Small Grant Proposal: LitPad

Introduction

Project Name:
Sianovel

Name of Organization:
LitPad Platforms

Project Description:
Statista projects the global ebook market to be worth $15.52 billion by 2028, and it’s predicted that the number of readers in the eBooks market will reach 1.1 billion users by the same year.

However, according to studies and surveys from notable entities like Authors Guild, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Pew Research Center, and others, millions of readers and writers, especially those in the fiction niche like myself, face key challenges on digital writing platforms, such as inefficient monetization, plagiarism, lack of affordable content, and loss of creative liberty.

This is where Sianovel (Landing Page Coming Soon) comes in—an author-friendly online platform that enables writers to share their stories and readers to discover a diverse range of affordable and premium serialized fiction across genres.

Leveraging Sia Blockchain, Sianovel stores and distributes stories on a decentralized cloud and also adopts Siacoin as the internal currency for readers to use in unlocking stories.

Siacoins can also be used by readers to purchase gems which they can use to vote for books, increasing the book’s rank while authors can convert these gems to cash.

Readers can also earn points by reading stories, which can be used to get more perks on Sianovel, such as access to exclusive content, discounts, and rewards.

Sianovel protects the intellectual property rights of writers and gives writers more freedom to control their content on flexible terms.

Some other features include a rating and review system for readers to give feedback and recommendations to writers and other readers.

Our aim is to create a community where fiction lovers - both authors and readers - can earn more from their stories, connect freely, control their activities, and have access to quality content.

Project Beneficiaries:
The main beneficiaries of Sianovel are fiction writers and readers who are looking for a better alternative to traditional digital writing platforms. Sianovel offers writers the following benefits:

  • Multiple Revenue Streams: Writers can monetize their stories via several ways, including crowdfunding, higher revenue share, and contests, and keep more of the profits from their stories, as Sianovel charges a fair commission for using the platform and the Sia network. Writers can also set their own prices and terms for their stories and receive payments in Siacoin or USD.

  • Protection from plagiarism: Writers can protect their stories from being copied or stolen through several methods like encryption. Sianovel also monitors the platform for any unauthorized copies or distributions of the stories and takes appropriate actions to remove them.

  • Creative freedom: Writers can express their unique voice and style without having to conform to the editorial and commercial preferences of publishers or platforms, and we offer fair exposure to all genres. Sianovel supports a wide range of genres and formats and encourages writers to experiment and innovate.

Sianovel offers readers the following benefits:

  • Affordable access: Readers can access a large and diverse collection of affordable and premium stories at reasonable prices. Readers can also use gems and points to unlock and read stories, which can be purchased with Siacoin or earned by reading stories. Sianovel also offers discounts and rewards for loyal and active readers.

  • Quality content: Readers can enjoy high-quality personalized stories from talented and passionate writers, as well as from established and emerging authors. Sianovel also provides a rating and review system for readers to find and recommend stories that suit their preferences and tastes.

  • Community engagement: Readers can interact with writers and other readers through comments, messages, and forums. Readers can also participate in contests, events, and challenges that Sianovel organizes to promote and celebrate fiction.

Project’s alignment with the Sia Foundation’s mission of user-owned data:
Our Project, Sianovel, serves the Foundation’s mission of user-owned data by enabling writers and readers to have full control and ownership of their data and content. As we leverage Sia and offer content protection and smart agreements. Also, Sianovel gives users—both writers and readers—the flexibility to set their terms and also utilize Siacoin as an in-app currency which writers can earn and also exchange for fiat.

Grant Specifics

Amount Requested:
We are requesting $9,900 for the development and launch of Sianovel MVP, a web application for fiction writers and readers. The breakdown of expenses is as follows:

  • Design: $1500. This includes the design of the user interface for the MVP web app (desktop and mobile screens), user experience, and branding of Sianovel.

  • Development: $7000. This includes the development of the front-end and back-end of Sianovel’s MVP, as well as the integration of Sia Storage and Siacoin for gem purchasing. This also includes the testing, debugging, and deployment of Sianovel on web.

  • Operational Expenses: $1400. This includes $400 to cover the costs of the database, frontend hosting and publishing on the Web, $500 in Siacoin for Renterd storage cost, and $500 in initial Siacoin reserve for our minimal on-ramping and offramping of USD to Siacoin to Gems and vice versa.

We will accept grant funds in $USD via ACH or Wire, and monthly grant payments are also accepted starting with $3000 upfront of the requested amount upon grant approval.

Project Timeline:
We plan to complete the development of Sianovel MVP within 3 months, from February 2024 to May 2024.

