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Fictionwise.com Broadens Focus
Signs Two Distribution Deals

April 18, 2001 Chatham, NJ Fictionwise.com, a leading eBook publisher, announced today that it has broadened its focus to include selective distribution of high-quality eBooks by other publishers. As part of this expansion, Fictionwise has signed deals to distribute titles by LiveREADS and ElectricStory.

"When we launched Fictionwise in June, 2000, our plan was to distribute only our own titles. We built a website designed to make purchasing and reading eBooks simple and fun for our customers, while also automating marketing, production and back-end systems," said Stephen Pendergrast, co-publisher of Fictionwise. "We now have some very sophisticated systems in place, as well as substantial website traffic. Our customers are telling us they want a larger variety of quality material, so it makes sense to distribute titles from other quality publishers. This move represents a major expansion for Fictionwise."

Fictionwise.com is one of the top-selling independent eBook publishers today and currently offers over 500 titles on its website (http://www.fictionwise.com) by such authors as Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick, Nancy Kress, and Larry Niven. Fictionwise will continue to buy e-rights to award-winning and high quality fiction, but will augment in-house titles with those from other publishers. This will allow Fictionwise to expand the variety of genres to include much more romance, mystery, action/adventure, and even nonfiction titles.

"Fictionwise membership has been growing rapidly as has the demand for top eBook titles," said Scott Pendergrast, co-publisher. "Our membership expects a certain level of quality. We don't want to simply flood them with thousands of titles. ElectricStory and LiveREADS are two publishers who are distinguishing themselves in the eBook industry. Their eBooks are a good fit at Fictionwise."

ElectricStory publishes electronic works by authors such as Howard Waldrop, Michael Bishop, Terry Bisson, Lucius Shepard, Suzy McKee Charnas, and Tony Daniel, amongst others. Many of their titles are award-winners. Bob Kruger, president of ElectricStory, said: "Fictionwise is doing their part to make great work available in electronic form, and they've got keen intelligence going for them -- as evidenced by their catalog, their technology, and their excellent marketing strategies."

LiveREADS' first two titles, Orpheus Emerged by Jack Kerouac and Opening Day by Les Standiford, stand out both on the quality of the writing and their high-end production values. The company expects to issue several new titles per quarter. Neal Bascomb, CEO of LiveREADS, said: "We are very excited about working with Fictionwise. We see them as a much-needed ally in bringing this brave new world of reading into the spotlight. In the future, we plan on working with Fictionwise to sell enhanced, high-production value titles of their own list from LiveREADS. We look forward to revolutionizing what people conceive of as a "book" and taking E-Publishing to the next level with their help."

Some of the systems in place at the Fictionwise.com website are:

  • a Micropay System to avoid credit card transaction fees, making it economical to offer short stories priced as low as 30 cents
  • a coupons and promotional discounts system that rewards frequent buyers and encourages repeat sales
  • an artificial intelligence program that recommends eBooks to members
  • a "Recommend a Friend" program that allows members to forward coupons to friends and earn Micropay Dollars
  • an advanced eBook rating system that displays a graph of ratings information for each title
  • a bookshelf system that allows downloads of eBooks as needed by the customer
  • support of more eBook formats than any other eBook website today
  • the highest paying eBook affiliate program in the industry
  • advanced back-end systems including automatic publishing of web pages and eBooks
  • online, real-time reports for authors, external publishers, and affiliates
  • an alert email system that allows members to receive new title alerts based on their preferences
About Fictionwise.com

Fictionwise.com sells award-winning and high-quality fiction eBooks by top authors in multiple formats, including Palm (for Palm, Visor and Win CE), Acrobat, Rocket, Microsoft Reader (Pocket PC and PCs), and eBookMan. Fictionwise.com has titles from leading contemporary fiction authors, including Larry Niven, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Nancy Kress, Damon Knight, Gregory Benford, Mike Resnick, Michael Swanwick, James Patrick Kelly, Pamela Sargent, Tom Purdom, and Kate Wilhelm, amongst others. In most cases, Fictionwise.com (http://www.fictionwise.com) has the largest short fiction eBook collections available for its authors. It is believed that Fictionwise has the largest number of award-winning and award-nominated eBooks available online today. Contact: pr@fictionwise.com for more information.

About LiveREADs

LiveREADS is an innovative publishing company dedicated to exploring the new frontier of reading. We are leveraging digital technology, industry experience, and an exciting approach to creating enhanced reading experiences to become one of the leading brands in publishing. Our inaugural publication, ORPHEUS EMERGED, by Jack Kerouac, was hailed as the first step toward the real future of reading. Reviews from both industry insiders and passionate readers have confirmed that the LiveREADS experience is nonpareil: Wired said "it's got other eBooks beat," and eBookNet said "this is what eBooks should be." Enthusiastic reviews appeared in The Los Angeles times, The Atlantic Monthly, NPR's Fresh Air, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and several other publications. For more information about LiveREADS, go to www.livereads.com or contact neal@livereads.com.

About ElectricStory

Fully incorporated in February 2000, ElectricStory strives to hasten the adoption of eBooks by publishing the best in fantastic literature. Our editors, graphic designers, and technology consultants have worked for top entertainment and software companies, such as Microsoft, Sierra, and Wizards of the Coast. We're headquartered thirty miles east of Seattle in the rainy Cascade Mountain foothills. Deer and elk roam the neighborhood, sword ferns squat under the cedars, and beards of moss wag from the branches. It's an introverted place that seems well suited to our work. Drop us a line at info@electricstory.com. We welcome both feedback and questions.

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Fictionwise (TM) is the trademark of Fictionwise LLC.
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