Keeping an I on Publishing
In a landmark affirmation of digital content distribution, Time Warner Trade Publishing announces the debut of iPublish.com.
Time Warner Trade Publish-ing, New York City, is keeping an 'I' on publishing—Internet publishing, that is. During a widely publicized announcement made in the spring, the publishing division affirmed its commitment to electronic content distribution with the scheduled Q1 2001 launch of iPublish.com.
During the press conference held in May, Laurence J. Kirshbaum, chairman/CEO, Time Warner Trade Publishing, noted, "We believe that an established publishing house can make a bold leap and succeed in the wide-open space of the Internet."
Time's willingness to take part in this form of e-commerce comes as no great surprise to those who have followed the publisher's progressive stance on digital advertising, computer-to-plate and e-book distribution. The company's been digitally active for more than a decade.
"There are certainly efficiencies promised by electronic publishing: We're not killing as many trees, and we're not dealing with the complicated warehousing and shipping practices that we have with print, explains Claire Zion, iPublish.com's editorial director.
"There are a lot of things that electronic books can do better than print," Zion suggests. "You can carry a lot of books with you at any given time, and they offer search and annotation features. But, you can't drop them in water, and you can't read them on an airplane until you've reached a certain altitude. … Things like that will distinguish the two markets, and readers will make their choices depending on their needs.
"We see electronic publishing as the future of reading," Zion adds, "because of the cost savings and reading habits. In certain demographics, printed books have lost their appeal, particularly for the generation that comes after the Baby Boomers, those who are in their 20s and 30s now. Those readers are going online for information, so by publishing electronically, we'll be publishing where they live. And we believe that electronic reading, in the long run, will be easier, more comfortable, cheaper—just a preferred way to read. Because of that, we want to be there."