HarperCollins Launches $25,000 Hackathon In Search Of Book-Discovery Apps

HarperCollins Publishers is issuing an app challenge in an open call to developers for software and apps that improve the e-reading and book-discovery experience. The BookSmash Challenge, which begins today, will award three cash prizes to developers who best use the HarperCollins OpenBookAPI, which includes book and author data, to create smartphone, tablet, web, or desktop apps.

HarperCollins joins other traditional publishers who have embarked on their own digital hackathons in search of better apps for book discovery, including a recent competition co-hosted by The Perseus Books Group and William Morris Endeavor. The winning discovery app in that contest, called Evoke, offered a way to discover young-adult literature through books’ individual characters.

Publisher-agnostic startups is also attempting to tackle the problem of book discovery. New York-based Oyster, for example, is currently working on an app that taps a Spotify-style subscription model for books.

The BookSmash Challenge runs through September 5.CC