The Big Day Is Here For Memphis Startup ScrewPulp

screwpulpLast week we were pleased to bring you the story of ScrewPulp’s launch. The new self publishing platform is helping authors and publishers with much needed traction and engagement through a different model.

Publishers/authors sign up for ScrewPulp which helps them market their books by giving away the first 25 copies in exchange for a social media mention, review or rating. From there, as books gain popularity they increase in price by $1.00 per level. This format gives authors/publishers, much needed exposure and the benefit of having ratings and reviews built in to their profile.

Publishers hold all the rights to their books. ScrewPulp takes a small percentage and leaves the author/publisher with no less than 75%. They only ask that submitted works stay on the site for 90 days.

Screw Pulp founder Richard Billings launched the startup at 48 Hour Launch in June of last year. From there he went on to take the top prize at Launch Memphis’ Global Entrepreneurship Week event, which included pitching in front of Federal Court Judge, John Fowlkes.  The Seed Hatchery accelerator was the next natural step for the team.

We’ve chronicled the life of ScrewPulp from that very first pitch in June, consequently the same 48 Hour Launch event that attracted Nibletz to Memphis, through demo day. Check out more Screwpulp coverage here and watch Billings’ pitch video here:


Check out more of our Seed Hatchery coverage here. 


Memphis Startup ScrewPulp Launches Disruptive Self Publishing Platform

ScrewPulp,Memphis startup,startup, Seed Hatchery,AcceleratorWith one week to go in the Memphis based Seed Hatchery startup accelerator program, one of their startups, ScrewPulp, has officially launched (isn’t it nice to see real products at demo days).

Long time readers of, The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else, are very familiar with ScrewPulp and it’s founder, Memphian Richard Billings. Billings comes from a wide background of creativity, and media. At one point in his career, Billings was a radio disc jockey. Throughout though, he’s been a tinkerer on a very grand scale. For instance his home has a full movie theater and he’s building arcade and pinball machines in his spare time.

So what’s ScrewPulp? It’s a way for self publishers to generate traction by trading their wares for social media mentions, reviews and ratings. In it’s simplest form the model works like this:

– Author publishes their book on ScrewPulp
– The first 25 copies are given away free
– Those people are expected to engage with the material through reviews, ratings and social media mentions
– Readers can continue to get the newest books free as long as they support the model.

After the initial free period, publishers start making money on their book. Pricing is based on how well the book was received, or sales. What’s especially nice for publishers is the platform is non-exclusive and publishers get 75% of the take.

“I want to change a broken industry,” Billings said in a statement. “Screwpulp is removing the obstacles that discourage so many authors, and empowers everyone to take control of publishing’s future.”

ScrewPulp is a product of the entire LaunchMemphis ecosystem. The idea was conceived at a 48 Hour Launch event in June of 2012. From there, ScrewPulp was one of the startups selected to compete in a Global Entrepreneurship Week challenge, which included pitching the concept to Federal Court Judge John Fowlkes. At that contest, ScrewPulp won over $5,000 in cash and prizes.

ScrewPulp founder Richard Billings pitches his startup to Federal Court Judge John Fowlkes.

It was only natural for ScrewPulp to continue iterating and preparing for launch under the development and instruction of Seed Hatchery, Memphis’ cohort based technology accelerator.

“It’s been a fun uphill battle all the way, but we have our work cut out for us after investor day next week.” Billings told in an interview. He’s also very excited about the progress they’ve made to date. ScrewPulp soft launched last week with four books and four authors. In just one week, and with no promotion, marketing or media they now have 23 books from 23 authors, and 250 readers signed up for the platform.

To add to that momentum, ScrewPulp’s mentor, Publishing executive Joe Wikert, will be flying into Memphis to introduce the ScrewPulp team at Seed Hatchery Investor Day next week. Wikert was the Publisher and Chair of O’Reilly Media’s Tools Of Change conference. Wikert has also had executive positions with publishing giants, Wiley and Macmillan Publishing.

You obviously like to read, so go read a book at

Here’s ScrewPulp’s first ever pitch at 48 Hour Launch

This Memphis founder also launched her startup at 48Hour Launch and is now a finalist in the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Contest.

