The battle for e-book dollars became a lot more interesting earlier this week when Barnes & Noble (BKS) announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft (MSFT). Over the next five years, the Redmond, Washington-based software giant will invest at least $605 million in a new subsidiary, simply called "Newco" for now, which includes 's Nook e-reader and college textbook businesses. For the book retailer, it means the opportunity to enter international markets with its Nook business; for Microsoft, it signals a big bet on a new market.

It’s more important than ever to get books to the market fast. More days in production can mean fewer days on the market and fewer sales. For many publishers, especially those producing many titles simultaneously, good production scheduling tools are essential in keeping projects easily trackable, on schedule and problem-free. Here, Book Business takes a look at some of the industry’s leading software providers and the software on the market to help you with the complex task of production scheduling. AEC Software Product: FastTrack Schedule 9 Description: Colorful timelines and calendars are designed to illustrate project deadlines, status and goals. Production details are centralized, aiming to control your

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