One thing that has frustrated digital reading fans from the start has been the difficulty in finding and enjoying graphics-heavy titles such as comic books and children’s books. The illustrations in most children’s titles have prevented the makers of e-ink devices from being able to adequately replicate the reading experience, leading many readers, even ebook consumers, to shy away from juvenile works and favor the print editions instead.
With the advent of tablets that have appeared on the scene in the past several weeks, more titles have opened up in both of the above mentioned markets, especially children’s literature. Companies like iStoryTime, Electric Type, and Oceanhouse Media have always favored publishing interactive titles for young readers, but now the full-color devices are allowing the major players in digital content are getting in the game.
Amazon announced today in a press release their recent acquisition of over 450 titles from children’s publisher Marshall Cavendish, including over 150 book award finalists and winners. This acquisition by Amazon Publishing will mean the continued print publication of these titles under Amazon’s traditional publishing wing, but also the opening of the door to the possibilities of digital publishing for these titles. The deal also means that Marshall Cavendish will now focus on the its educational and textbook business, now that its fiction line has been taken up by Amazon Publishing.
“We’re excited to acquire the Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books titles and expand our publishing business in this area,” said Jeff Belle, Vice President, Amazon Publishing in a press release today. “We believe the children’s book market segment presents a unique opportunity to innovate in both print and digital formats. And since many of these titles are not readily available as eBooks, we see a chance to connect a terrific group of authors and illustrators with more readers. We also see the potential for similar deals across other categories in the future.”
While Amazon Publishing is focused on traditional print publishing, specific mention was made in the press release of the options for digital editions of these children’s titles, especially now that the full-color and family-friendly priced Kindle Fire tablet has debuted.
“Under the guidance of Margery Cuyler, the Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books team has done an incredible job of building a contemporary and beautifully presented list of books,” said Laurence Kirshbaum, Vice President and Publisher, Amazon Publishing, East Coast Group. “We look forward to working with these respected authors and illustrators. We will continue to publish these books in their handsome print editions and we think customers will love reading these books—most of them never available before digitally—with their families, using the brilliant color touchscreen on the Kindle Fire.”