For the past 8 months the German publisher Bastei Lübbe has been teasing that they were developing a subscription ebook service, and they formally announced that the service, oolipo, will launch in April 2016. And yes, that is the name; while Bastei Lübbe also owns the Beam ebookstore, the new service will have a new name to go with its new international focus. According to the press release, Oolipo won't be the promised ebook subscription service but will instead focus on "short, multimedia reading content." It goes on to add that "new, mostly exclusive content and series are being conceived for this purpose." The website does say that oolipo is recruiting writers, and the press release mentions the boast that: Unlike all the previous streaming services in the field of reading, oolipo will follow an entirely novel concept. The portal will focus on short-form content in portions ideally suited to mobile reading, especially on smartphones and tablets. This is how oolipo is to reach its target group worldwide. That sounds to me like a new take on the magazine concept, or possibly a paid alternative to Wattpad. Neither is exactly a new idea, but apparently it's enough for The Bookseller to put oolipo up for an award [...]
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