Russ Grandinetti

We often think of digital textbooks as being read on iPads, and Apple rolled out iBooks Author, which lets users create textbooks and other interactive ebooks, in 2012. But Amazon, not surprisingly, wants in on the self-published textbook action, and on Thursday launched Kindle Textbook Creator, a beta tool that lets users convert graphics-heavy PDFs into ebooks.

Authors can also add highlighting, flashcards and some other features to the books. Textbook Creator is available for free download on Mac or Windows here.

The "Big 5" book publishers are feeling good and riding high.

Unlike shrinking movie box office receipts and plummeting music sales, 2014 book sales were up a healthy 4% to 5% all year -- though the true final numbers aren't in yet.

Publishers also defeated their top frenemy, Amazon (AMZN), at least somewhat last year, by winning back control over ebook pricing in new multiyear sales deals stuck by French-based Hachette and CBS (CBS) unit Simon & Schuster. At the same time, the portion of the market sold in ebook form

Amazon Discusses Kindle Unlimited & Kindle Select Participation: Digital Book World, Day 2 (Jane Friedman) If you’ve been watching publishing news over the last 24 hours, then you may have seen a flurry of articles summarizing the Digital Book World session featuring a conversation with Russ Grandinetti of Amazon. These were some of the most […]

The post Morning Links: Amazon discusses Kindle Unlimited. Social media is overrated? appeared first on TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics.

Amazon's ebook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited, has attracted criticismrecently, with some self-published authors complaining that the service devalues their work and chafing at the requirement that they make their ebooks exclusive to Amazon in order to participate.

But Russ Grandinetti, Amazon's VP of Kindle Content, suggested at the Digital Book World conference in New York on Wednesday that the vast majority of authors participating are satisfied with Kindle Unlimited - and he said that the program is helping them achieve earnings that have doubled since the program's launch in July.

Day two of the Digital Book World Conference + Expo is underway, gathering book publishers and providers from all levels of the supply chain to discuss the most pressing issues in the industry. Perhaps today's biggest attention-grabber was the Q&A session with Russ Grandinetti, VP of Kindle content at Amazon. The discussion, moderated by Mike Shatzkin, conference council chair and founder and CEO of The Idea Logical Company, and Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Lunch was wide-ranging, touching on author relationships, subscription, and pricing strategy, in an effort to pin down how this retail giant plans to position itself in an evolving book industry.

Since Douglas Preston began circulating a letter to other marquee and midlist authors late last month in an effort to remove writers from the Amazon-Hachette dispute, he has captured nearly 1,000 author-signatures. Now Preston told PW he has gotten a second offer from Amazon's v-p of Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti, along with a request from the executive to quiet the chorus of authors speaking out against the e-tailer.

In the latest phone conversation, which took place Monday, Grandinetti made a new offer to Preston.

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