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Book Publishing Goes Paperless

A Hachette job.


The Hachette Book Group recently distributed hundreds of Sony Readers to its editors and publishers. “People are evangelical about it,” says publisher Jonathan Karp, who has about 30 submissions on his Reader. “If you’re traveling, this is so much easier than lugging around manuscripts. It’s good for reading in bed, too.” Agents selling to Hachette’s imprints are now required to e-mail their texts to acquiring editors, who download them to their Readers; paper manuscripts are no longer routinely circulated. “The savings on Xeroxing are considerable,” says Karp. Sony managed to infiltrate the books business ahead of Amazon’s Kindle release—Simon & Schuster’s Readers arrived last fall, though only some editorial types there are currently using them. Unlike the Kindle, the Sony has no note-taking ability, which means editors can read but not edit on their devices. That’s fine for now, says Hachette digital-media director Neil De Young. “Some of the more senior editors like sitting on their couches with a glass of red wine and pencil in hand,” he says.

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