'The Fry Chronicles' hit number one across five formats

London, UK – September 22, 2010 – Penguin today celebrates publishing first: The Fry Chronicles, Stephen Fry’s second volume of autobiography, hits number one across five formats: Hardback, Audio Book, App, eBook and Enhanced eBook.

Stephen Fry said today “I am as pleased as Punch by this wonderful response, but it especially delights me to know that our attempt to offer five such different and distinctive ways of reading and responding to the book has born fruit.”

 “We worked very hard to ensure that each of the five formats was brilliant in its own right and offered readers something unique. We are thrilled that so many thousands of people have chosen to read and enjoy Stephen’s wonderful book through the medium of their choice,” Louise Moore, Managing Director of Michael Joseph, the Penguin UK imprint which is publishing The Fry Chronicles, said today.

The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry (HB, £20) is one of the boldest, bravest, most revealing accounts of a man’s formative years. It is the intriguing, hilarious and utterly compelling story of how Stephen Fry arrived at Cambridge, and begins his iconic relationship with Hugh Laurie, emerging as one of the most promising comic talents in the country.

The myFry app (£7.99) is a beautiful, intuitive and innovative iPhone reading application that allows readers to use a tagged colourwheel to explore the book’s content in a non-linear fashion.

  • Key features include; instead of reading The Fry Chronicles from beginning to end, readers use a tagged colourwheel to explore the book content in a non-linear fashion – every reader will have a unique experience with the app. Find your way with a choice of four colour-coded categories; People (Hugh Laurie), Subjects (Cambridge Years, Blackadder), Feelings (self-criticism, love) and Fryisms (bourgeoisified to badolescence).
  • myFry offers readers a revolutionary reading experience not possible in traditional print format.
  • This is a new and utterly original way to present an author’s work through visual indexing and a perfect platform for an author who already has such a renowned digital profile, and who publicly embraces new technologies so wholeheartedly.

The Fry Chronicles eBook (£20) is a black and white ePub with text designed to be read on all eBook readers - it replicates the experience of reading the hardback but on your digital device.

The Fry Chronicles EnhancedeBook (£20) is a content-rich and context-smart digital offering.

  • Key features include; eight new videos of Stephen Fry expanding further on the anecdotes he revealed in the printed text, integrated photography throughout and links to relevant websites and web content.
  • This is the most engaging and fully immersive eBook Penguin has released in the UK so far, and fulfils the promise of an enhanced and enriched reading experience offered on current colour digital reading devices.

The Fry Chronicles Audiobook (£12.99) is unabridged, with every word lovingly read by Stephen Fry. It runs to 12 hours in length, and is available to download from iTunes UK, audible.co.uk, emusic.com, and penguin.co.uk.

Penguin believes that in today’s bookselling environment a beautiful hardback book can live alongside other formats.  This enriched multi-platform publication will satisfy today’s demanding media customer, ensuring that they discover The Fry Chronicles through whichever medium they use and enjoy.

In addition, and in response to a rapidly changing book publishing landscape, last week Penguin combined the excitement of a live book event with the extra reach of a national broadcasted network. Stephen appeared at the Royal Festival Hall on September 13. The event was broadcast live by satellite to over 55 cinemas across the country, making it probably the biggest ever book event, reaching over 7,000 people. This bold move indicates a possibly digitally distributed future for the traditional book tour model.

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry is an award winning comedian, actor, presenter and director. He rose to fame alongside Hugh Laurie in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster, and was unforgettable as General Melchett in Blackadder. His legions of fans tune in to watch him host the popular quiz show QI each week, as well as his documentaries on subjects as varied as manic depression, disappearing animals and the United States of America.

He is also the bestselling author of four novels – The Stars’ Tennis Balls, Making History, The Hippopotamus and The Liar – as well as a volume of autobiography, Moab is My Washpot, and sundry other works of non-fiction.

Notes to Editors

  • Web and print ready myFry app images, a Stephen Fry narrated video walkthrough of the app and screenshots of the enhanced ebook can be found and downloaded at http://drop.io/myfrymedia
  • The Fry Chronicles is published by Michael Joseph on the 13th September, in hardback priced £20. It is the compelling story of Stephen’s years at Cambridge University, the beginnings of his iconic relationship with Hugh Laurie, and his first tentative steps into the world of television, journalism, radio, theatre and film. Stephen Fry has sold over 1 million books in the UK alone.
  • myFry is available in the app store currently priced at £7.99. The eBook and enhanced eBook will be available from a number of retailers currently priced at £20 (with multimedia content only viewable on appropriate devices)
  • Thirteen years ago, Moab is My Washpot, Stephen Fry’s autobiography of his early years, was published to rave reviews and was a huge bestseller. In those thirteen years since, Stephen Fry has moved into a completely new stratosphere, both as a public figure, and a private man. Now he is not just a multi-award-winning comedian and actor, but also an author, director and presenter. In January 2010 he was awarded the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards.
  • Stephen runs one of the world’s most popular technology blogs, has pioneered the wider use of social networking tools such as Twitter (with a reach of 1.8 million people). He is also prolific in through his own digital entrepreneurialism has had many #1 hits including the FryPaper app, The Dongle of Donald Trefusis and of course www.stephenfry.com which receives over a million visitors per month.

For more information on the book

Contact Katya Shipster
020 7010 3273
katya.shipster@uk.penguingroup.com