Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Blue Apple Books in Publisher's Weekly!

Blue Apple Books was highlighted in an article about fast growing independent publishers in Publishers Weekly yesterday:

"Blue Apple Books' publisher, Harriet Ziefert, says her children's publishing house continued to benefit from growing brand awareness in 2010, citing as one example the higher number of unsolicited manuscripts the company receives—20 a day compared to 20 a month when the company launched in 2003. That brand awareness has helped Blue Apple get into a diverse number of sales channels. 'We've proven our products will sell at high-end specialty stores as well as mass merchants,' Ziefert notes. Although Chronicle has helped Blue Apple expand, beginning July 1 the company is moving its distribution to Random House. 'It's something we felt we needed to do as the next step in our growth,' Ziefert says. The move allowed Blue Apple to hire one of its former reps, Rob Shaefer, as sales manager.

Blue Apple's big hit last year was placemats that feature activities that kids can doodle over. At the other end of the spectrum, Blue Apple has already developed several enhanced e-books and has hired a digital consultant to help create apps around some of its brands. The company has what it hopes is a strong new series that kicked off in 2010 with Bear in Underwear. The novelty title was a strong seller at Target over the 2010 holidays, and Bear in Pink Underwear is set for release this year, Bear in Long Underwear next year. Another title that did well last year was How the Sphinx Got to the Museum, with How the Dinosaur Got to the Smithsonian set for this year. Titles developed under the Dwell Studio license also sold well in 2010.

Ziefert's goal for the next several years is to increase sales at a 25% annual rate without significantly adding to the number of print titles. 'We'll stick to what we do best,' Ziefert says, which is fiction and nonfiction books for infants through ages eight to nine. 'We're not chasing trends. No vampires.'"