Pubslush and Liberio shut down in bad week for book bootstrappers

Two book bootstrapping set-ups have closed down with publishing platform Liberio and book crowdfunder Pubslush both shutting up shop.

Pubslush had been scheduled to close in August but looked to have been rescued by Canadian firm Colborne Communications but the deal finally fell through last week and Pubslush has now closed.

Liberio, which was set up in 2013, will be shutting on November 5, 2015, so if you have any ebooks on the platform, you should get any downloads you need before that date.

Nicolas Zimmer and Cat Noone founded and ran Liberio without outside funding and they built a great platform to write, design and publish ebooks very economically.

The platform slashed the cost of its ebook-to-go service in February this year from $29 to just $9. This included an ISBN and a minisite with details on the book and author linking to sales pages at the ebook retailers.

The founding pair say they faced several obstacles as they continued to bootstrap and some of those obstacles could not be weathered, which have led to the platform being closed down. More than 30,000 authors used Liberio to create over 12,000 ebooks worldwide.

On Thursday, November 5, 2015, all accounts and data on the Liberio platform will be deleted and user information will not be archived, saved or shared. Until then, users’ ebooks are available for download and export in epub and mobi formats from the ebook’s edit view.

Anyone who bought an ebook-to-go package will get a full refund of $9 to the credit card used on purchase if the package hasn’t yet been used; or has been embedded into an ebook but not yet published.

If you have any queries on an account, email:

Pubslush was set up by mother and daughter, Hellen and Amanda Barbara as a global pre-publication platform offering crowdfunding and pre-order options for authors and publishers.

Pubslush was devoted to raising money for books, with funders getting books for smaller amounts pledged and perks such as dinner with the author or a character named after you for bigger sums. Authors could keep the funds they raised even if they didn’t reach their goal while Pubslush charged a 4% fee plus processing charges of about 3.5%.

It announced its closure in August this year but a move by editing and publishing services firm Colborne Communications looked set to keep Pubslush operating with the idea of adding a services marketplace but the deal fell down last week.

publaunchThe reasons for the deal collapsing haven’t been revealed but Colborne intends to go ahead with a new crowdfunding site for authors combined with a services marketplace to launch in February 2016.

Colborne president Greg Ioannou says the new service, PubLaunch,will offer crowdfunding and also aim to become a hub connecting readers, writers and industry professionals with the people and services they need to get books published.

There is a high failure rate for technology start-ups and it seems particularly high in the publishing sector. I published an article on this site in June 2013 on 8 Ways To Crowdfund Your Book and three of those companies, including Pubslush, have since ceased operations.