BTW News Briefs

Publishers Request Dismissal of Bookseller Lawsuit

The Big Six publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster) and Amazon have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three independent bookstores in February. Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, New York; Posman Books of New York City; and Fiction Addiction of Greenville, South Carolina, charge in the suit that the publishers and Amazon colluded to hinder the sale of e-books through independent store outlets by entering into agreements to restrict the access of digital works to only Amazon outlets. The publishers insist that no agreements were made and that there’s no factual basis for the claims.

BEA Blogger Conference to Feature Will Schwalbe, Randi Zuckerberg

The BEA Bloggers Conference, a day of educational sessions and networking opportunities, will feature author Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club, Knopf) and Randi Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, as keynote speakers.

The Blogger conference will take place on Wednesday, May 29, in Hall A at the Javits Center. Schwalbe will speak at 9:15 a.m. and Zuckerberg will close the session at 4:00 p.m.

NCIBA’s Executive Director Hut Landon will also be at the conference as a panelist.

SBA and AARP Host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month

This month, the U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are hosting a series of events around the country for National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month. The program, which targets those over the age of 50, partners entrepreneurs with successful business owners and leaders, who will share advice and insights into the world of business. Events aim to unite more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to the SBA, one in four people between the ages of 44 and 70 is interested in entrepreneurship, and 63 percent of people plan to continue working after retiring. To find an event near you, visit

SBA has also created a toolkit featuring free online classes to help individuals interested in entrepreneurship or those who want to grow a preexisting small business.

National Book Awards Judging Committees Include Indie Booksellers

This year’s National Book Awards judges have been announced, and for the first time, booksellers will be included on the panels. Rick Simonson, senior buyer at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company, will be a judge for the fiction category, and New York City’s Books of Wonder owner and children’s book author Peter Glassman will be on the young people’s literature panel.

The National Book Awards, started in 1950, celebrates American literature each year with these awards and strives to broaden the love for literature and enhance its value.

University of Nebraska Press Acquires Potomac Books

The University of Nebraska Press (NU Press) has purchased military history publisher Potomac Books for $1.2 million, according to Omaha World-Herald. Potomac Books will keep its name and parts of its operations. NU Press expects to benefit from the new audience and Potomac’s revenue in e-books, which is significantly greater than that of NU Press. NU Press has also recently worked with the Jewish Publication Society in Philadelphia to expand its publishing list.

Arthur Frommer Takes Back Brand

The Frommer brand was sold to Google last year by Wiley publishing, and in an announcement last month, Google said it would cease printing the brand’s books immediately.

On Wednesday, Arthur Frommer, founder of the travel guidebook brand, announced that he had taken back rights to the brand and planned to continue publishing the guidebooks in print. In its confirmation of the sale to Frommer, Google said that the travel content it had acquired from Frommer’s and Wiley had already been integrated into various Google services such as Google Plus.

“It’s a very happy time for me,” Frommer told the Associated Press. “We will be publishing the Frommer travel guides in e-book and print formats and will also be operating the travel site”

Penguin Lessens Restrictions on E-Books for Libraries

Penguin Group (USA) is allowing libraries to offer e-books of hardcover titles on the same day as they are released, rather than having them delay the availability for six months, as was the previous policy. This comes after Penguin’s significant tracking of e-book usage at libraries in the country and checking the impact of these practices on the bottom line. The company’s current e-book policies for libraries allow libraries to lend a purchased copy out to one user at a time, and the library has to re-purchase the e-book every year.

As reported by the Associated Press, American Library Association President Maureen Sullivan praised Penguin’s willingness to try out new ideas when working with libraries. “I am pleased to learn that Penguin’s pilot is confirming what research suggests and librarians believe: There is more to be gained than lost when publishers work with libraries,” she said.

Hugo Award Finalists Announced

Finalists for the 2013 Hugo Awards for excellence in writing in the field of science fiction and fantasy, have been announced. One winner in each of 17 categories will be chosen, and the awards will be presented at this year’s World Science Fiction Convention, LoneStarCon 3, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from August 29 to September 2.