Guru Roundup: Bringing You the Most-Relevant Industry-Related News

Bookstores and Booksellers
PR Newswire: National Association of College Stores Statement Regarding’s Lawsuit
“ Inc. filed a complaint for declaratory relief against the National Association of College Stores (NACS),Oberlin, OH, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Its sole aim is to halt a proceeding filed by NACS with the New York-based National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau in which the trade association seeks a review of Amazon’s college textbook pricing and advertising policies. By filing this lawsuit, Amazon has chosen to make public a proceeding that NACS filed on a confidential basis, as required by the NAD. NACS was not trying to achieve any type of public “win” with its filing, but to promote a level playing field by eliminating unsubstantiated advertising claims. NACS has not yet been served with the complaint, but will respond to it in due course…”
“The semester is coming down to the finish line and it’s about that time for students to sell back books for summer pocket money. For some students, it’s nice just to have that little extra money to finish off the semester, but selling back books is a borderline act of robbery. The Sociology Club looks at the processes of how the University of Rhode Island’s textbook policy has been problematic. Each semester, textbook prices continue to rise and students are forced into paying high costs in order to have the correct book for each course in time for the start of classes. The typical scapegoat for students is the Bookstore, but there are complex factors that play a role in why the textbook issue exists…”
“A textbook on Amazon was recently listed at more than $23 million. As it turns out, an algorithm was to blame. College students have long complained that text books cost too much. But woe is the poor sap who has to pick up a copy of genetics textbook, The Making of a Fly, by Peter Lawrence, which was recently listed at the ridiculous price of $23,698,655.93 on…”
The Utah Statesman: Arrest Made in USU Bookstore Thefts
“An arrest was made after the USU bookstore notified police that dozens of brand new textbooks totaling as much as $7,000 were recently discovered missing, said Sgt. Jessica Elder of the USU Police Department. Elder said the individual arrested is Logan resident Landon Putnam, 24, a USU graduate and employee of the campus admissions office. “He was pretty quiet,” said arresting officer Sutton Hanzalik. “He struggled on being honest at first, because he’s never been in that position. He doesn’t have a criminal record…’”
Tech Talk: eBooks, Digital Readers, Social Networking Technology: Updates Won’t Turn Nook into a Real Tablet
“Barnes & Noble has tried straddling a fine line with its Nook Color since launching it as a ‘reader tablet’ in November. The bookseller positioned Nook Color as a kind of hybrid between a conventional e-reader such as’s Kindle and a more versatile full-featured tablet PC such as the Apple iPad. This week, Barnes & Noble begins pushing out a free major update that it is counting on to broaden Nook Color’s appeal and inch it closer to its Android tablet brethren…”
“Researchers at the University of Washington are about to present a report on a pilot project that had computer science students use a Kindle DX for their course reading. College textbooks are a holy grail for the electronic book industry, but apparently they still have a ways to go, based on the UW study, conducted during the 2009-2010 school year. ‘There is no e-reader that supports what we found these students doing,” first author Alex Thayer, a UW doctoral student in design and engineering, said in a release. “It remains to be seen how to design one. It’s a great space to get in to, there’s a lot of opportunity…’”
“Library patrons across the United States will soon be able to borrow ebooks from over 11,000 libraries using Amazon’s Kindle reading device. Long a missing link in the library lending chain, Amazon’s announcement today that it will offer, sometime later this year, Kindle library lending is likely to create a flood of demand, since many patrons have long been puzzled and librarians irritated by the inability to use the market-leading device to access library books…” The New Way We Read: 10 Ways Digital Books Are Changing Our Literary Lives
“The Hermitage Bookshop in Cherry Creek North, decidedly old-school with its oak furniture and elaborate Persian rug, isn’t where you’d expect to find a fan of e-books, but listen to owner Bob Topp: ‘E-books have increased the purchase of print books,’ he says. ‘It’s easy for people to read the Sunday paper, look at a book review, and 10 minutes later, they’ve got that e-book on their Kindle. More people reading is good. I think it’s way too early to say that the e-book will kill the hardback.’ Topp doesn’t use an e-reader, but his wife does. She praises its ability to store hundreds of novels in a slim, mobile device that weighs less than most of the venerable collectible books on the Hermitage shelves…”
“Barnes & Noble College, the nation’s leading operator of campus bookstores and a wholly owned subsidiary of the world’s largest bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Inc., has become the first in its industry to develop and launch a social commerce platform. The campus retailer successfully integrated the social networking features of its more than 500 campus bookstore Facebook pages with its award-winning e-commerce websites, creating seamless social shopping experiences and expanding the company’s social media and communication capabilities…”
Content Publishing and Delivery
Campus Technology: AcademicPub Opens Custom Textbook-Building to Faculty
 “A company with technology for creating digital-to-print books is getting into the textbook market. AcademicPub, a division of SharedBook, has introduced a service that enables instructors to create digital and print texts by compiling materials from multiple sources: copyrighted works, faculty-created material, and resources the company has in its own library. The service also enables the instructor to collect royalties on the materials he or she personally provides in the textbooks…”
“As I look at the horizon and think about the evolutions of e-textbooks over the past ten years, it seems to me that we’re likely to see the development of three strong categories of e-textbooks over the next 2-3 years. Each of these can be viewed both in terms of cost and functionality…”
“What do you do after working for Apple, a company whose mission seems to be nothing less than disrupting entire industries? Easy. You start a company to create your own ding in the universe. That’s the idea behind Push Pop Press, a digital creation tool designed to blow up the concept of the book. Frictionless self-publishing is a fertile new space, but this particular startup got a little help from former vice president Al Gore, whose exacting demands on an app version of his book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis gave this would-be company its first real boost. Developed by former Apple employees Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, Push Pop Press will be a publishing platform for authors, publishers and artists to turn their books into interactive iPad or iPhone apps — no programming skills required…”
Industry Facts, Figures, and Finances Bucking the Ebook Trend
“The growth of electronic books is simply staggering. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has revealed that its latest stats for February show a growth of 202%. The annual figures from January/February 2010 to the same time this year is equally impressive – a 169% rise to $164m. Print books fared badly in the last year with sales falling 25% to $442m. But there is one area that is bucking that trend, which does not show up in AAP’s figures. That is the market for renting books – the printed versions, not the e-book versions…”
Seeking Alpha: Barnes & Noble Announces Amendment and Extension of Its Existing $1 Billion Credit Facility on More Favorable Terms
“Barnes & Noble, Inc., the worlds largest bookseller, announced that it has entered into an amendment that will extend its existing $1 billion revolving credit agreement on more favorable terms. The amended $1 billion revolving credit facility takes advantage of conditions in the financial markets that are more favorable than when the original facility was established. The amended facility has lower interest costs, greater financial flexibility and increases overall borrowing capacity throughout the year…”

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