Vook Finalizes Pivot From Creator to Distributor/Services, ReBrands as Pronoun

Vook Finalizes Pivot From Creator to Distributor/Services, ReBrands as Pronoun Publishing Ever since it launched in 2009 Vook has been a useful weather vane for trends in digital publishing.

The startup initially launched with the idea of creating enhanced ebooks for the iPhone (this later expanded to include the iPad, Fire tablets, Android). By early 2011 that idea had proven uneconomical, so Vook pivoted to producing enhanced ebooks for clients (and distributing the sometimes voluminous files).

That idea proved unworkable by early 2012, at which point Vook pivoted to emphasizing distribution. Over the next 3 years Vook continued to build on the idea that it was a services company.

Vook bought Booklr for its real-time data and analytics service in early 2014. Vook has also built internal tools and services, and in late 2014 Vook bought the failed hybrid digital publisher Byliner and (part of) Coliloquy, a niche ebook app developer/publisher.

And now Vook is shedding the last vestiges of its past as a content creator. PW reports that Vook is rebranding itself as Pronoun:

After a year of acquisitions that included the online literary boutique Byliner and the e-book data analysis engine Booklr, e-book creator Vook has relaunched itself as Pronoun. The new company is a soup-to-nuts self-publishing platform comprising the combined technological tools of Byliner, Booklr and Vook. Declaring itself “a new model for authors,” Pronoun offers its services free of charge and gives authors a 100% royalty rate.

“Pronoun is committed to changing the publishing model by making it open, and by making it free,” said Josh Brody, Pronoun CEO. Brody said the new platform is the culmination of “a year of acquisitions and building a new team,” that will offer “a new kind of platform that empowers authors.”

Pronoun's new site and service are not yet open to the public, so it is difficult to say whether the claim of 100% royalties is real or not. But the company says that it going to subsist on revenue from its current legacy businesses in data conversion and sales tracking. It is just with the new platform that Pronoun plans to go completely free.

This suggests that Pronoun is going to be more freemium than free, but we won't know for sure until we get a look inside.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

4 Comments

  1. […] It seems I may have understated the story this afternoon about Vook changing its name to Pronoun. […]

    Reply
  2. […] Vook announced last May that it was reorganizing as Pronoun and pivoting to offer a distribution platform which was free to authors, many people […]

    Reply
  3. […] Vook rebranded and relaunched in 2015 as Pronoun, picking up new capital in the process as well as a new model: no-cost […]

    Reply
  4. […] was originally Vook, a creator of “enhanced ebooks,” according to The Digital Reader. (No, I don’t know what “enhanced ebooks” means. Cool pictures? Interaction? Probably.) In […]

    Reply

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