Evanston-based Agate Publishing Inc., has announced a deal to produce ebooks created from content owned by the Chicago Tribune.

The ebooks will appear as part of Agate’s new imprint, Agate Digital, which is devoted solely to publishing stand-alone ebook titles. The first ebooks from Agate’s partnership with the Tribune will begin appearing this spring.

In a news release, Agate President Doug Seibold said, “Our aim in working with the Tribune is to produce ebooks that can be brought to market very rapidly and satisfy readers’ growing appetite for material that can be purchased and read using their digital devices. “This represents a great opportunity for us to experiment together in the fast-evolving ebook market.”

The Tribune and Agate Digital will work together to identify potential ebooks that can be derived from Tribune content, and Agate Digital will then create and distribute the ebook editions via its distribution relationship with Publishers Group West.

The ebooks will be available for purchase at every ebook retailer, as well as through the Tribune’s and Agate’s own websites, in all major ebook formats.

Agate, founded in 2003 and based at 1328 Greenleaf St., has produced ebook editions simultaneously with all its printed books since 2009. The Agate Digital venture represents a new foray into purely digital publishing. The first book from Agate Digital, Newcity’s Best of Chicago 2012, appeared last December.

The imprint is also collaborating directly with writers and editors to develop original brief ebooks and collections, and reissue out-of-print works in new ebook editions.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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