Penguin Group (USA) Launches New Digital Program, Penguin 2.0, Featuring Penguin Personalized And Penguin Mobile

Penguin 2.0 to Launch with Two Revolutionary Digital Services: Penguin Personalized and Penguin Mobile, as Part of a Full Program of Web 2.0 Initiatives to Enhance the Online Reading Experience

New York, New York, December 8, 2008 ... David Shanks, CEO of Penguin Group (USA), announced today a new digital publishing program, Penguin 2.0, which will offer a wide range of new digital and print-based products and services that enhances the way readers discover and engage with Penguin content. Penguin 2.0 will enable readers to customize, personalize, and access Penguin Group (USA) content in new and exciting ways online, as well as enjoy other value-added digital content including enriched eBooks and eSpecials, and exclusive video. The program will be accessible via a special mini-site hosting the collection of services encompassing the entire spectrum of the Web 2.0 world.

Penguin Group (USA) will launch Penguin 2.0 with two ground-breaking digital initiatives: Penguin Personalized, where readers can add personal dedication pages to a variety of Penguin titles; and Penguin Mobile, which will allow readers to access Penguin content from their iPhones and other web-enabled mobile devices. Additional features and programs, including social networking and community functionality, will be rolled out over the next 12 months.

David Shanks commented, "Whether it's reading content online, or accessing their favorite websites on a mobile phone, Web users have come to expect a certain amount of digital interaction. With Penguin 2.0, the next evolution of the Penguin brand, we're trying to merge that idea with the world of books and provide our readers with a centralized outlet where they can access a host of web 2.0 features and extra content, all which enhance their reading experience."

Penguin Personalized, in partnership with SharedBook, will offer readers the ability to insert personal dedications directly into select Penguin Group (USA) adult titles. This is the first time that readers will have the option of selecting from a group of adult titles, which will be made available for personalization in the coming months. The unique dedications will be added to the front section of the book, and each custom copy will then be individually produced using print-on-demand technology. The first title to be made available—in the spirit of the holiday season—will be the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings. Penguin Personalized will expand in the coming months to include a dozen additional Penguin Classics titles, including Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise

For Penguin Mobile, Penguin has become the first book publisher to develop an iPhone application that will allow readers to enjoy Penguin content and news on their iPhone. The application, developed independently by a team of in-house Penguin Group (USA) programmers, is available for free from the iTunes app store. Within the first ten days of its availability, over 1,700 readers around the globe downloaded the application. Penguin has also created an optimized version of its website for mobile devices, which can be reached directly by going to mobile.us.penguingroup.com on any Web-enabled cell phone. Both the mobile site and the iPhone app will allow users to read (and comment on) the Penguin blog, listen to the Penguin podcast, as well as browse new titles and special interest areas. In addition, the iPhone app will include exclusive excerpts that can be read on or offline. Future phases will also allow users to shop and buy directly from their mobile phone.

Jeff Gomez, Senior Director of Online Consumer Sales and Marketing for Penguin Group (USA), comments, "Each of these services and programs will expand on Penguin's core strengths of promoting great books and influential authors, launching the Penguin brand further into the digital realm."

For more information, visit the Penguin 2.0 mini-site located at www.penguin.com/whatsnext.

 

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