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teNeues Launches Internet Cool Guides
Calvin Reid -- 8/14/00

Impressed by the success of its first Internet guidebook, the German art, design and architecture publisher teNeues has launched an Internet company called InternetCoolGuide.com, which will publish a series of Web guidebooks and launch a companion Web site and online database pointing to the best Web sites and online services.

Web guidebooks flourished during the first rush of interest in the Web in 1995 and 1996. However, they were large, often printed on newsprint and became outdated very quickly. In late 1999 teNeues published Internet Cool Guide: A Savvy Guide to the Hottest Web Sites, and, according to Karl Rutter, ICG v-p of sales and marketing, "We checked out the competition. Our books are small and portable. They are a Zagat's guide for the Web." The new guide, smartly designed on good paper, sold 25,00o copies in six weeks and teNeues publisher Hendrik teNeues decided to spin off the series into a separate company and publishing program.

Rula Razek, editor in chief of ICG, told PW that the new company was launched in January 2000 with offices in Manhattan, London and Munich; offices are also slated for France, Spain, Latin America and Asia. The Manhattan office has 15 employees (eight editorial). She noted that the ICG guides focus on "quality sites that will be around awhile. Our books won't go out of date so quickly." Razek also pointed out that ICG guidebooks "are not paid directories." ICG researchers review sites and rate content, design, service, privacy and security. And once it g s online, the ICG Web site (www.internetcoolguide.com) and database will act as a companion to the books, allowing quick updates, more editorial content, and services and links to sites. Visitors to the site can purchase the books online.

After three printings, the first edition of ICG has 60,000 copies in print. It's a comprehensive guide that rates about 1,000 Web sites cataloged under 30 subject headings. Rutter pointed out that the books are also popular as a corporate premium and ICG has deals to print copies labeled with corporate brands. Among their partners are Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and others. ICG.com is also publishing German and U.K. editions. "We're trying to cater to both the local and international market," said Rutter.

Next to come in the series are smaller books focused on a single subject area that list about 500 sites. Just out is ICG: Shopping; ICG: Entertainment was released in June, and coming in October is ICG: Sports. First printings are 25,000 copies. Next year ICG will issue a revised edition of the original Internet Cool Guide, which will add 500 new sites.
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