(Danny Ngan)

Could Amazon & Penguin Random House Be Headed For A Hachette-Level Feud?

Almost exactly a year after Amazon and book publisher Hachette entered a very public feud over an e-book pricing dispute, the mega online retailer is reportedly on the cusp of engaging in a new battle with the world’s largest book publisher, Penguin Random House. [More]

Not the first customer, but a satisfied one, nonetheless. (tehchix0r)

First Amazon Customer Spent $27.95 And Got A Building Named After Him

Being the first to try something new cost one guy just $27.95 and got him not only the book he ordered but his name on a building. The first non-company Amazon.com customer spent less than $30 on April 3, 1995 on Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought by Douglas Hofstadter, and now his moniker is splashed on the edifice of one of the company’s buildings in Seattle. [More]

Subscription e-book service Oyster launched a retail component Wednesday.

Oyster, The ‘Netflix For Books’, Aims To Take On Amazon With Launch Of E-Book Store

When Oyster launched in 2013, it claimed to be the e-book version of Netflix, offering customers an all-you-can-read lending library of around 100,000 books for a monthly subscription of $9.95. A year and a half later, the company seems to have realized that a buffet of sometimes unheard of books isn’t exactly what consumers are looking for. So in an attempt to bring the latest and greatest titles to readers, the company now plans to secure its foothold in the e-book market with the launch of a retail component aimed to compete with Amazon, Apple and other online booksellers.  [More]

Walmart won't sell the upcoming memoir of Ronda Rousey in stores, but will make it available online.

Walmart Will Reportedly Only Sell UFC Champion’s Book Online Because Of Violence

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that seems to be exactly what Walmart is doing when it comes to the soon-to-be released memoir from UFC women’s bantamweight champion and Olympic medalist Ronda Rousey. [More]

(frankieleon)

If You’ve Ever Wanted To Smell Like An Old Book, New Perfume Will Make Your Dreams Come True

In the latest entry into the somewhat puzzling “Smell Like The Thing You Love The Most” product category, an “old book” scent is joining previous odd fragrance notables Bitcoin and pizza. [More]

The first 10 books chosen through Amazon's Kindle Scout platform will released next week.

Amazon’s In-House Kindle Scout Publishing Platform Set To Release First 10 Books Next Month

Four months after Amazon launched a crowdsourced publishing platform that allows Kindle readers to kind-of, sort-of have a say in what unpublished books and hopeful authors reach their devices, the company is set to release the first 10 Kindle Scout titles next month. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Creator Of Uncanny ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Text Generator Doesn’t See Robots Taking Writers’ Jobs

Amid the Fifty Shades of Grey movie hooplah maybe you’ve found yourself grumbling, “I could’ve written that book.” Sure, maybe, but it’s not just you — there’s a text generator out there right now that does a pretty damn near perfect impersonation of the series. Wait — robots are doing literature (and I use that term lightly) now? ARE WE ALL DOOMED? We chatted with the programmer behind the new Fifty Shades of Grey text generator tool to find out. [More]

Publishers Pulling Book About Boy Dying, Going To Heaven Because Boy Didn’t Die, Go To Heaven

Publishers Pulling Book About Boy Dying, Going To Heaven Because Boy Didn’t Die, Go To Heaven

Almost five years after the release of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, publisher Tyndale House says it’s yanking the book from shelves immediately. This, because the “boy” and co-author of the tome, Alex Malarkey, says the book is literally malarkey because he didn’t die and thus, did not go to heaven. [More]

Apple’s Appeal Of E-Book Price-Fixing Verdict May Hinge On Court’s View Of Amazon

Apple’s Appeal Of E-Book Price-Fixing Verdict May Hinge On Court’s View Of Amazon

While all of its alleged co-conspirators have settled and begun the process of atoning for the price-fixing sins they have not legally admitted to committing, and even though it was found guilty of its part in the arrangement in 2013, Apple is still fighting to clear its name. Today, the electronics company once again squared off against federal prosecutors, trying to make the claim that Apple was actually trying to help break up Amazon’s monopoly on e-book pricing. [More]

