We believe in the transformative power of great stories and the value of the people who write them

Readerly was founded in 2020 by a writer, a publisher, and a software engineer with a shared desire to create an independent and unbiased book recommendation engine that levels the playing field for all authors and offers a more diverse range of books for readers.

We believe a recommendation engine should represent the diverse range of voices being published

Most recommendation engines are powered by general popularity and the purchasing behaviors of others, and are heavily influenced by the marketing spend on books. This creates a bias in favor of large publishers, established authors, and books with general appeal. Our software is designed to respond to an individual reader's tastes and allows books from smaller publishers and new authors to bubble up. We're never influenced by marketing or popularity and are committed to exposing readers to a highly diverse and comprehensive range of voices, and bringing relevant stories to underserved audiences.

We believe authors should be fairly compensated for their work

Only a handful of authors earn enough on their writing to support themselves financially. The majority work other jobs in addition to the hundreds of hours they spend writing the books we love to read. Companies that heavily discount undermine the value of books and the people who write them. As an independent bookseller, we pledge to sell the books at the publisher's recommended price so that we can share our revenue with authors to help keep them writing.

Founders

Gill Evans​

Gill is a publisher and editor of nearly forty years’ experience. She began her career in a printing house and has been Deputy MD of Reed Children’s Books, Head of Children’s Publishing at Random House and Editorial Director and Fiction Publisher of Walker Books in London. Her authors have won many prizes including the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Award and The Guardian Children’s Book Award. Gill was shortlisted for the British Book Awards Editor of the Year and won a British Book Awards Nibby for Innovation and Design.

Mary Heitkamp​

Mary is a writer and editor with an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She believes in the importance of reading literature as a mindful alternative to internet noise, and in 2019, co-founded fresh.ink, a short story platform that aims to increase the reach of beautiful and thought-provoking writing while ensuring authors get paid for their work. With tens of thousands of users, fresh.ink has been featured as an Apple App of the Day in both the US and UK.

Matt Brindley

Matt is a product and software developer who loves a good book. Prior to Readerly, Matt was a co-founder and CTO of Litmus, a software company that empowers email marketers by giving them the tools to test campaigns before they go out the door. Now in its thirteenth year, Litmus has grown to 180 people with offices in Cambridge, San Francisco, and London.
Ready for his next challenge, Matt founded Readerly in 2020 with Mary and Gill to bring together their experience and improve the lives of authors and readers.