Sunday , 16 June 2019
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Vook buys Byliner, a premium web service for fiction & nonfiction stories

Vook buys Byliner, a premium web service for fiction & nonfiction stories

E-book publisher Vook has bought Byliner, a startup that publishes ad-hoc articles online and sells them to readers for a few dollars each.

Vook chief executive Josh Brody acknowledged the news in a letter dated yesterday to Byliner authors and partners.

The deal hints at the value of services that let readers pay as they go for longer work online. Other startups in that business include Entitle, Epic, and Oyster.

And Brody sees value in Byliner’s approach. “Byliner has established a boutique literary brand that stands out in an increasingly crowded marketplace,” he wrote.

Byliner started in 2011. Along the way, it has secured long-form fiction and nonfiction stories from best-selling authors, including Margaret Atwood, Sebastian Junger, Jon Krakauer, and Richard Russo. It’s partnered with media outlets and publishers like Esquire, McSweeney’s, and the New York Times.

Byliner will serve as Vook’s first imprint, Brody wrote. As such, Byliner will keep publishing stories. But its authors will get access to Vook’s publishing tools and watch their royalty rates increase to 85 percent of revenue.

Oh, and their stories should gain considerably wider distribution, as New York–based Vook pushes e-books to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other services.

Byliner quantified its stories using the number of minutes it would take to read them. It has shipped iOS and Android mobile apps.

The San Francisco startup attracted investment from Avalon Ventures, Bullpen Capital, CrunchFund, ICG Ventures, and SoftTech VC, among others.

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