Scholastic book always resonated with a young Michael Kozlowski. Since the tender age of five, Scholastic would come to my school bringing more books than you could shake a stick at. My parents always encouraged reading over television and video games, so this was my favourite part of the school year. I would buy Hardy Boy books and man learning ones and then run home and read them all in a month and still be fiending for more.
Children digital developer Ruckus Media is joining with Scholastic to create the Scholastic Ruckus imprint, a joint venture that will publish a wide range of children and teen content across all platforms, from interactive content and trans media projects to e-books, enhanced e-books, and print. The first titles from the Scholastic Ruckus imprint will be released in 2012.
Ruckus media may be a new company, but their management team has a wellspring of experience in the book world. The company was co-founded a year ago by former Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing president Rick Richter and Ruckus Media COO Jim Young.
Since the inception of the company, Ruckus Media has developed quite a list of interactive storybook applications and intends on printing almost 40 digital titles this year. In a phone interview, Richter said that under the new imprint, Scholastic will oversee the marketing and distribution of print editions of Ruckus Media’s digital titles through the Scholastic network of school book clubs and book fairs, libraries, and trade book retailers. Scholastic will also manage the worldwide distribution and publishing rights for both print and digital content coming from the imprint.
Ruckus is bringing to the tablet its entire cavalcade of established relationships with writers and artists. The company under this new agreement remains independent and employs around 30 people. Rick Richter explained their mission in a recent interview with Publishers Weekly. He described the Ruckus Media program as being “story-based. We’re focused on developing interactive story books rather than the trend toward gaming elements we’re seeing in some parts of the marketplace.” He joked that “we’re all trying to figure out how this car works while we’re driving it.”
The main draw behind this new program is the ability to still maintain traditionally published books but also expand into eBook and enhanced ebooks to take advantage of new devices such as Android Tablets and the iPad.
You really don’t have to look any further on how successful this whole endeavor should be than to major companies with a wellspring of experience. Recently interactive stories like Kung Fu Panda 2 by iStorytime is doing tremendously well in the market place.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.