A New e-publishing Tool Launches in New Zealand

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The Story Mint is a worldwide web-based service that connects writers and readers. Officially launched in April 2012, the Story Mint fills the gaps between the traditional publishing model and the e-publishing world by providing writers with the opportunity to be published following a rigorous process of assessment and interaction with readers and other writers. The Story Mint includes a membership forum, a regular editorial blog, an analytical tool for budding writers (“Earnest”) and opportunities to read and contribute to online serials. Registered members are able to purchase online editorial assistance to develop and refine their draft manuscript before publishing the completed work. Next month (May 2012) the Story Mint will publish its first new online manuscript - “Tokyo Curry’ by Simon Angelo. Additional novels are in the pipeline. Created and maintained by Suraya Dewing, a communications specialist and resident of Massey University’s ecentre which is a business incubator in Auckland, New Zealand, the Story Mint has been developed with investment from New Zealand Ministry of Science and Innovation’s Tech NZ Capability Funding and a significant private investor.

There’s a story in everyone – The magic lies in peeling back the layers that hide them - Suraya Dewing

A new website designed to provide support for writers wishing to refine and publish their work has launched in New Zealand.

The Story Mint has been developed and tested by Suraya Dewing in association with Massey University’s ecentre and Sparks Interactive.

“My dream was to create a pathway to publication for writers struggling to get their work acknowledged,” says Suraya. “The Story Mint fulfills that dream by giving writers a way to develop their storytelling craft with the ultimate goal of our epublishing their work.”

At thestorymint.com writers and readers can sign up to participate in an online community where draft material is assessed, critiqued and created. An automated assessment tool allows writers to get initial feedback to their work by comparing it to existing authors’ work and providing a comprehensive report on how their style is working. It also provides a writer’s checklist. In addition writers can try their hand at writing serial chapters of a long story – one that is edited and another that is not and request personalised assessments of prepared manuscripts.

The Story Mint website launched today is the result of an intensive six month beta trial of a concept developed by Suraya within Massey University’s ecentre business incubator. The concept incorporated multiple feedback loops so that writers could hear what readers thought as well as gain an understanding of important writing concepts.

The response to the concept was so enthusiastic that Suraya continued to maintain the beta trial site while the ‘real’ site was being built. More than 200 foundation members participated from 15 countries including the United States, Georgia, Germany, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel, India and China.

“The writers have engaged with each other and the comments from readers have been invaluable,” says Suraya. “Six serial manuscripts have been created and are available to read online.”

The first novel identified by The Story Mint for publication, Tokyo Curry by Simon Angelo, will be epublished in May/June.

Suraya has a Master in Creative Writing from the University of Auckland and a background in communications and electronic media.

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Jess Gillon
ecentre ltd.
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