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Amazon to Acquire comiXology

comicsAmazon has agreed to acquire digital comic book publisher comiXology, in a deal whose terms were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close during Q2 2014.

“We have long had the goal of making every person on the planet a comics fan,” wrote David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology, on the company’s site. “With Amazon’s help, this crazy goal is more possible than ever before. With the Kindle, Amazon has shown a passion for reinventing the reading experience, just like comiXology has shown for comics and graphic novels.”

comiXology will continue to operate under its name, as a subsidiary of Amazon. The firm will remain in its New York offices. The platform offers digital comic book content from more than 75 comic book publishers.

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

Amazon’s Literary Journal Day One is Seeking Submissions

dayoneAmazon’s literary journal Day One is seeking submissions.

According to Carmen Johnson, Day One’s Editor, the lit magazine is looking for “fresh and compelling short fiction and poetry by emerging writers.” This includes stories that are less than 20,000 words by authors that have never been published, and poems by poets who have never published before.

To submit works, writers/poets can email their work as a word document, along with a brief description and author bio to dayone-submissions@amazon.com.

The publication launched in October 2013, with the mission to support the work of emerging writers, poets, and illustrators. Each week, the magazine spotlights one story, one poem and one original cover drawing.

 

Amazon to Adapt Michael Connelly’s ‘Harry Bosch’ Books Into a Web Series

burningMichael Connelly’s Harry Bosch book series will be adapted into an Amazon Original web series called Bosch.

Thus far, Connelly has published sixteen books in this mystery series with the latest installment, The Burning Room, due out in November 2014. He will work with Law & Order writer Eric Overmyer to pen the scripts.

According to the press release, the cast includes Titus Welliver, Annie Wersching and Jamie Hector. Welliver will star as Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch.

Amazon Issues Credits in Response to eBook Price Fixing

amazon304Amazon has issued credits to customers who purchased eBooks from select publishers, as a response to the eBook price fixing case.

The online retailer sent out emails to customers this morning. “The credit results from legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks,” explains the email.

The company has added the credits to customer’s accounts automatically and the credit will be applied to a customer’s next book purchase.

Amazon Partners With Brazil’s Ministry of Education to Distribute eBooks to Teachers

amazon304The Brazilian Ministry of Education has partnered with Amazon to covert and distribute textbooks to teachers across the country.

Through its National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE), Brazil has been working with Amazon to convert print books to digital and then wirelessly distribute them to teachers. So far, together they have done this with more than 200 textbooks to hundreds of thousands of public high school teachers. Teachers can access the books through Kindle reading apps. So far more than 40 million eBooks have been delivered.

“We are pleased that Whispercast is one of the foundation technologies for this innovative program. Amazon working with FNDE enhanced Whispercast, which has been used by thousands of schools in the U.S., to meet the needs of the teachers and administrators in Brazil. We are very enthusiastic in helping to bring new technologies that will help the education segment in Brazil,” stated Alex Szapiro, Country Manager, Amazon.com.br.

Amazon Publishing Has Expanded Into Germany

amazonpublishingAmazon Publishing has introduced a new German-language publishing program. Amazon Publishing’s European team will begin acquiring and publishing German-language fiction for both print and digital.

The imprint already has spring titles in the works including: Klang der Gezeiten (The Sound of the Tides), a work of fiction by Emily BoldBis alle Schuld beglichen (Until All Debts Are Cleared), a murder mystery by Alexander Hartung; as well as the romance novel New York für Anfängerinnen (New York for Beginners), by Susann Remke, FOCUS Magazine‘s New York Bureau Chief.

“We’ve been delighted with the reader response to the German translations released by Amazon Publishing, and are excited to have Publisher Sarah Tomashek and her team in Munich supporting our efforts to bring great works written in German to a wider audience,” stated Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President of Kindle, EU.

Goodreads is Now on Kindle Paperwhite

goodreadsonkindleGood news for Goodreads fans that have old Kindle devices. The social reading community is now available as an app on first generation Kindle Paperwhite devices. The app is available along the top navigation bar under the icon ‘g.’

Goodreads first launched on the new Kindle Paperwhite back in November and the company always planned to become available on older models based on customer interest. The app is available to customers in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Here is more about Goodreads blog: “Kindle will be made available in a free and automatic over-the-air upgrade to the first generation Kindle Paperwhite in the coming weeks. How will you know when you have it? You’ll see the Goodreads “g” on the top right-hand side of the menu bar.”

Stephan Eirik Clark’s Story: A Book Missing From Amazon Search Results

sweetness9Author Stephan Eirik Clark thinks that he may have been a victim of Amazon’s algorithm rigging.

In a column for Slate, Clark claims that his book Sweetness #9 was not available in Amazon search results. The book, which is available for presale and ships in August, only showed up when he entered the title of the book and his name. But it wasn’t the top listing. In fact, it was at the bottom of a long list of books with the word “Sweet” in the title, buried under a number of Sweet Valley High books.

Clark theorizes that the poor search results had to do with deals that publishers make with Amazon to get ranked in search results. This practice is outlined in George Packer’s recent New Yorker article on Amazon. According to the story, search results are affected by fees that publishers pay to Amazon.

Unclear on what his publisher Little & Brown has paid to Amazon, Clark points out that his search results got better over time. Today, a search for “sweetness 9″ brings the novel to the top of the search results, but it’s not clear why.

 

Anne Rice Fights Author Bullying on Amazon

annericeAnne Rice has joined a number of authors who have signed a petition to stop “author harassment” in user reviews on Amazon.

The petition, which is addressed to Jeff Bezos and Jon Fine, calls for more oversight and control on Amazon’s product reviews system. The authors of the petition are trying to put an end to what they have described as bullying and harassment in book reviews.

“I believe, as do countless others—many who will have signed this petition—that the reason this bullying and harassment is able to take place is because of the allowance of anonymity on Amazon,” writes Todd Barselow, the petition organizer. “People have found ways to exploit this flaw in the system and are using it to bully, harass, and generally make life miserable for certain authors on Amazon.” Read more

Kaplan & Amazon Partner for Digital GMAT Text

kaplanKaplan Test Prep is partnering with Amazon to distribute a new digital GMAT course book. The Kaplan digital courses are available through Kindle apps on tablets, phones and online. This is the first time that these courses have been available on Kindle devices.

The course books allow students to take notes, highlight passages, look up words, search and track their progress. Users can sync their work across devices. For example, a student could start studying on a Kindle Fire and then open up the course book to the same page with their notes intact on their laptop.

Kaplan Test Prep is working with Amazon to develop similar digital test prep courses for the GRE, LSAT, MCAT and other exams. These products are slated for release over the next few months.

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