An Interview With The Founder of Litsy

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Hey guys! So today I have a little something different for you. So Litsy recently got in touch with me and offered to let me interview one of the app’s founders, Todd Lawton who started Out Of Print in 2010.

So Litsy is basically an app that allows readers to track what they are reading as well as review and rate them. It brings the book community together with a feature that allows users to upload photos of themselves or their books or anything really. Basically Bookstagram.

It’s pretty amazing and today I’m going to chat with Todd about the creation of the app and what it’s all about.

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Todd Lawton (left) and Matt LeBlanc (right) are the founders of Litsy

1) What inspired you to start Litsy?

Initially, we were inspired by shelf talkers and staff picks found at our favorite bookstores.  We wanted to make a digital experience that could be as fun and personal.  On Litsy, the user decides who to follow, so every post comes from a credible source—in the same way you appreciate the opinion of your local bookseller.

2) Moving from making apparel to a social app is quite a jump. How did you decide to do it?

Shortly after launching Out of Print in 2010, we realized our primary reason for being was to help readers start conversations.  Connecting readers is our mission.  Adding a social community app to our offering seemed like a natural extension to what we were already doing.  Our products help readers share their love for books in the physical world, Litsy helps them when they have something bookish to say and no one is around.

3) Many people have compared Litsy to Goodreads. How is Litsy different from it?

We’re 100% focused on being social.  Litsy conversations capture all reading moments, not just reviews.  It’s been exciting to see that so far 2/3 of the posts have been non-review, and they have received the most reaction.  Being mobile first, we have thought about the experience in a way that helps readers easily share their book thoughts whenever and wherever they have them.  It’s a much more spontaneous platform.  Discovery is also different.  We offer a stream of posts that lead readers down a rabbit hole in which saving books to a reading list is effortless.

4) If I was already on Goodreads, what would be the draw for me to join Litsy?

Litsy is a super positive community.  Everyone is excited to share what they are reading.  It’s incredible—once you build a community, and make some posts, the support you receive makes you want to read more.  There’s also the excitement to help shape a community that has already reached 96 countries.

5) What was the main idea behind Litsy?

To truly be “where books make friends.”

6) What’s your favorite article of clothing that you have designed for Out Of Print?

I’m a big fan of our foreign cover art.  I love seeing how other cultures interpret books and visualize the classics.  As a category, it’s a favorite.  I wear my Sherlock Holmes and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” shirts quite a lot, too.

7) Where do you see Litsy in the next few months?

With a lot more users! We’re working on adding Android devices and features focused on improved sharing and discovery.  We have a couple new post types we think are going to be fast favorites.  Basically, what it is today at its core with more joy and magic.

8) How did you come up with the name Litsy?

We like the way it sounded.  It’s anchored in “Lit,” sounds like glitzy and tipsy.  Like, “Everybody in the bookclub, gettin Litsy!”  It’s fun and friendly, the way we believe book talk should be.

I personally love Litsy. It’s a great way to communicate with people and to share book stuff. I mean it’s basically two of my favourite things in one. Instagram and Goodreads.

If you are interested, you can download the app and you can follow me. I’m Twentythreepages on there.

Much love to Litsy for setting this up!

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