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News: Breakthrough in Education,, Through Strategic Alliances, Is Positioned to Usher in a New Era of Custom Curriculum

WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2000--

Click and Mortar' E-Publisher Offers Fast, Fluid, Up To The Minute Teaching Materials That Offer an Alternative to Outdated, Cumbersome

and Costly Textbooks

The day when students have to carry around up to 20 expensive, heavy, often seriously outdated textbooks for one course is giving way to a new paradigm for both the education and publishing industries, according to Dr. Morris Shepard, a former Northeastern University professor, now Chairman and CEO of, Inc. (AMEX: BTC). A newly publicly traded company, is a five year old e-education and knowledge management provider that, via the Internet, is ushering in the era of high speed, highly focused methods of creating and publishing timely curriculum.'s method of packaging customized "coursepacks" provides a winning solution for authors, traditional publishers, professors, teachers and students.

"Coursepacks" are's special method of publishing that capitalizes on the fact that information is changing at lightening speed and teachers need access to newly published articles, books and other materials. Thanks to the power and reach of the Internet, and the fact that has built a superior digital library, with custom publishing and out of print capabilities, the Company has the tools necessary to deliver a quality, state-of-the-art product. Dr. Shepard says, "We are a leader in providing custom content through our `click and mortar' production and distribution multi-channel model. The day of students having to buy enough textbooks to weigh a house down in a tornado is over."

With several key strategic alliances already in place, is positioned to dominate the market. These include Xerox Business Services, a division of Xerox (NYSE: XRX), which has been contracted to print, bind and ship as's outsourcing partner for high speed printing; Reciprocal(TM), a leader in digital rights management transaction services, for rapid access to securing publishing rights to up-to-date information from journals, newspaper articles, electronic media, original works, government documents and existing texts from around the globe; and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) for database management. The Company's website,, will be greatly enhanced by mid-summer to be a "virtual storefront" for teachers and students.'s Chief Marketing Officer, Stephen Encarnacao, formerly instrumental in the successful branding of Ore-Ida, Weight Watchers and Reebok International, adds: "The Company is positioned to achieve first-mover advantage in education, an essentially untapped growth industry, one that is currently an $800 billion market or 10% of the overall national Domestic National Product (DNP), with $23 billion of that in textbooks and tradebooks. The vast field of education encompasses colleges and universities, high school and K-12 classrooms, but also the burgeoning market segments of continuing education and distance learning."

At present is a leading provider of customized coursepacks, with a steadily growing customer base of over 2,500 professors and students in some 500 American colleges and universities across the country, ranging from Harvard University to the University of Alaska. The Company generated $1.6 million in net sales in 1999.

An example of a typical publishing project, whether the order is placed by traditional means or via the Internet, would be as follows: a professor who is preparing to teach a course on business opportunities in financial marketing wants to use recently published articles from such journals as the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review and Investment Dealers Digest. He contacts and gives them his content list. sends an editor to the Boston Public Library to obtain all of the required materials.'s Rights Department then obtains reprint rights for each of the articles to be included in the text or coursepack. Once the rights have been obtained, the material, using the Xerox ultra high speed, high tech Documtech Digital Printing system, would be collated, printed, bound and delivered. The resulting custom coursepacks are then made available in the near future on's website, where teachers and students are able to order directly. Another unique and important feature that will provide on their website within the next few months: educators and students at a particular school will be afforded the opportunity to research what educational materials are being used in similar courses at other colleges and universities nationally and eventually worldwide. has digitally processed and stored approximately 70,000 works and, due to aggressive strategic alliances and acquisition strategies, expects to have a digital library of over 500,000 works by the end of 2000. currently enjoys a professor and teacher retention rate of 95%. Future technological enhancements as well as significant investments in marketing provide the Company an outstanding opportunity to be the leading global multi-media content provider through web-enabled multiple channel delivery.

ABOUT (, headquartered in Woburn, MA, is a 4 1/2 year old, digital and on-demand publisher of custom textbooks and coursepacks. It is emerging as a first mover in the emerging E-Education and knowledge management market. The Company has built a customer base of over 2,500 professors and students in some 500 American colleges and universities nationwide, ranging from Harvard University to the University of Alaska. In addition to colleges and universities, has become an important custom publishing resource in the K-12 market with such noteworthy titles as: Breaking the Spanish Barrier, Breaking the French Barrier, Trade Routes, and Choices.
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