Open Road Acquires E-Reads, Growing List of Titles by 30%

Open Road Media will add over 1,200 titles to its list with its purchase of E-Reads, the independent ebook publisher founded in 1999 by Richard Curtis.

According to Curtis, a longtime literary agent, the digital age presents constant difficulties for authors and publishers to getting their books noticed by readers. By acquiring E-Reads, Open Road Media can direct improved marketing resources toward exposure and discovery in a “competitive, ever-changing, and increasingly crowded marketplace,” Curtis said in a statement (below).

Open Road, currently the largest independent ebook publisher, will now publish and market all E-Reads titles in addition to the more than 4,000 of its own, boosting Open Road’s catalog by about 30%, primarily in genre fiction like science fiction, fantasy and romance.

The deal represents the consolidation of two major independent publishing enterprises to emerge from the industry’s digital transformation. Open Road CEO Jane Friedman co-founded the company in 2009 to pioneer new business models for the ebook era, which E-Reads’ founding anticipated a decade earlier.

The acquisition will not affect Richard Curtis Associates, the literary agency Curtis heads which has always operated separately from E-Reads, and where he will continue to serve actively as CEO.

[Press Release]

E-Reads’ 1,200+ Titles to Be Published and Marketed by Open Road, Uniting Oldest Independent Ebook Publisher with Largest

Superstars Dan Simmons, Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, John Norman (Science Fiction and Fantasy), Aaron Elkins, Barbara Parker (Mystery), Laura Kinsale (Romance), and Ray Garton (Horror) Add to Open Road’s Growing Genre List

Open Road Integrated Media, the largest independent ebook publisher, announced today that it has acquired E-Reads, the oldest independent ebook publisher in the field. E-Reads’ more than 1,200 titles, a majority of which are science fiction and fantasy and also span the mystery, thriller, romance, and horror genres, will now be published by Open Road and marketed through the company’s proprietary platform. E-Reads founder Richard Curtis will consult with Open Road during the transition.

“E-Reads has proven to be as successful as I envisioned when I founded the company in 1999,” says Richard Curtis. “However, as I recently surveyed the state of the industry, it became apparent that it was time to seek an alliance with a company with greater resources, particularly in the all-important area of marketing. I am confident that Open Road will afford all of our books the best opportunity to realize their full potential in a competitive, ever-changing, and increasingly crowded marketplace, and I look forward to playing a role in the integration of these two great firms.”

“E-Reads is one of the publishing industry’s pioneering companies, and it shares Open Road’s passion for the digital future,” says Open Road cofounder and CEO Jane Friedman. “Richard Curtis has built an incredible catalog filled with beloved and bestselling authors, and we are excited to welcome them to the Open Road family as we bring all of our resources to connecting them with readers around the world.”

E-Reads’ catalog spans multiple genres, with a focus on science fiction and fantasy authors including Dan Simmons, Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, John Norman, Dave Duncan, Dan Simmons, Brian Aldiss, and Robert Sheckley; mystery bestsellers including Aaron Elkins and Barbara Parker; romance star Laura Kinsale; and horror master Ray Garton, who will now join Open Road’s growing list of genre greats.

Open Road launched as a literary publisher (Mary McCarthy, William Styron, Sherman Alexie, Michael Chabon) and has since expanded into additional genres including science fiction and fantasy (Octavia E. Butler, Theodore Sturgeon), mystery (Carl Hiaasen, Dorothy L. Sayers), and romance (Heather Graham, Amanda Scott), among many others.

This acquisition unites the oldest independent ebook publisher in the field with the largest. E-Reads was founded by Richard Curtis in 1999, at the beginning of the ebook era. Open Road Integrated Media, cofounded by Jane Friedman in 2009, published its first ebook in 2010 and has since grown to become the largest independent ebook publisher, with more than 4,000 titles.

Chris Davis, Open Road COO, led the negotiations on behalf of Open Road. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close on April 1, were not disclosed.

After the closing, the E-Reads website will be taken down and its titles will be featured on Open Road’s website (http://www.openroadmedia.com/), with links to all major e-tailers.

About Open Road

Open Road Integrated Media is a digital publisher and multimedia content company. Open Road creates connections between authors and their audiences by marketing its ebooks through a new proprietary online platform, which uses premium video content and social media. Open Road has published ebooks from legendary authors including William Styron, Pat Conroy, Alice Walker, James Jones, and Pearl S. Buck.

About E-Reads

Founded in 1999, at the dawn of the ebook era, E-Reads is the oldest independent digital publisher in the field and an innovative leader in the modern book industry.

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