Self-publishing book platform Blurb has picked up a handful of key employees from fellow digital book startup Graphicly, the companies announced today.
Blurb lets authors publish, distribute, and sell ebooks. Graphicly started as a place to buy digital comics, then later pivoted into a platform that allowed authors and publishers to distribute books to various digital sellers.
The move is an acqui-hire, as Graphicly will shut down its operations and begin moving everything it does over to Blurb’s platform over the next few weeks.
As part of the deal, Graphicly cofounder Micah Baldwin will also be joining the company. (Baldwin recently appeared as a guest on VB’s podcast, What to Think.)
When Graphicly first launched, it made some pretty large steps in pushing the comic book industry into the digital age. It later bowed to competition from ComiXology and pivoted to focus on helping publishers distribute their works through various digital media stores.
Blurb, by contrast, is much more in tune with independent creators that would like to begin publishing their own book or magazine — both in digital and in print.
“After spending four years working on digital publishing, it became clear that we were telling half the story,” Graphicly’s Baldwin said in a statement. “Print is not dead, it’s wildly important in the natural growth of creators, but it too is only half the story for self publishers now. Combining the best in class print platform from Blurb with all the ebook learning the Graphicly team has accrued over the past four years was just too compelling an opportunity to pass up.”
But Graphicly isn’t the only ebook publishing startup that’s getting snapped up. Last month Amazon picked up ComiXology for an undisclosed amount. And just before that, Dropbox acquired ebook startup Readmill.
Founded in 2005, Blurb has raised a total of $21.6 million in funding, while Graphicly previously raised $7 million.