Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Replacing Harry in 39 Steps

Scholastic will announce a new publishing program that they hope will replace the Harry Potter franchise. In this case, they will retain all rights to the intellectual content so while traditional published product may not reach the heights of success that Harry did, Scholastic will be able to leverage the content in a much broader fashion than the Potter series. Rowling retained most rights to negotiate directly with other third parties such as movie producers without having to pay Scholastic or Bloomsbury a percentage.

From the NYTimes:
The series, to be officially announced by Scholastic on Tuesday morning, will be aimed at readers 8 to 12 and offer mystery novels telling the story of a centuries-old family, the Cahills, who are supposed to be the world’s most powerful clan. According to the books, famous historical figures ranging from Benjamin Franklin to Mozart were members of the family. The plots will revolve around the race by two young Cahills, Amy, 14, and Dan, 11, against other branches of the family to be the first to find the 39 clues that will lead to ultimate power.

Scholastic intend to make non-print publishing a key component of this program recognizing that not only is print less appealing to younger readers but that the web related product could actually create a larger more compelling product.

As a side note, I thought it curious that NYT has chose not to place this story in the media & advertising section of the times but in the Arts section. Seems to me that this is both: Certainly from a business perspective, replacing Potter revenues at Scholastic will be of interest to the business community.

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