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People, Etc.

At Chronicle, Laura Lee Mattingly has been promoted to senior editor, while Sarah Billingsley moves up to senior editor, food & drink. Brendan Coyne has joined the Pennsylvania State University Press as director of sales and marketing. He was formerly associate sales director at Johns Hopkins University Press. Penguin Random…

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New Devices from Nook/Samsung and Kobo

Following Samsung's release of the Galaxy Tab S2 8-inch tablet, as expected Barnes & Noble has announced their parallel release of a Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK version. As with earlier co-branded tablets, Nook's $400 device includes an offer for free ebooks and magazines, and in-store at BN stores. Earlier in the week, Kobo announced…

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Then There Were Five (Or More): Penguin Random House Returns to Agency

The one significant factor in Penguin Random House's US performance not mentioned in yesterday's half-year report from Bertelsmann was the artificial boost to ebook sales while the house stood alone since mid-April as the only big trade publisher that still allowed significantly discounting on their ebook prices. (Harper returned to full…

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Google Play Books Cleans Up

The NYT's Haggler columnist helps out an author whose book was pirated wholesale on the Google Play Books store. Google spokesperson Matt McLernon confirms that the company disabled enrollment of new self-published authors in May to combat significant levels of pirated ebooks on the site (e.g. unauthorized clones of real books…

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Simon & Schuster Tries A Kindle Unlimited Experiment

Since Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscription program launched just over a year ago, agency contracts have prevented the etailer from putting the five largest publishers' books into the initiative without consent -- though that hasn't stopped Amazon from pulling in selected books from non-agency publishers without permission, paying for them like…

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Next, Scribd Curtails Unlimited Audiobooks

Following substantial reductions in their catalog of romance titles at the end of June, Scribd announced in a blog post last Friday a substantial curtailment of the distinctive unlimited audiobooks included in their monthly subscription offering. As of September 20, subscribers will be limited to a single audiobook per month…

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Corporate: Random House Germany Will Drop DRM in October

Following similar moves from Holtzbrinck, Bonnier Germany, dtv, Hoffman & Campe, Luebbe and others, Random House Germany has joined the trend and announced it will drop hard DRM in favor of digital watermarking (or "soft DRM") as of October 1. In the announcement, ceo Frank Sambeth explained: "Abandoning harsh DRM facilitates readers…

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Monday Briefs

The big weekend read was the NYT piece with allegations about Amazon's "purposeful Darwinism" towards its employees. Jeff Bezos sent an email to all employees -- and thus the world -- saying, "Even if it's rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero."…

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People, Etc.

Jennifer Ung has joined Simon Pulse as associate editor. Previously she was an assistant editor at Scholastic. Kristen Reach has joined the Kenyon Review as associate editor. Previously she was an editor at Melville House. Bankruptcy Filing Filmed Entertainment Inc. -- the parent of DVD direct-seller Columbia House -- filed for Chapter…

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International: PRH Australia Sells Bookworld to Booktopia; Harper Brasil, With Ediouro; Harlequin UK Layoffs From Harper Consolidation

Penguin Random House Australia has sold Bookworld, the online bookseller that operates two sites based on the former Borders Australia and Angus & Robertson assets, to their larger rival Booktopia. The sale is expected to increase Booktopia's sales from $54 million (AU) in 2014 to an estimated $90 million by the end of…

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