Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 7 • July/August 2000
Time Warner Trade Publishing Unveils Online Publishing Venture

Time Warner Trade Publishing has announced that it will launch ( at Time Warner Books in the first quarter of next year. According to the company, it’s the most significant move yet by a traditional publisher into new media. An ambitious online community that will unite readers, authors, and editors, at Time Warner Books will also explore new avenues for the production, distribution, and sales of new forms of fiction and nonfiction material created specifically for the Internet.

“We believe that an established publishing house can make a bold leap and succeed in the wide-open space of the Internet,” said Laurence J. Kirshbaum, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Trade Publishing. at Time Warner Books will be the first dedicated Internet-publishing venture from any American book publisher, Kirshbaum said. “While our new venture will have its own staff and a specially tailored approach, we hope to bring our incredible roster of current authors, our rich backlist, and our own publishing acumen to this exciting new company. Plus, our impending new relationship as part of AOL-Time Warner can only add to our desire to redefine what it means to ‘publish’ a book,” he said.

Certain America Online, Inc. brands will become distribution partners. Time Warner also announced that Microsoft Reader with ClearType display technology will be used as a reading format for the iRead channel. Microsoft Reader currently ships with Pocket PCs and is scheduled to be available at no charge for other platforms later this summer. Other distribution and promotion partnerships with e-book software companies, device makers, online retailers, etc., will bring’s mission to the e-book marketplace, Kirshbaum said. at Time Warner Books will be headed by Gregory Voynow, currently the vice president and director of online marketing and development for Time Warner Trade Publishing. Voynow will assume the title of senior vice president and general manager of

Voynow said: “We want to target our readers and publish for them more effectively, and the evolving digital marketplace will allow us to do this. E-books will broaden the audience of readers by publishing for the reality of the way people live today, and the way they will read tomorrow. In this format we can better serve the specific consumer—for example, the executive who wants to download and read the essential core of a best-selling business title on her PDA [personal digital assistant], or the mystery fan who wants to download a new story by his favorite author after he puts the kids to bed.”

Voynow is overseeing a team of 15 editorial, marketing, and technical staff members who have worked on the site since last fall. In addition to Voynow, Claire Zion, most recently an executive editor at Warner Books, will serve as editorial director at at Time Warner Books. Zion will supervise the building of a diverse list of original material for electronic publication. Her editorial staff will also work with Time Warner Trade Publishing editors to coordinate the development of electronic content from their authors. In addition, Zion will oversee the content merchandising, and editorial and marketing messages on the site itself.

According to Maureen Mahon Egen, president of Time Warner Trade Publishing, the company will convert a vast range of existing content to digital format in the months leading up to’s launch—and offer original e-books by well-known authors for distribution through its network of partners. Egen said that best-selling authors David Baldacci, Walter Mosley, and Robert Kiyosaki have already signed on to write new content exclusively for will consist of three channels. The first channel, iRead, will showcase published works and serve as a launchpad for distribution to a growing number of online outlets. The second main area, iWrite, the publishing engine of, will be where reader-members will be able to submit new works. Time Warner editors and reader-members will review submissions and choose new works to be published in both the digital and print formats. Finally, iLearn will be a forum for Time Warner’s best-selling authors and in-house experts to share their knowledge with the site’s users.

The popular Time Warner Bookmark site ( will continue to serve as Time Warner Trade Publishing’s main promotional vehicle for its books in print, according to Kelly Leonard, Time Warner’s executive director of online marketing. “The future integration and reciprocal promotion between and Time Warner Bookmark will afford our authors and the new talent that iPublish will develop the unprecedented opportunity to reach readers simultaneously in both the traditional print world and the new venue of online publishing,” Leonard said.

Time Warner Trade Publishing imprints include Little, Brown and Co.; Warner Books; Little, Brown Children’s Books; Bullfinch Press; and Time Warner AudioBooks. In 1999, Time Warner Trade Publishing placed 36 books on The New York Times bestseller lists.

Source: Time Warner Trade Publishing, New York, 212/522-7200;

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