Bastei Lübbe acquires self-publishing platform BookRix

Fraser has acted as financial advisor to BookRix GmbH & Co. KG, one of Germany's largest self-publishing platforms, on its acquisition by Bastei Lübbe AG. With a popular range of eBooks, community features and range of services for authors, BookRix is primed for tremendous growth. The independent platform currently reports around 560,000 users, with 4,000 new registered users joining each month.

Cologne/Munich – May 22, 2014. Bastei Lübbe AG is making another investment in the expansion of its digital range, in this case through a majority stake in BookRix GmbH & Co. KG, one of Germany's largest self-publishing platforms. With a popular range of eBooks, community features and range of services for authors, BookRix is primed for tremendous growth. The independent platform currently reports around 560,000 users, with 4,000 new registered users joining each month. BookRix also delivers content to 60 leading online stores, including market leaders like Amazon and iTunes. By investing in the company, Bastei Lübbe is seeking to link the classical publishing business to the modern self-publishing concept: "The digital revolution is changing the publishing world at breakneck speed. Bastei Lübbe sees the time as ripe for decisive targeted moves to expand its digital arm and embrace greater internationalisation. Our stake in BookRix represents a consistent investment in an innovative, strongly growing digital market that offers tremendous synergy potential", explains Thomas Schierack, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG.

BookRix is already one of the leading self-publishing platforms in Germany and has recently established a foothold in the USA as well. Roughly 1,000 new eBooks are published each month on the platform. Demand for self-published works is enormous: Three titles from the BookRix universe climbed onto Amazon's Top 10 charts in the past six months alone. The Munich-based company forecasts that it will sell more than one million eBooks this year. More than a third of the downloads are made using forward-looking mobile end devices like smartphones. All efforts will be made to maintain the company's rapid growth. For Bastei Lübbe, the investment represents an important new cornerstone: "For us, this strategic partnership is the perfect basis to implement the vision of modern self-publishing, where authorial independence is supplemented optimally by the classic core competencies of a publishing house", says Gunnar Siewert, CEO of BookRix.

In acquiring a majority stake, Bastei Lübbe can draw upon a large and highly active book community in Germany, allowing for direct interaction with the primarily young and highly engaged readership. "At the same time, we have further opportunities to actively promote the careers of talented authors", says Lübbe Board Chairman Thomas Schierack. Strong, successful eBooks can then be adopted into the company's own printed book programme.

The extent of the Lübbe Verlag Group's interest in the giant pool of young, mostly undiscovered authors can be seen in the author contest planned by Bastei Lübbe and BookRix. "We'll be searching together to find the best new author of 2014", Thomas Schierack explains. The corresponding call for manuscripts from talented next-generation authors can be expected in the coming weeks.

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