Jul 22, 2010

Penguin releases 'video-book' for iPad

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Penguin has launched the first electronic book with a video tie-in, as the embattled book publishing industry bets on multimedia e-books to revive flagging growth and boost readership. Penguin Group and Liberty Media’s Starz Media began selling the first version — for Apple’s iPad — of a novel with accompanying video from a TV mini-series based on the same tome.

The deal could serve as a model for other cross-media partnerships, executives say. Priced at $12.99, above the $9.99 industry norm for e-books, Penguin’s iPad version of Ken Follett’s 12th century England epic ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ will let users read the novel and watch scenes from the mini-series, which airs July 23.

Publishers are hoping the iPad will help make electronic books more profitable. While sales of e-books have risen fast, publishers have griped about market leader Amazon.com’s practice of selling books at a loss at $9.99 each to gain market share and boost sales of its own Kindle e-reader.

“Publishers are seeking ways to provide additional value to consumers, so they can charge more for digital content. They don’t want the $9.99 price point to stick,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester research.


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