PENGUIN GROUP (USA)'S "FROM THE PUBLISHER'S OFFICE" ROLLS OUT ITS SECOND SEASON WITH ONLINE PROGRAMMING FOR READERS OF ALL AGES

#1 New York Times Bestselling Authors Charlaine Harris, Tomie dePaola and T. A. Barron Are Among the Stars of "From the Publisher's Office's" Fall Line-Up, Featuring New Content in Each of Nine Series, including "A Backstage Pass to the Worlds of Charlaine Harris" in Project Paranormal, Penguin Storytime with Liz Shanks, and "The Dark Side of American Business" in The Business Beat

New York, New York, September 30, 2009 ... Penguin Group (USA) has rolled out the second season of "From the Publisher's Office", its own online network, it was announced today by Penguin Group (USA) President Susan Petersen Kennedy. The network features brand-new programming in all nine series across its three multimedia channels: "The Screening Room," "The Radio Room," and "The Reading Room." "From the Publisher's Office" was an online hit right out of the gate, with its inaugural season logging more than 100,000 page views in just three months, and drawing instant praise from readers (click here to read a sampling of the reader praise).

Mrs. Kennedy said: "It's very gratifying that 'From the Publisher's Office' has been reaching so many readers, who are enjoying insights into our books and authors from across the house. We're pleased to present a new season of programming."

New features added to "From the Publisher's Office" since its initial launch include: the ability to sign up for email newsletters or RSS feeds that allow users to receive notification when a new episode of their favorite show has been released, and syndication of the "Radio Room" and "Screening Room" series on YouTube and iTunes. In the second season, program content will be updated more frequently. Every Tuesday, viewers will find new content and updates. New episodes for each of its series will be released on a monthly or weekly basis.

The Fall season will also present three "Screening Room" Specials. The first will feature an interview with Caldecott Honor– and Newbery Honor–winning author Tomie dePaola as well as footage from his 75th birthday celebration and a reading from his book Strega Nona: Her Story by Liz Shanks. For the second special, Penguin Classics presents the Ten Essential Penguin Classics, the books every person should read. This 25-minute program features the story of a hapless young suitor who hasn't yet read them. The third special is for type fanatics. Viewers are invited to write in about fonts they love and hate.

The breadth of the online programming featured on "From the Publisher's Office" highlights the richness of content from across Penguin Group (USA). The series are tailored to satisfy the different interests of distinct reader audiences. In addition, "From the Publisher's Office" will continue to offer giveaways and sweepstakes opportunities to foster interaction and keep viewers involved.

Below are details on the Fall season of "From the Publisher's Office":

"The Screening Room" (Updated Monthly):

  • Project Paranormal opens a window into the world of vampires, werewolves, and fallen angels. This season will feature "A Backstage Pass to the Worlds of Charlaine Harris:" candid interviews with the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, the basis for HBO's hit show "True Blood."
  • Penguin Storytime with Liz Shanks brings new and classic picture books to life. This season's episodes, filmed on location at a library, school or bookstore, highlight The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Moon Over Stars, and Miss Rumphius.
  • YA Central, a go-to online series for new trends in teen literature, features teen book club discussions and candid conversations with award-winning, bestselling young adult authors. This season will feature an interview and discussion with T. A. Barron, author of the popular Merlin and Merlin's Dragon series, filmed at Hennepin Public Library in Minneapolis; as well as an interview and discussion with Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honor–winning author.
  • Tarcher Talks tackles the challenging and the unusual, the spiritual and the enlightening, offering nuggets of practical advice and wisdom, from notable Tarcher authors. This season will feature an exciting examination of the secret world of Freemasonry with Manly P. Hall's The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, exploring key concepts featured in The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. In addition, several episodes will be devoted to 2012, one of the hottest phenomena in pop culture today, which will include an informative interview with renowned 2012 expert Daniel Pinchbeck, bestselling author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl.

