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Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin partner to launch retail website Bookish

Three of the world’s biggest publishers have formed an Avengers-style partnership with today’s launch of Bookish, a new consumer e-commerce website.

Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Group are behind the site, which is described in a statement as a “one-stop, comprehensive online destination designed to connect readers with books and authors.”

Run by a separate editorial team led by CEO Ardy Khazaei, Bookish offers 2 million titles (print and digital) from 19 publishers, promoted through a recommendations engine, author profiles, stories, interviews, and first-chapter previews. The site launched with original material from Elizabeth Gilbert, Michael Connolly, and the parody website The Onion. Upcoming contributors include Jamaica Kincaid, Oliver Stone, Susan Orlean, and Rachael Ray. Like its competitor GoodReads, reader reviews will be encouraged.

Consumers can purchase directly from the website, or through links to third-party affiliates, including Kobo, Amazon, and Apple’s iBookstore. According to Publishers Weekly, which provides review content for Bookish, North Carolina distribution company Baker & Taylor is handling order fulfillment and setting prices.

Bookish was announced in 2011 but faced several technical and legal delays. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a suit against Apple and five publishers (including the Bookish partners) for allegedly conspiring to increase ebook prices.

Hachette CEO David Young told the Associated Press: We received clearance for Bookish, but every time any of us talk about something we have to conform to the DOJ rules. We aren’t behaving any differently than we were before, we just have to make sure that formal procedures are followed, like writing up a log after any meeting.