This Changes Everything Dept: First major publisher to outsource its catalog to an Internet company--partnership will allow consumers to selectively mix and match content into new, custom printed or digital versions.
iUniverse.com just announced it has agreed to provide its technology platform to IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., the publisher of the best-selling "For Dummies(r) " books and other popular titles. The relationship is significant in that a major publisher has opened the door for further customization of select titles that have mass appeal. Consumers will soon have the ability to dynamically assemble custom books and obtain standard titles in a wide variety of formats, including print and leading e-book media.

"This unprecedented alliance brings together the old and new economies in a way that takes publishing to new heights," said Richard Tam, founder and chief executive officer of iUniverse.com. "Not only is IDGB an innovative publisher, but they also are the fastest growing publishing company and offer the industry's most recognized brand. So we are very pleased that the company sees the value and vision associated with using our advanced digital content architecture."

John Kilcullen, chairman and chief executive officer of IDGB said, "This partnership will allow consumers to selectively mix and match content from hundreds of books and put them into new, custom printed or digital versions."

At launch, IDGB will make its 100 best-selling For Dummies(r) books, 125 Frommer's Travel Guides and 300 Cliffs Notes available for customization at the customer's option. In addition to managing and delivering current titles, iUniverse.com's architecture will allow IDGB to bring hundreds of back-listed titles into print again.

By digitizing these top-selling titles and storing them in iUniverse.com's content infrastructure and Format Neutral Repository (FNR), consumers will be able to go to IDGB's Web site and customize their own book dynamically. Their book would then be available in a matter of minutes in leading electronic formats, or printed as a high-quality trade paperback and shipped within 48 hours. Customized titles and the ability to select among popular formats is expected to be available by late fall of 2000.

iUniverse.com is a leading digital content service provider for authors, publishers, and businesses. The company's vision is to be the champion for content unbound and the architect for creating new value out of the content universe-whatever and wherever that content universe is. iUniverse.com has operations in Silicon Valley, California; Lincoln, Nebraska; New York, New York; Rochester, New York; and Shanghai, China. The company employs over 300 people worldwide.

IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., headquartered in Foster City, Calif., is a leading global knowledge company with a diverse portfolio of technology, consumer and general how-to brands, computer-based learning tools, Web sites and Internet e-services. IDGB is a subsidiary of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.