CondéNet introduces new customized book service

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CondéNet, the interactive division of Condé Nast, and TasteBook, the founders of a new print-on-demand book publishing service, are offering consumers a new way to fulfill a love of books.

The companies are letting users create personalized books from content that already exists on Epicurious.com. Believing the application can be applied to other Condé Nast content to create books for graduations, vacations and weddings, CondeNet recently made a financial investment in TasteBook.

Epicurious.com is a cooking site where visitors can find more than 25,000 recipes from Gourmet,Bon Appetit and Self.

The new service launched October 24 and enables consumers to pick any recipe on Epicurious and import it to TasteBook. Users can also upload their own recipes, choose a cover image and title for their cookbook and arrange the recipes. TasteBook automatically assigns art for the various sections and routes the data to a Kodak Nexpress digital printer. Several days later, customers receive a high-quality hardcover cookbook that costs $34.95.Previously, visitors to Epicurious could print recipes only via a desktop printer.

“We wanted to offer the recipes in a print form in a much better way than we can do now,” said Kourosh Karimkhany, executive director of corporate development at CondéNet.

CondéNet hopes that more people will find out about Epicurious through Tastebooks.

“There are a lot of cooks that don't use the Internet and this is a refined, high-quality way for them to be introduced to it,” Karimkhany said.

TasteBook will be promoted on the Epicurious Web site as well as via e-mail to opt-in customers and via Conde Nast's magazines.

The service also has the potential to impact book publishing sales.

“Books need to be more connected to the Web than they are right now,” said Kamran Mohsenin, founder and CEO of TasteBook Inc., Berkeley, CA.

Because TasteBook is more like creating a playlist of favorite songs from a music download Web site and burning a CD, it is providing a kind of content that today's Internet audience understands, he continued.

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