Kiwi technology firm Booktrack is seeking to "ride the self-publishing wave" and has worked with Google to launch a web-based studio where users can add their own soundtrack to novels, short stories or even blog posts.

The company, which creates and sells ebooks with added ambient audio paced to readers' speed, is now offering users the tools to make and attach their own soundtrack to text.

The studio is being launched today as an application in Google's Chrome browser, where users can also read and share Booktrack creations online.

The studio comes with a database of over 20,000 audio files and Booktrack said it worked closely with Google over the past four months for the project.


While the new service is free to use, an author wishing to sell one of their Booktrack creations will have to be a paid member, said co-founder and chief executive Paul Cameron.

As well as this, Booktrack will take a cut of each book sold, he said.

In giving users the tools to create their own Booktrack titles, Cameron said the company is looking to "ride the self-publishing wave".

"At the moment in the [United States] approximately 25 to 30 per cent of all books published are self-published titles now and that's happened in the last 2 years.

"It's phenomenal how quickly that's changed," he said.

Cameron said there was still interest from traditional publishing companies in Booktrack and that the company was also looking at opportunities in the education sector.

Booktrack entered the market in 2011 and has attracted investors such as Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel.

It has 15 staff in its Auckland and San Francisco offices.