Digital publishing services vendor Vook has acquired Byliner, an innovative publisher of digital longform nonfiction and fiction. Bylinder will now be Vook’s first in-house publishing imprint. The acquisition comes months after rumors circulated that Byliner was struggling financially.
The purchase includes between 60 to 70 titles that are in the Byliner catalog as well as a small team of Byliner staff. Matt Cavnar, Vook cofounder and publisher, said Vook will look to add more titles "that are true to the Byliner vision. They have set a high bar for excellent writing."
Founded by CEO John Tayman in 2011, Byliner was an effort to publish and sell longform journalism online. The site launched with much initial fanfare and made a splash selling nonfiction “e-singles” for 99 cents before extending its efforts to digital fiction and publishing partnerships with NPR, The New York Time, the Wall Street Journal and others.
Byliner also extended its publishing into enhanced e-books and even teamed with Ingram Content Group to release and distribute print editions of its digital content. However, in June of this year, reports surfaced that the venture was struggling “to reach the level of growth we’d been hoping for the business,” according to an email sent to Byliner authors.
Vook CEO Josh Brody said, "acquiring Byliner is our first step towards applying everything we've learned from powering large brands' digital publishing programs to create a new publishing model that empowers authors to publish faster, market smarter, and keep more creative and financial control of their work."
Vook was launched as an easy-to-use multimedia publishing platform that allowed publishers or self-publishers to add multimedia content and interactivity to e-books and easily distribute the content. The Vook platform also gives publisher real-time data on sales and retail distribution.