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.

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY -

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.

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