SilkWords offers a unique, interactive, “choose your own” experience for romance readers
As of February 14, 2014 SilkWords LLC celebrates the launch of a web site that offers a first-of-its-kind reading experience for women’s fiction (www.silkwords.com).
The site blurs the line between fiction and casual gaming by offering high quality, interactive romance that allows individual readers to choose how the story proceeds. Readers can also experience the story in different ways by returning to choice points and following different paths.
SilkWords was founded by wife-and-husband team Keri and Boyd Multerer. Boyd, who works as development director for Microsoft Xbox, is no stranger to the gaming industry.
“As a working mom of three young children,” Keri said, “I believe there’s a potentially huge market for a site that offers high quality women’s fiction that can be consumed quickly. And the marriage of two very popular forms of entertainment—romance and gaming—was a no-brainer for us.”
The site offers an upscale experience—original artwork, plus paid subscriptions instead of advertisements—and a continually expanding collection of multichoice stories varying in length, romance subgenre, heat level, and sexual orientation of protagonist.
Featured at launch are new stories from award-winning indie romance author Lisa Scott (also with HarperCollins and Bell Bridge Books), paranormal and fantasy author Skyler White (Berkley, Tor/Macmillan), award-winning historical author Kim Taylor Blakemore (Penguin, HarperCollins), and sex-journalist-turned-erotica author Leigh Cowart.
SilkWords’ acquiring editor is science fiction romance author and SFR Brigader Sharon Lynn Fisher (Tor/Macmillan), a Romance Writers of America (RWA) 2013 RITA finalist and three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist.
“Our goal is to offer something for everyone, from erotic to sweet, historical to sci-fi,” Fisher said. “It’s such a fun format for authors to play around with. Have you ever read a romance and wondered what would happen if the heroine made a different choice? Picked a different guy? Waited longer to kiss him? Our readers get to find out.”
Today’s launch is phase 1 of a larger SilkWords vision.
“The beautiful thing about SilkWords is there’s a ton of room for experimentation,” Boyd said. “Different forms of storytelling, interaction with the authors, and moving the medium forward. It’s stories first, gaming second, with a lot the two sides can learn from each other.”
According to a study commissioned by Romance Writers of America, the nonprofit trade association for the romance industry, romance novels generate $1.4 billion every year, with 44 percent of sales in e-book format and the majority of buyers falling between the ages of 30 and 54 (http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582). The digital book market has made romance even more popular by offering an anonymous experience (Good E-Reader, http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/e-readers-stimulating-the-sales-of-erotica-ebooks).
Video Game Industry
It is estimated that 183 million people in the United States play video gameshttp://www.ted.com/conversations/44/we_spend_3_billion_hours_a_wee.html, and 31 percent of those are women over the age of 18 (Entertainment Software Association, http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2013.pdf). A recent CNN article cites an increase in female protagonists as well as “complex themes and more scenarios that call for decision-making, not brute force” as possible reasons for the increase in the popularity of gaming with women and girls (http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/tech/gaming-gadgets/female-gamers/).
SilkWords LLC offers interactive women’s fiction to readers worldwide through our web site www.silkwords.com. Blurring the line between fiction and gaming, SilkWords offers high quality romance that allows individual readers to choose how stories proceed—all for the price of a latte, and from the comfort of their own living rooms.