Oxford University Press children’s books is entering the digital picture book market as the availability of new devices opens up the market.
The publisher is releasing 15 colour titles in ePub and fixed layout in September, including Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul, I Don’t Want to be a Pea by Ann Bonwill and Simon Rickerty, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Ian Beck.
Head of children’s publishing Liz Cross said: “Up until now we haven’t felt the available formats and devices for colour e-books were quite able to do justice to colour picture books. But with more devices available now, including the anticipated launch of the Kindle Fire and improvements in conversion possibilities, this seems like the ideal time for starting to test the market.”
She added: “The digital children’s market is definitely developing. Obviously it is still a way behind the adult market, but we were really pleased last year with our fiction e-book sales, which considerably exceeded our expectations overall. It is very early days for colour e-books and we are just really keen to start getting our titles out there.”
OUP plans to extend the range of picture book e-books, moving to simultaneous print and e-book publication for picture books, and developing its backlist in e-format, too. Cross said the pricing strategy would mirror that for black and white fiction, with the price of e-books matching the cheapest available print price, usually £6.99.