Anobii signs retail deals with publishers

Social networking site Anobii has signed retail partnerships with 10 UK publishing companies, including the UK's four biggest publishers, meaning the site will sell their e-books from the end of October.

Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Canongate, Bloomsbury, Faber, Pan Macmillan, Harlequin UK and Wiley have signed the agreement to sell digital books. Print titles will be available to buy directly from Anobii in 2012.

The site, which is currently in beta testing, will be focused on "discovery", according to the company, with readers able to browse, discover and talk about books on the site as well as purchase them. The e-books will use the open Adobe DRM standard, meaning the titles can be read on e-reading devices including Apple and Android products.

Readers in the existing Anobii community have collectively selected more than 30 million books, placing them on their virtual shelves, and writing almost two million book reviews.

Anobii chief operations officer Matthew Hardcastle said: "Anobii has a strong and growing global community of passionate, knowledgeable readers, who help each other find great books. Partnering with the major UK publishers to sell their e-books through Anobii is a big first step in helping readers not only discover but also buy and read from a very wide range of the best books available in the UK."

Canongate m.d. Jamie Byng said: "Finding innovative ways to connect readers with books, both new and old, is one of the great challenges and opportunities of the publishing times. Anobii is attempting to do something different that celebrates individual taste and encourages readers to meet other readers to share their knowledge and interests."

The original site, www.anobii.com, has existed since 2006, and is now run by internet entrepreneur Matteo Berlucchi. HMV Group, Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins each have stakes in the business.