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Briefs: Empresa's New Books Division; Amazon Updates Kindle; and More

Czech media conglomerate Empresa has launched a books division, Publishing Perspectives reports. The company released its first three titles this month and expects to publish 15 titles by the end of 2016. Empresa already owns an online bookstore which sells more than 170,000 titles by over 4,000 publishers. Amazon released…

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Hachette UK Acquires Neon Play

Hachette UK announced they have acquired Neon Play, a British-based mobile games development company. Co-owners Oli Christie, Mark Allen and their team will continue to be based in Cirencester running Neon Play as a stand-alone business under the Hachette UK umbrella, reporting to Richard Kitson. Hachette UK ceo Tim Hely…

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People, Etc.

Meghan Deans will join Ecco on June 13 as marketing director. She has been at Little, Brown, most recently as director of social media. At Clarkson Potter, Kim Tyner has been promoted to assistant production director. Harper Christian reports that longtime employee and vp of custom product development Joseph "Scott" Harvey, 52, died…

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Macmillan Acquires Pronoun (FKA As Vook, Plus Booklr and Byliner)

Macmillan announced on Thursday that they have acquired Pronoun, the pivoted version of the company that began life as Vook (originally creating ebooks with embedded videos) in 2009 and over the years incorporated Booklr and Byliner. In its latest incarnation, Pronoun's focus has been an ebook distribution platform for authors that has…

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Briefs: BookBub to Offer Paid Ads; Applebaum, Potash Honored; and More

Initiatives BookBub, which promotes selected ebook price deals as paid promotions, is now starting to add paid advertisements as well. (Advertised books do not need to be discounted, or subject to BookBub's other criteria for editorial filtering.) Pricing is based on CPM auctions. Awards The annual UJA-Federation of New York…

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Waterstones Exits eBooks and Digital Audio; Transfers Customers to Kobo

Waterstones is giving up on ebooks again and -- perhaps more importantly in the long-term, also walking away from the still-growing digital audio market. The company told their digital media customers by email and posted site notice that "the Waterstones digital download store is closing," and digital files are no…

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Nook and Samsung Agree to A New, Much Smaller Device Commitment

For the second time, Barnes & Noble has restructured their agreement to purchase and resell Nook-branded Samsung tablets -- with the parties finally admitting the market is much smaller than planned and agreeing to a far more modest goal of selling $10 million worth of units. We had reported discussions on…

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Quotable: Bezos Confirms the Known About Stores

It's making news that Amazon ceo Jeff Bezos confirmed at the company's annual meeting what is already known about their store rollout, without adding anything in particular: "We're definitely going to open additional stores, how many we don't know yet," he said. "In these early days it's all about learning,…

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Goodreads Enters eMail Deals Business

One tried and true digital marketing tool (for now, at least) is email deal newsletters, and now Goodreads is joining the game. Goodreads Deals will alert site members when an ebook on their "want to read" list or an author they follow is discounted. They are also offering daily deals email…

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IDPF Considers Merging Into Larger W3C

After three years of collaboration, the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) announced from BEA that discussions are ongoing about having the organization absorbed into the larger -- but more broadly focused -- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The press release says they are exploring "mutual interest in combining their respective organizations…

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