Potential risks that will affect the outcome of the project:
Some potential risks that may affect the outcome of Sianovel are:

  • Technical risks: These include the risks of technical difficulties, errors, or failures that may occur during the development, testing, or deployment of Sianovel, such as compatibility with Flutter and Sia, security, or performance issues. To mitigate these risks, we will use the best practices and standards of software development, conduct regular testing and debugging of Sianovel, and monitor and update it to ensure compatibility and security with the latest versions of Sia and Siacoin.

  • Legal risks: These include the risks of legal disputes, claims, or liabilities that may arise from the use of Sianovel, such as intellectual property rights, privacy, or contract violations. To mitigate these risks, we will comply with the relevant laws and regulations of the jurisdictions where Sianovel operates, respect and protect the rights and interests of the writers and readers, and provide clear and transparent terms and conditions for the use of Sianovel, as well as a dispute resolution.

Development Information

  • Open-Source Code: Yes, it will be available on GitHub here: https://github.com/Sianovel-Org

  • Monthly Progress Reports: Yes, we agree to submit monthly progress reports in the forum.

Brief Bio:
I have a background in product marketing for physical businesses before I transitioned into digital marketing a few years back.

I have experience working as a ghostwriter, storyteller, copywriter, and contractor for early-stage tech startups.

On the side, I am a paranormal fiction writer with interesting books on some digital platforms amassing tens of thousands of views and generating thousands of dollars in commission within the last 12 months.

I have a network of technical people, and out of my frustrations and that of several thousand writers, we believe Sianovel will be a game-changer, especially with your support.

Contact Info

New Updates:

The Committee recently sent us a message: start with an MVP and would like to see a link to other codes by our Developers.

We will move this proposal, from standard to small grant and also focus on building the minimum viable product first with the requested grant.

Also, these are some links from two of our core Go Lang Developers; as we intend to work majorly with Go on the backend.

GitHub - kayprogrammer/socialnet-v4: A Realtime Social Networking API built with Go Fiber (in progress).

GitHub - kayprogrammer/bidout-auction-v7: A simple bidding API built with Go Fiber.

GitHub - Xlaez/kamoushop: Kamoushop is an online-store built with go lang and the gin library. The app has all the essential features such an application should have as well as built with an approach to make it scalable..

Some feedback and criticisms.

  • I would recommend you create your brand, if not now, before you launch. Something user-facing like this should be its own identity.
  • Understand that sia as a chain is purpose-built, and it is not Ethereum and cannot make general-purpose smart contracts. You should research the technicals on this and potentially do a small grant if you need to figure out feasibility first in an MVP.
  • While no one will say no to you supporting SC as a currency in a system, it is a utility coin that’s a means to an end regarding value transfer between buyers and sellers. I would look more broadly into the crypto/web3 ecosystem to see what would make the most sense for your use case.

I would also like to know if you plan to run your own sia node and manage the data yourself.

Lastly… at one point, I also wanted to create something like this in the future, as I’m an avid fanfiction reader (fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org), and have it hosted in web3. So, as a reader, I am interested to see where this goes.

2 Likes

Thank you @pcfreak30 for the feedback and constructive criticism.

Certainly, I’ll be optimizing a personal brand for myself and initiating the creation of the Sianovel brand. I am currently working on the brand and marketing plan, engaging with writers in my network for this purpose.

I fully acknowledge that Sia is purpose-built, and our initial version of Smart Agreements/Contracts will likely be normal agreements stored on Sia.

Regarding Siacoin being a utility coin, Gems will serve as stable alternatives. Users will possess a wallet they can fund with Siacoin or pay USD for via our ramp, enabling them to convert Sia to Gems for in-app activities or cash out to USD or Siacoin.

At the outset, we plan to rent storage and may explore managing a node in the future.

It’s fantastic to hear that you’re a fanfiction reader. I look forward to welcoming you as one of our earliest readers on Sianovel.

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I more of mean more the practice of creating something that starts with or uses the name Sia. I would recommend it having its own identity.

Cool. There are a lot of possibilities, but I don’t want you trying to use Sia for what its not. It is basically a decentralized S3/object storage. It’s not lambada, a database, or a VPS.

You may need to work with my project then. There is currently no real managed sia hosting where it is like IPFS that you can outsource/delegate, but there will be EOY 2024. Right now, you would need to run your own node/infra and cover the network costs directly. There is Sia satellite (https://ss-alpha.online), but it may or may not be a fit. S5 (Introduction - S5 Network Docs) would allow you to use either Sia’s renterd or AWS S3 , though obviously being funded by Sia means using sia.

You can view the efforts I am making at Standard Grant Proposal: Lume Web 2024 - #35 by pcfreak30.

Lastly, I encourage you to also join the Discord server, as even though formal requests happen here, pretty much all community discussion is on Discord.

