Random House Children’s Books has acquired Figment, an online teen community for readers and writers with over 300,000 registered users, Barbara Marcus, Random House’s Children’s president and publisher, announced today. The site will operate under the same name but, effective immediately, it will be managed by Random House Children’s Books. The publisher intends to continue the site’s focus on curating content covering a wide range of young adult titles.
“Random House Children’s Books’ new relationship with Figment supports our ongoing strategy and increasingly important efforts to communicate and engage directly with our readers,” says Marcus in the announcement. “The team that founded Figment created a dynamic community that we will continue to grow and expand, and we are so pleased to have the opportunity to continue the conversations with this audience of teens who love young adult books.”
The Figment community has become an online hub for teens passionate about creating, discovering, and sharing stories, with the majority of users between the ages of 13 and 18 years old, Marcus says. Among the site’s features are book recommendations and spotlights from across publishers, as well as more than 20,000 discussion groups and forums. The users of Figment have produced nearly three-quarters of a million stories, a library that is added to every day, and have shown “incredible enthusiasm for connection and interaction with a range of books and authors,” she notes.
Adds Jacob Lewis, former CEO of Figment, in the announcement, “Figment members have a voracious appetite for reading and writing, and it has been truly gratifying watching this creative and dynamic community grow from day one. I am excited to now watch the community thrive in this new partnership with Random House Children’s Books.”
Lewis, former managing editor at The New Yorker and Condé Nast Portfolio, co-founded Figment with Dana Goodyear, a staff writer at The New Yorker. Lewis is now the vice president and publishing director of Crown/Broadway/Hogarth at Random House LLC.
“It is quite special for me to see that Figment—an inspirational idea that turned into a viable and successful business—is now under the care of Random House Children’s Books,” says Lewis. “It validates our optimism about how important it is to give young readers a place to talk, share, and write. With their incredible digital curiosity and expertise, Random House is the perfect home.”