For some teens, the initials BFF stand for "best friends forever." For many others recently, BFF stands for "Backlit Fiction Forward," a new and innovative publishing company for the young adult audience.
"Backlit is a next-generation digital media publishing company that creates eBooks and interactive apps based on original franchises," says the company's Facebook page. It "incubates teen serials as episodic apps and film and television properties." In other words, Backlit makes the equivalent of sitcom eBooks, and release each episode as it is written. Teens then have the opportunity to stay connected more often - they can follow an eBook series the same way they can a television series. "We are reinventing publishing by shortening the path from writer to reader," says Jack Giarraputo, film producer of "Heavyweights," "The Waterboy," and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry" (among many others), and Backlit's creative adviser and lead investor.
The company's first series were recently released: Borrowing Abby Grace; The Start-Up; and The Dig: Zoe and Zeus.
Backlit recognized the habits of today's young adult audience, and saw the untapped opportunity in turning one more thing into a constant supply-and-demand. "Focused on Millennial readers with episodic attention spans," says Market Watch, "Backlit ebook downloads will be released exclusively digitally every few weeks, yet offer significant narrative depth."
The company has even thought further, past the books themselves as a product. They have become not only a self-marketing tool, but also encouraged a kind of "audience participation" to keep readers hooked. Teens will have the upcoming opportunity to win "character walk-on" roles in ebooks, and the Mentors Program will launch in the next weeks, "whereby the publisher will mentor and crowdsource new YA authors to write new episodes."
Backlit has tapped into the growing trends of ebooks and young adults, and supplied a unique experience for teen readers. Upcoming series include Young Americans, Future Perfect, and The Defiants, to be released early next year.