12 June 2007

Seeking Help for the Bottom Line

From the children's publishing world come news releases of three new ventures--two involving book/film combos offered over the web, the third a plea for funds.

The Associated Press picked up this announcement from Scholastic:

Scholastic is officially launching BookFlix, an educational Web site pairing short films based on popular picture books along with nonfiction e-books that allow early readers to follow the text online.
And the syndicate paired that with similar but different news from Disney:
Meanwhile, the Disney Publishing Group plans a similar project later this year, making favorites such as "The Jungle Book" and "Cinderella" available online. While Scholastic, for now, is sticking to the school and library market, Disney will offer books to general consumers, charging a fee, still to be determined, for downloads.
One company offers nonfiction ebooks on an "educational" site. The other promises a new channel for enjoying its narrative brands. That, my friends, is the difference between a company with its roots in school book fairs and school-library publishing, and a company with its roots in the movie business.

Meanwhile, Publishers Weekly brings a story from the Southwest:
The University of New Mexico Press has initiated a "Friends of the Press" campaign to establish a $5-million endowment that will be used to fund two new series of children's books...a multicultural children's series and a children's science series.
Now this fund is also supposed to help the press's "future growth and development," so it may be pushing the children's series front and center because people are more willing to give money for cute kids than for editor's offices and another dozen scholarly monographs. Once again, that approach to increasing revenue shows UNMP's roots, as a non-profit organization.

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