Penguin expands its online offering with launch of blog

LONDON - Penguin Books is to be become the first major publishing company to launch a blog, offering readers sneak previews of work in progress from top authors as well as publishers and editors posting the latest news from the company.

The blog will be a place where publishers and editors post new acquisitions, industry gossip and advice on how would-be writers can get published.

It will give readers insight into the day-to-day running of the company and how books are discovered and published.

The first blogger will be Venetia Butterfield, publisher of Viking, the hardback imprint that counts Will Self, Nick Hornby and Jeremy Paxman among its authors.

In her first post, Butterfield talks about the proofs of Marisha Pessl's book 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics', which is the buzz book of this autumn.

"We pre-empted everyone else in the UK and snapped it up early, and we have the most amazing package for it. See the jacket here (if I can work this correctly), and visit the incredible American site for the book here:"

This is not the first time Penguin has launched into the digital market. It won the Revolution Digtial Innovation Award for its podcasts in December last year.

Penguin distributed a podcast of Charles Dickens' seasonal classic 'A Christmas Carol' in December 2005, the first version of a book the publisher has made available via podcast.

In addition, the publisher ditched its biannual printed catalogues in favour of online versions in December 2004, while back in 2002 Penguin e-books became the first advertiser on Guardian Unlimited Books' PDA channel.

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