Book and reading related start-ups to look for in 2013

After my previous post about challenges in front of the ebook adoption, I now turn my writing towards some of the most exciting ebook startups that I believe will come to the light in 2013.

  1. Game of Books – if you like books, libraries and game playing, then this startup idea could peak your interest. gameofbooks Aaron Stanton has financed his idea through Kickstarter, raising close to $110 thousand from 1327 backers. Game for Books main goal is to turn the discovery of books (and by that understand books that are not bestsellers by any stretch of the imaginations) process into cards. The great, really great thing about this endeavor is that Game of Books has the goal to assist readers find book gems from unknown authors, self-published, with low-budget, etc and present it, in a way to open the world of books and broaden our reading horizons. So how does it work. Well when you start playing the game, data are collected about your reading habits, then through that you earn badges and rewards. As it is mentioned on the Kickstarter site:
    “The Main Points of The Game of Books:

    • Readers earn points and badges for the books you read.
    • Play The Game by yourself, or with friends locally or on social media.
    • Each book in The Game has its own unique digital game card.  There are more than 100,000 game cards in the Game of Books today.
    • Open Access: The Game of Books is intended to be easily connected to existing reading communities, such as  Play The Game in the places you already read.”
  2. Small Demnons – this one is a discovery platform with a lot of potential. small-demons What it does is to create a connected catalogue with names, places, music, videos, products and other details and  categories of 10 000 books, for now. But along with finding out more about those categories in books, you can use the service as a book discovery tool when you start browsing through the information. Kind of serendipitously, actually, but in a cool interactive way.
  3. Total Box – what is amazing about this startup is that it actually aims to change the way we pay for our books. toolbox The startup is part e-bookstore, part e-reading platform that actually wants you to pay for only what you have read – pages, chapters or the whole book. Currently, the platform offers around 10 000 book titles and I hope it will continue to grow.
  4. BookTango – if you are a writer, this platform is for you. It is free, web-based editing and publishing platform that allows you to create, output and market ebooks in many formats. It is important to remember that this startup does not get percentage of your royalties or sales: “100 percent of every dollar sold through the Booktango bookstore and 100 percent of net royalties“. If you want more professional marketing services, you can subscribe to some of the offerings on the site for enhanced publishing services but they main product is free.
  5. eBook Plus – this new start-up decided to create a platform that “will end piracy” as they advertise. This will happen with a new payment model – by connecting “Readers, Publishers and Authors with Companies that want to advertise their products and services, and pay only when their advertisement is seen.” What this means is that readers will pay a lot less or not at all. The only hindrance will be seeing a discreet advertising as video, an image, or HTML page.

If you want to find a very extensive list of digital publishing startups, you can use this list from Michael Bhaskar.

Clarification: This post has been updated on February 18, 2013 to include information about eBookPlus.