For the love of literature
Designed for mobile, Bookly aims to promote a love of reading and writing while making it possible for anyone to publish their own penmanship through the use of social networks.
The humble book has undergone severe transformation over the last decade. We’ve seen the rise of ebooks and digital readers, the era of self-publishing and books that stretch the definition by being very short or augmented with digital video and interaction, or all of the above. We’ve also seen a re-imagining of what books and writing could be in developing markets where simple mobile technologies open up new possibilities. One such project is Bookly – a platform where anyone can post writing and thousands of poems, novellas and other works of fiction can be read for free.
Bookly is the work of Native VML – an offshoot of digital marketing agency Native. Bookly is functionally similar to any simple blogging platform, but aims to get people reading and writing fiction in particular. It was launched as an app for South African social networking service Mxit, but has now been released as a responsive web app that will work on just about any mobile phone.
Levon Rivers, of Native VML, says that the platform has also been souped up for writers.
“By expanding Bookly into a writing platform, we will allow children and young adults to create content that is relevant to them – and written in their own language. That way, Bookly will become a platform that inspires writing, in any language, on any mobile device,” said Rivers.
“Writing a ‘ bookly’ is easy. It’s a bite- sized piece of content that can be anything including short stories and poems. It can be written by anyone – from famous authors to aspiring ones, any age, any language and from anywhere.”
Rivers says that users can review other people’s writing and share it via social networks, too.
“To motivate more children to write, we’ve also introduced The bookly Award. This award will recognise and reward the best booklys.”
The platform was launched with 450 books from formal publishers to get things going and has since seen 250 000 books added to the virtual bookshelves of Bookly users. Anyone can read booklys or submit their own writing at www.bookly.co.za.