Innovation That Matters

Discovery app stops readers from judging books by their covers


Uncovered conceals the cover, title and author from readers, using only short excerpts to entice them to purchase.

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While platforms such as Oyster are using the Netflix model to help readers find new e-books to read, a new app called Uncovered is working to avoid the disappointment consumers feel when a title doesn’t live up to its cover, title or author — using only short excerpts to entice readers to purchase.

Available for iPad on the App Store, Uncovered first asks readers to fill in some details about the kind of books they like — including which genres they prefer, whether they focus more on the prose or the plot, and whether they use books to escape or to connect with the world. Using what the startup calls a “unique discovery UI and personalized recommendation system”, the app then delivers short book excerpts to users without revealing the title, author or cover. After each excerpt, readers can then either skip to the next recommended excerpt or choose to buy the book using in-app purchasing.

The aim of the app is to help readers stumble upon books they might not have picked up because of the superficial information on the cover. Fledgling authors can also get their work in front of new audiences on an equal footing with more renowned writers. Are there other ways to help direct consumers to titles they otherwise may not have checked out?



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