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Digital Platform Bookish Launches, Backed by Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, AOL

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 6, 2011 at 5:19AM

Books continue to go digital as a group of book companies--Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster, Inc.-- put their combined might behind new digital platform Bookish.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Books continue to go digital as a group of book companies--Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster, Inc.-- put their combined might behind new digital platform Bookish.

AOL/Huffington Post Media Group will enter into a strategic alliance with the new site, which is designed to send readers to buy books via "independent" editorial content, co-promotion and ads. AOL will provide advertising sales support for the new venture. I don't see how they compete with Amazon, which is so far ahead with recommendation and Kindle, and has already forged trusted bonds with its customers. Why sign up for yet another site? I'm a big fan of Amazon, Good Reads and The Daily Rumpus myself, not to mention Christine Spines' bookish Word and Film blog.

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group, said:

"As a lifelong book lover -- and reading evangelist -- I'm always on the lookout for innovative ways to get people excited about books, to remind them why they are so important, and to spark a thousand conversations around big issues, fun ideas and great writing. 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. And we'll highlight this content through our entire network and hyperlocal sites."

New media veteran Comcast and Reed Elsevier veteran Paulo Lemgruber will be Bookish's CEO. Magazine editor and NBC Digital Media editor-in-chief Charlie Rogers will serve as editor-in-chief. Bookish chief technology officer is Andy Parsons, who previously served as CTO for Outside.in and Digital Railroad, Inc., as well as Director of Software Development at Juice Software.

This article is related to: Web/Tech, Books, Amazon


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.