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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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Nordstedts Sold to Storytel

Subscription audiobook and ebook streaming service Storytel has acquired Norstedts, Sweden's oldest publisher, for SEK 152 million (or 16.3 million euros.) Nordstedts has been owned by co-operative union and retail group KF since 1997; the 11-year-old Storytel adds Nordstedts to its expanding roster, having acquired Swedish publishers Massolit and B Wahlströms…

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Patricia Hespanha has been appointed executive director of HarperCollins Brasil, responsible for the day-to-day management of operations, establishing strategic direction, and setting the editorial program for profitable business growth. Hespanha, who most recently served as executive director, infrastructure for the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for Olympic and Paralympic Games, succeeds…

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People, Etc.

Liz Kossnar has been promoted to associate editor at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. Jordan Hamessley has joined Insight Editions as senior editor, children's. She was previously editorial director for Adaptive Books. Sanford J. Greenburger Associates are now scouting for Shandong Jiabo. Poet, essayist, and novelist Michelle Cliff,…

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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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Erica Rand Silverman will join Stimola Literary Studio as a senior agent on July 1 after eight years at Sterling Lord Literistic. She will continue to represent children's literature, picture books through YA, and the occasional adult nonfiction in the areas of parenting, humor and wellness. Patrick Walsh is leaving…

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Bookselling: Indigo's New Concept Store, Half-Price for Georgia

On Friday dominant Canadian bookselling chain Indigo will hold a grand opening for their new concept store in Toronto's Sherway Gardens, the chain's first new store in over 5 years and a model for ambitious renovation plans that "will be rolled out over time to the company's 90 other book…

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People, Etc.

Berlin-based digital publisher Frisch & Co., which has published 13 books in translation, will become an imprint of UK-based Canelo as of June. Publishing director Michael Bhaskar says in the announcement, "We want to take these wonderful, original, eclectic, innovative voices to the wide English ­speaking audience they deserve." Author of over 50 English-set historical romances,…

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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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Brenda Marsh will become managing director of Abrams & Chronicle Books, the UK-based sales and marketing joint venture of Abrams and Chronicle Books, on June 27. Marsh has been vp, director of business development at Abrams since 2014, after almost 15 years in executive positions at Barnes & Noble. She fills…

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