01 September 1999

IN WHAT IT terms 'a revolutionary marketing initiative', multimedia publisher Dorling Kindersley is to post electronic versions of its entire list of titles on its website. Denying that this is tantamount to shooting itself in the corporate foot, DK chairman Peter Kindersley said: 'I think this could revolutionise children’s reference publishing on the internet. This is about building awareness and brands. It’s for everyone to use and its all free.' Kindersley thinks it unlikely that many people will bother to print-out the publications in full, not least because of the high cost of print cartridges. DK’s best-selling Star Wars publications are already online, as are all 108 volumes of the Eyewitness language and travel series, plus 22 volumes of Carol Vorderman’s Maths Made Easy. By January, there will be 16,400 pages posted on DK’s website - over one million words - with the remainder of the list phased in over an unspecified period. Kindersley added that if the new strategy damaged sales, rather than boosting them as is expected, the company would simply axe its free policy.