Penguin UK, Economist Partner On E-Singles

Penguin UK and the Economist are partnering on a series of e-singles, “Penguin Economist Specials.” The partnership makes sense since Penguin is owned by Pearson (NYSE: PSO), which has a stake in the Economist.

The first five Penguin/Economist titles go on sale in the UK tomorrow, March 1, for £1.99 apiece, and focus on topics like video games, women and work and digital technology. All were previously published in the Economist.

Penguin UK launched Penguin Shorts, an ongoing digital series of fiction and nonfiction titles, in November. The press release says the e-singles published in partnership with the Economist are “Penguin Specials, the sub-brand of Penguin Shorts which concentrates solely on contemporary journalism and essays.” (When Penguin Shorts launched, I noted that the company’s branding of all this content is somewhat confusing, especially as it plans to merge the U.S. “eSpecials” under the “Shorts” banner.)

In its earnings earlier this week, Pearson reported that e-books now make up 12 percent of its global sales and 20 percent of U.S. sales.