Andrew Rhomberg

About Andrew Rhomberg

Andrew is the founder of Jellybooks, a start-up focused on exploring, sampling and sharing ebooks. He previously worked at txtr (whitelabel ebook retail platform), Skype (internet telephony), Reciva (internet radio), gate5 (now Nokia Maps), and Shell (oil). He holds a science Ph.D. from MIT. Follow him on Twitter at @arhomberg.

Sourcing Books on Wall Street

A company can grow organically (investing in new product, developing new channels to market, improving customer service, in other words innovating) or it can grow by mergers and acquisition (M&A). The oil industry has a name for this — “drilling …

Discovery, User Experience and the Long Tail

There has recently been some debate as to whether the long tail for ebooks exists: — “Dispelling the Ebook Long Tail Myth” by Marceloa Vena, head of the digital trade book business at Italian publisher RCS Libri — “New Data …

Crossing the Digital Chasm

This Thursday, UK trade publication “The Bookseller” held its annual Futurebook conference, which was well attended not by book sellers, but by publishers. Of course there were also a motley collection of authors, start-ups and consultants with agents being almost …

Start-ups, Amazon and Going Outside the Publisher Ecosystem

In a very interesting interview with Jeremy Greenfield, Mike Shatzkin posits that big publishers don’t “need” start-ups. Start-ups in this context means “[high growth] technology start-ups”, as it so often does, because Silicon Valley has crowded out the notion that …

Why Are Ebook Start-ups Dominated by Men?

Related, a thoughtful response to the post below: There’s No Ceiling if You Start at the Top! Women in Digital Publishing and Tech Tim Carmody, who writes for The Verge, noted that high-profile NYC publishing start-up Oyster was built by …

Is Amazon Asocial?

I recently wrote a post called “Is Amazon Invincible.” It was a bit tongue-in-cheek, because in the long-term no company is invincible. The post was actually an exercise in analyzing Amazon’s formidable strengths, but also in exploring some of the …

Is Amazon Invincible?

Apple suffered a stunning defeat in court over ebooks and previously we witnessed a bloodbath at Barnes & Noble for having gotten its ebook strategy wrong. This makes many wonder whether Amazon is invincible. Amazon has been the 800 pound …

Does Barnes & Noble Have a Future?

Barnes & Noble has had a terrible time recently. It even “lost” its CEO. There have been a lot of interesting suggestions about what Barnes & Noble should do to survive the storms that are battering it — and no …

The Future of Goodreads under Amazon Ownership

We don’t know how much Amazon has offered to acquire Goodreads but it probably was not a huge sum. In Silicon Valley, an exit valley between $10 million and $50 million is barely worth mentioning (Facebook bought no-revenue Instagram for …

Five Shades of Book Discovery

There have been two great and thought-provoking and much commented articles recently on the subject of new book discovery: 1. Discovery is Publishers’ Problem; Reader are Doing Just Fine by Guy Lecharles Gonzales 2. Is the Book Discovery Bubble Ready …

Thoughts on Random Penguin From the UK

Some thoughts from the UK on the Penguin-Random House merger: – Random House Penguin can also be abbreviated to “Ruin” (credit to Ben Evans, a media and telecomm analyst from Enders Analysis for that one) – MacMillan + Hachette = …

Why Publishers Don’t Like Working With Start-ups

It’s not true that all publishers don’t like working with start-ups, but as the founder of one such start-up in the publishing world, Jellybooks, I can tell you firsthand that what might seem like a home-run partnership doesn’t always come …

Lessons from the ‘Penelope Trunk Affair’

This week, author Penelope Trunk went on a rant about how she left her publisher with her advance after determining that the publisher didn’t know how to market books online. Despite the dubious nature of some of her claims, there …

Why Amazon Dominates

I was reading a great article by Joel Gascoigne on the “Happiness Advantage” at and this brought to mind how Amazon out-competes publishers and other book retailers (no matter what you think about devices and DRM). Joel cites a great …

Discovery and Discoverability

At Jellybooks, a start-up focused on exploring, sampling and sharing books, we are always thinking about how readers discover and share new books. Recently, I had an online debate with others around the question “what is discoverability?” Here some personal …

Some Tough Questions for Enhanced E-Books

Last week’s Pew study on e-reading gave publishers some hope that consumers might be ready for enhanced e-books. I’m not so sure. If the enhanced e-book is the future, then why is (almost) every enhanced e-book start-up either bankrupt, struggling …

Why Pottermore Could Change Everything

Some have discussed how Amazon has been disintermediating publishers with its various initiatives. What we witnessed today was the biggest disintermediation ever. We are now seeing an author selling direct to readers without being locked out from the world’s major …