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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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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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Leak Indicates Microsoft Will Try Again At Selling eBooks

Leaks from this spring's Creators Update to the Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system suggest that Microsoft is yet again trying to establish a presence in the ebook market. In this first look on MSPowerUser, which contains screenshots of the new feature, we learn that a "new e-book store will be…

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Google Adds Discover Feature to Books App; Sainsbury's Gives Up On eBooks

On Monday Google Play added a "discover" feature to their app (only on Android for now; iOS is coming later), calling it "a new way to find books by browsing the latest reviews, news, lists, videos and more." The feature combines original book-focused content -- author interviews, essays and more --…

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Briefs: Amazon's Inspire; Nook Press's Print Platform

Attentive readers will remember that back in February we were the first to write about Amazon K-12 Education, a unit working on "improving the education of students with services for teachers, students and parents." Those efforts were focused on "building a large discoverable library of open educational resources for K-12 teachers…

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Briefs: Diversion Spins Off Radius Book Group; Marie Force Launches Publisher; and More

Diversion Publishing is launching a new self-publishing division, Radius Book Group, led by vp, business development Mary Cummings and managing editor Fiona Hallowell. Radius will sell aspiring authors packages ranging from DIY options through Ingram Spark to comprehensive publishing services. Bestselling self-published author Marie Force is launching a new contemporary romance company,…

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Briefs: HarperCollins Italia Acquires 20lines; Penguin Random House India Partners With Manjul; and More

HarperCollins Italia has acquired 20lines, a community that allows users to write, read and share short-format stories via a smartphone app. Available in seven languages, the app is said to feature 40,000 authors and 15,000 new pieces of content published every month. Harper's chief digital officer, evp international Chantal Restivo-Alessi says in the announcement,…

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eNews: New Kindle Paperwhite, Oyster's Lumin

Amazon has refreshed its Kindle Paperwhite device, whose screen now has a 300-pixel-per-inch resolution, a new "Bookerly" font, and a $119 price. The device is available for pre-order and ships on June 30. Oyster has launched Lumin, a new feature designed to improve the quality of the in-app reading experience…

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Briefs: HarperCollins Adds Titles to Shazam; Sierra Club Closes Book Imprints; and More

HarperCollins will be the exclusive global book partner for the launch of music recognition app Shazam's new visual recognition functionality. (Other newspaper and magazine partners include Condé Nast, Esquire, Time and the Wall Street Journal.) Starting immediately whenever Shazam users wave their mobile phone over any HarperCollins book or promotional…

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BitLit Angels Include Former Kobo CEO Serbinis

Vancouver-based startup Bitlit, whose app helps publishers bundle ebooks with print books, announced the closing of a round of seed funding. Kobo founder and recently deposed ceo Michael Serbinis's new venture fund Three Angels Capital is among the funders -- along with from BDC Venture Capital, Mike Volker (WUTIF fund) and…

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