(Joel Zimmer)

Authors Argue In Court That Google Books Scanning Project Is Bad For Book Sales

Is Google Books a useful tool for finding exactly the book that you need and driving sales, or a copyright infringement on a massive scale? That’s been the longtime argument (in court) between Google and some of the authors whose work appears in the search engine. At stake are billions of dollars that Google would owe the Authors Guild and individual authors who are parties to the suit. [More]

Mattel Apologizes, Says Incompetent Engineer Barbie ‘Doesn’t Reflect The Brand’s Vision’

Mattel Apologizes, Says Incompetent Engineer Barbie ‘Doesn’t Reflect The Brand’s Vision’

Earlier today, we wondered why the communications people over at Mattel hadn’t answered any questions about a book starring Barbie as a computer engineer. Barbie’s “engineering” job consisted of designing puppies while having male colleagues code the game and reboot her computer. This isn’t just sexist, but an inaccurate representation of what computer engineers do. Good news: Steven and Brian managed to get the virus off PR Barbie’s computer, and the book’s author has spoken up as well. UPDATE: Amazon also appears to have pulled the e-book version of this title. [More]

Some Terrible Person Is Stealing Books From Libraries, Selling Them Online

Some Terrible Person Is Stealing Books From Libraries, Selling Them Online

Public libraries are an amazing resource where you can access books, music, movies, and even e-books without having to pay. However, there’s a criminal somewhere in Pennsylvania who isn’t checking books out from local libraries: he or she is evading the anti-theft systems, removing new books and best-sellers from the library, and selling them. [More]

Amazon Unveils Subscription E-Book Service For $10/Month

Amazon Unveils Subscription E-Book Service For $10/Month

After accidentally posting info about the service to its site earlier this week, Amazon has officially unveiled “Kindle Unlimited,” a $9.99/month subscription service that offers users access to a library of e-books. [More]

Amazon Takes Away All Discounts In France Under New Law, Charges A Penny For Shipping

(TravelEden)

Book lovers looking for a tidy discount in France won’t be finding anything of the sort, at least not from Amazon: In accordance with a new law in that country, the e-commerce Goliath has ditched all discounts and is charging a penny for shipping, because it’s not allowed to send books for free. [More]

Amazon Flexes Muscle, Pulls Titles In Ongoing Dispute With Publisher

Amazon Flexes Muscle, Pulls Titles In Ongoing Dispute With Publisher

When perusing Amazon for a too-good-to-put-down book, consumers often assume the site’s vast library of titles includes all that’s available in the literary world. But the e-tailer is now putting pressure on one publisher by making it hard to find and order that company’s books. [More]

But don't.

Complaint Asks Library To Remove ‘Hop On Pop’ Because It Promotes Violence Against Dads

When you’ve got a system that allows the general public to air grievances, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be some off-the-wall issues. Or at least, problems that seem to not be all that serious: the Toronto Public Library received a complaint asking for librarians to remove Dr. Seuss’ Hop On Pop, claiming that it promotes violence against well, pops, dear old dad, father dearest. You get it. [More]

Psalm Book Believed To Be The First Book Ever Published In The U.S. Sells For Record $14.2M

Psalm Book Believed To Be The First Book Ever Published In The U.S. Sells For Record $14.2M

Maybe you’ve got some old books on your shelf, passed down from Gran’s days hiding in the hayloft dreaming about the land of Oz, or a family Bible that’s been in the family for over 100 years. But then there’s the book believed to be the first ever published in the United States — and as such, it’s quite a bit older and a lot more expensive than anything kicking around in Great Aunt Gertie’s attic. [More]

Are Small Bookstores Committing Suicide If They Join Amazon’s New Kindle Program?

Are Small Bookstores Committing Suicide If They Join Amazon’s New Kindle Program?

A common refrain among people in the book business — especially those in the independent bookselling market — is that Amazon is “out to kill small bookstores.” Depending on how one looks at it, the latest scheme from the online retail giant either bolsters or calls BS on that statement. [More]