ROUND-UP: PEN, Amazon Bookstores, and New Digital Book Series

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A snapshot at this week’s literary news, from PEN’s literary award shortlists to a new take on digital books:

  • PEN American announced their literary awards finalists for 2016 last week. Winners for Debut Fiction, Art of the Essay, Literary Science Writing, PEN Open Book, and PEN/Fusion Prize will be announced at the 2016 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on April 11. The other remaining winners will be revealed on March 1.
  • Several sources have reported that Amazon has plans to open 300-400 physical bookstores across the country. The rumors started after Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive of the mall operator General Growth Properties, said to analysts, “Their goal is to open, as I understand, 300-400 bookstores.” Amazon opened one bookstore, called Amazon Books, in Seattle last year. The company has made no comment on these alleged plans, however, so the rumors may be false.
  • Google’s Creative Lab announced a partnership with London publisher Visual Editions to create a new digital bookstore for books that can’t be printed. The project plays with the concept of digital content by publishing “books that change dynamically on your phone or tablet, using all the attributes of the modern mobile web to do things that printed books never could.”