Movellas has been described as 'YouTube for ebooks', and it allows writers to upload their poetry, stories and essays to the platform.
Anyone can create their own 'movella' and it is accessible anywhere, anytime, from a computer, tablet, iPad, iPod Touch, eReader or smartphone.
I asked CEO and Co-Founder Per Larson about the company...
In one sentence, what is Movellas?
A platform to create, discover and develop stories whilst identifying talented authors in a social and interactive community.
What problems does Movellas solve?
At one level, one can argue that we are trying to democratise publishing. Movellas is removing all barriers to publishing for the future generation of authors.
At another level, we are a sanctuary for young people to express themselves about dreams, hopes, problems and ideas while getting feedback from fellow minded people. Movellas has almost created a completely new category of content, which you cannot find anywhere else. Young people write differently about things “traditional” authors cannot even imagine. It is truly unique.
When and why did you launch it?
The site was launched early 2010, but things really started to kick off about ten months ago. The site was inspired by the very successful ‘Keitai Shousetsu’ mobile short stories phenomenon in Japan, which became the fastest growing form of literature amongst Japanese young people and teenagers.
Our version is quite different, but we liked how it inspired millions of young people to get involved with writing and reading.
Who is your target audience?
Most of our users are between 13-20 but the platform really is for all ages, both male and female.
What are your immediate goals?
To grow our community, expand the number of access points (new site and launching apps early 2012) and continue to attract the most talented young authors.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building Movellas?
Keeping up with our users. While we have an ambitious product roadmap our users constantly surprise us with requests for changes or new features, which is brilliant and means were constantly innovating.
How will the company make money?
The model in Japan is mainly based on content syndication, which could be an option eventually, but for now our focus is on making everyone aware that Movellas is a place where everyone can have their stories published and gather feedback, and a site to read about what is on the mind of young people today.
Who is in the team and what does it look like?
We have a small group of developers, a team that run our community (literature and journalism backgrounds) and finally a few business people with a mobile and online background.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?
In one year we aim to be established in a handful of languages across all major platforms. We have no concrete plans beyond one year except to have discovered more talent and made more people aware that there is a different way of getting published today.
We are too well aware from previous ventures that a strong vision is what matters, but it is unrealistic to plan more than twelve months ahead at any given time in a world that is driven by disruption.
We obviously have ideas in the pipeline though…