Penguin Partners With Tech Start-Up to Launch New Way to Read Non-Fiction Books

Penguin has partnered with technology start-up Citia to introduce a new series of interactive non-fiction e-books.

Molly Barton, global digital director at Penguin, spoke of the relationship with Citia on stage at the Publishers Launch conference in New York.

Later in the day, Citia gave a technology demonstration to the audience of book industry professionals.

Related: Penguin’s Global View of the E-Book Market: DRM, International, Publishing Process




NEW YORK, NY – June 4, 2012 – In a groundbreaking marriage of book publishing and technology, Penguin Group (USA) has partnered with digital publisher Citia to introduce a series of interactive, shareable nonfiction works, starting with Wired cofounder Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants. The Citia edition will be available for $9.99 in the App Store for the iPad 2 and iPad 3.

“Penguin has always looked for new ways to serve both writers and readers,” says Susan Petersen Kennedy, President of Penguin Group (USA). “Allen Lane, our founder, famously started the paperback revolution in the 1930s; recently, we’ve created innovative, interactive eBooks. Today, we’re proud to announce this new partnership with Citia, which is offering an entirely new way to read. Kevin Kelly is one of our most progressive thinkers, and What Technology Wants is the perfect book to launch this format.”

A Citia edition of a book reveals the idea structure of the book in a highly visual manner and allows readers to absorb book content rapidly and in whatever sequence they prefer. Books are transformed into decks of informational cards about the major themes of the book and the cards are connected in a three-dimensional landscape.

While reading What Technology Wants in this form, each digital card is shareable via social media (Twitter, Facebook and Google+) and email. This social capability makes it easy to start and to further rich conversations with friends, family and colleagues. The Citia platform will allow ideas in books to travel farther and faster than ever before.

“I am gobsmacked,” says Kelly. “Citia managed to digest the entire book, and to make it sing as well. I can’t speak for other readers, but I found the Citia app edition of my book fast moving, yet deep, and clear. I am really proud to be associated with this experiment.” What Technology Wants posits that technology is a living force that can expand our individual potential—if we listen to what it wants.

Citia demo from the stage at All Things Digital
Citia edition of What Technology Wants on the Penguin site

Responses to Citia’s new way of reading nonfiction:

“Digitization has changed the book, and now, Citia is providing a new and logical way to read it. I can’t wait to dive into the stacks.”
—Steven Heller, co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author department at New York’s School of Visual Arts and columnist for the New York Times Book Review

“Absolutely love it. I think the underlying idea is brilliant.”
—Steven Pinker, Harvard professor and author of Better Angels of Our Nature

“May revolutionize electronic publishing as we know it.”
—John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design and Associate Director of Research at MIT’s Media Lab

“I love it. This is really great. You’ve really done something here,”
—W. Danny Hillis, co-founder of the Long Now Foundation, Applied Minds, Metaweb, and author of The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work

“I absolutely love it. This could transform education.”
—Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus at Stanford and author of The Lucifer Effect


About Citia

Citia is a unique digital publisher focused on premium nonfiction titles at the intersection of business, technology, and culture.

About Penguin Group (USA)

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne, among others. The Penguin Group ( is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

About the Author

Kevin Kelly is one of the true visionaries of our time. He was editor and publisher of Whole Earth Review, helped launch Wired magazine and was its editor for nearly six years, and has been involved in such cultural innovations as The Hacker’s Conference, the early online community The Well, and the All Species Inventory. His last book, New Rules for the New Economy, sold over 100,000 copies in hardcover and paperback and hit the New York Times Business, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week bestseller lists. Kelly writes for publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, Harpers, Science, GQ, and Esquire, and he is currently editor and publisher of the popular Cool Tools, True Films, and Street Use websites.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *