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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 was founded in Denmark in 1988, and is an online publishing company based in Copenhagen, Denmark and London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest publisher of eBooks, with 56 million downloaded eBooks worldwide in 2013, and 75 million in 2014.[1] Bookboon currently has more than 800 academic textbooks available to students on their website. These free textbooks are financed by employer branding ads placed in the books. Bookboon also offers a wide selection of eBooks for business professionals that can be purchased directly or accessed via Bookboon Premium – a subscription service for private users.[2]

The subjects covered by its student textbooks include economics, engineering, IT and the natural sciences, while its professional eBooks focus on topics including personal development, marketing, management, accounting and office skills.[3] In 2014, Bookboon launched its Corporate eLibrary, an internal learning solution for companies.

History and background[edit]

The company started as a family business called Ventus in 1998 in Denmark. At that time, Ventus focused on publishing student textbooks written by an in-house staff and freelancers. The owners of Ventus had two sons named Thomas Buus Madsen and Kristian Buus Madsen. [4] In 2005, the two brothers launched Kristian Buus Madsen was inspired to start Bookboon while he was a university student: one of his fellow classmates borrowed a copy of a textbook from the school library, made 50 photocopies of it and sold them to other students in front of the classroom. Kristian quickly realised the strong demand 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 an innovative business model: free digital books financed by a few ads in the books every three to five pages. The advertisers were to be companies looking to promote their career opportunities towards students and professionals. Initially, Bookboon focused on free academic textbooks and business eBooks for the Danish market. In 2006, the company expanded to Sweden, followed by Germany and the Netherlands in 2007. In 2008, Bookboon expanded to the United Kingdom and started publishing eBooks in English.[citation needed]

Bookboon finances its student textbooks with a number of advertisements placed in the books. These are primarily employer branding advertisements from companies looking to recruit university students upon graduation. There is a 15% advertising limit per book.[citation needed]

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 textbooks for students. Bookboon was also featured on Kate Russell's blog.[5]

Popular eBooks on Bookboon[edit]

In 2014, the most popular student textbook available on was Engineering Mathematics: YouTube Workbook  with over 300,000 downloads during that year.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Free eBooks Revolutionize the US Book Industry". February 23, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "About the company -". 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.