Startup First! Memphis Startups Pitch Federal Court Judge As Part Of Amazing Risk GEW Event

Screwpulp,GuildLocal,Memphis Urban Farm School,Launch Memphis,Memphis startup,startups,Judge Fowlkes, startup pitch

Memphis startup founder Rich Billings pitches ScrewPulp to Federal Court Judge John Fowlkes

For the third year running the state of Tennessee has held the most officially sanctioned Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) events with 91. One of those events as part of Memphis’ GEW activities is the Amazing Risk scavenger hunt.

A call was put out a month ago for startups to apply to compete in the Amazing Risk challenge. The field was narrowed down to three startups; Screw Pulp, Guild Local and the Memphis Urban Farm School. These three startups are competing for $10,000 in cash and prizes (services).

The three startups began the day at Risk City Field Day in midtown Memphis. At 10:00am all three teams were given clues to what they had to do to earn up to 1100 points. At the end of the day the team with the most points will win the prize pot.

The participants had to go to local eatery South Of Beale and pitch one of the waitresses. They also had to pitch Marvin Stockwell the Marketing Director at one of Memphis’ big social entrepreneur examples, the Church Health Center.

Finally the last clue had the teams headed to the Memphis Civic Center downtown which is the collection of state, local and federal buildings. From there they needed to interrupt President Barack Obama appointed Federal Court Judge, John Fowlkes, and again give their pitch.

Judge Fowlkes is no stranger to the Memphis entrepreneur community. His oldest son Andre Fowlkes is the Co-President of Launch Your City, the startup and entrepreneurial epicenter for Memphis Tennessee. While Judge Fowlkes was in on the contest, no one else in the courthouse was, which made the experience a bit challenging at first.

Once each of the three startups arrived in the court room, jitters and nervousness went on extra high. It’s one thing to pitch a room from of entrepreneurs and startup leaders. It’s another to pitch a sitting Federal Court Judge, in open court.

The first startup to arrive in Judge Fowlkes’ courtroom was, publishing alternative startup, Screw Pulp. Screw Pulp is a web platform that allows independent publishers to publish their books. Their book is originally given out free to a certain amount of readers who agree to review the book. After the first hundred copies are given away and reviews are accumulated ScrewPulp then begins to sell the book online in a more traditional manner.

Check out the ScrewPulp Pitch here:

Wes the founder of Memphis Urban Farm School was next to pitch in the courtoom. Judge Fowlkes and his clerks had plenty of questions for Wes.

Just before the judge’s lunch break the team from Guild Local arrived. They did a decent job of describing their startup but Judge Fowlkes still had questions.

We’re pretty sure this is a first for any startup to have to go and pitch a judge, much less a Federal court judge. Later in the day we’ll find out which team won the most points in the Risk City, Amazing Risk Challenge.


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Memphis Startup: ScrewPulp Final Pitch 48 Hour Launch

ScrewPulp is an idea that hasn’t been tackled in quite this way before. It’s a self publishing website that allows authors to publish their books to the site.  So what’s so unique about that?

Problem: More and more authors are turning to self publishing. Just look at 50 Shades of Gray for instance. According to the startups data there were over 200,000 self published books out of over 1.5 million books published with ISBN numbers.

Self published authors have a hard time garnering social network interest, ratings and reviews which can be the lifeline for a self published book.

Solution: ScrewPulp offers an innovative new platform for self publishers that builds the social network interest piece and the ratings and reviews piece as well. After a book is downloaded 100 times they will switch to $.99 for the next 1,000 copies. After that they’ll increase to $1.99 and so on.

The monetization plan is to take 25% of the sales from books that are selling on the site.

Screw Pulp will giveaway the authors first 100 copies in exchange for a social media share and a rating/review. Readers who love reading new books will be able to download one free book at a time. Once they share it across social media and provide a star rating and or review, they’ll be allowed to download their next free book.

As far as rights are concerned, Billings would like to require authors to hold their work on ScrewPulp for a year regardless of whether or not that author gets their book picked up from another publisher.

Founder Richard Billings said in the Q&A that ScrewPulp will start with novel sized books first and then expand to series and even short stories.  Billings also said he would like to use the format for indie artists as well and said we could expect a ScrewTapes out at some point as well.

Check out their Sunday pitch video below:



Check out ScrewPulp here at their website

Here’s more of Nibletz’ coverage of 48 Hour Launch in Memphis

Nibletz is the voice of startups everywhere else, here’s more stories from “everywhere else”