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Tales is democratizing the creation and ownership of storytelling

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Authors Deserve Better

One million books are self-published per year but only 40 of those writers are able to generate $1 million over 5 years. The top 0.004% of writers make the same as a mid-level silicon valley engineer? Published authors may get higher visibility but the economics are rarely in their favor.

Economics of book publishing

Traditional books aren’t selling like they used to. Below are the bestsellers in each time period.

Bestselling books over the past century

Visual and interactive mediums are enjoying unstoppable growth. The creators of games own the top-grossing charts. Today, they contain very little storytelling, but that’s about to change.

Bestselling games

Storytelling Needs To Evolve

People still love storytelling (they are human after all), but the format and economics need to change. Tales makes fiction storytelling more compelling through these methods:

Immersive story game format

Mixed Media

Text only days are vanishing quickly. Great storytellers are able to weave imagery, video, and audio into their storytelling.

Social story comparison

Interactive

Consumers are used to a world that responds to their voices, whether they’re posting a Snapchat story, commenting on a friend’s Tweet, or making choices in Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch.

Tales list of story episodes

Episodic

Consumers expect regular drips of content from creators they love. They increasingly view media as a service, not a “buy-once and forget” product.

Tales story comments

Social

Consumers love having communities where they can discuss their favorite television shows, movies, games, books, comics, and podcasts.

Interactive gameplay

Bite-Sized

Consumers are busy! They prefer products that work around their schedule, not the other way around. Must be easy to find, try, and understand!

Story episode cost

Flexible Payment

The pay-upfront ownership model simply doesn’t work for media. No matter what the medium, consumers are increasingly choosing subscription or freemium options for media.

Immersive story game format

Mixed Media

Text only days are vanishing quickly. Great storytellers are able to weave imagery, video, and audio into their storytelling.

Story game showing percentage of players that selected the same option

Interactive

Consumers are used to a world that responds to their voices, whether they’re posting a Snapchat story, commenting on a friend’s Tweet, or making choices in Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch.

Tales list of story episodes

Episodic

Consumers expect regular drips of content from creators they love. They increasingly view media as a service, not a “buy-once and forget” product.

Social story comparison

Social

Consumers love having communities where they can discuss their favorite television shows, movies, games, books, comics, and podcasts.

Interactive gameplay

Bite-Sized

Consumers are busy! They prefer products that work around their schedule, not the other way around. Must be easy to find, try, and understand!

Story episode cost

Free

Text-only days are vanishing quickly. Great storytellers are able to weave imagery, video, and audio into their storytelling.aThe pay-upfront model is on its last legs. No matter what the medium, consumers are increasingly choosing subscription or freemium options for media.

Our Investors

The Venture Capitalists

Eric Paley, MD at Founder Collective, Avatar Photo

Eric Paley

Managing Partner
@ Founder Collective

Micah Rosenbloom, GP at Founder Collective, Avatar Photo

Micah Rosenbloom

Managing Partner
@ Founder Collective

David Frankel, MD at Founder Collective, Avatar Photo

David Frankel

Managing Partner
@ Founder Collective

The Creators

John Riccitiello, CEO at Unity Technologies, Avatar Photo

John Riccitiello

CEO @ Unity

Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer at Adobe and Founder at Behance, Avatar Photo

Scott Belsky

Chief Product Officer @ Adobe,
Founder @ Behance

Chris Carvalho, Roblox Board Member, Avatar Photo

Chris Carvalho

Board Member @ Roblox,
COO @ Kabam

The Influencers

Jake Paul, top influencer, Avatar Photo

Jake Paul

Partner @ Anti Fund,
YouTube & Instagram Star, Fighter

Geoffrey Woo Avatar Photo

Geoffrey Woo

Partner @ Anti Fund

The Amplifiers

Elizabeth Yin, Founder at Hustle Fund, Avatar Photo

Elizabeth Yin

General Partner @ Hustle Fund

Sam Parr, Founder at Hustlecon and The Hustle, Avatar Photo

Sam Parr

Founder @ The Hustle, Hustle Con

Dave Lu, Founder at Hyphen Capital, Avatar Photo

Dave Lu

Managing Partner @ Hyphen Capital

 

