Time Warner Acquires Ipicturebooks.com
Shannon Maughan -- 2/19/01
Ipicturebooks.com, the New York outfit that produces e-books for children and was recently rumored to have a major media suitor, has been acquired by Time Warner Trade Publishing.
Laurence Kirshbaum, chairman of TWTP, said that his company's majority stake in ipicturebooks.com is part of an effort to "expand our reach into the world of e-publishing with a business that cultivates the earliest of early adopters: children," according to a statement.
Byron Preiss, president and founder of ipicturebooks.com, will continue in that role. He said, "The access to Little, Brown's juvenile list as well as to new marketing relationships and various other synergies will allow us to move things forward much faster." Preiss also cited some of the advantages of Time Warner's recent merger with America Online. "AOL has been extremely supportive and enthusiastic about promoting us in schools and homes," Preiss said.
The infusion of financial support from Time Warner has already stepped things up at ipicturebooks.com. "We've taken a much more aggressive approach to marketing and content acquisition," Preiss said. "We've closed several deals that were pending, including one with Lyrick Studios to publish Barney e-books, and we're well on our way to reaching our goal of offering 1,000 titles on our site this year."
The ipicturebooks.com Web site recently made available a personalized e-book option as well as e-books for PDAs. The company has also completed deals to publish e-books from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt and several other major children's book publishers. Ipicturebooks.com's published titles are currently available at ipicturebooks.com's online store and from barnesandnoble.com in the three most popular e-book formats. Preiss said he plans to establish other "co-branded boutiques" like the one on barnesandnoble.com, in the future.
Volume 247 Issue 8 02/19/2001