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Zola Books Acquires Bookish to Expand Social Network

Zola Books Acquires Bookish to Expand Social Network

Zola Books, an ebook social network and retailer, has acquired Bookish, a site where readers get great book recommendations, to expand the ways readers can discover and discuss great books.

With Bookish, Zola Books is acquiring sophisticated book recommendation technology, which received top rankings by Digital Book World and is the result of a project to map the core characteristics that distinguish hundreds of thousands of books. It includes proprietary algorithms for matching content and readers and an application programming interface (API) for providing other sites and services with open access to the database.

The Bookish acquisition expands Zola's technology platform, which includes an e-reader app with unique social sharing capabilities for iPhones and iPads as well as an e-commerce site selling ebooks from major publishers and exclusive content from bestselling writers.

"Zola and Bookish share a vision of a richer reader experience, connecting readers to their favorite books, authors, tastemakers they trust, and of course to other readers," said Joe Regal, Zola Books CEO. "Ebooks are becoming personal social networks. Not only can we can read them on phones and devices that we carry with us, but we can also share and comment right inside the reading apps themselves."

Zola Books will continue to enhance the Bookish site, where hundreds of thousands of people per month visit to get book suggestions. Zola also will seek to develop new ways to provide readers with access to the recommendation engine by allowing other sites and services access to the recommendation engine through the API.

Bookish, founded by Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster, launched in February 2013.

"We are very pleased to have found a new owner for the site whose goals and interests are so closely aligned with the Bookish mission. With Zola's support and direction, the site we created, and which Bookish CEO Ardy Khazaei successfully brought to market and whose advanced technology he guided to its current state, will continue to provide superb book recommendations and editorial content for the devoted and casual reader alike," said Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group.

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