BTW News Briefs

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
HarperCollins Completes Acquisition of Thomas Nelson

HarperCollins announced on Wednesday that it had closed on its acquisition of the Nashville-based religious publisher Thomas Nelson. Terms of the deal, which was announced in October, were not disclosed.

“Thomas Nelson will continue to operate as an independent company with its unique editorial focus on inspirational and Christian content,” HarperCollins said in a statement.

HarperCollins — which also owns Zondervan, Nelson’s chief competitor — now has a 35 percent to 40 percent stake of the evangelical Christian publishing market, according to The Tennessean.

Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet Gets Strong Reviews

After testing Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, which is priced at $199 model and has a seven-inch screen, the Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg called it “a serious alternative to both Apple’s larger $499 iPad and to a more direct rival: Amazon’s $199, Android-based, seven-inch Kindle Fire.”

Though it’s lacking all the features of the iPad, Mossberg said the Nexus 7 is lighter and more compact and will appeal to people on a budget. And with a size and price similar to those of the Kindle Fire, he said that the Nexus hardware and software “blows away those of the Fire.”

The Nexus 7, Bloomberg News’ Rich Jaroslovsky said, “obliterates every reason for buying the current Kindle, and sets a high bar for whatever Amazon comes up with to replace it.”

The Google tablet has twice the internal memory, a better battery, and is thinner and lighter, he said, in addition to having a front-facing camera, a microphone for video calls, and Bluetooth, which are all missing on the Kindle.

One of the Nexus 7’s main drawbacks, according to Mossberg, “is that some key content is missing.”  And Jaroslovsky said, “The Kindle has the Nexus beat in one significant area: the depth and breadth of the online stores that are designed to keep them stuffed with content.”

European E-Book Growth Slow But Inevitable

This week, Publishing Perspectives opened a discussion on Europe’s e-book policy, which it called “schizophrenic.” Among the reasons for this observation: VAT (value added tax) on print books and e-books varies significantly from country to country, and the European Commission (EC) has been issuing conflicting notices. The EC announced it was launching an “infringement procedure” against France and Luxembourg for offering a lower tax on e-books compared to print titles, just days after the EC’s vice president, responsible for Europe’s Digital Agenda, advocated an open market policy for e-books.

In a second article, Publishing Perspectives noted that the e-book market in Germany is profitable for “a small minority.”  Though e-books still represent a very small percentage of overall sales for the third largest in book market in the world, a study released last month reveals that “e-books are now seen as an inevitable part of the German book market — and a source of hope,” according to Publishing Perspectives, which noted that publishers anticipate e-books will account for an average of 17 percent of their total sales by 2015. Though growth to date has been slow, Alexander Skipis, head of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, said, “Publishers and booksellers are no longer wondering if they should invest in e-books, but rather when.”