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Scholastic targets younger market
28.11.11 | Caroline Horn
Scholastic UK is building its younger fiction in order to replicate its strength in the Young Adult market.
Publishing and commercial director Lisa Edwards said: “We have a big footprint in the teen market with series like The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) and authors such as Maggie Stiefvater. Now we want to do the same for younger readers.
"We have been acquiring younger fiction books all summer to underpin this part of our list,” she added.
The publisher is focusing on humour including titles such as Liz Pichon’s Tom Gates, and series like Dave Pilkins’ Captain Underpants and Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories. It has acquired Ghost Buddy, a new series by Henry Winkler ("Happy Days"' The Fonz), about a boy who has a ghost as a friend. The series will launch in June 2012. The first new Captain Underpants book for four years will also be published next summer.
Scholastic plans to build on the current zeitgeist for illustrated fiction for readers aged eight plus, said Edwards. "Wimpy Kid has kick-started this and we will be developing our in-house authors in this direction." A new book by Eva Ibbotson called Abominables, the manuscript of which was discovered after her death, will be published next year illustrated by Sharon Rentta. A new Holly Webb title, The Chocolate Dog, to be published next September, will also be illustrated by Rentta.
Scholastic is also developing partnerships for its non-fiction publishing—including a link with the RSPCA to launch a series of animal fiction and non-fiction books, and with TV personality Dr Christian for Dr Christian Jessen’s Guide to Growing Up, for May 2013.
Scholastic will continue to develop its YA list and expects to see a boost in demand for dystopian fiction following "The Hunger Games" film next March. The publisher has launched The Hunger Games into e-books, and will now publish all new titles simultaneously into e-books.
However, it does not plan to develop apps for its titles. "We are waiting for the next generation in colour e-books to emerge," said Edwards. “We think people will look for children’s books where the books are, not in the app stores."