Hachette Children’s Group (HCG) is launching a major revamp and expansion of the Enid Blyton estate in order to “enhance and go beyond the literary legacy”.
A major strand of the changes, which were announced at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair yesterday (4th April), includes renaming the Enid Blyton estate Enid Blyton Entertainment. HCG said the new name signals the estate becoming a “fully immersive entertainment entity, [one] which has recently generated new licensed activity, strands of publishing and film, appointed a new merchandising agency [Bulldog Licensing] and optioned stage show rights”.
Hilary Murray Hill, HCG c.e.o., said: “We have been working to define what really matters about [Blyton’s] writing, what the key brand values are, so that we can confidently seek out new opportunities to release the potential of this extraordinary author.”
HCG also unveiled new livery for the 75th anniversary editions of Blyton’s Famous Five series. It also revealed that the Malory Towers and Twins at St Clare series, previously published by Egmont, have been brought in house and will be issued by Hodder Children’s later this month.
Murray Hill indicated that HCG may need to adapt some aspects of Blyton’s works. She said: “We need to publish for today’s readers, conveying all the charm, friendliness and magic of these stories to children whose lives are very different from the ones Enid Blyton wrote for originally. But it is no longer simply about the publishing activity of a literary legacy. There is so much scope for Enid Blyton across the whole media landscape.”
HCG, which acquired worldwide rights to the Enid Blyton estate (excluding Noddy) from Chorion in 2012, said sales of Blyton’s books have exceeded 500 million units worldwide. The late author has recorded sales of £40.7m in the UK through Nielsen BookScan since records began in 1998.