Egmont launches e-book range

<p>Egmont is launching into the e-book market with a range of 21 titles priced at 80% of their printed version. The first 10 titles will be available this month, with more to follow in the coming weeks.<br />Mike Richards, head of marketing and publicity, said: &quot;We will see how these titles perform over the next six months and, depending on how they do, we may release more titles into e-book formats.&quot;</p><p>Pricing the e-books at 80% of the print edition follows a model adopted elsewhere in the world, said Richards, adding: &quot;It seemed to us a fair price. We felt that the e-books should be cheaper than the printed books but not half the price.&quot; Egmont has no plans for simultaneous launches of e-book and printed titles but should it develop them, Richards confirmed it would keep to this price structure.</p><p>The list of launch e-book titles includes <em>You&#39;re a Bad Man Mr Gum </em>(Andy Stanton), <em>Just Henry</em> (Michelle Magorian), West End theatre hit <em>War Horse </em>(Michael Morpurgo), and children&#39;s classic <em>The Velveteen Rabbit </em>(Margery Williams). Richards said: &quot;The critical point for e-books in the children&#39;s market is still some way off and only a small number of children will be regularly reading digitised books in any format. So we are using this launch to dip our toes into the water to help us understand what formats they will be using, what pricing structure will work, and to learn any lessons we need to learn now.&quot;</p><p>He described e-books as the &quot;least exciting&quot; digital platform available to the children&#39;s market. Egmont has already launched its Two Heads series as iPhone Apps, offering the first book at &pound;1.79 with subsequent books priced at &pound;2.79.</p><p>Richards explained: &quot;You can buy an entire games set for less than &pound;3 on the iPhone, so a &pound;5 price tag would be indefensibly expensive. We have chosen a price that is about half the retail price.&quot;</p><p>Egmont has also licensed a number of its titles to Nintendo DS for its Flips books.</p>