Barnesandnoble invests in MightyWords publisher

Publisher specialises in content too short for a book, but too long for e-mail. Authors include Whoopi Goldberg

Online bookseller Barnesandnoble.com has shelled out $20m(£13.15m) for an equity stake in MightyWords, an electronic publisher of short works.

MightyWords specializes in content that is considered too short for a book and too long to be read electronically, such as essays, speeches, short stories and research papers. It launched in March with a series of constitutional essays from authors including Whoopi Goldberg and Newt Gingrich.

MightyWords' content, which includes fiction, non-fiction and technical works, will be distributed through barnesandnoble.com's site. The company said it plans to pursue other partnerships to deliver its content online.

The Barnesandnoble.com investment is part of a larger $36 million venture capital round. Other investors include Vulcan Ventures Inc.

MightyWords had been a subsidiary of FatBrain.com, an online retailer of technical books. FatBrain will retain a 23 percent stake in MightyWords, which will now be spun off as a separate company. FatBrain will receive a payment of $8.5 million from MightyWords as reimbursement for expenses incurred on behalf of the subsidiary over the past five months. FatBrain's CEO, Chris MacAskill, will leave the company to head up the MighyWords unit, and will be replaced by Dennis Capovilla, who formerly served as president and chief operating officer.

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