Zola Alters Launch Schedule, Continues to Sign up Indie Bookstores

E-bookstore Zola will not be launching fully on Oct. 10 as reported by Digital Book World and others. The site’s launch will be phased over the next month, according to Zola founder and CEO Joe Regal.

On Oct. 10, Zola plans on moving the site to faster servers and will be selling Making Mavericks (by Frosty Hesson and Ian Spiegelman, Skyhorse Publishing) and The Chemickal Marriage (by Gordon Dahlquist, Penguin) by the end of the week. This is the first time the e-book version of either book will be available in the U.S. Part of Zola’s strategy is to offer to consumers content that can’t be found anywhere else.

Soon thereafter Zola will start putting other publishers’ books on sale. Next is the the HTML5 e-reader and the iPad app. Functionality will be added to both the HTML5 e-reader and the iPad app once they are live an integrated.

“General idea is that by the end of the month, we’ll truly be live with all pieces in place,” said Regal in an email to Digital Book World.

Meanwhile, Regal gave an updated figure for the number of independent bookstores that have signed on to sell e-books using Zola’s platform: 108 at this point. Part of Zola’s business plan is to replace Google as the platform of choice for indie bookshops looking to sell e-books.

Kobo, which is also now enlisting independent bookstores to sell its devices and e-books through a deal with the American Booksellers Association, has about 300 stores signed up or intending to sign up to its program. While Zola does offer an option for booksellers to be exclusive to it for a higher percentage of the take on e-book sales, it is thought that most stores working with Zola and Kobo are doing non-exclusive deals.

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