Publishers sell Bookish website to startup

Jan 06, 2014

Three publishers who invested millions of dollars in an online site for discovering and buying books have sold it to a digital startup.

Zola Books announced Monday that it had purchased Bookish, which launched in early 2013, from Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and Penguin Group (USA). Financial terms have not been disclosed. At least 10 of Bookish's 22 employees will be laid off, although the site at bookish.com will continue to operate.

The had been anxious to establish an online presence independent from Amazon.com, Goodreads and others. Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch (PEECH') said Monday that the publishers had been pleased with Bookish, but had never seen it as "an ongoing business."

Zola was co-founded in 2011 by literary agent Joe Regal and Internet marketer and publicist Michael Strong.

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More information: Bookish: www.bookish.com

Zola Books: www.zolabooks.com

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