Goodreads Investor Jon Callaghan On Amazon Acquisition Of ‘Scrappy’ Startup GoodReads
A social network for books,Goodreads, is being acquired byAmazon, the companies announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Goodreads is a website for people to review and rate books and follow friends and others with similar interests and discuss books with them. The site has 16 million members who have written more than 23 million reviews and has catalogued 360 million books.
True Ventures seed-funded the startup with $100,000 in 2007, after meeting the founders, Otis Chandler and Elizabeth Khuri Chandler, through entrepreneurs James Currier and Stan Chudnovsky, said True Ventures founder Jon Callaghan. In 2009, during the recession, True invested $2 million more in a first venture round in Goodreads, along with angel investors. True was the largest non-founder shareholder at the acquisition.
Goodreads was able to build the company into a success because of the startup’s passion and commitment to readers, Callaghan said. “They’re incredibly passionate about their business. They love reading and authors. It shows in their product demeanor. They were building a company for the long-term. They focused on doing the right thing for the user base, for authors and for readers.”
Libraries to Become Community Publishing Portals
Public libraries provide an essential community service by promoting literacy and a culture of reading.
With the rise of ebooks, public libraries are at a crossroads. Some book publishers, fearful that library ebook lending will cannibalize retail sales of books, are reluctant to supply ebooks to libraries at the very time that library patrons are clamoring for greater access to such materials.
Rather than standing idly by as publishers jeopardize their future, some libraries see an opportunity to take control by proactively cultivating a newer, more library-friendly source of ebooks. These libraries are developing community publishing initiatives in partnership with self-published ebook authors.
On March 21, I gave a three-part presentation on this topic at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services symposium in Lansing, Michigan. I outlined the opportunity for libraries to facilitate community publishing by helping local writers become professional ebook self-publishers.
Libraries are uniquely qualified to marshal community resources and talent to help local writers become publishers. Local self-published authors, in turn, have an exciting opportunity — working with the library — to give back to their community by mentoring the next generation of writers.
By sponsoring educational seminars and events, libraries can bring local authors face-to-face with readers and writers. Libraries can help unleash the talent locked inside the minds and fingertips of their community’s writers.
Paradox Launching New eBooks Publishing Initiative With Minecraft Book
Paradox Interactive is apparently tired of only working in the video games business and has thus decided to branch out into the new and exciting realm of book publishing with an e-book initiative called, appropriately enough, “Paradox Books.”
Better known for publishing such games as War of the Roses and Magicka, Paradox will now take on the printed page (or at least the digital page) with a series of books and strategy guides for various games and topics that might appeal to the gaming crowd.
“We’ve spent more than a decade creating and telling compelling stories through our computer games; stories that have engaged and captivated people from all parts of the globe, and books are just another medium to get those stories out there and engage with our audience,” said Paradox CEO Fredrik wester. “Add to that the fact that our company was founded on pen and paper role-playing games and books, and that we have several published authors amongst our ranks here at Paradox, so this felt like a very natural progression for us.”
Publishing frontiers: The library reboot
As scientific publishing moves to embrace open data, libraries and researchers are trying to keep up.
A few passing students do a double take as Sayeed Choudhury waves his outstretched right arm. In his crisply pressed dress shirt and trousers, the engineer looks as if he is practising dance moves in slow motion. But he is really playing with astronomical data.
This wall is the brainchild of computer scientist Greg Hager and Choudhury, who directs digital research and curation at the library. For $30,000, they and their team patched together monitors, processors and the Microsoft Kinect system that recognizes arm and body gestures. They placed the wall in the library last October as an experiment, allowing students and researchers to explore a few of the university’s data sets, from star systems to illustrated medieval manuscripts.
New York magazine’s new iPad app looks to define the future of print + digital publishing
Timed with the magazine’s 45th anniversary, New York is set to launch a newly redesigned iPad app that takes full advantage of Apple’s iOS platform, and could serve as the new standard bearer for print magazines on tablets.
AppleInsider was given an early hands-on look at the revamped New York magazine for iPad this week at the publication’s New York City headquarters. While New York has had an iPad edition available to subscribers for years, NYmag.com General Manager Michael Silberman admitted the previous software hadn’t used Apple’s tablet to its full potential.
That’s why in 2012, they partnered with developer The Wonderfactory to build a new iOS Newsstand application based on Bonnier’s Mag+ digital publishing platform. The result is New York’s completely revamped software, which is scheduled to hit the App Store April 1, with a few twists that make it a standout experience for the iPad.The defining feature of New York’s new app is the “window shade,” which allows users to quickly jump between the magazine and the latest news.
Upon launching the new application, readers will see a unique user interface designed to give iPad users easy access to both the latest news, as well as a version of the latest issue of New York, tweaked specifically to take advantage of the iPad’s form factor and display.
This split design is accomplished by a movable bar — a UI element referred to internally as the “window shade” — that divides the page into an upper half, featuring the latest news curated from NYmag.com, and a lower half, which offers access to the weekly magazine issue. Users simply drag the bar up or down to choose which material they wish to read, and the bar can be quickly pulled to the other side of the screen to switch.
Book News: Taliban Shooting Victim Is Publishing A Memoir: ‘I Am Malala’
Pakistani writer Malala Yousafzai will publish her memoir with Little, Brown. I Am Malala will come out this fall. Here’s more about the book:
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, a fifteen-year-old Pakistani girl was shot in the face at point-blank range because she had the temerity to stand up to the Taliban. That girl, Malala Yousafzai, survived the brutal attack, and the shocking story made headlines around the world … She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest person ever to be singled out in that way … In her memoir she will finally tell, in her own words, what happened on that day and the moving and inspiring story of her determination not be intimidated by extremists. It will also be about the family who gave Malala her remarkable courage.