Vook continued to gobble up its smaller competitors today with the acquisition of Coliloquy*.
Founded in 2011, Coliloquy first got its start in developing interactive ebook apps for the Kindle (as in the Kindle ereaders, and not the Fire Android tablets). As Amazon wound down the development program for Kindle Active Content, Coliloquy expanded their focus to include developing apps for other platforms, including Android and iOS.
Coliloquy has published over 30 titles in the past 3 years, including A Dark & Dismal Flower by JC Herz, Getting Dumped by Tawna Fenske, and Georgetown Academy by Alyssa Schwartz and Jessica Etting, as well as app titles developed on behalf of Disney and published under Disney’s imprint, including RickRiodan’s Heroes of Olympus series.
I was also told by Vooks spokesperson Matt Cavnar that Coliloquy has expanded beyond ebook apps to include ebook publishing, which is Vook’s main interest. According to Matt, Vook is “laser focused on helping authors with ebooks specifically, so that’s the fit for us”.
Clarification: Vook is buying only the publishing arm of Coliloquy, and not the rest of the company.
From the description on the Coliloquy website, it appears that Coliloquy saw itself as much a publisher as a tech startup. They were actively seeking manuscripts for publication, but were only accepting submissions from agents or previously published authors:
All of our authors work with one of our traditional editors, as well as directly with our team on narrative structure and technical constraints.
What’s more, I think that there are other parts of the Coliloquy platform which interests Vook. Namely, analytics:
Engagement. In addition to point-of-sale data, we focus on engagement—how invested are readers in the story and its characters? What percentage finish the book? Re-read it? Single book sales are great, but in the long-run, we want readers to come back to our characters and stories—to truly engage and interact.
Coliloquy is Vook’s second acquisition in the past few months; in September Vook bought the failed boutique publisher Byliner. Shortly after acquiring Byliner, Vook boosted royalties to 85% of net; Vook plans to expand that deal to authors published by Coliloquy.