DreamWorks Animation is putting pen to paper with the launch of DreamWorks Press, an in-house operation which will publish digital and print books inspired by the studio’s vast IP library. The newly formed division will also join with The Perseus Books Group for the sale and distribution of its digital and print books through Perseus’ Publishers Group West distribution unit.
DreamWorks Press signals the studio’s first-ever, year-round publishing program to establish permanent shelf space across top retailers as well as deliver content through a diverse range of formats and price points. The department will be run by Emma Whittard, an 18-year veteran of kids publishing including eight with Disney, and supported by DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Franchise, Shawn Dennis, who previously oversaw publishing for American Girl. The in-house staff will produce digital and print books, along with book apps featuring DreamWorks Animation franchises including Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek and the upcoming B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, as well as assets from the DreamWorks Classics portfolio and recent acquisition AwesomenessTV.
“As we continue to grow our brand on a global level, DreamWorks Press will give fans a meaningful way to interact with us on a year-round basis,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Franchise Shawn Dennis. “Publishing is a crucial component of any successful franchise, and owning and developing this capability in-house will give us an unprecedented platform to expand the worlds of our most beloved characters as well as introduce families to new characters from within our library.”
The material generated by DreamWorks Press in North America will also provide a wealth of book assets for the studio’s international licensees for use in the planning and creation of their DreamWorks Animation ranges in territories worldwide.
“DreamWorks Animation is one of the world’s most recognizable entertainment brands and it is thrilling to join with them on this venture,” said David Steinberger, President and CEO of The Perseus Books Group. “Publishing will open the door to a whole new world for the studio’s portfolio and Perseus is excited to help take this business to incredible heights.”
The first wave of books from DreamWorks Press is likely to launch in time for the 2014 holiday season. DreamWorks Animation will also build an international team within the publishing arm to ensure that content is produced and enjoyed around the world.
“One of the biggest keys to success for DreamWorks Press was finding a fantastic partner with a proven track record and we certainly have that in Perseus,” said Head of DreamWorks Animation Publishing, Emma Whittard. “With all of the proper pieces now in place, we are perfectly positioned to grow the publishing business in a significant way for years to come.”