Québec City Ebook Distributor De Marque Acquires France’s Feedbooks

In News by Porter Anderson

In its latest announced acquisition, the Québecois digital distributor De Marque adds a 12-year-old Paris-based ebook retailer to its assets.

Reading at Québec City’s Dufferin Terrace near the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Image – iStockphoto: KR Blokhin

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Feedbooks Reportedly Carries Some 900,000 Titles
Canada’s Québec-based digital content distributor De Marque has announced today (August 28) that it has bought the assets of French ebook retailer Feedbooks—a company that sells nearly 900,000 titles from hundreds of publishers.

In the context of De Marque’s development, this acquisition adds an established online bookstore to the company’s capabilities. The combined Feedbooks and De Marque catalogs reportedly will represent 1.4 million multilingual ebooks and audiobooks, available in an as-yet unspecified number of countries with merchandising and support services in five languages.

Feedbooks was founded in Paris in 2007 by Hadrien Gardeur and Loïc Roussel. The name if the company is said to represent both the concept of online RSS feeds and “a hunger for books.”

Feedbooks won the ministère de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (Higher Education and Research Ministry) competition in 2007 and 2008, with the support of OSEO, the French government agency for innovation. Feedbooks raised a first round of capital with private investors in early 2010, and a first round of venture capital in early 2012.

De Marque’s current publishing clients are expected to utilize Feedbooks as a new point of sale, while libraries with access to its e-lending service will have access to a wider variety of content for patrons, according to media messaging today from Québec City.

The distributor says the American market will be more accessible, as well, for publishing interests, because Feedbooks currently supplies content to major US libraries through its partnership with the Digital Public Library of America.

Marc Boutet

In a prepared statement, Marc Boutet, De Marque’s CEO, is quoted, saying, “This is an important step in our vision to maintain our international leadership in the fields of e-reading and digital content monetization.

“The company’s goal is to create an open network of renowned international experts and to be the reference in regards to e-reading and digital media consumption.

“Our relationship with Feedbooks is not new. For more than five years, our two companies have developed many synergies together by investing in new flexible DRM, as well as in ebooks and audiobooks. We also both positioned ourselves as leaders within the Readium Foundation and the European organization EDRlab.”

For Feedbooks, co-founder Roussel in Paris says, “This is a natural and beneficial progression for Feedbooks.” He talks of the online retailer now moving forward under De Marque’s ownership “at a new speed.”

De Marque acquired Barcelona’s Libranda in July 2018 and, as Publishing Perspectives readers will recall, announced in January its acquisition of Groupe Archambault’s e-lending service for libraries.

According to today’s information, De Marque now has an employee base of 57 people and offices in Québec City, Montreal, Barcelona, and Paris. The company is 28 years old and its Cantook Hub is a platform that now is reported to distribute more than 480,000 ebook titles from at least 2,300 publishers to as many as 1,300 sales points in many parts of the world.

Cantook Station is the company’s e-lending service for libraries. The company signals that it’s in use in more than 2,000 library facilities in Canada and Europe. Since its launch in 2012, that service is reported by De Marque to have registered more than 8.6 million ebook checkouts by library users.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Canadian market is here, more from us on the French market is here, more from us on mergers and acquisitions is here, and more on digital publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.