Kirkus Media Announces Qrank Social Gaming Partnership at PubCamp@SXSW featuring Condé Nast Editorial Development Team: Rick Levine, Scott Dadich

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Kirkus Reviews, the 80 year old book review journal, has partnered with Qrank social gaming to create a game that tests the literary knowledge of players and ranks their scores among their friends. Gaming will follow Rick Levine and Scott Dadich's keynote speech at PubCamp.

“Qrank Book Trivia is going to make for stiff competition among the well-read,” said Kirkus Vice President and Publisher Bob Carlton.

Qrank, the social trivia game played with friends on the iPhone, iPad, Facebook and the web, has gone literary. In a new partnership with Kirkus Media, “The Kirkus Book Challenge Powered by Qrank” will make its debut this Friday March 11 at Pubcamp@SXSW, and on the Kirkus home page later in the month.

The Qrank beta version unveiled at Pubcamp will focus specifically on the history of publishing, from Gutenberg through the current digital revolution. A recent part of that history will be told in a keynote by Scott Dadich, Executive Director, Editorial Development and Rick Levine, Senior Vice President, Editorial Operations for Condé Nast on the growing digital publishing industry and their company’s current initiative to bring all of its 18 award-winning brands to tablets and other mobile devices. Participants in the Qrank beta version will compete against each other for the chance to win all of the books that receive a Kirkus Star in April in the format of their choice. Four runners-up will receive original Live Sketches created on-site by artists from Toolbox.

Digging deep into its reserves of reviews published over the last 78 years, Kirkus will provide an endless stream of content for the Qrank Book Trivia feature when it appears on later this month.

“Qrank Book Trivia is going to make for stiff competition among the well-read,” said Kirkus Vice President and Publisher Bob Carlton. “Our questions will run the gamut from trash to the most literary fiction and non-fiction. We see this as the ultimate online book group, where readers will battle it out with friends, new-found friends and literary rivals, alike.”

The Qrank partnership is indicative of the new direction taken by Kirkus Reviews since its purchase by Herb Simon in February 2010. Long known for its incisive reviews used by librarians to make purchasing decisions in advance of books’ publications, Kirkus in the coming months will expand online and on mobile devices through curation and book discovery features aimed at consumers, in addition to its traditional base of librarians, booksellers and the media industry .

About Bob Carlton
Bob Carlton has been at the forefront of online information services for 25 years. He was part of the launch team for CourseSmart, the leading e-book company in higher education, which was founded and supported by the five leading publishers. Carlton was also senior vice president for business development at Thomson Learning (now Cengage), where he negotiated strategic relationships with several leading e-Learning companies to distribute the company’s offerings worldwide.
Carlton has also held senior positions with information providers and publishers such as Electronic Data Systems, WetFeet, News Corp, and Harcourt. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing and statistics from Texas A&M University

About Kirkus Media LLC
Founded in 1933, Kirkus reviews more than 500 pre-publication books each month, including fiction, nonfiction, children's and young-adult books. Kirkus’ reviews are a trusted and authoritative decision-making tool, crafted by specialists selected for their knowledge and expertise in a particular field. Kirkus Reviews was purchased by businessman & bibliophile Herb Simon (Simon Property Group) from the Nielsen Company on February 10, 2010; it has been operated by Kirkus Media, an affiliate of Calendar Holdings. Marc Winkelman, a book-industry veteran who is CEO of Calendar Holdings, leads

About Qrank
Qrank is a location-based mobile service that helps businesses improve customer loyalty and social marketing. Qrank offers businesses, campaigns and brands the opportunity to engage and understand their customers in rich, location-specific ways. Qrank is developed by Ricochet Labs, an Austin, Texas company.

About Scott Dadich
As Executive Director, Editorial Development for Condé Nast, Scott Dadich leads the company’s creative efforts to build digital editions of its titles for electronic reading devices. Dadich led the development of the highly acclaimed WIRED for iPad, which was introduced in May 2010. The app was downloaded nearly 100,000 times in its first month and has proven to be the most successful iPad magazine title launched to date. At the same time, he worked closely with the editorial and art teams at The New Yorker to launch The New Yorker Tablet Edition, which debuted at #4 on the iTunes Top Grossing apps and has since been named the best publication app by iMonitor. Most recently, Dadich oversaw the development of the Golf Digest digital edition, which debuted in January 2011 and became the #1 iPad sports app within 24 hours.

About Rick Levine
Rick Levine is Senior Vice President, Editorial Operations for Condé Nast. In this role, he works with the company’s consumer magazines on a broad range of operational issues as well as on new initiatives, including the development of digital editions. He also helps organize and lead the editorial teams that develop new magazines and advises all of the company’s titles on website development.


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