In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Bookish.com will sell books itself and via other e-retailers.
Three large book publishers have launched Bookish.com, which offers reviews, interviews and other information designed to lure readers, along with the ability to buy books directly from the site or from other e-retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc.
The three publishers behind Bookish LLC are Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster Inc. The site offers both physical and digital copies of books, which consumers can browse by subject from a drop-down menu at the top of the e-commerce site. Besides Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and Barnes & Noble, No. 32, consumers—upon choosing a specific book—can select from another menu to purchase from e-commerce sites operated by Books-A-Million Inc., No. 398; the iBookstore operated by Apple Inc., No. 3; Indiebound.org; and Kobobooks.com, owned by Japan-based Rakuten Inc.
A spokeswoman for Bookish did not immediately detail what kind of cuts those other book retailers receive from sales that originate on Bookish.com. She said Bookish has deals with 19 publishing houses to sell their books on the site.
The site features also include:
• Previews of first chapters
• A newsfeed of books news collected from the web
• Coverage of books from the site’s editors
“Bookish was created to serve as a champion of books, writers and, most importantly, readers,” says Ardy Khazaei, CEO of Bookish. “Ultimately, we seek to expand the overall marketplace for books, and whether a book gets into a reader’s hands via Bookish’s e-commerce partner or another retailer, everyone–from the publisher, to the retailer, the author and the reader–wins.”
Hachette and Simon & Schuster were among the three publishers that in August settled an antitrust suit that alleges the publishers conspired to increase e-book pricing.
The most recent edition of the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide shows that book, music and video sales for the merchants included in those rankings increased 20.4% in 2011 compared with 2010.