Launched last month by LVH Group, a new mobile reading app has taken an unsuspecting world by surprise with a menu of high class erotica written “by women for women” and targeting a global audience.
Lady Victoria Howard is a far cry from the pseudo-porn masquerading as erotica that can be found on many mainstream ebook sites, and because it is on a dedicated app clearly aimed at the discerning erotica reader, and that can be read discreetly on a smartphone, it may well outperform expectations.
From the press release:
The ‘Lady Victoria Howard’ app (…) gives women easy access to erotic fiction delivered in weekly episodes that take between 30 and 45 minutes to read.
A weekly indulgence, if you will, where women can escape into a world of sensual fantasies at their own pace or when the mood strikes. The app promises to deliver an electric storyline, written by women and for women, featuring an impressive female lead character that readers can follow as she sets out on her sexual journey of self-discovery.
Through the web app, women the world over will have autonomy to discreetly subscribe to new instalments of what is, in effect, the world’s first serialised erotic novel. Readers purchase a single or multi-season pass to access the content, with each season consisting of 13 weekly episodes. Depending on the type of pass readers sign up for, the content is priced at a very reasonable 99c per episode, and the app offers an introductory price for the first season at an appropriately set 69c per episode.
For too long the mainstream market of erotic media has predominantly been designed to indulge the needs of men, as a result, under-serving the obvious or curious needs of women. Studies have shown that men like their fantasies played out on a technicolour screen, leaving little to the imagination, while the written word is far more subtle, lending itself to a more personalised experience. A safer playground for women.
Finally, a platform which speaks to the sexual needs of women without the need to hide those desires.
Not here to agree or disagree with that. I’m not the target audience. But what caught my eye with the Lady Victoria Howard launch, apart from the novelty value of the app itself, was the international perspective to this operation.
The first Lady Victoria Howard story is set in London, which is also the location of the LVH twitter feed (@LVHOfficial) but LVH Group is based in Hong Kong and the prices are in USD, so I asked LVH about the set-up, the characters and the global ambitions, and found it to be an even more diverse international venture than I first realised.
The LVH Group is a privately owned HK domiciled company. The CEO, Editor in Chief and general operations are also located in Hong Kong, while the digital marketing team and web developers are Vietnam based. The writers in our writing team are currently located in Asia, Europe, and Africa and work remotely under the guidance of the Editor in Chief. While we are still a small team, we are proud to be both culturally diverse and gender balanced.
Our current focus is on growing the popularity of the Lady Victoria Howard serial and translating the story into multiple languages. In the belief that the original story and delivery mechanism prove to be as much of a hit as we expect, we are preparing for a number of spin-off stories that can be delivered alongside Victoria’s story. There is, as yet, no scheduled release date for these spin-off serials.
The lead characters in the current serial are British and based in London, which is why all of our social media is located there, but Victoria’s unique gift allows us to explore a virtually limitless range of perspectives, bring in important characters of different national and ethnic backgrounds, and highlight the enormous differences in attitudes towards female sexuality and empowerment across the globe and throughout history.
We have our own ideas on possible spin-off serials, but based on the popularity of certain episodes, any of the guest characters are potential candidates for future serialisation.
It’s too soon yet for any numbers, but similar apps aimed at a wider readership have proven very successful and my guess is the Lady Victoria Howard app, with its laser focus on a specific audience, combined with global appeal and ambitions, is going to do for mobile erotica reading what EL James did for the genre in mainstream publishing.