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European Court Approves Lower Taxes for eBooks; Management Buyout At Book People

Long after Luxembourg and France decided for themselves, the European Court has ruled that it really is ok for individual countries to charge lower Value Added Tax rates on ebooks. Reduced VAT was always allowed on printed books, but the statute never mentioned ebooks -- which most countries took to mean…

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Vook Acquires Byliner

After months of looking for a buyer and barely operating in the meantime, Byliner.com has been acquired by Vook. The purchase is somewhat of a full-circle pivot for Vook, which began in 2009 by producing "enhanced" ebooks with embedded videos. In the announcement, the company says, "With the acquisition of…

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Corporate: Harper eBooks In China, Amazon Expands In London, and Good Books Auction

HarperCollins announced an agreement with JD.com and China National Publications Import and Export (Group) Corporation to sell English-language ebooks in China. It is "the first time the company has made its e-books directly available to consumers in China through a local retailer," though JD.com has partnered with Harper in selling their…

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Slaughter Squares Off with IRS Over Self-Employment Tax On Royalties

Last week Forbes uncovered two previously unreported lawsuits in US tax court which saw thriller writer Karin Slaughter square off against the Internal Revenue Service. While the suits themselves are interesting on their own, they are particularly relevant for authors with respect to the classification of book royalties as self-employment…

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Corporate: Bloomsbury Adds Conway; Full Fathom Digital; New Rizzoli Bookstore Lease

Bloomsbury has purchased the 200-title naval and military history list of Conway from Pavilion Books in the UK (the rebranded version of Anova). Bloomsbury will integrate the titles into their existing lines. Terms were not disclosed, but the Bookseller notes that Conway publisher John Lee will leave after 20 years in that…

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Creative Homeowner Sold to Fox Chapel

After years of declining sales and operating losses, Courier Corporation has finally sold "certain of its Creative Homeowner publishing assets" to Fox Chapel Publishing, including "more than 100 active titles in home design, home improvement, landscaping and gardening." The sale price was not disclosed for now (though likely will be in Courier's…

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Acknowledging Big Drop in Amazon Sales, Ellora's Cave Cuts Staff, Expenses

Romance publisher Ellora's Cave sent a letter to authors -- originally picked up by Absolute Write, then republished by Dear Author after the post was taken down -- explaining recent cuts that laid off nearly all of its freelance editors and reduced the headcount to three full-time editors. The publisher…

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People, Etc.

Rick Horgan will join Scribner on August 25 as executive editor, where he will acquire and edit nonfiction, including politics, sports, current events, biographies, business, memoir, and thought leader books, as well as commercial fiction. Horgan was most recently vp, executive editor at the Crown Publishing Group, where he spent…

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People, Etc.

Will Atkinson will join Atlantic Books as managing director and publisher on October 1. Previously he was sales and marketing director at Faber, where he spent the past 20 years. Atlantic chairman Peter Roche said in the announcement "At Faber, [Atkinson] has demonstrated an unrelenting enthusiasm for independent publishing tempered…

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Deal to Sell Perseus Is Cancelled

On Thursday afternoon, Perseus Books Group ceo David Steinberger told employees that the deal struck in late June to sell Perseus to HBG, with the Perseus Distribution lines to be immediately sold to Ingram, has fallen apart and been cancelled. "The planned transaction involving our company, Hachette and Ingram is…

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