Daily News from Poets & Writers

Sony to Switch to Open E-book Format

by Adrian Versteegh

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.13.09

Sony announced the latest in its series of attempts to shake Amazon’s dominance of the e-book market today, saying it will scrap its proprietary e-book format in favor of the ePub standard. Unlike Amazon’s Kindle format, the ePub standard—developed by an industry group that includes HarperCollins and Random House—allows e-books to be accessed and shared across a broad variety of devices.

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Authors Guild Clashes With Agency Over Google Settlement

by Adrian Versteegh

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.12.09

As the extended deadline for the Google book settlement approaches, industry professionals still disagree about how the massive book-scanning project will affect authors. After one of the country’s largest agencies issued a memo last week advising its clients to opt out of the deal, the Authors Guild, which supports the settlement, released a rebuttal on Monday. The Guild will host an open conference call tomorrow afternoon to address what it calls “a series of erroneous conclusions” drawn by the agency.

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Scribd Unveils New Social Features

by Adrian Versteegh

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.11.09

In a bid to position itself alongside social networking phenomena like Facebook and Twitter, online publishing service Scribd unveiled a host of new social features yesterday. Users can now create personal reading lists, connect with those who share similar interests, and subscribe to instant updates from favorite authors, publishers, and even other readers.

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Senate Confirms New NEA, NEH Heads

by Adrian Versteegh

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.10.09

Theatre producer and former professor Rocco Landesman was confirmed by the Senate on Friday as the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Also confirmed by the Senate last week was former congressman Jim Leach, tapped to head up the National Endowment for the Humanities. Both men are expected to be sworn in within a few days.

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Flash Flood Shuts Down Louisville Public Library

by Adrian Versteegh

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.7.09

Flooding provoked three days ago by sudden rains in Louisville, Kentucky, has caused an estimated $5 million in damage to the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. The building—said to be the worst-hit in the city—will be closed to the public until at least Labor Day, with restoration work continuing throughout the remainder of the year. 

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Sony Unveils New Reader Line, Drops E-book Prices

by Adrian Versteegh

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.6.09

Hoping to ramp up competition in the e-book arena, Sony announced the launch of a new—and less expensive—line of digital readers on Tuesday evening. The Reader Pocket Edition and Reader Touch Edition, priced at $199 and $299 respectively, will hit stores later this month. The company also said that its online store will knock two dollars off the cost of new and bestselling e-books, matching the $9.99 price Amazon set for Kindle titles in 2007. 

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