Foreign Language Rights in High Demand For Ripley’s Latest Believe It or Not! Blockbusters

ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 8, 2006) – Buoyed by the tremendous success of its last three Ripley-originated Believe It or Not! books with more than two million in print, Ripley Publishing officials report that foreign language rights for all three volumes are in high demand.

 Third in Latest Series Nears Top on Best Seller’s Lists

Norm Deska and Morty Mint of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will be in Hall 8, Stand A942 at the Frankfurt (Germany) Book Fair, Oct. 4-8 at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. They will be meeting with global publishing officials to discuss the translation rights to specific Ripley’s Believe It or Not! books.

“Selling nearly 2.5 million English language copies of our last three editions has created a tremendous amount of interest in foreign rights,” said Deska, executive vice president, intellectual property for Ripley Entertainment Inc. He notes that it has led to “an unprecedented demand” for foreign rights, which are now being granted to the first volume, published in 2004. Final agreements have been signed for Germany (Hoffmann und Campe Verlag GmbH); Poland (Wydawnictwo Elzbieta Jarmolkiewicz); Finland (Helsingin Dataclub Oy); Mexico (Grupo Editorial Tomo); Brazil (Ediouro Publicacoes S/A); and Iceland (Sogur Publishing). Final negotiations are in process for several other countries as well.

 Released in August 2006, the latest of the series, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Expect the Unexpected, had a first English language press run of 700,000 and within five weeks of publication, the newest edition of the “world’s weirdest facts” had reached the Number 4 position on the New York Times best seller list.

 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Expect the Unexpected! is being supported by an international promotion entitled Dear Mr. Ripley. The promotion launched this summer and will run through mid-November with contestants sending in their best Believe It or Not! weirdness and quirkiness. Winners will be featured in an upcoming Ripley’s compendium as well as in the syndicated comic strip.  

 About Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

It all began in December 1918 when the quirky and eccentric Robert Ripley penned his first Believe It or Not! cartoon for the New York Globe. It became an instantaneous hit and during its prime, more than 80 million people were reading the popular cartoon on a daily basis! Today, 88 years later, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the longest running syndicated cartoon in history, still appears in 200 newspapers in 42 countries.

 It wasn’t long before Robert Ripley, the purveyor of the odd, unusual, weird and sometimes macabre, became a media superstar. The curiosity of Americans fell prey to his contagious offerings of non-mainstream mankind from around the world. He presented two headed cows and shrunken heads. He presented men who could pop their eyes out of their sockets, an armless woman who could type with her toes, and a dog that could climb a tree. He promised that everything he printed or exhibited was true and genuine, as odd as it was. He dared his followers to – believe it or not! 

 In addition to his amazingly successful cartoons and books, he hosted his own radio show for 14 years; appeared in newsreels; featured in lecture series; traveled to more than 200 countries to bring back oddities; produced his own Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums at fairs across the U.S., including the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair; and in 1949 he hosted one of the first regularly scheduled television shows in history. He was the first cartoonist to become a millionaire and in 1936 Robert Ripley was voted the most popular American. President Roosevelt came in second!

Now, 77 years after Ripley released his first book, establishing one of the most successful and longest running book publishing programs in the world, the company that Ripley founded continues to make history. Subsequent to its triumphant 2006 release, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Expect the Unexpected, the company announced that its next release in its annual series, set for August 2007, will be titled Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – The Remarkable Revealed.

In addition to the August release, the company will publish the behemoth 512-page Curioddities and a colorful and exciting childrens book, Ripley’s Search for the Shrunken Heads, in 2007. As part of its licensing program, Ripley Publishing will produce Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Special Edition 2008 for Scholastic.

Contact:

Norm Deska
Executive VP Intellectual Property
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
deska@ripleys.com

office: 407-345-8010
cell: 407-257-5366

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