In a move that book division chief Jim Childs calls "the culmination of branching out to the consumer market," the Taunton Press has announced a new brand that will encompass books, a television show and a magazine. Called Inspired House, all three media products will focus on home design that is based on, and relevant to, the way people actually live, as opposed to more aspirational notions of architecture and decorating.
The books being published under the Inspired House name will likely number two to three per year. Some will be produced independently and will feed content for the show, The Inspired House. Conversely, the show will give rise to new books; the first title, for example, will come from John Connell, the residential architect and author hosting the show. The books will also overlap to a degree with the magazine, also titled The Inspired House, with the company eventually hoping to do compilations based on themes that appear in the periodical. "They'll all be informing each other," said Childs.
While the Taunton Press has in the past five years looked to capture a wider audience than the home improvement market, its editors are hoping this content—designed to appeal to anyone who owns a home—as well as the mass media way it will be distributed, can complete the process. Book officials are also hoping the TV show—which is being produced by WTTW in Chicago, but will be distributed by American Public Television to hundreds of public TV markets—and the nationally distributed magazine will give a boost to the book titles. Inspired House books will be featured at the end of each TV program.
In related news, Childs said that the sale of Taunton competitor Sterling to Barnes & Noble has, contrary to fears, not diminished his business with B&N. He did say that the tenor of discussion with Borders has changed. "They're willing to talk to us about more books, and in a different way," he said.