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Penguin Putnam in Book Deal with DreamWorks
Jim Milliot -- 12/15/97
Multi-year agreement covers animated movies, gives option on live-action, TV films
In its second major deal in as many weeks, Penguin Putnam has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with DreamWorks that gives Penguin the publishing rights for at least the first five animated feature films from DreamWorks Pictures. The deal, announced by Penguin executive v-p Douglas Whiteman, also gives Penguin the option to propose publishing programs for other DreamWorks properties, including live-action motion pictures, animated and live-action TV programs and direct-to-video films. Under the agreement, Penguin has the book rights to most formats with a suggested retail price of more than $4. Negotiations are continuing with publishers to do the low-end titles.

The new deal broadens an already existing agreement between the two companies that called for Penguin to publish books related to DreamWorks's film Amistad (PW Book News, Nov. 3). In addition to four already shipped Amistad books (which have shipped in excess of one million units), Penguin is working on more than 20 titles in support of DreamWorks' 1997-98 motion picture schedule. Currently in development is a range of titles and formats for the summer 1998 release Small Soldiers that will include six titles from Grosset &Dunlap. To support DreamWorks's first animated film, The Prince of Egypt, Penguin is developing titles in at least a dozen formats for both adults and children.

Jon Anderson, former children's merchandise manager at Barnes &Noble, has joined Penguin as the liaison between Penguin and DreamWorks. He will also coordinate the publishing process within Penguin. Grosset &Dunlap, Dutton and Puffin will all participate in the DreamWorks program, which Whiteman estimated could result in about 150 titles. Whiteman noted that the length of the contract is tied to the number of projects it d s with DreamWorks, and is not limited to a specific number of years.

All titles developed in conjunction with DreamWorks will bear the DreamWorks Publishing imprint, and will feature a colophon adapted from the DreamWorks logo.

The DreamWorks deal comes on the heels of Penguin's announcement that it has entered into a joint venture with the Canadian publisher and packager Somerville House to develop a new independent children's publisher.
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