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Alabama Governor Urges Congress to Pass Sales Tax Fairness Solution

This week, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley urged the U.S. Congress to pass federal legislation that would allow states to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax, as reported by the Birmingham Business Journal. Sitting on an Alabama Retail Association panel for 2012 Retail Day, Bentley said he supported the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832), the sales tax fairness bill currently under consideration in the Senate.

According to the Journal, Bentley said the millions owed in uncollected sales tax revenue could help to repay the transfer of $437 million from a state trust fund to the state’s general fund. “I’m against raising taxes,” Bentley said. “... But we are for collecting taxes that are owed.”

Alabama lost a conservatively estimated $263 million in taxes to online sales in 2011, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business study.

MIBA Adds New Part-time Staff Member

Shannon Sampson has joined the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA) as a part-time employee. She comes to MIBA from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, where she worked as a marketing assistant for the past four years. She also worked as an intern for MIBA for two previous summers.

Sampson will work on all of the association's projects, from administration to marketing, with a special focus on creating MIBA’s newsletters, managing Midwest Connections, and expanding social networking efforts. Her contact information is [email protected] or (763) 544-2993.

Kobo Expands to Portugal in New Partnership With FNAC

Kobo announced on Monday that it is partnering with the international entertainment chain FNAC to offer the first localized eReading experience with local content in Portugal. Portuguese readers will have access to Kobo’s catalog of nearly three million eBooks, and at launch thousands of titles will be available from popular local authors in Portuguese. FNAC will also be selling the Kobo Touch to Portuguese booklovers online and in-store beginning at € 99.90.  

“We are confident that this great partnership with Kobo can help transform the reading experience in Portugal while also further growing the number of titles available in Portuguese,” said Cláudia Almeida e Silva, General Manager FNAC Portugal.

Portugal is the second country in Europe where Kobo and FNAC are partnering to sell consumers eBooks and eReaders. The first was France.

Poisoned Pen Press Launches Young Adult Mystery Imprint

Poisoned Pen Press is seeking submissions for its first imprint for young adults, The Poisoned Pencil.

“Our goal with The Poisoned Pencil is to publish young adult mysteries that are fast-paced and relevant to today’s teens — books that adults will also want to read,” said publisher Jessica Tribble, adding that Poisoned Pencil is particularly interested in works with off-beat approaches and narrative choices that reflect the complexity and ambiguity of today’s world.

Poisoned Pencil editor Ellen Larson said that she is particularly keen to receive submissions from young adult writers. “Anything goes. As long as the protagonist is between the ages of 12 and 18, it’s Young Adult. I’m excited to begin reviewing submissions, seeing what’s out there, and building our list.”

 The Poisoned Pencil’s first title is expected to be released in fall 2013.