Todd Lawton, along with best friend, Jeff Leblanc is the co-founder of Out of Print which has been selling literary themed merchandise to support reading initiatives for the past six years and has donated more than 1.7 million books to communities in need.
Recently, the pair launched their new app, Litsy (which is a social community app for readers.) I’ve been talking a look at the app and it’s brilliant. On it you can discuss books with other readers, review books and you can even add quotes from your favourite books. Todd has joined me today to talk about Litsy. Welcome Todd, can you tell me a little about Litsy, how it came about and how it works?
Before Litsy, I helped create Out of Print—a literary lifestyle brand that sells literary apparel and accessories. We started Out of Print because we felt there was bookish conversation to be had outside the solitude of reading. Why not wear your favorite titles and authors for everyone to see? It’s invites a special kind of dialogue. Another inspiration for us were bookstore shelf talkers, the “staff picks” signs with personal recommendations and anecdotes. We wanted to extend these conversations; we wanted more people, from anywhere in the world, to join the conversation. That’s when we created Litsy. On Litsy, users can share any book moment on the go, and other readers, not algorithms, are there to engage and recommend your next favorite titles.
It’s been downloaded in over 119 countries. In your opinion, what is it about that is making it so popular do you think?
I think users appreciate having one central place for all things book related. Rather than going to one platform to review, and then another to blurb, and then another place to write down a quote, and then another to post a picture, Litsy users can organize their reading stacks, post, and engage in the same place. There isn’t the noise of other content competing with the books—it’s only books.
How can people access Litsy?
Litsy is currently a mobile app for iPhone users, but Android and web are on the way!
If you were told that you could only own three books, which three would you pick and why?
SUCH A TOUGH QUESTION!!!
– Ulysses: I’ve wanted to read it. Seems like one
– Catch-22: Just cracks me up. I will never tire of it. So smart.
– The Lord of the Rings: I love epic fantasy stories; and it doesn’t get better than this trilogy, in my opinion. I’d probably want to learn elven as well.
Is there a fictional character you’d like to meet and why?
Willy Wonka. I want the tour of his chocolate factory.
What is next for Litsy? How would you like to see it grow?
Every day we are developing new functionalities and improvements. In the near future, you can expect to see more Search and Explore functions, group/book club capabilities, and other fun ways for users to express their reading experiences. We love watching this diverse community grow on a worldwide scale, and we hope that growth and enthusiasm for books continues on. We have a feeling it will.
Thank you Todd for joining me today. Litsy is currently available via the Apple App Store. For more information on the app, visit http://litsy.com
If you’d like to head over to Out of Print, visit https://www.outofprintclothing.com
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.