In an aggressive expansion into children's publishing, Amazon has acquired over 450 children's titles originally published by Marshall Cavendish. The deal will bring the children's category into the fold at Amazon Publishing, where, up until now, genre imprints, in categories like mystery and romance, have been built exclusively around adult titles. Margery Cuyler, current publisher of Marshall Children's Books, said she will remain in her position and that her staff "remains intact."
An Amazon rep told PW that, for now, the children's titles will be published by Amazon bearing the Marshall Cavendish name and that the children's unit will be part of the Amazon Publishing team overseen by Larry Kirshbaum in New York. The deal is not expected to be completed for several month and until it is finalized orders should continue to be made through existing MCCB sales teams.
In addition to acquiring the print titles, the deal gives Amazon the digital rights to a number of well known children's books including My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson, finalist for this year's National Book Award in Young People's Literature, and Chalk, a picture book by Bill Thomson. In an announcement about the purchase, Amazon said the deal "creates the foundation for Amazon Publishing to further expand into picture books, chapter books and young adult novels." The deal will also mark the first time a number of the titles in the purchase will be published as e-books.
Amazon Publishing v-p Jeff Belle said: "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.”