Startups in Publishing

We live in exciting times. Ebooks are evolving, the way people consume content is changing, and the barriers to entry for digital publishing are low enough that many creative people are able to test out their ideas.

In the spirit of supporting those brave enough to go out and follow their passions, I’ve compiled a list of some of the publishing startups out there, in no particular order:

  1. Michael Bhaskar’s Digital Publishing Startups. A Google doc that contains a constantly updated list.
  2. Citia. A startup that offers a card-based solution.
  3. Qlovi. Personalized eReading and writing experiences for all classrooms.
  4. Readups. A ReadUp is a social reading experience. Think of it as meeting up inside a book.
  5. Periodical. Create digital magazines.
  6. Creativist. Publish multimedia stories.
  7. 29th Street Publishing. Make mobile subscription magazines.
  8. Ghost. Open source blogging.
  9. Blog using Evernote.
  10. Glipho. Blog using a built-in social network.
  11. Ziggeo. Embedded video recording.
  12. FBReader. FBReader is a free eBook reader that uses its own engine for rendering formatted text.
  13. Entitle. Subscription ebooks. Now on eink readers.
  14. Storytelling.
  15. Etsy. Not that new, and not necessarily for digital publishing, but now they’re also a wholesaler, and people can sell digital goods.
  16. Storybird. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Building upon its “family-friendly” picture book storytelling platform, Storybird has launched a new longform format, targeted at writers looking to both serialize their work, and connect with readers already using the service.”
  17. Milq. A new way to find and experience amazing creations across the world of culture and to connect with people who share our taste.
  18. Hoopla. An innovative new service that partners with your local public library to bring you thousands of movies, television, music, and audiobook titles for free.
  19. Tablo. Tablo is a premium self-publishing community where you can connect with readers while you write your book. Australian-based.
  20. iFlipd. Pay-as-you-go ebooks. Considered the Redbox of ebooks.
  21. Shebooks. A digital publisher of short e-books by and for women with a subscription service.
  22. Rookie. Rookie is a website for teenage girls.
  23. Blooklist. Blog to book.
  24. Inkshares. Crowdfunded ebooks.
  25. Liberio. Make ebooks from Google Drive.
  26. Fierce Ink Press. According to DBW, Small Canadian Publisher Fierce Ink to Crowd-Source Content With Online Pitch Slam.
  27. Packback. Buy, rent, and sell textbooks. Appeared on Shark Tank.
  28. Scribd. Subscription ebooks. Check out their 1-year infographic.
  29. Thanks for Un-GluingA project via that lets you support creators of Creative Commons works.
  30. Carnegie Mellon/Disney Researcher Invents 3D Printing Technique for Making Soft, Cuddly Stuff
  31. This woman is writing a VC-backed novel — & looking for new revenue for book publishers

For anyone interested in trying their own startup, I’ve also compiled a list of resources that may be potentially helpful. One thing to keep in mind–even though the barriers to starting may be low, it’s still incredibly hard to do. I commend anyone who tries, since it requires so much dedication. Someday maybe I’ll have the courage to write more about my own startup, which had a lot of promise and encouragement, but ultimately had to shut down due to lack of funding.

  1. Ten Challenges to Innovation on Futurebook.
  2. Hackers & Founders
  3. 10 Things I Look For When Reading a Business Plan on Bplans.
  4. 4 Tips on Managing Remotely from the Founder of Treehouse on GIGAOM.
  5. Utilizing User-Generated Content To Increase Conversion & SEO on Small Business Newz.
  6. Content Marketing with Wyzowl.
  7. Organization Tools on Entrepreneuress Academy.
  8. We Grow Media
  9. How to Get Your First 927 Customers on Mixergy.
  10. How to Get Your First 1,000 Users by Vinicius Vacanti
  11. Magic in a Message on Slideshare.
  12. Rich Pickings for the Small and Beautiful on Digital Book World.
  13. Buffet of All Things on
  14. Bookstore Publishing Comes Into Its Own on Publisher’s Weekly.

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