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Redrawing the Rules of Business Books

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Superman may have a cool cape, X-ray vision and be faster than a speeding bullet. But can he motivate your sales force, improve your personal finances or spot the hot new investing trend?

It's no secret comic books are no longer just for kids and that adults are snatching up Mylar-bagged graphic novels for escapism and collectability. Until now, however, none have ventured into the realm of business books.

Business Comics

Book packager Writers of the Round Table is working with SmarterComics to repackage and re-imagine best-selling business books into comics.

"It is an opportunity to invite the Twitter Generation into these powerful messages," says Corey Michael Blake, Writers of the Round Table's founder and executive editor of the series.

Already, the company is promoting its wares, on a trial basis, on Amazon (AMZN - Get Report). Among the selections are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Bob Byrne, an adaptation of Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life by Larry Winget and Shane Clester.

To keep the attention of readers, Blake says that he and SmarterComics founder Franco Arda knew both content and visuals had to be compelling. Winget's No. 1 Wall Street Journal bestseller -- featuring brash and often profane advice on money, business and personal success -- fit perfectly, he says.

Earlier this year, SmarterComics, based in Silicon Valley, distributed the digital version of the book; Writers of the Round Table Press published the print version.

Beginning in January, the company plans to ramp up its efforts and put out an adaptation each month. The initial slate of authors includes Latino entrepreneur Robert Renteria ( Mi Barrio, based on From the Barrio to the Board Room), sales and marketing guru Tom Hopkins ( How to Master the Art of Selling), psychologist John Eliot ( Overachievement) and Wired magazine's editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson ( The Long Tail). The adaptations will be distributed to U.S. bookstores by National Book Network.

Each book will be 60-70 pages long, an estimated 30-40 minute read. Digital versions will be available for Apple's (AAPL) iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch as well as Amazon's Kindle (a challenge for the last device was creating readable word balloons for the device's e-Ink screen). Print volumes will retail for $12.95 and digital versions will sell for $9.95.

Blake credits Arda with the idea to recreate popular nonfiction as comics for a "generation of readers who want valuable information in quick, easy to understand bits." The concept evolved into the creation of prototypes that were used to intrigue a variety of authors, agents and publishers.
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