By Edward Nawotka
Magazine publishers News Corp., Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst and Meredith, are forming a consortium and funding a project to create “a reading application, a ‘robust’ publishing platform, a digital storefront for consumers and a new line-up of ‘immersive advertising opportunities,'” says the Financial Times. The project will launch next week, says The Guardian. Though products, such as Zinio—which offers downloadable magazines in their original format—have existed for many years, they were primarily designed for Tablet PC’s, which until recently required an electronic pen to operate. Presumably, the new platform will take full advantage of multi-touch features integrated into Windows 7. Meanwhile, Springer—which publishes Europe’s largest circulation daily, Bild—says it will start charging for some content.
Speaking of e-readers, Barnes & Noble’s Nook reader started landing in the hands of customers today—with mixed results. Bloomberg, in particular, found the device to be slow. Or at least slower than the Kindle, which is what really matters to most people. B&N is already promising a software update.
Baker & Taylor Inc. has announced it has acquired Blackwell Book Services North America (BNA) and Blackwell’s Australia-based James Bennett bookseller. Also as part of the deal, Blackwell U.K. will acquire Baker & Taylor’s Lindsay and Croft business in the U.K.
American booksellers are defying territorial copyright and supplying eager readers with imported copies of the UK edition of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third in his Millennium series, which isn’t due to be published in the United States until next May. Fans of Larsson are paying as much as $45 for the book and happy to do it, reports the New York Times.