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BarnesandNoble.com Invests in Digital Publishing Firm

BarnesandNoble.com Tuesday led a $36 million financing round in digital publishing marketplace MightyWords.

BarnesandNoble.com pumped $20 million into former Fatbrain.com subsidiary MightyWords, with $10 million coming from venture capital firm Vulcan Ventures Inc.

The remaining $6 million comes from unnamed investors. Fatbrain.com will retain a percentage ownership in MightyWords, which will now operate as an independent company.

The second leading online bookstore also ignited a content deal by agreeing to offer MightyWords' content on the BarnesandNoble.com site.

With its digital markteplace, MightyWords aims to make written content that has been previously unavailable to the public because of the limitations of traditional publishing and distribution methods. MightyWords houses published work in a host of categories, including essays,short stories, condensed books, serialized pieces, updated chapters, movie scripts, speeches, and research reports.

There are now more than 10,000 pieces available from top authors including Arthur C. Clarke, best-selling author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing and former vice president of direct marketing for Yahoo!, Toni Morrison, best-selling author of Beloved and Wendy Goldman Rohm, best-selling author of The Microsoft Files: The Secret Case Against Bill Gates.

"As we enter this new Internet-enabled era, we plan to work with leaders in their fields, like MightyWords, to bring to market innovative and exciting opportunities for readers, publishers and content providers."said Stephen Riggio, vice chairman, Barnes and Noble and acting chief executive officer, BarnesandNoble.com.

Chris MacAskill will continue to lead MightyWords as chief executive officer. Members of the MightyWords board of directors have been appointed as follows: Chris MacAskill, Stephen Riggio, Dennis Capovilla, CEO of Fatbrain.com, and Diane Daggatt, director and investment analyst, Vulcan Ventures Inc.

BarnesandNoble.com had been busy readying itself for various digital publishing content agreements in the past year. In January, the firm teamed with Microsoft Corp. to launch an electronic bookstore using Microsoft Reader software.

Last week, Barnesandnoble.com became the primary distributor of NotHarvard.com's EduCommerce course materials across its network of branded online universities.