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Hachette UK Buys Bookouture

Hachette UK has announced the acquisition of digital publisher Bookouture, founded by Oliver Rhodes in 2012. Rhodes will continue to run the unit, and will also serve in the new position of digital publisher at Hachette UK, "steering and advising" to "help increase ebook sale across the group," and join…

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HarperCollins Celebrates 200 Years

HarperCollins announced a campaign to commemorate its 200th anniversary -- beginning with the creation of J. & J. Harper, Printers in 1817 -- focused around a new website. Anniversary events will include a campaign to support literacy and reading, charity projects, and an exhibition of historical items at the Columbia…

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HarperCollins Launches Book Recommendation Bots

HarperCollins has announced the launch of BookGenie and Epic Reads, two bot-powered book recommendation engines available through Facebook Messenger. Both provide book recommendations through one-on-one chatting. With Bookgenie, readers request a recommendation based on a book they enjoyed, or select from curated recommendations. Epic Reads, related to the publisher's YA-focused site,…

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People, Etc.

News Corp. has announced that Bedi Singh will step down as chief financial officer on March 1. Susan Panuccio, currently cfo of News Corp. Australia, will succeed him. Executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said in the release: "Through his astute financial management of key acquisitions and divestitures, and with the prudent…

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Kobo Plus eBook Subscription Service Launches In Holland and Belgium

Kobo has launched an ebook subscription service, called Kobo Plus, in Holland and Belgium, jointly created with their local partner, the online bookseller bol.com. Priced at €9.99 per month (with a one-month free trial), the services promises unlimited access to 16,000 titles in Dutch and over 40,000 titles in all,…

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Next to Close: Samhain Publishing

Nearly a year ago ebook publisher Samhain Publishing had told authors via email that it was "beginning the process of winding down due to our market share's continuing decline" and "approaching the point where we cannot sustain our business." Christina Brashear had written, "I won't drag this out any longer than I…

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People, Etc.

Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts has joined Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency as agent and rights director. She will be focusing on her literary fiction, narrative non-fiction list, and young adult list. Roberts was most recently an agent at Writers House. In addition, Leigh Eisenman and Tanusri Prasanna have both been promoted to…

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Barnes & Noble Officially Recalls 147,000 Nook Tablet 7-Inch Chargers

Working the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Barnes & Noble has formally recalled the power adapter sold with their recently-introduced Nook Tablet 7-inch model. The bookseller stopped selling the tablet in early January after a few (now four) reports of "the adapter casing breaking apart while still in the socket" and recommended informally…

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Digital: Shelfie Shutters, Radish Raises

Shelfie, the ebook bundling app that provided users with ebooks to go along with some of the print books they already own, told users with almost no notice that the service will close today. Founded as BitLit, the Vancouver-based company had received seed funding former Kobo ceo Michael Serbinis among…

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Competition Comes to Digital Audiobooks As European Investigations Lead to End of Audible/Apple Exclusivity

Both Apple and Audible have agreed to end their worldwide digital audiobook exclusivity agreements following an investigation by the European Commission and the German federal cartel office. The investigations began in November 2015 and were sparked by a complaint from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, which asserted in their filing that…

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