Hasbro and Barnes & Noble have launched 11 My Little Pony e-book editions exclusively for the Nook Tablet and Nook Color. The titles, which feature the Nook’s Read to Me technology and are priced at $3.99 and $4.99, mark the first time any Hasbro properties have been available for the Nook platform.
“My Little Pony is a great franchise that is having a resurgence, and its popularity reaches back to the parents who are buying the books and also to the young readers themselves,” says Jim Hilt, B&N’s v-p of e-books. “We’re always interested in collections of books, because young readers love series. Being able to release 11 at the same time is really valuable.”
Five of the titles are digital versions of print books originally developed by Hasbro with its coloring and activity licensee Bendon, and represent Hasbro’s initial foray into in-house digital book creation. Another three are e-book versions of enhanced storybook apps created under Hasbro’s partnership with Ruckus, while the final three are digital versions of titles that Reader’s Digest is about to publish in print form.
“This is our biggest collection of digital storybooks we’ve ever published at once,” says Margie Chan-Yip, v-p of global publishing for Hasbro. “We love that the Nook is a reading experience, plain and simple. It’s not about bells and whistles, it’s not about gaming, it’s not about entertainment.”
As with any kids’ publishing format, digital books can benefit from the association with a familiar entertainment license. “We get a substantial amount of traction around licensed properties,” Hilt says. In the case of young readers, he adds, “They’re just entering reading, and a license can help attract them to the Nook and to Barnes & Noble in general.”
Going forward, Hasbro and Barnes & Noble plan to follow the My Little Pony Collection with more Nook e-books based on other Hasbro properties.