Frequently asked questions

 
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Who's behind Novelize?

Novelize started out as a side project from home. Husband-and-wife team Anita and Josh Evensen created the first Beta version of Novelize in 2013. The official launch happened in the fall of 2014. Josh first started building Novelize, because he couldn’t find a novel writing tool he liked. As a web developer, this didn’t stop him for very long. Since its initial conception, Novelize has undergone several facelifts and updates, getting better all the time. With in-house development skills, we don’t have to wait for outside funding to continue adding new features.

Novelize is our biggest passion. We take the security of our customer’s data very seriously, and we will continue making improvements to the service. More importantly, we really want to help you get your novel written, because that’s the whole point of novel writing software.

How is Novelize built?

For those who like to know the techy details: Novelize is using the Software as a Service (SaaS) model to allow you to write your novel anywhere on any device. It was developed in PHP and is hosted on servers by Digital Ocean. Novelize has been built with the Laravel Framework. Novelize is a great tool for writing novels. By focusing on novel writers, we can put all our efforts into creating the perfect tool for novelists.

How can I get additional support?

When you send us an email or use our contact form, we always respond within 24-48 hours. You won’t receive any automated responses from an email server until then. We also don’t send canned responses to our customers. Instead, we take the time to answer your questions and concerns as thoroughly as we can. Our goal is to see you succeed and get that novel written, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you accomplish that.

What happens if Novelize closes shop?

We will export your novels. This is a really sad thought, and we can’t ever imagine a time where there is no Novelize. But nothing lasts forever, so it’s a possibility you’re right to be concerned about. But you don’t have to be. Novelize has been profitable from day one, and will likely always be so. Not in as much that we’re making millions (that would be really cool), but that it’s not in the red. Novelize has been around since 2014 and we have no plans to disappear. In fact, three people in our family regularly write using Novelize. The users we have cover all the costs associated with running Novelize (domain names, hosting, server administration, development, and responding to our customers).

Of course, if we ever did close up shop, we would definitely give you plenty of warning and make sure you can export your work. We understand these novels are your blood, sweat, and tears; and we'll do everything we can to make sure that you'll always have access to them. But don’t count on that to happen. Because we plan on sticking around. After all, you haven’t finished writing that novel, have you?

How secure is my novel in the Cloud?

Your major concern is the safety of your information. You don’t want anyone to have access to your novel and publish it as their own. We understand and feel the same way. So you want to keep all your data on your computer safe from the world. Unfortunately, your computer is vulnerable to hackers, too. But it’s not only hackers you have to worry about because what if your computer crashes/catches a virus/burns up in a fire/gets stolen/gets kidnapped by a dragon, then you’re tough out of luck. There is no getting that novel back, unless you plan on battling the dragon for your manuscript.

When you store your novel in the Cloud, you’re storing it on someone else’s server. For example, when you write your novel with Novelize, your work ends up on the servers of Digital Ocean. Digital Ocean is a pretty big company, and they have humongous servers (even a dragon would have a hard time stealing them). The team at Digital Ocean maintains the servers and keeps them secure and up to date all the time. They’re much better equipped against hackers than we are with our personal computer, because they have full-time staff just dealing with security.

The Cloud also provides another backup of your novel that is stored on a different server than the main copy of your novel, which further protects your work in the case of a natural disaster/equipment failure/dragon attack at the main server’s location. This is actually much more secure than the backup drive we use to back up our files at home.

Here is more information about Digital ocean and how they handle data security at their data centers. In addition to their security measures, we have put all our servers behind firewalls. These firewalls require ssh keys and complex passwords to gain access to our servers and database. We also perform regular backups of our database. Finally, we have multiple servers behind a load balancer - that means if one server were to go down, we would just add another one to take its place.

How do I use Novelize?

Our goal for Novelize was to built intuitive novel writing software. That being said, if you don’t want to click around and experiment, you can read through our guide on how to use Novelize. We have added plenty of screenshots for additional guidance. If you still have a question or need help, please contact us directly.

Do I need to provide my credit card information to sign up?

Yes. We won't charge your card until the end of your 17-day trial. The bottom line is: our service isn’t free. Therefore, we need your billing information to reduce fraud and verify you have a valid credit card should you keep your account open.

Why should I pay for Novelize?

To support more features. We know that you have other options, but by paying a small amount each month for Novelize, you help us develop additional features. While we’d love to get rich, so far that hasn’t happened yet. However, we really do spend a lot of time maintaining Novelize and taking care of our customers.

Is the content I write kept safe?

Of course. We have a safe and secure server through Digital Ocean. We also perform regular backups; so if something crazy happens, we don’t lose any of your work.

Is what I write private?

Absolutely. With SSL Encryption, your work won't be stolen while it's being transferred to our servers. We also utilize every technique available to secure our servers.

Who owns the rights to the content I enter into Novelize?

You and only you. Novelize will claim a limited license to your content, so we can provide you with our service. This limited license only pertains to the right to store your content and show it to you inside of our novel writing software. You can find out more by reading our Terms of Service.

Can I cancel my account anytime I want?

Of course. You can cancel your subscription or close your account by going into your account screen inside of Novelize. However, before you cancel, you need to export your novels to avoid losing your story information.

Who has access to my novel?

With server-side encryption, the only person who has access to your novel, besides you, is the server administrator. At Novelize, we’ve limited that to one person for added privacy. And it’s not even easy for the server admin at Novelize to access your novel, because it’s parceled out and saved in lots of different places on the server (one scene here, another scene over there). And we programmed it that way intentionally.

So if you asked us to read what you wrote, and tell you what we think about it, it would take us a long time to do it. Unless you are kind enough to send us your novel via email. And whenever the admin has to find information from a novel, he spends hours doing it. Needless to say, he’d never look at your novel for fun.

Why does the admin have access to your novel at all? Well, the nature of programming means that we have to access the database in order to display and export your novel. If we encrypted the information on your end (client-side encryption), then we wouldn’t be able to take your novel and turn it into a Word or PDF document for you. Additionally, if we switched to client-side encryption, you would not be able to recover your password if it was forgotten. Can you imagine how devastating it would be to forget your password and never have access to your novel again? So that’s why we decided not to go with client-side encryption and instead went with limited access on the back-end. But don’t worry. We’ll keep it safe.

And if you want to play devil’s advocate: Let’s assume some big-name author like Stephen King wrote his novel with Novelize. That would be awesome, right? But even if we had access to his novel, it would be worthless to us. While it would undoubtedly be a great book, it wouldn’t get any sales without his name on the cover. And when you steal a book, you don’t sell it under the actual author’s name, right? That’s why even Stephen King’s novel would be safe with us. And we’ll wait to read it until he publishes it, too.