Arcadia Publishing has formed a children’s division and appointed former DK editorial director Nancy Ellwood to head it. Arcadia CEO David Steinberger said he expects the first titles from Arcadia Children’s Books to be released in fiscal 2021, which begins next April.

Arcadia specializes in publishing books that cover local areas and Steinberger said the children’s group will follow that approach. “Always having a local author associated with each book has been a key to the success of Arcadia and we are going to look to that model as we build the children’s program,” Steinberger said.

Arcadia currently has a backlist of 15,000 adult “hyper-local” titles and while it has published some children’s books, the appointment of Ellwood marks a commitment to develop a robust list, Steinberger said. Ellwood will be based in New York (Arcadia’s headquarters are in Charleston, S.C.) and she will be hiring a children’s “team,” Steinberger said.

He told PW that Arcadia expects to publish books in a wide range of formats and has not ruled out publishing books for any particular age group. “We are likely to publish books for a range of ages,” he said.

According to Steinberger, a factor in creating a children’s books imprint was a request by booksellers asking Arcadia to develop kids’ books that cover local topics. “Arcadia is in a unique position to create great local books for children,” said Pete Mulvihill, co-owner of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, in a statement.