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Intervisual Struggling to Diversify into Publishing
-- 7/27/98
A number of factors have conspired to make Intervisual Books' transition from a packager to both a packager and publisher difficult. According to Intervisual president Norm Sheiman, the strong dollar has hurt Intervisual's international sales in general, while sales to Intervisual's third-largest market, Japan, "are materially below last year" due to that country's poor economy. On the domestic side, consolidation within the industry has affected sales in the U.S.
As a result, Intervisual expects third-quarter sales and income to be below those recorded in 1997. For the first six months of the year, sales fell 13% to $4.7 million, although the company's loss was cut slightly to $809,718 from $828,315.

Sheiman said that Intervisual is continuing to move ahead with its self-publishing program through its Piggy T s Press and Pop-Up Press imprints. The company will introduce 51 self-published titles in this year. In addition, Intervisual has hired two veteran publishing executives to help improve its sales efforts. Ed Martin, who had worked at Random House and Disney's Mouseworks division, has been named vice-president of North American sales, while Jeffrey Nobbs, a former Intervisual publisher, will act as the company's European marketing and book development consultant from his office in England.
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