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HMH Signs Outsourcing Deal, Lays Off Sixty-five

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.03.09

Another wave of layoffs hit Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) last week, with the publisher confirming plans to eliminate sixty-five jobs at its offices in Boston and Orlando. The decision follows a deal signed in July with global outsourcing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions, which will see a portion of HMH’s information technology services transferred overseas.

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For Sale: Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Others

Daily News

Online Only, posted 7.31.09

Citing a rocky advertising market, Reed Business Information announced plans yesterday to sell off nearly fifty of its U.S. trade publications, including Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. The news followed a second-quarter report showing that profits at RBI’s parent company dropped 48 percent during the first half of 2009. 

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Samsung Debuts E-book Reader

Daily News

Online Only, posted 7.30.09

Yet another contender entered the rapidly crowding e-book market yesterday when electronics giant Samsung announced the South Korean debut of its first e-book reader, the SNE-50K. The six-and-a-half-ounce device, which will retail for the equivalent of about $270, is not expected to reach the American market until 2010. 

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Signature on Kerouac’s Will Ruled a Forgery

Daily News

Online Only, posted 7.29.09

The fifteen-year battle for control over the estate of Jack Kerouac reached a turning point on Friday when a Florida judge ruled that the signature on his mother’s will is a forgery. Gabrielle Kerouac purportedly left her son’s assets—including letters, notebooks, and unpublished manuscripts—to his third wife, Stella Sampas Kerouac, in 1973. That bequest has been the subject of a long-running dispute between the Sampas family, which still controls the estate, and Kerouac’s surviving blood-relatives.

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University of Michigan to Reissue Rare Books Through Amazon

Daily News

Online Only, posted 7.28.09

On the heels of a similar project launched by Cambridge University Press, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, last week announced plans to make rare and out-of-copyright books from its library system available through BookSurge, Amazon’s print-on-demand division. The program’s initial offering encompasses more than four hundred thousand titles in languages ranging from Acoli to Zulu.

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Keats Home Reopens; Hughes Home Foreclosed

Daily News

Online Only, posted 7.27.09

Two sites of literary history met very different fates last week. In London, the former home of Romantic poet John Keats was reopened to the public after a £500,000 (approximately $820,475) restoration. Meanwhile, in Cleveland, the house where Langston Hughes lived as a teenager was sold in a foreclosure auction for $16,667.

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