Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 1.06.07 PMWell, that’s a shame. Ebook publishing platform Byliner has sent an email to its authors hinting that the company might not be long for this world.

The email, reproduced in full below, explains that the company has “struggled to reach the level of growth we’d been hoping for the business, and thus we’ve begun conversations with possible partners about the future of Byliner.”

As a Byliner author who has made a few thousand bucks from my Byliner Original about quitting drinking, the news is disappointing for obvious financial reasons (although it seems the company is trying to negotiate a sale of rights). But it’s disappointing too because Byliner was clearly trying to apply traditional (read: high) standards of commissioning, editing and royalty payments to a a new ebook publishing model.

I’ve reached out to a few people I know who are connected to the company and what I’m hearing so far is that, yes, Byliner is on life support. I’ll report more as I hear it. Once the chaos of Southland is over, I’ll also probably write something longer about my (mainly positive) experiences with the company.

Meantime, for both selfish and unselfish reasons, I really hope someone buys them.

Here’s the email sent to authors…

Dear Byliner author,

In the Spring of 2011 Byliner released its first e-short, and began to invite readers to participate in a new way of discovering and enjoying stories by their favorite authors. We’re proud of the award-winning fiction and nonfiction we published in the three years that followed, and also of the reading experience we created with our site and our apps. Mostly, we’re proud to have been able to provide a bit of reading pleasure to people who love great stories.

As for our own story, it’s undergoing some changes. We’ve struggled to reach the level of growth we’d been hoping for the business, and thus we’ve begun conversations with possible partners about the future of Byliner. We’re working to find a good home for our platform and your stories, and we’ll be in touch shortly with specifics about your titles. If you have immediate questions about your revenue reports and payments, please use author@byliner.com.

Every new venture requires a leap of faith, and we thank you for taking that leap with us. Your enthusiasm, passion, and contributions have been humbling, and for that we will be forever grateful.

Sincerely,

The Byliner Team