— By Hannah Dorss —
Upliterate is an online platform that connects up-and-coming authors and readers through stories. The company started in the Launchpad Program at John Paul the Great Catholic University in 2014. Upliterate’s business model serves both authors and readers in a unique way. It gives authors a place to post their work, gain an audience, and gauge reader reaction while they are writing their book. At the same time, it gives readers affordable and accessible reading material from fresh authors.
Ben Wurth founded the company through the Business Launchpad program while he was a student at JPCatholic. Ben says his business model addresses several problems in the industry. First, the platform is working to make it easier for both new and established authors to self-publish their books either as an ebook or a hard copy, which can be a challenge for many authors. Second, it gives readers a place to find new material and authors without having to pay for books, specifically in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Currently authors post their stories on Upliterate chapter by chapter, and readers can subscribe to stories and get updates when new chapters are released.
The company is currently developing three different revenue streams. The first revenue stream is through ads, the second is through an ad-free premium platform that readers can purchase through a monthly subscription, and the third is through service charges for publishing books.
Upliterate currently has a team of three, which in addition to Ben includes John Rockwell, the strategic manager, and Angela Cunningham, the marketing director. Ben credits much of the company’s success to the mentorship they have received through the Launchpad program. He says Dr. Connolly, along with the rest of the business professors such as Marc Burch, have been incredibly helpful and provided valuable advice based off their real world experience. Ben says he loves to bounce ideas off of them, and they keep him moving forward. He says, “The launchpad program gave me a community and an environment that encouraged and allowed me to do my best work on my company.”
Since its founding, Upliterate has grown substantially. It currently has 1,300 users and 258 stories already published on the site. The company is also currently preparing to sell ebooks and will then move on to publishing hard copies. Ben and his team hope to continue growing Upliterate by hosting writing contests, blogging, and networking with writers, publishers, readers, and marketing professionals. They also plan to continue taking advantage of the mentorship and opportunities of the JPCatholic Business Launchpad.
For more information about the company, check out the website here: www.upliterate.com