DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ: DWA ) announced today it would be launching its own publishing unit, known as DreamWorks Press, to begin creating both digital and print books inspired by some of its popular movie franchises like Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and Shrek. The division will work with The Perseus Books Group for both the sale and distribution of the books it creates.
"Publishing is a crucial component of any successful franchise," noted Shawn Dennis, DreamWorks Animation's Head of Franchise, in a press release. He continued by noting, "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 intention of DreamWorks Press will be to "establish permanent shelf space across top retailers as well as deliver content through a diverse range of formats and price points." Dennis also said the establishment of the publishing line will allow the company to "give fans a meaningful way to interact with [DreamWorks] on a year-round basis."
DreamWorks plans the first launch of books to begin by the end of this year to be out in time for the holidays. The company will also begin putting together a team to create an international publishing presence.
The new head of the department, Emma Whittard, has been in children's publishing for 18 years, and previously spent eight years with Disney. In addition, Dennis also formerly oversaw publishing at American Girl.
"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," Whittard, the new Head of DreamWorks Animation Publishing, was quoted as saying.