Startup BookShout raises $6M; no longer lets users import their Kindle and Nook books

Gigaom

Dallas-based startup BookShout, which aims to promote social reading and aid book discovery, has raised $6 million in a Series B funding round, the company announced Thursday. But the company is, at least temporarily, no longer permitting users to import their Kindle and Nook books onto the platform — the feature that it showed off as the main perk of its platform at the Frankfurt Book Fair last fall.

That hasn’t stopped Ambassador Enterprises, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based venture firm, from investing again. “By serving authors and publishers in a process-oriented, measurable way, BookShout is eliminating the guesswork and building tools that let content creators take control of their audience,” Ambassador CEO Daryle Doden said in a statement.

BookShout, which is available on the web and for Android and iOS, recently rolled out tools for digital bulk sales and promotions. It offers gift cards and promo codes and added an “author circles” feature that lets authors communicate with their fans. The company says it is working with 250 publishers and sells over 100,000 ebooks on its platform. But it would not reveal how many users it has.

As for the Kindle and Nook importation — which seemed suspect at the time it was launched, even though CEO Jason Illian said the company wasn’t breaking Amazon or Barnes & Noble’s terms of service — the feature is turned off for now but could return, Illian told me. “We’ll see if we do [turn it back on] or not based on our relationships and partnerships with publishers,” he said. “We are here to serve them.”

BookShout was founded in 2010 and has gone through a number of incarnations before its current model. It has also received backing from Ingram Content Group CEO John Ingram. Including the newest round of funding, the company has raised $8.75 million in total.




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