After eight years of publishing into the trade, National Geographic Children's Books has shifted its focus to the library market with the introduction of a number of curriculum-based series.

Talks about how best to reach out to young readers started about 18 months ago, when the editors at National Geographic Children's Books sat down to develop a five-year plan. "We found that our strongest customers are librarians," said Nancy Feresten, editor-in-chief of children's books. "We looked at which of our books had been most successful in libraries and tried to understand the contributing factors to that success."

The editors spoke with librarians about their needs and took a look at the books that are currently being published for the library market. They saw that they could make the most impact in children's publishing by taking National Geographic's expertise in solo nonfiction and use it to start a number of series.

The subject matter of each of the titles will be closely tied to a nonfiction literacy curriculum. "We want to support librarians, parents and teachers in helping children become strong students and independent thinkers," said Ericka Markman, president of the Children's Book and Educational Publishing group.

The new series, which launches this summer, will focus on geography and history, with the first five being Timelines of American History, How to Be…, National Geographic Explores, World History Biographies and Voices of the American Colonies. Each series will have between six and 60 titles and will be published over several seasons. One-off titles will still be published, to the tune of about 10 titles a year.