BREAKING NEWS
It runs in the family: John Parker beats Ratu Dawai, ahead of his brother's big fight. Can Joseph follow suit? ... Read more
Close

Wellington ebook startup bought by US rival

Last updated 05:00 30/11/2009

Relevant offers

Industries

Five NZ Post buildings go under the hammer Is there a chance New Zealand's power grid could shut down? Wellington industrial properties up for sale drop, investors slow to buy Auckland-based institution buys Wellington's Karori Mall for $22 million NZ one of world's most competitive economies: World Economic Forum Retailers leave as uncertainty reigns about Otaki's retail future Prime Minister opens state of the art fish oil processing plant in Nelson Council staff furious at CEO's 11 per cent rise when they were offered just 1.7 per cent Argentinian buyers of Onetai Station get two warnings from OIO Start of Snapper sustainability measures welcomed by local fishers

Wellington online publishing start-up Bookhabit has been snapped up by Silicon Valley's Smashwords for an undisclosed sum.

Bookhabit launched in early 2008, allowing independent authors to publish their work online for free and readers to sample first chapters before deciding whether to buy.

Co-founder Clare Tanner says Smashwords operates a similar model, allowing people to read a preview of the work before deciding to spend, and can distribute authors' books through online ebook retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Shortcovers.

Smashwords' bid came at the right time for the firm, which was looking to offer ebooks in different formats and set up strategic partnerships with retailers.

"To get to that next stage would have required a lot more investment. We would have had to be a lot more aggressive about being in the United States, which is hard to do from here," Ms Tanner says.

The 340 authors who have signed with Bookhabit can choose whether or not they migrate their 600-odd books to Smashwords' platform.

"Some people have said they won't but most are really happy about it. They can see it will be good for them," she says.

Wellington web development firm Webfund has a 25 per cent stake in Bookhabit, which has one fulltime staff member.

Smashwords founder Mark Coker said the acquisition boosted its international base of authors, ebooks and customers.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content