Now Novel, created by Brendan McNulty, recently pitched at the Seedstars World and Net Prophet workshop events in Cape Town.
Speaking to HumanIPO, McNulty said the process of establishing Now Novel began in March last year, with the platform launched in August.
He said he realised the need for such a platform when his sister Bridget was writing a book. “Once she had it (the book) published, people kept asking her ‘what is the secret, how did she go about doing it?’ So she created a course... but it was more of a PDF as opposed to anything else,” he said.
McNulty said the largest market currently using Now Novel’s platform is American women over the age of 25.
“What we did was we surveyed people here, in the States, in Australia, and in the UK... We were looking for people who wanted to write a book and the same demographic came back - that had this bucket list dream of writing a book - was females over the age of 25.”
McNulty estimated approximately 65 per cent of Now Novel’s subscribers are from the US, 15 to 20 per cent from the UK, with South Africa third on the list. He said Now Novel signs up approximately 20 people a day.
In terms of the platform’s functions, McNulty said: “There [are] three stages to the process, we help you find your idea, we help you finish your idea” which involves “plot, characters” and other writing aspects, “and we help you actually write the novel.
“Because it’s aimed at first time writers, there’s a lot of hand holding, so its a fairly regimented process that we go through in order to help you (the writer).”
The platform also offers publishing advice through its blog. “In our blog we talk about what the new face of publishing looks like, what e-books are, publishing on the Kindle platform, how to market your book. However, it should be understood that though Now Novel offers publishing advice, it does not publish nor offer publishing deals.”
Now Novel also offers a mentoring service, with fees varying according to the needs of the writer. The US$9 package provides the writer with basic access to the platform’s web tool, US$49 gives the writer access to the web tool and a mentor and US$99 allows full access to the platform, which includes the web tool, a mentor and editing.