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Volpen

Collaborative Book Writing Community


Tiny
Published 05/07/2012 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by Shel Gatto
What can you use the app for?

Volpen is a book writing platform that lets users collaborate with others online. Users can begin a new book or browse a collection of books in progress. The Volpen homepage includes a list of genres that cover many popular interests, such as action, adventure, mystery, romance, religion, erotica, drama, suspense, sports, fantasy, poetry and biography. The user can view items in each genre and filter them by unfinished books, finished books and proposed continuations. A search bar is also available for users who want to find specific books within the Volpen community. Additional filters let users explore recently updated books or books by time range, with titles added in the last day, week, month, three months or year.

Volpen screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Volpen was created to give aspiring authors a way to finish books and earn money. The application has received significant attention from numerous online media outlets, including The Next Web, DailySocial, Tech in Asia and CrowdSourcing.org. KillerStartups also covered Volpen, praising the way it opens up new opportunities for ambitious writers to earn money and improve their abilities. So far the application houses numerous projects, although some genres still remain empty.

What are the differences to other apps?

Volpen opens up a very unique opportunity to anyone who wants to write or has a good book idea. The application isn’t another printing on demand service. Instead, users can work with others and contribute to an ongoing book project. Once the book is finished, each contributor earns money when it sells. Funds are distributed based on the number of words each writer contributed to the project.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

Volpen has a basic design that could use some improvements. A new visitor may be distracted by the column layout, which features a sidebar of genres, column of projects and instructions and information in the wider right side. After a few minutes most users will be able to navigate easily and find projects however the layout could be streamlined a little better to offer an improved user experience.

How does the registration process work?

New users can join the Volpen community by clicking the blue “Login” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. A drop down box appears and invites the user to sign in with a Facebook or Twitter account. No other registration option is currently offered, however an email and password field is present below the social networking buttons. The user must sign in with their Facebook or Twitter account and give the application access to complete registration.

What does it cost to use the application?

Volpen invites all aspiring authors to join its community for free. There are no subscription fees and users are not required to pay anything to start or join a book project. Everyone receives the same level of access to features and available public book projects. The site does not list any fees taken out of book sales, but it is assumed that there must be some revenue generated for the site through purchases.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Volpen presents an interesting opportunity to anyone who wants to write. The application gives users a chance to present book ideas and share their suggestions for existing book ideas and book covers. The user isn’t likely to become an award-winning author using Volpen, but it does offer a chance to practice writing and possibly make extra money by contributing to books that are printed and sold online.

  • Share a book idea with an online community
  • Get help finishing a novel in any genre
  • Browse user-created books in progress
  • Suggest continuations or look for finished books
  • Search for user-created books by keyword or name


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