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Publishers Contribute $250 Million Worth of Free eBooks for Low-Income Students in New Federal Program

President Obama will announce later today two new steps in the ConnectED efforts. The Open eBooks initiative will make ebooks said to be worth over $250 million available for free to low-income students, through an ereader app developed by the New York Public Library. All of the five largest trade publishers…

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Penguin Random House Launches Unified Consumer Site

Penguin and Random House have come together on the web, launching a newly-designed site at PenguinRandomHouse.com that presents to consumers the combined catalog from across the company. Showing books to readers is the new site's primary job: "With thousands of new books to choose from every year, it can be overwhelming…

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KU for March: New High for the Pool But Almost A New Low Per Book

Earlier this week Amazon made their monthly announcement of how much money they would retroactively chose to share with self-published authors whose work was read via the Kindle Unlimited subscription program. The total pool allocated for March reached a new high, of $9.3 million. Borrows were robust as well, at approximately…

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People, Etc.

At Running Press, Jordana Tusman has been promoted to senior editor. After the London Book Fair wraps up today, there will be a memorial service in London tomorrow for former Random House UK deputy chairman Simon Master, who died in January. The service is at 11 at St Luke’s Church, Sydney Street, with a 12.15…

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Scribd Adds Penguin Random House...For Audio

Up until now Penguin Random House has not participated in any of the major ebook subscription offerings, but the publisher has a new exclusive with Scribd for audiobooks. [N.B.: Scribd described the deal as exclusive, but PRH noted after this ran "that Scribd is not the only retailer offering audiobooks on…

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Harper Likes $14.99

After we reported a week ago that Harper told a wide swath of ebook accounts that they would return to full agency for ebooks as of Tuesday morning Pacific time, the big question wasn't so much Amazon as pricing. In September 2012, when HarperCollins was the first settling publisher to…

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New Ventures: Chronicle Books Japan; AP eBooks

Chronicle Books has partnered with Top Partners Co, Ltd to launch Chronicle Books Japan. The new entity will be the exclusive distributor of Chronicle Books products in the Japanese market, including English language books, stationery and gifts as well as Japanese language editions, and will also establish branded boutiques in…

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Harper Readies Return to Full Agency

Following the April 1 Business Insider report that implied Amazon was losing patience with HarperCollins in negotiating a new sales agreement, Publishers Lunch has learned that Harper is preparing to return to full agency for ebook sales next week. Multiple retailers report that Harper has informed them their selling terms…

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Oyster Adds eBookstore

Oyster has launched an ebookstore to accompany its existing subscription offering. The ebookstore will sell books by existing subscription partners HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster -- as well as the two major subscription holdouts, Penguin Random House and Hachette. The company touts their launch as "the most significant entrance into…

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German Giant Media-Saturn Looks to Build On Bankrupt Txtr

Some publishers were recently informed via email that Germany's txtr, which filed for bankruptcy in late January, will be adopted as the ebook platform for the big consumer electronics retailing group Media-Saturn-Holding as of the beginning of April. (Described as the Best Buy of Germany and/or Europe, the group's Media…

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