Kindle Unlimited Goes Live

Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription service from Amazon allowing customers unfettered access to e-books and audiobooks for $9.99, officially launched on July 18. The service offers over 600,000 titles, though none of the Big Five publishers are participating.

Hastings Sale Completed

After a delay caused by lawsuits questioning the adequacy of the purchase price, the shareholders of Hastings Entertainment approved the sale of the retailer to companies owned by Joel Weinshanker on July 15.

May Bookstore Sales Fell

May bookstore sales fell 7.5%, to $794 million, down from $859 million in the previous year. For the first five months of the 2014, sales were down 8%, declining to $4.39 billion, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Rowman & Littlefield Restructures Globe Pequot

Rowman & Littlefield has restructured its Globe Pequot division, integrating most of the back-office and sales functions and reorganizing the editorial operations. Approximately 28 jobs were eliminated.

First Quarter Results Jump At EDC

Revenue at Educational Development Corp. rose 20%, to $7.2 million, in the fiscal first quarter, which ended May 31, 2014, compared to the previous quarter. Earnings in the period jumped to $239,700 from $66,600.

S&S in Talks With Amazon

At a conference in Colorado, CBS CEO Les Moonves said the company’s Simon & Schuster subsidiary is “negotiating with Amazon as we speak.” Neither S&S nor Amazon commented on the state, or subject, of the discussions, but the talks are presumably about new sales terms.

Comics, Graphic Novels Market Hit $870 Million

Led by book-format comics with $415 million in sales, the North American comics and graphic novel marketplace generated $870 million in sales in 2013, according to a new estimate by ICV2 and Comichron. Digital comics sales, the newest and fastest growing category in the market, were estimated to be about $90 million in 2013.