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Undaunted by the spam-related problems experienced on their Kevin Brooks microsite, Penguin yesterday announced the launch of a pioneering online book community for teenagers.

Spinebreakers.co.uk will be a stimulating and entertaining portal into the world of books, run by teenagers themselves. Editorial control of the site will be in the hands of a core editorial team of nine teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years, supported by a large network of contributing teen editors from across the UK.

The teen editors will begin bringing the site to life in July with an intensive four-week internship at youth marketing agency Livity who Penguin have teamed up with to create spinebreakers.co.uk. Working with journalists, authors, editors and web designers, the teen team will produce a wide variety of multi-media content including video and audio reviews, alternative book jackets and endings, soundtracks, author interviews, podcasts, blogs, short stories and much more.

It sounds like a considerable investment and ACHUKA gives the project every encouragement.

The Press Release continues after the break...

A recently commissioned Penguin survey into teen reading habits showed the following results:

Three in four teenagers get their information on books from the internet and wished there was more information on books available to them on the internet.
Nearly 44% of surveyed teens never or rarely visit a chain bookshop and 68% never or rarely visit an independent bookshop.
69% of teens think they will be doing more reading online in the future.
Teens who rate reading as cool are the most frequent visitors to social networking sites.

Anna Rafferty, Penguin�s Online Marketing Director, said: �Publishers and the book trade are failing to reach teenagers via traditional methods of marketing and have been slow to create a space on or off line where teenagers can interact with books. Penguin is taking the lead, making books a far more attractive proposition in a crowded teen market place, harnessing their creativity, getting them involved in the creative process and hopefully making them readers for life.�

The teen team will have the opportunity to discuss, debate and interact with Penguin�s rich source of publishing from contemporary titles such as Meg Rosoff�s Just in Case, Nick Hornby�s first book for teenagers Slam, Eric Schlosser�s Fast Food Nation to classics such as J.D Salinger�s Catcher in the Rye and Kerouac�s On the Road.

�Spinebreakers.co.uk will take the user from the page to the web and vice versa,� says Rafferty. �There will be a seamless collaboration between Penguin�s unbeatable pool of writing, design and publishing talent and the ever-expanding legion of creative, internet savvy teenagers around the world.�

Mahta Hassanzadeh, aged 18, said: �Getting teenagers involved with the running of the website is an excellent idea! It encourages more teenagers to participate in schemes where they can get hands on experience in a field they may want to go into in the future. Also, the fact that teenagers are so heavily involved in the project could make creative writing and reading more appealing to other teens.�

�There aren't many sites where teens can share and discuss their ideas about the books that they have read, and this is a great chance to do so.� says Aijamal Bahibek Kizi, aged 15. �Sometimes you have read a book and none of your friends know about it and you are dying to talk to someone, and this is just a great place to do so. Plus you can find out a lot about other books that may be interesting to you that you don't know about.�

Spinebreakers.co.uk launches September 2007.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on June 9, 2007 9:52 AM.

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