Staying in the Game

New Venture to Offer Small Publishers Digital Technology

Hundreds of small, independent publishers will have easier access to digital book technology under a new service offered by Perseus Books Group, the result of agreements between it and more than a half-dozen technology companies, Perseus is expected to announce on Thursday.

The new service, called Constellation, will allow independent publishers to make use of electronic readers, digital book search, print-on-demand and other digital formats at rates negotiated by Perseus on their behalf. Unlike large publishers, small ones typically lack the resources to use digital technology and as a result often bypass it altogether.

David Steinberger, the president and chief executive of Perseus, said that by using Constellation independent publishers could make their books quickly available in several digital formats, allowing them to compete on the same technological level and with the same speed and flexibility as larger companies. Many publishing analysts see digital technology as one of the few major growth areas in the book industry.