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Hybrid Publisher Booktrope Raises $1.2 Million in Funding

Booktrope bannerSeattle-based Booktrope has raised $1.2 million of a planned $2.3 million funding round, according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found by Geekwire.Booktrope had previously raised just under a million dollars, including $120 thousand in February 2015 from YCombinator (Crunchbase).

Originally founded in 2010 as Libertary, a free ebook site, since 2011 Booktrope has been developing a cooperative approach to publishing. which is not quite crowd-sourced and not quite the stock options offered by startups.

Books published by Booktrope are developed by a team consisting of the author and a proofreader, editor, cover designer, and a book manager\marketer. The team contributes its time to produce the book in exchange for a share of revenues. Booktrope says that 70% of net revenues are distributed between the team.

Booktrope distributes the books both as ebooks and as POD through the standard channels (including Amazon, Kobo, Scribd, and brick-and-mortar bookstores) and keeps 30% of the revenue.

As of February, the startup has published nearly 400 titles and distributed 2.5 million copies of those books. Late last year Booktrope also signed a deal for Amazon to republish fifteen titles in digital and audio. (Booktrope retained the print rights.)

Booktrope has gotten mixed, although mostly positive, press. There isn’t much talk among authors, but I did find a couple critiques at Absolute Write:

Bob, there is an article on my blog about working with Booktrope that would give you the beginning of an idea. There are things in theBooktrope contract I’m not entirely happy about, but my book was extremely difficult to place. Christian fantasy is very niche, and most of the presses taking it on are very new and pretty amateurish. I didn’t want to deal with them and I didn’t want to self-publish, at least not at this stage of the game. I had one last publisher looking at the book and I always like to have alternatives, so I submitted to Booktrope also. The "one last publisher" turned it down because I didn’t meet their acceptable content guidelines (not too sure why, but I have a couple of guesses), although not without saying some very nice things about my writing and reading the whole book anyway. Booktrope said yes, so after some hemming and hawing I decided to go with them. (more)


You form a team with a group of people who help with your book. I get more marketing here than with my other publishers, and the staff is quick to respond to questions.

As for sales, I haven’t had much sales yet, about the same numbers as I have with my other publishers, though. (more)




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