New publisher of computer books embraces e-books and authors, not DRM

For technical books, publishing has a nearly fatal lack of speed. E-books are increasingly popular, but they’re usually not produced until after the print edition is already complete. That makes about as much sense as posting Instagram photos of yesterday’s paper, and the results are often just about as usable.

Barnes & Noble’s new $139 Nook is simple, touch-friendly

Just a month after releasing a major update to the Nook Color, Barnes & Noble announced today a smaller, more simplified version of the original black-and-white Nook. At $139, the device will compete better with the Amazon Kindle, which retails for the same price with its Wi-Fi only version, and the just-released $129 touch-enabled Kobo e-reader.

E-book sales triple in February to surpass paper

Sales of e-books in the U.S. tripled over last year to $90.3 million in February — surpassing paper to be the most popular book format among all major trade categories — the Association of American Publishers announced on Thursday.

Scribd’s books and magazines get rich links, thanks to Apture

Apture, a startup trying to improve online reading with a smooth way to explore extra content, is rolling out what chief executive Tristan Harris called the company’s biggest implementation yet: Apture’s technology will soon work on the millions of documents shared on Scribd.

Chegg CEO: I want students’ business 365 days a year

High-profile Silicon Valley startup Chegg just raised $75 million to keep expanding its core business of shipping used textbooks to college students. But CEO Dan Rosensweig said that the company is going to woo students every day of the year, not just when they’re checking off their curricula.

Big surprise: Amazon’s new Kindles are the best selling ever

Amazon announced today that its new Kindle e-book readers are the best-selling Kindles ever — which doesn’t come as a huge surprise, since the new Wi-Fi-only version of the device is also the cheapest ever, retailing for $139.

Apple indirectly confirms iTunes fraud

Apple has finally responded to reports of fraud on iTunes this weekend — which involved a rogue developer who managed to overtake the App Store e-book category, potentially by hacking into some iTunes accounts.

Scribd adds social tools for people tired of reading alone

Following Facebook’s announcement this morning of powerful new social tools for websites, book- and document-sharing site Scribd is unveiling features taking advantage of the new capabilities. While that might sound like a minor upgrade, founder and chief executive Trip Adler said the improvements should reshape who uses Scribd and why.

Macmillan announces DynamicBooks, allows instructors to edit digital textbooks

Publishing powerhouse Macmillan recently made headlines with its demands for pricing control on e-books sold through Amazon. To recap: Amazon at first dropped Macmillan’s books from its store (including print editions) because the publisher wanted to charge more than $9.99 for Amazon e-books. Amazon later begrudgingly accepted Macmillan’s demands, and moved towards an agency model which allowed the publisher to set its own e-book pricing (between $12.99 to $15.99).