by Karen Raugust)
DreamWorks Animation is bringing its publishing business in-house, launching DreamWorks Press as its internal umbrella for all digital and print books. DreamWorks will oversee content and production, while Perseus Books Group’s Publishers Group West will handle sales and distribution.
Previously, DreamWorks has licensed its book titles to a variety of publishers. In 2011, Simon & Schuster took over as DreamWorks’ master children’s licensee, assuming publishing duties for most of DreamWorks’ franchises from the previous master licensee, Penguin. Additional publishers have been on board over the years as well.
The Wall Street Journal reports that DreamWorks Press will offer titles tied to existing franchises as licensing contracts expire, as well as creating books tied to new franchises such as the upcoming film B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations.
Key DreamWorks properties include Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and Shrek, as well as those under its DreamWorks Classics arm, which include Rocky & Bullwinkle. The latter came to DreamWorks through its 2012 acquisition of Classic Media.
Emma Whittard, a publishing veteran who was formerly with Disney, will head the operation, assisted by Shawn Dennis, DreamWorks’ head of franchise, who has experience at American Girl. The first internally produced books are expected in time for the 2014 holiday season.