31 Aug 2011

New company aims to enhance the act of reading

7:06 am on 31 August 2011

Experience as a ferry commuter in Auckland has led to a new company, launched in August 2011 to provide sound tracks for books.

Booktrack was founded by brothers Paul and Mark Cameron and came from an observation by Mark that if he was reading a happy passage in a book and listening to a happy music track at the same time it was a much better experience.

He noticed that many other commuters were also reading and listening to music and felt there was the idea for a new product here.

He spoke to Paul, an engineer and they began work on their system for providing soundtracks of music and other sound effects specifically selected for individual books to bring, as they describe it, a "cinematic experience" to the act of reading.

Investors in the company are US entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel and Derek, founder of the global mobile marketing and media company The Hyperfactory. Publisher HarperCollins, Sony and Park Road Post are also behind the product.

The first Booktrack product is the soundtrack for James Frey's sci-fi novel, The Power of Six.

A except from Sherlock Holmes and a Salman Rushdie short story have also been completed.

Each soundtrack takes about six weeks to produce.

Paul Cameron says Booktrack is already one of the top ibook applications and he believes it will be attractive to publishers who want to enhance their sales.