May 9, 2011, 4:22 PM

Publishers plan to launch their own e-retail site for book lovers

Bookish.com will sell print and digital books starting this summer.

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An informational and e-retail site for book lovers will debut this summer. Bookish.com is backed by three major publishing houses—Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA and Simon & Schuster—and will sell print and digital e-books from those publishers and others.

In addition to e-commerce, the site will feature original editorial content about books and authors designed to help consumers find something to read. The site will feature multiple book genres and enable readers to recommend books to each other. The company says editorial content will remain independent.

“Bookish enjoys the support of significant, established players in the publishing and online space,” says Paulo Lemgruber, Bookish’s CEO. “With our ability to leverage the knowledge of publishers, retailers and authors, Bookish is innately positioned to fuel people’s passion for books.” Lemgruber is a former senior vice president of digital and operations at cable company Comcast Corp.

The AOL Huffington Post Media Group will help advertise the site and reproduce Bookish.com content across its network of web sites. “I’m always on the lookout for innovative ways to get people excited about books,” says Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group. “That’s why we’re delighted to be working with Bookish, and to use our multimedia, social and community engagement tools to help connect our readers with authors and their books.” AOL Inc. announced in February plans to buy The Huffington Post Media Group and its news and opinion site, HuffingtonPost.com, for $315 million.

Huffington is a special guest speaker at the 2011 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition this June in San Diego, where she will discuss how the Internet is taking over traditional business models in an address entitled “The Internet Disruption is Just Beginning.

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