Another One Bites the Dust

shutterstock_132261413Social reading platform Readmill has been acquired by cloud storage start-up DropBox and will cease operations in July. The company has already stopped accepting new users.

In its short history, Readmill failed to find a commercial business model, according to the company’s founder Henrik Berggren, who wrote about the reasons for the sale in a blog post last week.

A favorite among digital publishing insiders for its advanced features and overall usability, Readmill’s end raises questions about the viability of certain kinds of start-ups. (Looking to replace Readmill with a new e-reading app? Look here.)

Are there certain obvious innovations in e-reading that we will never see because they lack commercial viability? More.


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Global Online Marketplace for Book Rights (DBW)
UK-based IPR License has launched an online marketplace where rights holders can shop and sell the rights to their works to the highest bidders.

Apple Faces the Masses (Pub Lunch)
A new ruling from Judge Denise Cote has grated class status to readers who sued Apple initially over ebook price-fixing in 2011. This could triple the damages the company will eventually have to pay.

Reason for Kobo’s Stay of Execution (PW)
A Canadian judge revealed that part of the reason Kobo was granted a stay in executing new “agency lite” contracts with publishers following publishers’ settlements with the Canadian government is because it could cause the company irreparable harm.

Oyster Party Celebrates Six Months of “Exploring” (DBW)
The off-season digital book publishing event of the year was held at Manhattan’s The Explorers Club, a celebration for ebook subscription service Oyster, six months after launch. Pictures and words.

Byte the Book Tackles the Big Issues (DBW)
Bookstores, showrooming and the future of non-fiction in the ebook era were part of a larger discussion at this month’s Byte the Book gathering in London.

Let Them E-Read (The Guardian)
Ebook technology makes it financially feasible for the UK government to provide prisoners with huge libraries of books to read. In a free and decent society, it should, argues The Guardian.

E Ink Forecasts Losses (Taipei Times)
Declining revenue versus the same period last year will have E Ink, the company that makes many of the e-ink screens that power popular e-readers, may lose money in the first half.

Softcover: New Self-Publishing Platform (TechCrunch)
Softcover allows authors to output many file types working from HTML and to bundle ebook files with other media to create content packages appealing to readers. Softcover is geared toward technical and professional writers.

Penguin Opens Up Ebooks to Schools (DBW)
The publisher has made 17,000 titles to schools through library ebook distributor OverDrive.

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