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NEW AMERICAN HERITAGE CUSTOM PUBLISHING GROUP TO LAUNCH SERVICE

 NEW YORK, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- American Heritage magazine, a division of Forbes Inc., unveiled its entry into the emerging field of custom textbook publishing in Texas today.
 The company's newly formed American Heritage Custom Publishing Group introduced its new service to educators at the Texas Junior College Teachers Association annual meeting in Austin. The meeting is considered the kickoff for the spring sales season by many in educational publishing.
 The American Heritage service enables instructors to create their own texts by combining selections from the American Heritage database with other published works and their own writings. The result is a professionally edited and bound book -- an American Heritage "Innovative Teaching Tool" -- which bears the professor's name as author or editor. It is sold directly to students through the university bookstore.
 According to American Heritage President Timothy C. Forbes, the new service is a response to dramatic changes in today's textbook market.
 "Conventional textbooks are becoming dinosaurs. They're often too broad and bland, beyond kids' budgets or outdated by the time they reach the classroom. We believe our custom publishing service to be the wave of the future," Forbes said from the company's New York headquarters.
 To underscore this point, he cited a recent industry survey that found sales of custom-published books to have increased more than 138 percent from October 1991 to October 1992 -- while sales of new and used texts decreased.
 Forbes added that American Heritage's service is actually twofold: a custom publishing service, assisting professors in formatting selected course materials and obtaining copyright clearances -- and an "on demand" or "just in time" publishing system letting users select readings from an electronic database.
 "American Heritage combines these two services, while other companies have generally offered one or the other," Forbes said.
 "Our American Heritage database contains 40 years of historical articles and is an invaluable educational resource. We will also be adding to the mix public domain works, as well as material licensed from other publishers."
 American Heritage custom editions can save money for both professors and students. For instructors, the books may eliminate the expense of photocopying handouts. For students, they can reduce the number of texts needed for a specific course. Instead of buying numerous titles to obtain the required readings, students can get what they need in a single custom volume.
 According to Editorial Director Nancy Surridge, the first custom titles are being created for instructors of American history. The division will subsequently expand to produce books for instructors of western civilization, world civilization, American literature, business and other fields.
 She added that the service is being marketed to secondary school instructors as well as to college professors.
 Surridge and other American Heritage staff unveiled the company's spring catalogue and sample custom texts at the Austin conference today.
 The Texas Junior College Teachers Association annual meeting runs from Feb. 18-20 at the Lester B. Palmer Auditorium in Austin, Texas.
 Surridge says American Heritage is introducing the service in Texas because the state is one of the largest markets for college textbooks.
 Last year's Texas Junior College Teachers Association annual meeting was attended by over 3,000 teachers and administrators. An estimated 60 textbook publishers in 135 booths are expected this year.
 Timothy C. Forbes became president of American Heritage in 1986, the year Forbes Inc. acquired the division, which includes American Heritage magazine and other publications on American history in addition to the newly formed American Heritage Publishing Group. Since that time, magazine circulation has nearly doubled and advertising has quadrupled.
 -0- 2/19/93
 /CONTACT: Elizabeth Ames of American Heritage, 212-620-2398/


CO: American Heritage Custom Publishing Group ST: New York, Texas IN: PUB SU: PDT

GK-WB -- NY002 -- 8255 02/19/93 08:01 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1993
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