There may yet be a "happy conclusion" to the fate of Los Angeles-based start-up Small Demons, despite the company warning earlier this month that it faced closure.
Speaking at the FutureBook Conference this afternoon (21st November), Richard Nash, vice-president of community and content at Small Demons, told delegates that following The Bookseller's coverage of the story, publishers and other parties—including some "vultures"—had come forward expressing interest.
The company, founded in 2009, cross-references people, places, songs, books, films, food, drink and gadgets mentioned in books, allowing users to make connections between texts, and buy related goods. This year the company embedded links to iTunes and Spotify, meaning readers could download related songs.
Nash told publishers that the trial and error process experienced running start-ups was similar to the risks publishers took on books such as debut novels, where success is difficult to predict.
"Regardless of what happens to Small Demons in the next few weeks, the risks that start-ups take are not necessarily that different from the risks publishers take all the time," Nash said. "Many start-ups will fail for reasons that are no different to the reasons publishers take bets on books."
However he added that many failed start-ups would be "back in a year or two" after learning from their mistakes.
Last year, Random House UK was the first UK publisher to partner with the company.