This Week in Publishing

Here’s what’s going on in the publishing industry this week:

It’s JFK month. Makes sense, since this year marks the 50th anniversary of his election.

On Monday The Perseus Books Group, along with NBC News, released a new iPad app, JFK: 50 Days. The app complements the new book, “JFK Day by Day,” and it features 50 days of JFK’s presidency, including rare footage from NBC, interviews, and intimate Kennedy family moments.

iPad app gives an intimate look into JFK presidency

Expanding on that last link, Gallery BooksSimon & SchusterCBS News and The Discovery Channel have collaborated to produce a second e-book about JFK’s presidency. The e-book, titled “The Kennedy Detail,” will be released on November 22, the day The Discovery Channel will premiere it’s documentary, “The Kennedy Detail.”

Simon & Schuster to Release Enhanced E-Book on JFK

Also LIFE, where I’m currently working, published an exclusive gallery of never-before-seen photos of JFK at the beginning of this month to commemorate the election.

JFK: Unpublished

In other news, Google has signed an accord with France’s biggest book publisher Hachette Livre on the scanning and sale of out-of-print books, which grants the publisher wide control over pricing and content–apparently the deal covers about 50,000 books. Hachette will be the first publisher to collaborate with Google. Interesting, since in December 2009 a court in Paris ruled that Google had violated French copyright law against La Martinière.

Google, Hachette ink accord on book scanning

Copia, a social networking site for book readers, has finally gone live. But they also canceled production of their ereader devices and instead will partner with a yet unnamed company. This was a surprise since they had previously announced they would offer a $99 e-reader. Some of the features of the iPad app will be writing in the margins of e- books.

Copia’s Book Retail Social Network Goes Live; Devices Cancelled

And lastly, it looks like the iPad will soon have some serious competition (maybe). Blackberry is planning on releasing it’s Playbook tablet sometime next year. In the meantime, here’s a (slightly biased) video comparison of the iPad and the Playbook.

Blackberry Playbook vs. iPad: A Video Comparison

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