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The Future Is Now at AM.com
Calvin Reid -- 1/17/00

Launched in 1994 as a print publisher specializing in alternative health therapies, Future Medicine Publishing has now changed its name, launched a Web site and is positioning itself to provide alternative therapeutic information in a wide variety of formats.

FMP has changed its name to AlternativeMedicine.com and launched a Web site at that address, offering a wide range of information and services. The site is also part of the associates programs at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and allows visitors to the site to click through to either bookseller to purchase a book.

The founder and publisher of AlternativeMedicine.com is Burton Goldberg, who launched the company as Future Medicine Publishing after retiring as a successful businessman. Goldberg also compiled the firm's first book, Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, an 1,100-page reference work first published in 1994 and originally selling for $59.95. The book has since gone on to sell more than 600,000 copies.

Goldberg told PW that the company changed its name because "the Web is where it's at. We're looking at offering information in multiple medias." The company has published about 14 books since 1994 on topics ranging from AIDS and cancer therapies to women's health, arthritis and headaches. Goldberg said the company has annual revenues of approximately $4 million and employs about 35 people; it is based in Tiburon, Calif. AM.com also publishes a magazine called Alternative Health.

" 'Alternative health' was originally a catchall phrase that referred to about 50 different therapies," Goldberg told PW in a telephone interview from Frankfurt, Germany, where he was visiting alternative health facilities. "The Definitive Guide puts these therapies all under one roof and shows how physicians can use them," he continued. AM.com titles are compiled by a group of doctors and researchers. "We organize and edit complicated scientific material into language that can be used by the public," he said.

The AM.com Web site offers all the company's titles for sale in addition to downloadable audio lectures by Goldberg, videos, online message boards, an alternative "yellow pages" that lists alternative physicians around the country, a database of information on alternative therapies, an e-mail newsletter and more.

This year, the company is publishing six titles (first printings start at around 25,000 copies), including Weight Loss: 17 Smart Ways to Permanently Shed Unwanted Pounds coming in March 2000. AM.com titles are distributed by National Book Network.
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