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Books Deals: Hooray for Long Form Content

Tuesday, 1 May 2012 | 5:16 PM ET

Books are back...at least in the news.

We had three major announcements in the book business early this week.

The first, and arguably the biggest, was about distribution. Microsoft decided to buy into Barnes and Noble's Nook business. That has major implications for both companies; Microsoft gets into ebooks and Barnes & Noble gets a powerful partner.

Emmanuel Aguire | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

The second was about ownership. The chairman of Books-A-Million , a bookstore chain based in Alabama, proposed taking the company private. This story might be one that boils for a little while, as several law firms (like this one, and this one, and this one) issued press releases soon after the announcement saying they were "investigating" the deal and trying to drum up interest among any shareholders disappointed in the terms. The company also changed CFOs in the previous week.

The third was about content. Scholastic upped its revenue outlook thanks to big sales of "The Hunger Games."

It's the last that we should take the most hope from. In these days of tweets and sound bites it's good to know that books...long form, thought-out content...is still in demand. And people want to make money distributing it and selling it, too (that'd be items one and two).

Gives me hope for longer-form journalism too.

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Allen Wastler is managing editor of CNBC.com. Follow him on Twitter @AWastler. You can catch his commentary on CNBC Radio. And check out his fiction.

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