Readmill Creates a Social Platform for eReaders

Robert Egert, March 9th, 2012

ReadmillBerlin start-up Readmill, is providing a platform for eBooks that connects readers regardless of what platform they are using. Readmill’s core offering is a free bookreader that competes head to head with Amazon’s and Apple’s offerings. Unlike other eReaders, Readmill is based on a device-neutral, API-driven platform that integrates social recommendations, annotations and geolocation services.

The platform enables you to see what friends and connections are currently reading, read their reviews and annotations and share your own. Readmill is attempting to restore many of the social activities that surround and support reading in an open platform. While sharing is a key differentiator, the platform also allows users to store notes and keep reading information private.

“Our goal is to be on every device where people read. It might not be in-device integrations but it should at least be possible to import data, “ says Breggren. “Right now we only support DRM-free content but that might change in the future, especially through our partners,” he added.

From a design perspective, Readmill is also unique because the design has no references to traditional paper or other book mnemonics such as wooden bookshelves or flipping pages that resemble paper. The user experience is completely designed for an eReader environment and sharing and other extended functions are available on page.

One advantage of Readmill’s open architecture is that reading activity can be tracked across devices. This enables the consolidation of user activity data, such as where and when users are reading.

Readmill’s initial offering is free, but Berggren believes that Readmill can build a path to profitability by marketing its aggregated data. Publishers currently only have access to delayed sales information. With the highly articulated, real-time data that Readmill will be collecting, he believes it can become an essential source of data to the publishing industry.

Co-founder Henrik Berggren saw their opportunity when a colleague shared a densely annotated copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Berggren realized that sharing annotations and recommendations was a critical component in the life of books that wasn’t getting the attention is deserved in the fragmented eBook market.

Readmill currently supports Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr as well as readmill.com which enables users to discover books and quotes.

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4 Responses to “Readmill Creates a Social Platform for eReaders”

March 11th, 2012
at 8:01 am
Comment by: 64 New APIs: ESPN, SendHub and Mobile Payments

[...] week we had 64 new APIs added to our API directory including a text messaging service, online eBook discussion platform, customer and audience engagement service and an online and mobile payment service. In addition we [...]

March 12th, 2012
at 2:00 am
Comment by: 64 New APIs: ESPN, SendHub and Mobile Payments | cellphonetrackerapp.com

[...] week we had 64 new APIs combined to a API directory including a calm messaging service, online eBook contention platform, patron and assembly rendezvous use and an online and mobile remuneration service. In further we [...]

March 13th, 2012
at 8:01 am
Comment by: 53 Books APIs: Google Books, Goodreads and SharedBook

[...] API directory now includes 53 books APIs. The newest is the Readmill API, a social platform for eReaders which we recently covered. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the Google Books API. We list 11 Google Books mashups. [...]

April 16th, 2012
at 2:28 am
Comment by: Matthew Bostock

Hey Robert,
Thanks a lot for the lovely article.
We have a lot more in store as we move forward.
For anyone with a question or suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at: matthew@readmill.com

Thanks again!
- Matt.

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