Disney Book Group announced today that it will publish a photographic picture book about the miracle of Einstein—the smallest horse ever born—and his search for a perfect friend. The agreement for North American rights was negotiated by Stephanie Owens Lurie, Editorial Director, Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group, and Cheryl Pientka of Grinberg Literary. The book is scheduled for publication in April 2011, just in time to celebrate Einstein’s first birthday.
On October 12, 2010, join fellow demigods and go back to Camp Half-Blood with the most-anticipated new series of the season, The Heroes of Olympus, by bestselling author Rick Riordan. Disney Book Group (DBG) reveals plans for the largest gathering of demigods via a live webcast on the October 12 laydown for the first book in the series. The Lost Hero has a 2.5 million copy first printing and will be available simultaneously in hardcover, audiobook and eBook formats. The eBook teaser chapters of The Lost Hero has had more than 10,000 downloads to date.
Merchandising isn’t the only big marketing move when it comes to promoting the latest Disney film, books are huge business too. Personally, I’ve become a huge fan of the junior novelization series which are often available a month or more before the film is released. It’s always fascinating to see just how similar the book, which is based on the actual scripts, is (or isn’t) to the final product. Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 were dead-on while The Sorcerer’s Apprentice makes one imagine there’s a lot of film still sitting on the cutting room floor.
In just a few short years, BOOM! Studios has already had enormous successes with adapting many Disney and Pixar favorites to comic format, most recently with the Disney Afternoon cult classic Darkwing Duck.
Today BOOM! announced that, starting in December, it will begin producing an ongoing series based on Darkwing contemporary Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. Penned by Darkwing Duck writer Ian Brill and illustrated by Leonel Castellani (Marvel Superhero Squad), issue #1 will be released with two variant covers (with a 50/50 distribution) by Leonel Castellani and Magic Eye Studios plus a 1-in-10 incentive cover featuring Zipper by Jake Myler as pictured below.
Although most of its own publishing had been limited to those of the graphic novel persuasion, Disney had been licensing its domestic comic book properties to the likes of BOOM! Studios, Diamond and Slave Labor Graphics. Now it appears some of its properties will be headed over to newly acquired Marvel to harness its talent and publishing capabilities.
Rick Riordan’s best selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has already found a successful movie in The Lightning Thief and now it’s heading back to the pages in an all-new graphic novel format from Disney Hyperion. Scheduled to be released on October 12 and available for pre-order on Amazon.com, fans of the series can preview ‘the lost scene’ from the graphic novel adaptation here.
On the heels of his overwhelmingly successful Fairies, Fiends and Flatulence international tour, Eoin Colfer will tour the U.S. as part of the Artemis Rocks! show. The tour coincides with the publication of Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, the seventh title in Colfer’s best selling series of novels for young readers.
Artemis Rocks! launched with two sneak preview performances in Southern California on August 4th and 5th; the U.S. tour runs from September 14th through the 24th. This talk show-style performance features a monologue from Eoin, a first rate writer and part time comedian. Eoin will interview Artemis Fowl himself, and the shows feature original songs and newly created music videos. There will be audience participation and book signings at all events as well.
Hyperion and ABC Family announced today that The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens (Hyperion; $12.99) is now available as an enhanced eBook on the iBookstore, which is included in the free iBooks app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (www.itunes.com/apps/ibooks). The first based on a television series on the iBookstore, this eBook is enhanced with video footage from Season One of ABC Family’s top-rated hit television series, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” integrating complementary text and video to provide a cohesive story.
On the heels of the success and industry recognition in the U.S. for its innovative format with the recently launched “Toy Story 3” app as well as with its “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” and “The Princess and the Frog” read-along apps, Disney Publishing Worldwide has created its first ever international versions of the “Toy Story” read-along app for iPad.
Launching on July 20th in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, the “Toy Story” apps will each feature songs and movie clips in French, German, Italian and Spanish. The app will have special promotional pricing for a limited time at €2.99 through August 31st; pricing will then shift to €6.99. The Disney-Pixar feature film Toy Story 3 will launch in Europe throughout late July.
Disney Book Group will publish a middle-grade baseball series written by National Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and co-authored by Baltimore Sun sportswriter Kevin Cowherd. The series will feature characters from a Babe Ruth League team named the “Orioles”. The agreement for world rights was negotiated by Stephanie Owens Lurie, Editorial Director, Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group, and Ian Kleinert, of Objective Entertainment.
The first book in the series—Hothead—will be published in Winter 2011 under the Disney-Hyperion imprint. It centers on all-star third baseman Connor Sullivan, who has a big problem: his temper. The story was inspired by Cal’s own struggle with frustration as a young player. Additional books will follow every year.