, all of which are searched from inside Milq so it can apply machine-learning algorithms to create a customized flow of content for each member based on their personal taste.

With the new launch of Books, Simon & Schuster authors will reply to questions such as “Books that changed my life” and “What are you reading?” to further enhance the users’ experience. The publishing company will also produce Off the Shelf, a blog on backlist books with Beads of its own.

In addition to Books, Milq has collaborated with the Toronto International Film Festival, Vanity Fair, Spin, VICE, Tribeca Film Festival, Kings of Leon, Ken Burns, Paul Giamatti, and others on its forum.

“Milq is an exciting new and wholly original forum that will enable authors and readers to connect in a way that extends well beyond the previous limits of author-reader interaction,” says Ellie Hirschhorn, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer for Simon & Schuster. “For some time now we have avidly pursued new methods to satisfy the seemingly insatiable public appetite to learn more about the likes, interests and pursuits of their favorite authors: Milq can fulfill that role by letting authors share their enthusiasms with their readers on a social spectrum that ranges from expert and curator to friend and fan.”