2 Likes

@pcfreak30 Oh, I understand now. We decided to use Sianovel, especially because the meaning of “Sia,” according to some sources, signifies Victory, and there are platforms like Goodnovel, etc., so that made sense.

Initially, we wanted to go with our organization’s name, LitPad, but considering the meaning of Sia and our plans of utilizing Sia Blockchain and Siacoin, it made sense for us. However, our brand will be user-facing.

I understand the basic capabilities and limitations of Sia Blockchain in terms of purpose.

We will explore Sia renterd via S5; I was perusing the docs a few days back, and I’d also love to see how we could work with Lume Web. I must say you’re building great stuff.

Lastly, thank you so much. I’ll join the Discord Server ASAP.

Thank you so much for your feedback.

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To be clear, renterd is created by the foundation, not S5. It’s the sia renter software. S5 allows Sia as a backend and any S3-compat service.

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@pcfreak30 Thank you! Pardon my statement; the sentence was supposed to mean; “we will explore renterd through S5,” after setting up the software.

We will also look in to other options before we pick the most feasible for our usecase on the backend.

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NP. If you have more general questions about the ecosystem, you can always ask them in Discord.

Things are evolving in real-time, by and for the community, so you will be making an impact with your use case as a customer/user of the network alongside the main software and community grant projects.

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Surely! Thank you so much. You’re very helpful. @pcfreak30

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Thanks for submitting your proposal to the Sia Foundation Grants Committee. The committee is requesting some changes to this grant request.

They would prefer to see this first proposed as a Small Grant. Delivering an MVP of the project proving that Sia works for your use-case is a great way to demonstrate feasibility to the committee before asking them to commit to a larger grant, specifically letting them see how node management might occur for this project.

They would also like to see any links you might have to other code that project members have written. Thanks again, and let us know if you have any questions!

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And with that response from the foundation, I would definitely recommend building on S5 and maybe IPFS in the future (have that as a focus for how you use sia), given where the ecosystem is now.

I personally definitely want to see a platform like this.

We are in the discord if you want to ask deeper questions :).

Kudos :)

2 Likes

@steve thank you! I have updated the proposal for us to start with a small grant to build our MVP.

Can you help me edit the title from Standard to Small.

Also, I have attached some links to code by some of our devs. Let me know if there’s anything else.

I eagerly await the next step.

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Thank you so much, @pcfreak30.

We actually plan to go with S5 for now and may consider IPFS in the long-run. I see some solutions are being built in the Sia ecosystem.

We can’t wait to launch our MVP and have you test it and provide feedback.

Sure, if we come across anything we need clarity on or face any technical challenges, we will ask in the Discord.

Thank you once again for being helpful.

2 Likes

Thanks for submitting your updates to your proposal!

Congratulations, the committee has decided to approve this proposal. They would also like to mention a couple things:

  • Please show some activity in a public repo of the provided org to verify the linked Github profiles are from the team.

  • We’ve recently updated our brand guidelines, and the committee would prefer to see a more unique name for this project.

Thanks! We’ll be reaching out with onboarding steps. Onboarding can take up to a couple weeks, so feel free to edit your timelines as appropriate.

2 Likes

Exciting! @steve

Thank you for your response.

For the mentioned:

  • Here’s a new public Repo created in the provided organization; we will be putting out more activities there. As an additional step to verify the profiles of the team members linked, here are screenshots of the team members in the organization and Repo, below:


  • Also, in line with the committee’s preference and the team’s acceptance, we will be using LitPad instead of Sianovel as the name of our project.

I believe this clarifies everything. I’ll be looking forward to getting onboarded.

1 Like

LitPad Progress Report for April 2nd, 2024

Progress Made:

Since grant acceptance, we have achieved significant milestones in our project. We successfully rebranded from Sianovel to LitPad, securing the domain www.litpad.app. Also, we updated our brand presence on various social media platforms including X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to reflect the rebrand.

Furthermore, we initiated the designing of our UI Prototype, completing the desktop screens and making progress for the mobile screens.

Links to Repositories:

Next Steps:

Moving forward, we will finalize the design of mobile screens for the user interface and dedicate our efforts to the full implementation of the frontend.

LitPad Progress Report for May 2nd, 2024

Progress Made:

We have successfully completed the UI prototypes for both desktop and mobile screens. Also, we have begun full implementation of the front-end, which is currently in progress, alongside certain aspects of the backend.

Regarding the backend, we have developed endpoints for user authentication and management, and have initiated the setup of the Sia Blockchain.

Links to Repositories:

Next Steps:

Moving forward, our priorities include finalizing the front-end implementation and placing more emphasis on API creation and integration.

Hello @Xenia,

Thank you for your progress report!

Regards,
Kino on behalf of the Sia Foundation and Grants Committee