Reader-powered publisher Inkitt gets $4 million funding boost

‘Reader-powered’ publisher Inkitt recently raised nearly $4 million from venture capital companies to help fund expansion.

The cash came from Redalpine Venture Partners, Frontline Ventures and Speedinvest, which are all European-based companies.

Inkitt is based in Berlin, Germany and is a cross between Wattpad, Kindle Scout and a literary agency as it publishes work in progress on its website, publishes books to online retailers and touts books to more traditional publishers.

It looks like the company has published around 70 books so far with Amazon, including box sets, with most of the titles being series books with a tilt towards the YA market.

Inkitt claims to have 43,000 writers and over a million readers on its app and the firm analyses reader engagement data to assess the sales potential of a title.

The company says it offers professional editing and cover design for books it selects for publication.

Inkitt has come in for criticism over alleged spamming and its claim to have developed an algorithm that can predict bestsellers by analyzing reading behavior.

The website now has a full specimen contract for authors which spells out all the details of a publishing deal. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect is that the firm offers just 25% royalties (presumably net) on ebook sales, which is the same as offered by traditional publishers. It pays 51% royalties (again presumably net) on print book sales. Inkitt also makes a guarantee that a minimum of 1,000 copies will be sold within the first year. If it sells a book on to a traditional publisher it will take 15% of proceeds as its cut.

Authors can, of course, get 35% or 70% royalties from Amazon by self-publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing while Amazon’s own publishing imprints and most indie publishing houses offer 50% ebook royalties.

You can see the full Inkitt specimen contract on the Inkitt website.