- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - The latest in the new, electronic world of book publishing: The Amplified Edition.

Penguin Group (USA) and Starz Entertainment have collaborated on an Amplified version of Ken Follett’s blockbuster “The Pillars of the Earth,” featuring video and audio clips.

The e-release, available Tuesday on Apple’s iPad and later this week on the iPhone and iPod, is timed to Starz’s 8-part, 8-hour miniseries based on Follett’s historical epic. The first episode airs Friday, with seven more installments following throughout the summer.

The Penguin-Starz project combines the full text of the book with extensive excerpts from the TV production, added weekly as the miniseries progresses. Also included are interviews with the author, sketches of the set, selections from the soundtrack and a family tree that offers background on the various characters and videos of the actors discussing their roles.

“The Amplified Edition offers a truly integrated multimedia experience of Ken Follett’s imagined story,” said Molly Barton, Penguin’s director of business development. “The Amplified Edition brings you the imagery, architecture, music and clothing from the time period while also offering readers the chance to explore the process Ken Follett went through with (miniseries producer) Ridley Scott to bring his story to life on screen.”

Penguin and numerous other publishers have created multimedia projects in recent years as they seek to find new and bigger audiences online. An Emeryville, Calif.-based company, Vook, has created video books, combining text and film clips, out of everything from fitness guides to a collection of stories by Franz Kafka.

Penguin is planning other Amplified works, fiction and nonfiction, but Barton declined to cite anything specific.