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Bookboon logo.png
Type Online, private company
Founded 1988 (as Ventus Publishing)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
No. of locations 11 international locations
Area served Worldwide
Key people
  • Kristian Buus Madsen
  • (CEO)
  • Thomas Buus Madsen
  • (COO)
Industry eBook Publishing
Products Free eBooks
Services eBook Downloads, Advertising
Slogan(s) Download free books
Type of site eBook publishing service
Advertising Yes
Registration Not required
Available in Multilingual
Launched 2005
Current status Active

Bookboon is an online book publishing company based in London, United Kingdom. Bookboon was founded in 1988 in Denmark. Bookboon is largest publisher of eBooks in the world, thanks to 42 million downloaded eBooks in 2012, and 56 million in 2013. The publisher’s mission is to provide free textbooks to students all around the world. Indeed, they believe that students should be able to go through university without having to pay for their textbooks. All academic e-textbooks are available completely for free for the students, thanks to the support of a low number of ads in the books. Furthermore, Bookboon also publishes professional development books for business people. These eBooks are available through Bookboon Premium. All books are exclusively written for Bookboon by professors and experts within their fields of expertise. The topics covered by the textbooks go from economics to engineering and IT, while the professional books cover personal development, marketing, HR, management and many more professional topics. .[1][2][3] Bookboon are publishing new exciting titles every week and are working towards their goal to be indispensable for students and professionals worldwide.

History and background[edit]

The company started as the family business Ventus in 1998 in Denmark. Ventus focused on student textbooks written by their in-house staff and freelancers. The owners had two sons named Thomas Buus Madsen and Kristian Buus Madsen. [4] In 2005, the two brothers launched the website Kristian Buus Madsen was inspired to start Bookboon while he was a student: one of his fellow university students borrowed a copy of a textbook from the school library and made 50 photocopies of it before selling them to other students in front of the classroom. This made Kristian realise the strong need that students had for free or cheap textbooks. Soon after, while the brothers were working on the launch of Metro, a free Swedish newspaper, they developed their innovative business model: free digital books financed by a few in-book ads every three to five pages. The advertisers they looked for were companies wishing to advertise towards students and professionals. Bookboon initially focused on providing academic textbooks and business books to the Danish market. In 2006, the company expanded to Sweden, followed by Germany and the Netherlands in 2007. In 2008, it expanded to the United Kingdom and started publishing books in English.

Free textbooks[edit]

Bookboon finance their textbooks with a low number of high quality advertisements. The advertisements are mostly employer branding from companies who intend to recruit the students reading the textbook after they graduate. In essence, their future employer is paying for their textbook. There is a 15% advertising limit per book. This limit was set together with professors, business professionals, and student organizations in order to ensure the whole experience is in line with the high quality of their books.

Presence in the developing world[edit]

Thanks to their concept, Bookboon enable individuals in the developing world to access free education, and are proud to say that they experience downloads every day from countries throughout the developing world. They hereby hope to help the education of future generations in every part of the world. They are currently experiencing massive growth in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Supporting education and helping the environment[edit]

Bookboon’s free eBooks save students worldwide more than half a billion dollars every year in book purchases, all the while benefiting the environment. Ebooks do not pollute, and in the event that a reader prints out a book, the carbon footprint is only 18% of that of a traditional printed book. This is due to the chemicals used for printing traditional books, and the amount of energy associated with the logistics.

Books for university students[edit]

Bookboon textbooks are focused and to the point, and address students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. They mainly focus on business/economics, engineering/natural sciences and IT. Their range of subjects is constantly expanding. They currently offer over 600 textbooks. All the books are written by highly respected professors from some of the best universities in the world and exclusively for

Books for business professionals[edit]

Bookboon offer a vast range of over 400 eBooks for business professionals, all written by experts within their fields and exclusively for These eBooks are designed for business professionals and provide effective introductions to many different personal development topics. The books are relevant for fields such as IT, engineering, sales, marketing, finance, management et cetera. These eBooks are available to users for a monthly fee through the Bookboon Premium solution. This model is similar to Spotify’s paid version.

Bookboon in the news[edit]

In 2011, Bookboon was featured in BBC News' Webscape segment technology show Click presented by Kate Russell,[4] This helped to broaden the popularity of Bookboon’s free eBook service. Bookboon was also featured on Kate Russell's blog.[5]

Popular eBooks on Bookboon[edit]

In 2012, the most popular student piece on was Engineering Mathematics: YouTube Workbook  with over 300,000 downloads during that year.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the company -". Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Free eBooks Revolutionize the US Book Industry". February 23, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ Hoffelder, Nate (February 16, 2012). "BookBoon Offers Free Technical, Guide, & Textbooks". Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ Kate Russell (September 2, 2011). Webscape: Cloud-based artistic apps (BBC News). United Kingdom: Click. 
  5. ^ "@MyWebDaily reviews: Book Boon". October 24, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Global educator Chris Tisdell: Why free textbooks and videos are the key to future learning". Bookboon's Blog. June 6, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]