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Press Release: Miscellaneous Announcements
The Random House Group Looks To 'Book And Beyond'

Posted at 8:15AM Monday 20 Apr 2009

The Random House Group is today launching the first list of 'enhanced' ebooks to be released by a major UK publisher. Announced on the first day of the annual London Book Fair, 'Book and Beyond' explores the opportunities and new reading experiences which the digital format can offer to book lovers and new readers alike.

The enhanced ebooks offer readers a range of additional content such as videos, games, quizzes, photos, author interviews, interactive graphics and the option to listen to or read the text at the start of each chapter. The initial list of ten enhanced ebooks includes titles from popular authors such as James Patterson, Danny Wallace and Derren Brown. More enhanced ebooks from Irvine Welsh, Katie Price and other bestselling authors are planned for later this year.

The launch list includes a variety of exciting additional content: readers who download Lee Child thriller Nothing to Lose can watch an exclusive animated graphic novel which shows Jack Reacher reacting to a possible suicide bomber on a subway train; young fans of Jacqueline Wilson title My Sister Jodie can play a 'catch the ghosts' game or take a quiz to find out if they are a 'good girl' or a 'rebel'; and those who download international bestseller The Book Thief by Markus Zusak can decide whether to read or listen to the book at the beginning of each chapter. More information about all the books and their content can be found at www.bookandbeyond.com.

The 'Book and Beyond' list is available from Waterstones.com, WHSmith.co.uk, and rbooks.co.uk. Whilst standalone ebook readers cannot currently play the additional rich media content, they can easily be played on PCs, Macs and laptops.

Fionnuala Duggan, Director, Random House Group Digital, said: "The development of the ebook presents a tremendous opportunity for us to create new reading experiences. We are experimenting with ways to create new interactive content which will not only appeal to traditional book lovers, but will also reach out to a brand new readership."

Jonathan Davis, Digital Publisher, Random House Group Digital, said: "As the popularity of reading on digital devices takes hold we want to lead and develop the market by ensuring that we have exciting and engaging content available, however and wherever the audience wants it."

RHG authors on 'Book and Beyond':

James Patterson: "Packaging ebooks with additional, interactive, digital content is a great way to engage readers. I'm always interested in exploring ways of attracting people to my novels." 

Danny Wallace: "I'm very pleased to be amongst the first to be involved in this Book and Beyond initiative, and for one of my books to get the multimedia treatment. It's a fantastic way of doing something new, exciting, and valuable."

Lee Child: "In the future both writers and readers will interact with books, stories and characters - and each other - in wholly new ways, and I congratulate Random House for asking the questions and supplying the first answers."

This is the latest in a series of digital initiatives launched by The Random House Group, including an online toolkit for authors to create their own web pages; a 'browse and search' widget and an online recommendation service for children's books.




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