Pronoun Launches its Digital Book Publishing Platform

Pronoun 2015

Last May TIPM reported that Pronoun (formerly Vook) intended to launch a digital book publishing platform. Well, today that publishing platform went live.

Vook originally launched in 2009 as a digital content creation platform for e-books. Over the past year Vook has acquired  boutique e-publisher Byliner  and e-book data analysis engine Booklr. Rebranded as Pronoun, it has decided to combine the digital technologies of Byliner and Booklr and relaunch itself as an ‘author-friendly’ and author-centric book publishing platform. The platform will be free to use and will provide authors with book creation tools and distribution to all major e-book retail channels. Authors will earn all of the remaining revenue after retail discounts. Pronoun will not take any profit from authors’ e-book sales and will instead generate revenue from its existing publishing and data tracking businesses.

One of the main questions over the past few months was how Pronoun would make money by offering authors a free digital publishing platform is addressed here:

In addition to offering free services to thousands of authors, Pronoun also powers the publishing programs of large media companies like The New York Times, Forbes, and Fast Company, who are paying partners.


We might also offer optional paid services or tools in the future, if that’s what authors want. We trust you to tell us.


Right now, we’re focused on making our core publishing services the best they can be, and these will always be free.

The professional service providers network is an entirely separate relationship for authors and not a revenue stream for Pronoun.

From the press release:


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Pronoun, the digital book publishing platform, announced the official launch of its end-to-end solution for the creation, distribution, and marketing of books online. With digital platforms transforming every other creative industry from video to music, Pronoun meets the need for authors who seek technology to help them create, distribute, and intelligently market their work without sacrificing control or paying exorbitant fees.

“The publishing industry treats authors like cogs in its machine – not as the creative foundation upon which their long-standing businesses are built,” said Josh Brody, Chief Executive Officer, Pronoun. “With Pronoun, we put authors at the heart of every decision we make as we invest in the power of technology to transform this market. Digital platforms are paving the way for creators across every media industry. We believe books are next.”


Unlike any other digital book publishing platform, with Pronoun authors pay no upfront costs, sell on all major retailer channels, and retain 100% of their books’ earnings after standard retailer fees. As the most author-friendly publishing model, Pronoun enables bestselling writers and first-time novelists alike to publish for free immediately, without handing over their earnings or control over their rights, and with no gatekeeper approval.

“We’re clearing away more than a hundred years of dust that has settled on the publishing industry and its business model. Over the past few years, our team built a platform that respects everything we love about books, but embraces the new reality of how people discover, purchase, and read them,” said Ben Zhuk, Chief Product Officer, Pronoun. “With Pronoun, authors get the control and support they need so they can spend more time doing what they love – writing.”

At launch, Pronoun lets authors:

  • Create Beautiful Digital Books: Convert an edited manuscript to a professionally designed ebook that is compatible with every e-reader and mobile device. Manage cover art, layout, book descriptions, and keywords in a step-by-step interface.
  • Sell Everywhere: Instantly distribute to all major retail channels: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo. Make unlimited, free updates to metadata.
  • Market With Analytics: Access the largest proprietary dataset on the digital book market and see relevant, real-time data on books, categories, and market trends. Receive customized suggestions on pricing, categories, keywords, and more – all based on hard data, not guesswork. Track sales, marketing activities, and milestones through a single platform.
  • Get Live Notifications: Opt in to get proactive alerts on daily sales, new book reviews, when books enter a bestseller list, or when an action can improve a book’s position on retailers’ sites.
  • Receive Consolidated Monthly Payments: Get convenient electronic payments for sales across all retailers in a single monthly deposit.
  • Free ISBN: Get a free ISBN for every book published on Pronoun.
  • Build a Publishing Team: Access Pronoun’s network of vetted professional service providers, including editors, cover designers, copy editors, and publicists.

About Pronoun

Pronoun is a digital publishing platform that empowers every author to create and distribute beautiful digital books, own and control their work and their rights, and receive 100% of their earnings – all for free. Pronoun is based in New York City. It is backed by several leading venture capital firms, including Avalon Ventures, Floodgate, Tribeca Venture Partners, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Founder Collective, Felicis Ventures, Baseline Ventures, and SV Angel.

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