The Hollywood Connectors

Patrick Lee, Founder @ Rotten Tomatoes, Avatar Photo

Patrick Lee

Founder @ Rotten Tomatoes

Baron Davis, 2x NBA All Star, Avatar Photo

Baron Davis

NBA All Star, Founder @ Slic

Jason Lin, GP at Super Capital Group, Avatar Photo

Jason Lin

Managing Director @ Super
Capital Group, AUM Group

The Dealmakers

actor_03438_thinking

Ed Lu

CFO @ Fandom, Machine Zone, 
Advisor @ Roblox

Lili Wang

Lili Wang

CIO @ OneWorld,
Director @ Goldman Sachs

Larry Chu, Head of Tech M&A at Goodwin Procter, Avatar Photo

Larry Chu

Head of Tech M&A @ Goodwin

The Builders

Yun-Fan Juan Avatar Photo

Yun-Fan Juan

General Partner @ Brighter Capital,
Founding Engineer @ FB Ads

Kari Lee, Director of Engineering Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Avatar Photo

Kari Lee

Director of Engineering
@ Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Facebook

The Team

We recently raised capital and are hiring! 👉🏼 talescreator.com/careers

Thomas Wu, CEO of Tales, Avatar Photo

Thomas Wu

Chief Executive Officer

Erin McFarlane Avatar Photo

Erin McFarlane

Editorial Lead

Shawn Chiao Avatar Photo

Shawn Chiao

Chief Technology Officer

Sam Gutierrez Avatar Photo

Sam Gutierrez

Art Director

Stephen Karpinskyj Avatar Photo

Stephen Karpinskyj

Engineering

Ryan LaPlante Avatar Photo

Ryan LaPlante

Narrative Design

Remington Chan Avatar Photo

Remington Chan

Engineering

Siddh Dhuri Avatar Photo

Tawfiqur Rahman

Web

Letter From The CEO

My name is Thomas and this is my story

Gameboy Final Fantasy Adventure Amanda death scene

I met Amanda in 1991.

I took this photo of her the moment after she revealed she had just been fatally bitten by a medusa and will become one shortly. Before I ended her life, she begged me to take her dying tears to bring her brother back to life. Even though this was over 20 years ago, I remember this moment in Final Fantasy Adventure very clearly.

A decade ago I graduated from Berkeley, ranked 3rd in my engineering class and it occurred to me recently that I have forgotten how to do calculus. Why is it I am able to remember an obscure story from my childhood, but I can’t remember basic math that was the building block for my engineering education?

Humans are fundamentally WIRED for stories.

Creators have been drawing on cave walls for centuries.

Before we learned to write in 3200 B.C., we told stories to pass information down through each generation. Those of us who were able to absorb these stories survived and reproduced (the rest were probably consumed by lions). Stories have the ability to TEACH us, INSPIRE us, make us CRY, and make us LAUGH. At this moment in time, empathy is more important than ever. We can only live one life but stories let us visit the lives of others. Great storytellers are important and the tragedy is most of them don’t even know it!

We all know the stereotype of the creative writer. Barista / Uber driver by day, working on scripts by night. Working for years in isolation with no feedback, networking to find agents/influencers, and praying that a publisher will find an audience for them in the rare case they get that one-shot. Even when they’re successful, the average writer only receives $1 from a $10 book.

If J.K. Rowling can get rejected 13 times by publishing “experts” for Harry Potter, perhaps the distribution system should be rebuilt. Success shouldn’t be dictated by pure luck or who you know. Good stories should rise to the top through talented storytellers… coupled with user data, rapid iteration, modern formats, and effective monetization.

When we succeed we build the next Netflix, powered by individual creators who found an audience by virtue of their talent and hustle, not their proximity to the right gatekeepers.

Thomas Wu

CEO / CO-FOUNDER

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