In a move the company described as a precursor to launching a new digital publishing platform, Medallion Media Group, an independent book publisher and multimedia entertainment firm, has acquired Triple Threat Mobile Development, a digital consulting firm specializing in creating games and custom applications for mobile devices. Medallion has also hired Triple Threat Mobile’s CEO/founder Brian Buck as its executive director of technology.
In a phone interview with Medallion president Adam Mock, he said the acquisition of Triple Threat Mobile Development was the latest step in a process to develop a “new state-of-the-art e-book platform,” that it will unveil in 2013. While Mock would not show or precisely define the exact functionality of this new e-book platform, he described it as “something no one has done before. It’s beyond simple enhanced e-books; its more than just adding some video.” Mock claims the forthcoming e-book platform will offer “a new way for readers to digest a book, a new way to experience a book and for writers to fully explore the worlds that they create.” He said that they have applied for a patent for the technology and that “there’s nothing like it.”
Brian Buck, Medallion’s new executive director of technology, will oversee the development of the new e-book technology. Mock said he’s been working with Buck for awhile and his expertise in developing videogames and other interactive content for mobile devices is ideal for publishing in the digital era. “Publishing is likely to be a lot more like the gaming industry in the future,” Mock said, pointing to the ability in digital publishing to upgrade digital apps or e-books and add new downloadable content. “Our hope is to eventually offer this new project to both writers and other publishers,” Mock told PW, “its something that everyone can use.”
Mock said that its new e-book technology will be first presented in 2013 when it publishes, The Julian Year by Gregory Lamberson, an original novel and the first book to be published in the new e-book format. The Medallion Media Group was launched in 2003 and publishes about 20 titles a year and has a backlist of several hundred titles. Mock also emphasizes that Medallion is interested in the “synergy between books, music and film,” and while book publishing is central to its business, the firm also has bands under contract as well as producing a variety of feature length and short films.
Mock said Medallion wants to “exploit” the possibilities between books, music and film, noting that “we can include audio tracks from our bands in e-books, or use our books to make films. Its all media.” The company has even produced 20 episodes of a sit-com like web series called, Medallion Mondays, starring the down syndrome actor Josh Perry as a fairly wacky office manager at the publishing house, as well as including Mock, Medallion CEO Helen Rosburg and pretty much the entire staff of Medallion, all acting equally wacky in a tongue-in-cheek comic web series that purports to show what its like to work at Medallion.
Medallion’s books are also distributed by IPG and Mock was quick to offer his full support to IPG president Mark Suchomel, who has refused to agree to Amazon’s new e-book terms resulting in Amazon halting the e-book sales of IPG clients. “The dispute has made us very aware of how much of our bread and butter comes from one source,” Mock said. “It was a shock but we support Mark, we believe that we should nurture a fair and competitive e-book marketplace.” Mock said e-books represented about 50% of Medallion’s publishing revenues and the dispute has resulted in the loss of “a significant portion of our revenue. It hasn’t crippled us but it was a wake up call.”
Mock said that the Amazon dispute, the acquisition of Triple Threat Mobile Development and the development of a new e-book platform will “make us a better company. It’s great that an indie company can acquire a digital firm like Triple Threat. And it’s important for us to not be fully dependent on Amazon.”