New Funding, Chair at Borders
A $25 million investment from Vector Group chairman Bennett LeBow pushed aside William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital as the largest share-holder in the Borders Group. LeBow has been named chairman of the retailer, and Richard "Mick" McGuire has resigned from the board. Borders said it will use the funding to improve its capital position and upgrade physical stores and digital sales capability.

BAM Results Dip
Books-A-Million reported slight declines in sales and earnings for the first quarter ended May 1. Revenue fell 1%, to $117 million, and net income dropped to $2.0 million from $2.1 million. Samestore sales were down 3.6%, which the retailer attrib uted to sluggish store traffic and continued difficult comparisons to last year. Bargain books and children's books did well and adult fiction and cookbooks were also up.

Sesame Street Service
Nonprofit Sesame Street producer Sesame Workshop and e-content provider Impelsys have launched a new online Sesame Street e-bookstore. Readers can subscribe and receive unlimited access to a library of more than 100 Sesame Street e-books for an annual fee of $39.99. The site features e-books, audio books, and animated titles; the company is offering an introductory price of $24.99 through July 4.

AAP, BISG Unite on Book Stats
The AAP and BISG are teaming up to develop new data-gathering models aimed at creating better statistics for the book publishing industry. The new, unified program is expected to produce more accurate sales estimates. The two groups expect to have a new methodology in place by January 2011 and data by the end of the quarter.

B&N to Launch PubIt!
Barnes & Noble is entering the selfpublishing business with the summer launch of PubIt!, a service that will allow indie publishers and self-publishing writers to distribute their works digitally through B& and the Barnes & Noble e-bookstore. The program will focus on the Nook and be limited to digital works with no sales through the B&N stores. The company said it will release details of the royalty model and compensation process at a later date.

Hastings's Book Comps Slip
Comparable store book sales at Hastings Entertainment fell 1.2% for the first quarter ended April 30. Hastings blamed the decline on lower sales of new trade paperbacks and hardcovers and difficult comparisons to last year's first period when sales of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga were still very strong. Sales for the entire store rose 2.7% in the quarter, to $129.1 million, with comparable store sales up 4.9%.

LibreDigital Gets $8.1M VC Funding
E-book distributor LibreDigital has received $8.1 million in venture capital funding from S3 Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on technology. The new investment will be used by LibreDigital to expand its e-book distribution services.