Dutch startup Sweek—a free reading and writing platform—welcomes 100,000th user

From a Sweek press release:

Sweek, a platform for free reading and writing, has welcomed its 100,000th user last week, since the official launch at the Frankfurt Book Fair seven months ago. Meanwhile, readers and writers from over 100 countries are already using Sweek. Both aspiring and top authors have joined Sweek, and traditional publishers are starting to use Sweek as a talent-scouting platform.

Mobile generation

Although Sweek serves a broad audience of readers and writers, it is particularly focused on the smartphone generation who is online 24/7. ‘These people still read a lot, but in a different way,’ says Veronika Kartovenko, co-founder and business development manager of Sweek. ‘Similarly to other industries, the smartphone is on the rise in the publishing world. With Sweek, we are entering the next chapter in publishing. The new stars of writing come from mobile publishing.’

Growth majorly exceeds expectations

Sweek growth is now becoming exponential with more than a thousand users joining every day. Sabine van der Plas, co-founder and marketing manager of Sweek: ‘We are very pleased that the growth rate is much higher than initially expected. If we can continue at this pace, we can grow to a million users relatively quickly and become one of the major players in mobile publishing in a few years.’

Reading and writing become social

Veronika Kartovenko, co-founder and business development manager at Sweek: ‘Sweek brings together the author and the reader. Readers can follow and like stories, and share them via social media channels, while creating a tight reading community. They can also give direct feedback to the author. With one click, authors can directly reach their followers. Compared to the current situation, in which reading is a solitary activity and the author doesn’t know who his readers are, this fundamentally changes the nature of reading and writing. We think this social element is one of the most important reasons for users to embrace Sweek from the start.’

From short story to serialized writing
Authors can use Sweek to publish all types of content, in all genres and languages. It also facilitates serialized writing. ‘Sweek is there for – amongst others – short stories, blog posts, books and serialized writing: the never-ending stories. We also see a clear trend for micro fiction, short stories of about 100 to 250 words. This is especially popular among teens,’ states Sabine van der Plas.

Popular writing competitions on Sweek
Sweek organizes various writing competitions, including country specific as well as worldwide contests which can be either stand-alone or in collaboration with other parties. Sabine: ‘The enthusiasm and activity during these contests is huge.’ Currently Sweek is running a competition together with Ravensburger, a traditional publishing house in Germany. Participants upload their story of minimum 50,000 words chapter by chapter and can gain followers from the very first chapter they publish. The community then decides who will become five out of the six finalists. Ambitious writers have a chance of winning the grand prize: an e-book publishing contract with Ravensburger. This is a perfect example of how a traditional publisher uses a mobile platform for talent scouting. Sweek is running other competitions, including one with the biggest Spanish-speaking writing school and an online reading community in Brazil. Sweek also has writing competitions for micro stories, which are very successful in Spanish-speaking countries and India.

Big data
Very soon, Sweek will start publishing its big data reports. Due to already large user numbers, very interesting trends can be extracted from Sweek user activity. Sabine: ‘Insights can, for instance, include genres that different demographic groups read, how long and how people read, or what type of topics and keywords certain readers look for.’

About Sweek
Sweek, a daughter company of Mybestseller, is an open platform that allows anyone to easily publish stories, books and series and to read those online and offline. On Sweek you can find stories from aspiring and well-known authors, in all genres. Sweek minimizes the distance between the writer and the reader and adds a social component to their interaction. Sweek is free to all users who can publish stories in over 60 languages. Download the Android app in the Play Store or the iOS app in the App Store. Next to mobile publishing, Sweek offers all its users the option to publish their work globally as a printed book and/or e-book via Sweek self-publishing.