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Posts Tagged ‘Egmont’

Egmont Guns for US Kids’ Market

Egmont is planning to launch a U.S. business next year following a move into third place in the UK children’s publisher league table, ahead of rivals Random House and HarperCollins, reports the Bookseller’s Katherine Rushton. “We are looking to develop a U.S. business, and we will look to establish a U.S. office early next year,” said group managing director Rob McMenemy. “That’s a big move for us.”

McMenemy highlighted the Lemony Snicket series and Nestle Prize-winning author Julia Golding as “significant contributors” to the company’s performance. The growth at Egmont Publishing was led by classic brands including the Thomas Story Library and Mr Men, and the acquisition of new licences for Bob the Builder and Lazy Town. Egmont recently launched a new research-based series fiction list, 2Heads.

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Egmont Prepares Expansion Into Denmark

The Bookseller’s Philip Jones reports on Nordic media group Egmont‘s move to consolidate its position in Denmark with the acquisition of Bonnier Forlagene through its Danish subsidiary Aschehoug. The move brings together Denmark’s second and third largest publishing businesses: the new group will be renamed Lindhardt & Ringhof. The two media groups have also announced the merger of their Norwegian publishing businesses Damm and Cappelen to form a new publishing group, Cappelen Damm. The new publisher will be owned equally by Bonnier Books and Egmont.

“We are making publishing history today, this being the most momentous change the Danish book business has seen in years,” said Egmont managing director Annette Wad, will head up the new company Lindhardt & Ringhof. “We want to be Denmark’s most dynamic publishing house when it comes to new ideas for specific titles as well as to marketing initiatives. We plan to boost our collaboration with authors and develop ideas with them. The new publishing house embraces a galaxy of many small editorial units with different specialties. This means we can be big while also retaining the intimacy of the small department and the specialist expertise it offers authors.”

Design for Publishing

The Bookseller’s Joel Rickett offers the scoop on what it’s like to sit in on a jacket cover meeting at a publishing house. In these notoriously fraught affairs, Rickett writes, editors, marketeers, publicists and sales staff plough through piles of cover mock-ups fresh from the art department. Dozens of jackets may be quickly approved, but sooner or later there’s a stumbling block: the editorial director loves a cover, but the sales director hates it. The designer is sent back to their Mac with a brief to incorporate 17 new elements from previous bestsellers, while simultaneously trying to make it look “more original”. Most of the decision-making is internal unless someone like Amanda Ross, producer of the Richard & Judy book club show or B&N’s Sessalee Hensley objects, and then they go back to the drawing board.

But now there are more options, especially with regards to backlist titles. “Research can be useful to take an author up a level,” says Ed Christie, sales and marketing director of Transworld and RH Children’s Books. “Sometimes publishers can get stuck in a loop, and research breaks the cycle. You’ve still got to be bold, not slavish, but you can learn from a particular market.” The new-look Vintage Classics, launching in the UK this August, also benefited from outside market research. Vintage publishing director Rachel Cugnoni said the groups “wanted something they could trust, that wasn’t too overstated, with a sense of aesthetic style. Books that would feel as happy in Heal’s as in bookshops.”

But as Egmont publisher Helen Stables pointed out, no matter how solid the research is, it cannot supplant good design skills. “Any data you get needs to be translated by an excellent art director into a bestselling cover. It is a guide to target audience preference, not a substitute for creative excellence.”