ABA/Kobo Partner

The American Booksellers Association has partnered with Kobo to give member stores an opportunity to sell e-books and, for the first time, e-reading devices. The agreement replaces one with Google, which will end in January 2013. Kobo expects to begin rolling out the program this fall.

Fifty Shades Gives Huge Boost to RH

Random House reported that sales for the first six month of 2012 rose 20%, to 947 million euros, while operating EBIT jumped 64%, to 113 million euros. Random House’s English-language imprints sold 30 million copies of the Fifty Shades trilogy in the second quarter alone. E-book sales were 27% of RH U.S. first-half sales and 22% of RH’s worldwide revenue.

LJ’s Fialkoff Steps Down

Library Journal editor-in-chief Francine Fialkoff is leaving LJ effective September 1, ending a career of 35 years, with more than 15 years at its helm (as editor and editor-in-chief). LJ’s executive editor, Michael Kelley, will take over as interim editor-in-chief. Fialkoff plans to stay in the library world.

Profits Fall at Lagardère

Total revenue at Lagardère Publishing was roughly flat in the first six months of 2012, but EBIT fell 20%, to 57 million euros. Sales at the parent company of the Hachette Book Group rose to 905 million euros from 900 million euros, an increase due almost entirely to favorable currency exchange. In the U.S., sales were down 4%, which Lagardère attributed to a weaker frontlist than in the first half of 2011. Growth in e-book sales also slowed in the U.S., but still rose 20%.

Ingram, Amazon Publishing in E-book Deal

Amazon Publishing’s New York adult group has struck a deal with Ingram to distribute e-book editions of its titles to other e-bookstores through Ingram’s CoreSource. The deal does not include Amazon’s Seattle genre imprints. The inability to have access to e-books that Amazon sells exclusively through the Kindle store was the primary reason Barnes & Noble had said it would not carry Amazon Publishing titles in its stores. B&N did not respond to requests for comment on whether the new deal will result in the chain stocking Amazon titles included in the Ingram deal.

Publishers Agree to State Deal

The Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have reached a $69 million agreement that will resolve lawsuits brought by 54 attorneys general from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and territories that charged the publishers with fixing e-book prices. Under the proposed agreement, which the court must approve, the three publishers will compensate consumers who purchased e-books between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012.

Amazon Adds Over 1,000 Dorchester Titles

Following an auction, Amazon Publishing has acquired the publication contracts of more than 1,000 books from Dorchester Publishing. The auction was set in motion in late June as a way for the publisher’s owner, John Backe, to earn back some of the $3.4 million he was owed by the moribund company. As part of the process, Dorchester authors were offered the opportunity to join Amazon Publishing and receive the full back royalties or have their rights reverted.

B&N Picks U.K.

Retail Partners Barnes & Noble has agreed to sell its Nook readers in John Lewis department stores, as well as in Argosy, academic retailer Blackwell’s, and independent bookstore chain Foyles. The Nook products will debut at the stores in October.

Cherry Lake Buys Sleeping Bear

Cherry Lake Publishing, a Mankato, Minn., educational publisher, has acquired Sleeping Bear Press from Gale, a Cengage Learning company. Sleeping Bear, which will remain in Ann Arbor, Mich., will become an imprint of Cherry Lake Publishing.