Amazon Blowout Quarter
Amazon reported total revenue for the company jumped 46% in the first quarter, to $7.13 billion. Net income rose 68%, to $299 million. Gains were driven by the electronics and general merchandise segment, home to the Kindle, where sales jumped 72%, to $3.5 billion. The media segment, home to books and e-books, had a sales increase of 26%, to $3.4 billion. The trend was the same in North America, where media sales rose a relatively modest 21%, to $1.6 billion, while in the EGM segment sales soared 72%, to $2.0 billion. Amazon has started selling the Kindle through Target and has expanded e-book selection to 500,000 titles.
CEO Panel at BEA
FSG president Jonathan Galassi will moderate a CEOs' panel discussion with Bob Miller, David Shanks, Esther Newberg, and other publishing executives at BEA on Tuesday, May 25. The panel is jointly sponsored by the ABA.
Amazon Sues North Carolina
Amazon has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle against the North Carolina Department of Revenue charging that its demand that Amazon turn over the names and addresses of all state residents who bought anything from the e-tailer since 2003 is an invasion of privacy and a violation of the First Amendment. The request is part of that state's efforts to collect sales tax on items purchased by North Carolina residents from Amazon.
Court Overturns Video Case
In an 8–1 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Virginia man sentenced to prison for creating videos that included scenes of dogfighting. The ruling is being called a victory for free speech. The court said the law was “dangerous” and “created a criminal prohibition of alarming breadth.”
Denny Chin, the judge presiding over the Google Book Settlement case, was confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, 98–0. It is unclear how his promotion might affect the Google settlement.
B&N, Salon Team Up
Barnes & Noble, BN.com, and the B&N Review will partner with Salon.com to share selected articles and content with Salon.com on a daily basis. Salon.com will include affiliate links to BN.com, offering Salon.com readers the opportunity to purchase books and other content.
S&S, M-W in Bookshare Deal
S&S and Merriam-Webster are joining with Bookshare, a nonprofit, online library for people with print disabili ties, to give Bookshare members access to an extensive selection of their titles.
M-W has also given Bookshare worldwide rights to its entire collection of reference works. M-W will convert its dictionaries into formats aimed at those with print disabilities, and S&S is offering thousands of backlist as well as frontlist titles.
Jacobi Dies at 85
Emilie Jacobson Jacobi, senior v-p, Curtis Brown Ltd. Literary Agency, died of complications from pneumonia, April 15. She was 85 years old and lived in Manhattan. Jacobi joined Curtis Brown in 1946. Among the writers she represented were William Golding, Daphe Du Maurier, Betty Friedan, and Susan Fletcher. She remained active at the agency up until the time of her death.