CHICAGO, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Encyclopaedia Britannica and Sourcebooks
have announced an agreement in which Sourcebooks will handle manufacturing,
marketing and sales of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Almanac 2005 in the United
States and Canada.
The deal signals a strong level of commitment by both companies to
Britannica's almanac, which spent several weeks on the Washington Post
best-seller list after it was first published in 2003. Library Journal was
moved to say, "It may be time for the venerable World Almanac and Book of
Facts to step aside," bolstering the almanac's reputation as the best on the
The initial success has convinced both companies of the almanac's huge
growth potential, and the agreement reflects their intention to forge ahead
aggressively with plans for next year.
"We've seen outstanding sales of the first two editions of the Britannica
Almanac, and with the help of Sourcebooks I think we can take it to another
level," said Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. "Our
success shows that the market is looking for an almanac that combines very
high quality and an enjoyable read. We're going to give them that, and
Sourcebooks will make sure it sells."
Dominique Raccah, CEO and founder of Sourcebooks, says, "We see tremendous
opportunity for the Encyclopaedia Britannica Almanac, which people are already
talking about as the best almanac in the marketplace. We're very excited
about developing marketing for both an exceptional product and one of the
great brands in the world." Sourcebooks already has a track record for
success after tripling the sales on the Fiske Guide for Colleges in the last
three years after 20 years of previous publication by Random House. The Fiske
Guide to Colleges is now the top college guide in the country.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica Almanac offers more coverage of key subjects
than any other leading almanac. In addition to comprehensive listings in arts
and entertainment, major awards, people, history, science, business and
geography, this almanac boasts new features and coverage of recent events.
The Personalities section is a valuable guide to the people behind the
headlines with key biographical information. The almanac also includes
"Britannica Greats," with such features as the best plays and inventions of
all time and the funniest movies ever made. All of it is included in one
compact volume -- though Britannica's almanac runs more than one hundred pages
thicker than its leading competitors.
Sourcebooks enters this agreement after undergoing significant expansion
in the last year. Last month, Sourcebooks announced its plans to enter the
calendar business and signed as lead calendars America 24/7, based on the New
York Times best-selling book, and Encyclopaedia Britannica On This Day. Last
May, Sourcebooks and U.S. News and World Report entered into business together
to launch The U.S. News and World Report Ultimate College Directory 2004 with
other specialized guides for medical and law schools coming this spring and
fall. At that time, Sourcebooks also announced an exclusive distribution deal
with Reed Press, the new book publishing-arm of Reed Information Business
(RBI), and launched The Complete Guide to Oscar Fashions from Reed-owned