Swoon Reads

Branding, EMAIL, MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT, Site redesign, SOCIAL

We empowered readers and writers with a
crowd-sourced publishing platform.

When Jean Feiwel, the publisher behind the iconic The Baby-Sitters Club series, first envisioned Swoon Reads four years ago, she reimagined the traditional manuscript-to-book journey with a crowd-sourced publishing platform. Feiwel developed Swoon Reads, an imprint within the Macmillan publishing family, and turned an engaged community of readers and writers into editors. The Swoon Reads community reads and reviews manuscripts, helps up-and-coming authors with edits and encouragement, and even votes on the final design of published book covers.

  • 01.

    Making a swoon-worthy idea reality.

    thelab has partnered with Swoon Reads since the early days when the brand was focused exclusively on YA romance. As more and more original submissions came in that pushed beyond just romance, Swoon saw an opportunity to open up their platform to include all YA fiction. thelab stepped in to help with a comprehensive brand overhaul. We created a new brand mark, robust palette of colors, and illustrations that helped to distinguish the variety of genres. Then we focused on repositioning the tone of voice from an all-the-feels romance brand to an all-genres-welcome young adult utopia.

  • 02.

    The plot thickens

    Along with helping Swoon refresh their look and feel, we also reworked their website to better engage the growing community. We built custom tools for writers, including charts to help authors better understand reader habits. We added gamification elements with badges and tiers to encourage readers to keep hunting for the next best story. And we created a social hub where the community could see who was reading what, and join the conversation to champion their favorite books.

  • 02.

    The plot thickens.

    Along with helping Swoon refresh their look and feel, we also reworked their website to better engage the growing community. We built custom tools for writers, including charts to help authors better understand reader habits. We added gamification elements with badges and tiers to encourage readers to keep hunting for the next best story. And we created a social hub where the community could see who was reading what, and join the conversation to champion their favorite books.

  • 02.

    The plot thickens

    Along with helping Swoon refresh their look and feel, we also reworked their website to better engage the growing community. We built custom tools for writers, including charts to help authors better understand reader habits. We added gamification elements with badges and tiers to encourage readers to keep hunting for the next best story. And we created a social hub where the community could see who was reading what, and join the conversation to champion their favorite books.

  • 03.

    Take your manuscript to go

    Next up, we created a reading app to enhance our community’s on-the-go reading experience. Developed using React Native, the app is available for the site and iOS. It allows users to read and comment online or offline on any device, across multiple platforms. Android coming soon.

04.

Extending the story.

With a rapidly evolving fan base and list of genres, we wanted to make sure that we kept users engaged with a steady stream of conversation. So we helped build out a library of social and email templates that could be used for a wide range of messaging needs. We even taught the Swoon Reads team how to edit them in photoshop. Now Swoon HQ can easily update the templates to post a branded message for fans, any time they want.

  • From book launches to cover voting, we considered all of their social communication needs.

  • We created dozens of social media templates that Swoon could edit to speak with their fans.

  • We designed various headers for all of Swoon’s social networks.

  • Email templates were also provided so Swoon could update their fans on all of the latest news.