Serial Box CEO Molly Barton on Recode Decode

  • What is Serial Box? An app that delivers fictional stories in serialized installments every week. Every story is available in both audio and ebook formats.

  • I was inspired by the founder of Penguin Books: He was really passionate about the idea that everyone should be able to buy a great book for less than the price of a pack of cigarettes. He created the paperback format. He had new ideas for distribution like book vending machines on railway platforms to catch people on their commutes.

  • What successful writers do: When you study what increases the chances of success, you find the clearest way is to come back on a regular cycle with a similar book to what you released before. 

  • In publishing and reading, there is a long history of serialization: I decided to run some experiments and asked authors to release pieces of their books. And we increased sales of their [whole] books by 4x to 5x.

  • Serialized reading on phones is the dominant form of reading in China: Many different types of content will benefit from this type of delivery. [Connie Chan has a great talk about how content is consumed in China.]

  • How do you get customers? Word of mouth, organic search, and paid acquisition. We looked to the earliest days of Netflix to see who they comarketed with. So we have some partnerships with media companies that will be announced soon.

  • Full podcast here.