This month, a significant publishing acquisition occurred which turns all of the shares of Quality Solutions/Firebrand Technologies over to a Japanese company’s US operations, Media Do International. Firebrand is the parent company of popular ARC distributor and potential review source, NetGalley.
Launched in 2008 shortly before BookExpo America by Rosetta Solutions, the review site has seen a steady, significant amount of growth over the years. It has changed hands a couple of times, and along the way it has grown even larger. It now has working relationships with a number of major publishers and their imprints, as well as accepts individual titles from smaller publishers and self-published authors for review.
Unfortunately, NetGalley suffered a data breach in mid-December that impacted its users’ information. While things like credit cards or financial data were not impacted (most NetGalley users are “professional readers” rather than the authors or publishers who pay to use the service for digital ARC copies), any personally identifiable information that was provided by the users was accessed. This includes birth dates, email addresses, and even Kindle email addresses if users prefer to receive ARCs sent to their devices or reading apps. Whether or not the data breach had any bearing on the buyout hasn’t been stated.
As for the “new” NetGalley under Media Do’s leadership, it really isn’t all that new. The two company’s have worked together for quite some time, as Media Do Ltd–one of the world’s largest ebook distributors–is NetGalley’s partner in Japan. NetGalley’s CEO will remain in charge for at least the next three years, and so far there has been no announcement about any changes to the platform.