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Amazon is working with Russian publishers to sign ebook contracts for the launch of the Russian Kindle store, Publishing Perspectives reports. The company has also hired Arkady Vitruk, the former head of leading Russian publisher Azbuka-Atticus, to oversee Kindle Russia.

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Nate Silver, whose super popular politics blog FiveThirtyEight is leaving the New York Times  and becoming a separate site at ESPN, did a podcast with Bill Simmons. Silver calls the NYT “constrained a lot from its business strategy point of view” and says, “[with] all the traffic the Times has right now, it should be turning a much larger profit… I don’t think you should blame the environmental conditions, so much as maybe your sales staff isn’t that good.” You can download the podcast here and read Deadspin’s wrapup here.

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J. K. Rowling announced Wednesday that she’ll donate the royalties from The Cuckoo’s Calling, the mystery that she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, to charity for three years, starting from July 14 — the day she was outed as the book’s author. The charity is the Army Benevolent Fund. In addition, Rowling sued the London law firm that was responsible for giving her secret away (a partner there told his wife’s best friend, who spilled the news on Twitter) and that firm has agreed to make a “substantial donation” to the same charity and pay Rowling’s legal fees.

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Citing unidentified sources, BGR claims it has the specs for the new Kindle Fire HD tablets that Amazon is likely to launch this fall with higher resolution screens. According to BGR: The tablets will feature Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chips, and the 8.9-inch model will add a rear-facing camera, in addition to the front-facing one. Plus, both the basic Kindle Fire and the two Kindle Fire HDs will reportedly come with three different storage options.

http://www.bookweb.org/news/aba-criticizes-president%E2%80%99s-choice-venue-jobs-speech American Booksellers Association president Oren Teicher joined the chorus of booksellers and other publishing industry figures criticizing Obama for giving a jobs speech on Tuesday at Amazon’s Chattanooga, Tenn. warehouse. “For more than a decade now, Amazon has flouted sales tax laws in an effort […] Read more »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/27/technology/the-faithful-embrace-youversion-a-bible-app.html?pagewanted=all YouVersion was the first Bible app in the App Store; since 2008, it’s been downloaded over 100 million times and now includes over 600 Bible translations in 100 languages. “This is a remarkable tech startup by any measure,” Kleiner Perkins partner Chi-Hua Chien says. Read more »

http://www.pearson.com/news/2013/july/pearson-2013-half-year-results.html?article=true Ebooks accounted for 33 percent of Penguin’s U.S. revenue in the first half of 2013, parent company Pearson reported Friday, up from 31 percent this time last year. Worldwide, ebooks made up 21 percent of Penguin’s revenue, up from 19 percent last year. This is […] Read more »

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