I don’t know about you, but until recently, and I mean very recently, I had no idea that SMS novels even existed. To be fair, they are a fairly new concept as the website (check them out here!) started creating them in 2017. Right now they have created approximately 10,000 stories in a whole new way.
What are SMS Novels?
Put simply, they are interactive books. Stories are restructured into text messages. You can connect with authors and actors and engage in a conversation where you are the main character. It is an entirely new way of storytelling and I can’t believe I am only hearing about it now. What is really cool is there are actually two ways to do this. The first is storytelling through text messages as I have just described. The second way you can engage in an SMS novel is through live-roleplay. Think of it like an audio-book but far more interactive.
Are They Worth It?
Once I heard of this I had a few questions. How does it work exactly? Is it expensive? What books do they have available? Who is this for? I’m sure you are wondering the same thing. Unless of course, you have heard of them before. As I said earlier, I’ve only just recently heard about them. So, I needed to do some digging! After perusing their website and really digging into the details, I found my answers.
How does it work?
Firstly, how does it work? It is really a pretty straightforward process. Once on their website you can either select a book and start right away, or you can join via one of their subscription plans. Either way, once you have picked a book, you can then pick a storyteller. Yes, you can choose who you interact with! The last step is to pick how you want the story(text message or roleplay), and then you are off and ready to enjoy the story.
To me, this sounds almost like a game you would get at a store. It sounds so fun. After everything that exists nowadays, I didn’t think anything else new and exciting could be created. But, I was wrong because with this you have two new things; a different way to read, and a different way to meet people. Imagine if your favorite author was reading with you! That would be a cool gift idea don’t you think?
Will it cost you an arm and a leg?
So, it’s easy to do, but is it pricey? Well, it can be but it doesn’t have to be. If you don’t get a monthly subscription then you can just pick a book. I would recommend starting out this way to see if it is something you would like to do more often or only every once in a while. The cost of picking a book is really fairly inexpensive with the lowest cost being a mere $0.49. Most options stood within a $10.00 limit. So it would be like choosing between renting a movie from home or going to the theater.
If you wanted to go the subscription route, the inexpensive option costs no more than a streaming service like Netflix. It starts at $9.99/month and goes up from there with more features attached to the more expensive subscription packages. I was really surprised at the affordability of this kind of service. I initially thought something like this would be really pricey but there are some affordable options to choose from.
Okay, so we know how it works, we understand the cost, but what books can we pick up from? As I said earlier, they have approximately 10,000 books to choose from. This includes some classics like Pride and Prejudice (one of my personal favorites) and Dracula. If you aren’t into classics then fret not because there are a plethora of genres. You are sure to find something.
Who Would Enjoy SMS Novels?
Now to the last question and possibly the most important. Who can get something out of an SMS novel? I would argue almost anyone. If you are more introverted, then the text messaging option is perfect for you. The live-roleplay option is your go-to if you are extroverted, want something new to add to your party fun, or if you aspire to be an actor/actress. You future authors out there can benefit from this too as they have ways for you to publish your books and get it out to the masses. I wouldn’t be surprised if this became a norm to the publishing world just like audiobooks did.
The New Age of Reading
Just as technology has skyrocketed and continues to change day in and day out, so to does reading. You might hold a book in your hand, read an eBook, or listen to an eBook, but now there is a way to interact with the book. And you are the main character!
I think this is going to be something entirely different that no one has ever thought they would get the chance to do. The best part is while avid book readers get a new way to enjoy their favorite books, reading has now been opened up to non-book readers. Those of you who don’t like reading, or prefer movies over books can actually get something out of an SMS novel. This form of reading would almost be like a movie or play. And if you are a social butterfly, what better of a way to meet and interact with new people, authors, and actors/actresses?
If you’d like to see (literally) this for yourselves, you can check out the SMS novels website here.
Let’s Talk About It
Like I said earlier, SMS Novels are a fairly new concept for me. Tell me, have you heard of this form of interactive reading before? Would you ever give it a try? If you are an author, would you publish your book for people to interact with it? Let me know in the comments below!
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