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A big statement of intent for children’s publishing

Penguin Books

Sorry for not having posted much over the last few weeks, I’ve been very busy doing various work things. But when I saw this news of big changes and a huge swathe of redundancies and restructuring at Penguin, I had to write something, however short.

With 100 redundancies across the company, some of these are sure to come at Puffin, their children’s imprint. It’s tough news for them, and I hope that all my old friends there are OK. But what’s interesting is that these big changes are not about performance or making savings during the recession. It’s actually a much bigger, more ambitious statement of intent, as John Makinson, chief executive of the Penguin group explains here.

It’s actually part of a plan to invest in a digital future for books, with one of the other significant aspects to the story being Anna Rafferty’s promotion to digital managing director. And, as you probably know, that’s a subject that really interests me, because the industry has yet to really work out what its take is on digital books.

I’ll be looking at future news from Penguin with real interest.

There’s recently been discussion about the balance between hardback and paperback picture books on the shop shelves. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some more ambitious thinking, in terms of different media and events, also helps to make a difference.

Fingers crossed.

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