London 20 August - Penguin announced today that it is to launch an ebook publishing programme in September with a list of titles that reflects the quality and range of the Penguin catalogue. The ebooks will be branded with the new imprint name, ePenguin.
Penguin is one of the first publishers in the UK to introduce authors and their work in an ebook format, taking the lead, just as Allen Lane did when he invented the paperback in 1935, in seeking out new markets for quality writing. It is Penguin's brand recognition amongst consumers, unique in the British book industry, that gives ePenguin its competitive edge. The breadth and integrity of the Penguin list will ensure ePenguins occupy a key position in the digital future.
With an autumn list of over two hundred titles, ePenguins will be published monthly and offer something for every reader. Fiction ranges from Emma by Jane Austen to the award-winning English Passengers by Matthew Kneale, and non-fiction from The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin to Business @ the Speed of Thought by Bill Gates. Starting with Junk and Bloodtide by award-winning author Melvyn Burgess, ePenguin will also publish for the teen and children's market ? where readers are as comfortable and confident absorbing information from the screen as from the printed page. Rough Guide ebooks will also be available from the Penguin website.
ePenguins will be instantly downloadable for on-screen reading whenever and wherever which means book lovers need never wait to get hold of their favourite titles. Furthermore, the interactive elements of ebooks will be attractive to a number of different segments of the market. Students will benefit from the additional functionality ebooks offer, such as annotation and highlighting, and can build a personal digital library of Penguin Classics. Business travellers will be able use their laptops not only for work but for reading their favourite novels. Tourists can carry several travel guides on one device and use the full text search facility to find streets, hotels and restaurants quickly and easily and without fumbling with maps. Before long it will be possible to transfer a suitcase full of heavy holiday reading onto a small hand-held PC for pool-side and beach reading.
Penguin.co.uk , the most visited UK book publishing website, with 125,000 unique users per month, will be the primary retail outlet for ePenguin. Consumers will be able to purchase and download titles directly from the Penguin website onto desktop, laptop and, very soon, handheld computers. This direct selling channel creates an additional revenue stream for Penguin, and although sales are not expected to be significant for some time, US models predict they will become so in 5 to 10 years. ePenguins will also be available for download from selected online retailers.
Lightning Source Inc. will provide Penguin with a complete digital fulfillment package from the digitisation of content to secure delivery of ePenguins to the consumer. ePenguins will be published initially in Microsoft Reader and Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader, the most accessible and user-friendly software available. The majority of ePenguins will sell at 20% cheaper than their print book equivalents, and always be responsive to changing market conditions. ePenguin Classics will be even more attractively priced.
Penguin UK's epublishing programme has a dedicated in-house team headed by Andrew Rosenheim, MD of The Penguin Press and Caroline Benn, Director of Online Marketing. eBook Editor Jeremy Ettinghausen is responsible for the detailed aspects of publication of the ePenguin list.
Penguin is one of Britain's top brand names. It is ranked as the 10th greatest Media Brand in the world (The World's Greatest Brands ed: Nicholas Kochan, Interbrand). It is the most significant brand in publishing with a 92% recognition factor amongst book consumers (NOP research 1998). It was this unique advantage that lead Penguin to take its brand online in 1995, the first UK publisher to do so.
http://www.penguin.co.uk/ is the most visited UK book publishing website, logging an impressive 125,000 monthly unique users and over a million page impressions a month. The site boasts a fully searchable database of every enguin author and title - a total of 210,000 books; it has a secure e-commerce facility and magazine areas targeted at specific segments of Penguin readers.
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