Interactive e-book Inkling first became known for bringing academic textbooks to the realms of the iPad, iPhone, and web. But in recent years, it has expanded beyond the classroom to give more consumer-oriented titles the digital treatment as well.
And today, the company is announcing that it has added more non-textbook titles to its library with the acquisition of two brands — Betterbook and Ready, Set, Baby! — from digital-first how-to book publisher Open Air Publishing.
The book titles, which include titles such as “Master Your DSLR Camera: A Better Way to Learn Digital Photography” and “Wine Simplified: Navigate Wine with Confidence,” will be available on Inkling’s iPad, iPhone, and web platforms, with Android support “coming soon.” Financial terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. As part of the deal, OAP’s founder and CEO Jon Feldman will work as a consultant to Inkling as it ports the titles over to its platform.
In an interview, Inkling co-founder and CEO Matt MacInnis said that this deal is part of his company’s larger strategy to serve audiences beyond professionals and full-time students. “The hobbyist has always been an area of interest for us… in addition to reference and learning titles, we’ve wanted to also have content around things like photography, cooking, and crafts,” he said. “This content from Open Air fits into that strategy.”
The larger idea is that Inkling can become a go-to platform for regular people wanting to source reliable information about lots of topics, MacInnis said. “We want over time of course for this content to go to Inkling, rather than to Wikipedia… we find, particularly in high stakes stuff like photography, that people are gonna spend the extra $10 to get something that’s useful and tells you how to actually use the camera properly.”
Inkling, which has raised $40 million in venture capital funding since it was founded in 2009, currently has more than 100 staff. Open Air Publishing has raised nearly $1 million in seed funding from SV Angel, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups, and others.