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.
Zola Books is an independent startup focused on creating a richer experience for mobile readers. It is backed by Charles Dolan, founder of Cablevision and HBO, authors including Audrey Niffenegger and RZA, and prominent individual investors.
Headquarters will be at the Zola Books office at 242 West 38th Street, New York. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Bookish LLC is backed by leading publishing houses Hachette Book Group (HBG), Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster. Launched in 2013, the site is a comprehensive online resource designed to connect readers with books and authors, and was recently selected as one of PCWorld's "25 Favorite Lifestyle Sites." For more information, visit http://www.bookish.com.
About Zola Books
Zola Books' mission is to create an online paradise for book lovers. Zola takes everything readers do in the real world - browse bookstores, read book reviews, visit blogs, follow authors, share reviews and recommendations, and buy ebooks - and puts it all in one place. Zola also shares profits with booksellers who recommend books online and off. In addition, Zola offers exclusive ebooks from major writers - including The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion, and Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers. For more information, please visit http://www.zolabooks.com and follow @zolabooks.