With August House founders Ted and Liz Parkhurst set to leave the children's publisher at the end of the month, owner Steve Floyd is recruiting editorial and sales people to work out of AH's Atlanta office. Floyd's March Cove Productions acquired August House, which had been based in Little Rock, Ark., in early 2005.
Floyd said he is continuing to push AH beyond its base of storytelling books aimed at the library market. The company released its first Story Cove titles last year and published three new ones last month. Story Cove books are tied to the Web, where animated movies and lesson plans are available. Floyd hopes to eventually publish 200 Story Cove titles as part of his strategy to penetrate the classroom market, which AH has had difficulty cracking. To improve sales to that market, the company's distributor, National Book Network, is looking to line up educational wholesalers to get AH's books into schools. Floyd said he sees grades k—2 as the company's "sweet spot."
While sales to classrooms have lagged, sales to the trade have improved. The move to NBN plus success in getting the company's storytellers/authors into stores has helped increase sales, Floyd said. "When we get our performers into stores, sales go up," he noted. New picture books that Floyd believes will do well this fall in all markets include Sister Tricksters and Go to Sleep, Gecko.
As part of his multimedia strategy, Floyd has intensified efforts to get August House titles developed for movies and TV. Film rights to Fielder's Choice have been sold to Blackbird Fly Entertainment, and last week AH signed a deal with WGBH for Spicy Hot Colors.
To help expand AH's operations, recent additions to the staff include Laura Deisley, who is in charge of strategic partnerships, and acquisitions editor Bethany Eyrich.