Dymocks chief executive Steve Cox. Dymocks has closed its nascent e-book publishing business after just months.
Photo: Sasha Woolley
Dymocks is shutting its publishing venture at the end of the month after just 15 months in the business.
The retailer started D Publishing in December 2011 in the hope it could use the Dymocks brand to gain a foothold in the growing e-book market.
The business offered authors the opportunity to self-publish both printed books and e-books and sell their work via the Dymocks website and Google eBooks. Selected titles were also sold in Dymocks stores.
Dymocks managing director Steve Cox told BRW that D Publishing was an “innovative” experiment but the challenges were too great.
“We learned a lot about that market and those customers but unfortunately the constraints of the platform and business model meant we couldn’t fulfil the vision,” Cox says. “It was a difficult decision but we’ve decided to focus on areas that are core to what we do. The investment required to left the site to the next level at this moment in time is not an investment that we think it’s right to make.”
The “exciting” projects that Dymocks has on the agenda for 2013 include redeveloping its website and mobile payment technology for the shop floor, but both are still in early stages.
A notice on the D Publishing website says it is “closing its doors as a business” on March 25.
“This decision has been a difficult one to make and only done so after a full review of all alternative options,” the notice says.
The publisher is no longer taking on new books while existing authors are on notice to wind up their affairs before the website is disabled.
Publishing manager Caroline Witts and producer Ryan Willmott have been made redundant and will leave Dymocks at the end of March.
Witts, who has previously held publishing positions at Hardie Grant Magazines and Fairfax, joined Dymocks to launch D Publishing.
Dymocks is owned by John Forsyth. The company owns the Dymocks building in George St, Sydney and the flagship store at that location, but local stores operate on a franchise model.