SA’s popular e-reader app bookly wants everyone to be an author


The popular e-reader app for Mxit, bookly, is expanding its service offering to inspire writing as well. Designed by Native VML, bookly has had a popular uptake since its launch last year and has won numerous prestigious awards. With this latest feature, Native VML hopes to promote and improve literacy in South Africa.

The fact that it runs on the social messaging service Mxit means that anyone with a smartphone or a feature phone can read a book and now be an author. Users are invited to tell their stories and publish them using Twitter or any other social network.

The platform has more than 450 South African and international books available and has seen more than 13-million pageviews with close to a million unique per month. It has won numerous awards including Most Innovative App at the MTN App of the Year Awards, and the Best Start-up award at the annual FutureBook Innovation Awards in London.

“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,” says Levon Rivers, Native VML’s Head of Inventions.

Readers can review other people’s booklys and share them as well. To motivate more children to write, Native VML has introduced the bookly award with the first entry deadline being 21 March. Furthermore, prominent authors from Cape Town and Johannesburg are presenting workshops to teach and inspire young learners.

“At Native VML, we create purpose-driven work that lives in people’s lives,” concludes Rivers. “We are calling on all South Africans to make a positive impact on literacy in South Africa. Whether it be writing a bookly, sharing someone else’s or simply telling people about the bookly award, this is your chance to help improve literacy in our country.”

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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