Ed Han, I’m one of the co-founders of Nowvel.
How did Nowvel get started?
I suppose you could say that it started from a long history of being sentimental and being interested in memories. The last company I helped start and was the CEO for 8 years was Tiny Prints, now part of Shutterfly. At Tiny Prints, we printed cards and stationery - most with photos to help families connect with loved ones. But I’ve personally always loved printed books and photobooks in particular as a way to always rediscover precious memories on purpose or accidentally because they are printed in physical form. Having left Tiny Prints over 2 years ago, I teamed up with a couple of great folks who shared this common interest to start Nowvel about 6 months ago.
Our goal is to make photobook creation super simple with a casual yet high quality photobook, which is why we are starting with mobile first. Given so many of our photos are taken on our smartphones, we hope that by making the process simple and using technology to automate as much of photobooking making as possible that more photographers will print, gift and hold onto their memories in a physical way to share and experience with others.
Exactly what can you do with Nowvel?
Nowvel helps organize your photos into memories that are grouped based on software we’ve built that looks at the digital information on your iPhone photos and Facebook. We group them into a visual format that looks like a book, which you then can simply enjoy reliving the memories, share with friends and even print as a photobook in our very unique, premium format. Our photobooks are printed on the latest digital press technology onto stiff, lay flat paper that has 3 eco friendly certifications and costs just $10 flat. With up to 5 photos per page, users can print up to 100 photos into each book.
I see that Nowvel includes photo analysis software that curates and groups photos together. Is it possible to make a custom album from scratch?
Yes, this is very easy! While we hope that we do a good job creating books automatically as a starting point, you can custom make a book from scratch exactly the way you want it with your iPhone photos and Facebook photos.
What are the book dimensions and how many pages are included in a standard book?
Books are 8”x8” when open, so closed the book is 8” tall by 4” wide, which is a very unique format. This allows the book to open to a square that can hold a single photo - with lay flat paper, it’s a gorgeous and premium way to showcase your best photos. All books include 20 pages.
What is the cost for the user?
We’ve tried to keep our pricing as simple as the app and the books cost $10 flat, regardless of the number of photos. We ship all over the world - $5 for the US and $10 everywhere else.
Tell me about the lay flat design?
Lay flat is a new paper technology that is akin to what most people know as children’s board books. Not quite as cardboard like but very stiff, it allows a single photo to print across both pages when spread open, which creates a beautiful showcase of photos or a single photo.
Can extra pages be added to a book?
Not at the moment, we are trying to keep the entire experience very simple and limit choice in hopes that users find it undaunting to make books and do so more frequently for more people.
Is there a minimum resolution for photos used?
We have used upscaling technology to support and print fairly small photos and the app will tell you when a photo is too small for print. Our minimum resolution is 720 x 720 pixels.
What are Nowvel coins and how are they earned?
Nowvel Coins are a fun and easy way to earn credits toward printing a book. For those motivated by price, Coins can be earned right from the beginning by connecting to photo sources and Facebook, turning on notifications and sharing memories to Facebook. Each Coin is worth $1 off printed photobooks.
Does the book have to be created in the Nowvel app, or can you create a book online too?
Currently, we only have a mobile experience for creating a book, there is a web view for viewing books when shared. We hope to work on a web photobook creation tool someday soon.
What are the future plans for Nowvel?
We have lots of plans for Nowvel with the current priority being continued product development. Our current focus, which we hope to release in September is a feature that will allow users to create a book together. For special occasions and special people, a group could get together, have pages assigned to them and build a book together as a gift.
Do you have any special offers or promotions that a first time user can use to get started?
Yes we do! All new users currently will receive 10 Nowvel Coins simply by downloading the app, which means that the first printed photobook is completely free!
I had a chance to make a FREE book using the promotion above (I paid for shipping only). The book just arrived and I couldn't be happier with it! The photo colors are a great match to the originals. The book quality is top-notch and the lay-flat design allows for easy viewing. This won't be my last book for sure!