"The Radio Room" (A Mix of Monthly and Weekly Updates):

  • Penguin Classics On Air, an audio series that presents discussions and analysis of some of Penguin Classics' more than 1,400 titles for contemporary readers. This season's episodes will include "Tolstoy on Film: Jay Parini and The Last Steps"; "Philosophy is Easy: The Philosophers Everyone Should (and Can) Read"; "Vampires on Paper, featuring an interview with Dracula's Dacre Stoker," "The Saga of Gosta Berling: the Swedish Gone with the Wind"; and "Who Would Have Thought It" by Maria Amaparo Ruiz de Burton, the first novel written by a Mexican-American woman.
  • The Business Beat provides access to some of the world's most respected, important and influential business leaders who have written books for Portfolio, Penguin Group (USA)'s business imprint. October's lineup will include an interview with Erin Arvedlund, author of Too Good to be True: The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff, as well as practical advice from Alan Deutschman, author of Walk the Walk. In November, listeners can hear an interview with Simon Sinek, author of The Inside Scoop, and get practical advice from Jean Chatsky, author of Pay it Down.
  • Audio Book Break gives readers the opportunity to discover new authors and hear audio book excerpts in 10-20 minute segments. This season will feature Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, among other titles.
  • A Cup of Poetry features recordings of contemporary and classic poems published by Penguin and showcases a new poem every week, with single poems recited by Penguin readers and, once a month, a reading by the poets themselves, as a "brief break of poetry in your day."

"The Reading Room" (Updated Weekly):

  • "The Reading Room" features a different Penguin Group (USA) book each month, posting a new chapter each week for three weeks, culminating, in the fourth week, with live interactive online author chats. This season will feature live chats with Jonathan Tropper, author of This Is Where I Leave You, and Sophie Hannah, author of The Wrong Mother, as well as excerpts from T.R. Reid's The Healing of America, Thomas Ricks's The Gamble, and William T. Vollmann's Imperial.

Special Programming:

  • The Ten Essential Penguin Classics: a 25-minute program about the ten books that everyone should read. If you've fallen behind on your reading, or haven't touched a classic since high school, this is the Special for you. Enlightening and hilarious, watching "The Ten Essential Penguin Classics," is sure to improve your cocktail party banter. This special will be launched along with a mini-site, featuring round-table discussions, opportunities to win a set of the ten essential classics, and a countdown of all ten, highlighting a new essential classic each Tuesday for ten weeks.
  • Tomie dePaola: This special will feature an interview and discussion with the Caldecott Honor– and Newbery Honor–winning author, footage from Tomie's 75th birthday party hosted by David and Liz Shanks, and a read-aloud from his book, Strega Nona: Her Story.
  • Favorite Font?: This is a special for type fanatics. A Penguin designer will demonstrate the personality of different typefaces and explain how she chooses fonts for particular books. Penguin authors will talk about which fonts they prefer and which fonts they write in everyday. Viewers are invited to write in about fonts they love and hate.

NOTES TO THE PRESS:

"From the Publisher's Office" (click here to read the original launch press release) features several episodic online series, including YA Central, Project Paranormal, Penguin Storytime with Liz Shanks, and Tarcher Talks, and audio series such as Penguin Classics On Air, The Business Beat, and A Cup of Poetry. All of the programming is original and customized for a wide range of audiences, and new episodes will be produced each publishing season. The network is featured on the Penguin Group (USA) website at www.penguin.com/thepublishersoffice.

"From the Publisher's Office" also enables viewers to e-mail and share episodes within each series via a number of online and social networking applications, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and Delicious, among others.

Most of the content for "From the Publisher's Office" is created, written, shot, edited, and produced by more than 30 Penguin Group (USA) executives and department team members.

 

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam's Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne, among others.The Penguin Group (http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

Contacts:
Marilyn Ducksworth
(212) 366-2564
marilyn.ducksworth@us.penguingroup.com

Dave Zimmer
(212) 366-2687
david.zimmer@us.penguingroup.com