Former NASA Employee Publishing Stories With Voice App

Jul 25, 2019

Tellables founder Amy Stapleton at the Voice Summit in Newark, NJ.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

Forest Gump wisely said, ‘life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gunna’ get.’ That’s sort of the idea behind Tellables.  

“The box of chocolates, we’re using that as a publishing platform, so when you ask Alexa to open my box of chocolates, she’ll get you a new assortment of twelve chocolates,” says Tellables founder Amy Stapleton.  “They’re not real, this is just imaginary, 12 chocolates every month and each chocolate is associated with a story.”

Stapleton is retired from NASA as a former information technology manager.  She's using talking devices as a platform to create a new story telling experience.

“What makes this really unique is that we are taking submissions from outside authors," she said.  "If you’re an amateur author or hobbyist, you can submit a story to us on our Tellables website and if it fits within the concept, we will publish it on Amazon Alexa.  So, when you open that box the next month, you can hear your story being told.”

The box of chocolate tales are detailed as conversational stories where there’s room for interaction with your voice assistant.

“Like a friend would tell you a story, then after it’s over, it’s lasts about a minute, then you have questions about the story,” Stapleton said.  “Was the story interesting to you?  Have you ever had anything like that happen to you?  Stuff that makes you think about the story.”

Stapleton says the service is free for Amazon Alexa owners, for now.

“So anyone that has access to an Alexa device can just say ‘open my box of chocolates’ and hear the stories.  We need to build an audience first.  I don’t have the ability to pay authors right now but if we are able to build the audience, we could potentially charge a subscription.  Maybe you get two boxes for free and then you get an additional box for a small fee.  Once we get that going, perhaps I can pay authors for their content which would be the goal.”