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CHAPTER AND VERSE The Written Word


Disney’s storytelling works on every platform - and appropriately, its related books and magazines are no different. Disney is the number one publisher of children’s books and magazines in the world.


In the UK alone Disney publishes some 800 books a year together with its licensees and ten magazine titles on a regular basis with total sales of around 5-6 million magazines a year (through Egmont and Panini).


The lead magazine is Disney Princess,


a fortnightly title which sells around 66,000 copies per issue. “When you think that there are around 145 magazines available in the UK, having such strong


properties really gives us the edge in such a competitive marketplace,” said Disney’s senior publishing manager for magazines, Siobhan Geraghty. Other strong magazines include


Disney & Me, a title which incorporates a collection of classic properties like 101 Dalmatians as well as the latest fi lm releases, such as Wreck It Ralph. Club Penguin magazine, based on the virtual game for kids, is one of our most recent success stories. It launched in 2012 and has already become a well established monthly title.” Disney Presents is another strong title, particularly as it acts as a test-bed for potential new properties. “We use this title to test the appetite in the market for different franchises,” explained Siobhan.


Far left: Disney Princess is the company’s best-selling magazine. Left: Club Penguin magazine enjoys a loyal fanbase


Let’s Get Digital


While for traditional books Disney works with a network of trusted licensed partners (with Parragon acting as the master publisher), for digital books the business is operated in-house. In fact in January Disney will have 500 e-books and 40 book apps live - pretty impressive for an area of the business that has only been up and running for two years. “We work across all franchises,


covering preschool, girls, boys and tweens/teens; from Winnie the Pooh to the Marvel properties, animation and live action fi lms,” said Nicki Pritchard, Disney’s publishing manager for books. Disney publishes replica e-books, audio e-books and also interactive e-books which incorporate gaming and video elements. “An interactive book always needs to be based around a story-telling element and as part of that there are diversionary areas which can continue to enhance the story and educate. We’re in a very privileged position, being part of the biggest entertainment company


in the world, because we can collaborate across studios, digital and gaming to create truly compelling products,” she added. Nicki is delighted that while digital books have soared in popularity, it hasn’t been at the expense of traditional book sales. “To date we are seeing our digital sales as incremental to our physical book sales,” she revealed. “I believe physical books will always have a place in a child’s world, but as the market evolves we will evolve with it and that makes what we do very exciting. We focus on bringing more interaction into our physical books, for example with augmented reality, which can work alongside our digital offer.”


Above right: A Wreck-It Ralph e-book.


Right: The Disney Princess Dress Up My Sticker Book is an incredibly popular digital book for Disney.


A SPECIAL MAX PUBLISHING © Disney 93


disney PUBLICATION 2013


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