“Because we’re a relatively small company, we have the flexibility to respond a little quicker than some of our competitors,” says Ted Adams, president. “Nimbleness allows us to get in those markets sooner than other folks. We keep an eye on what’s out there and jump in as quickly as we can. We also experiment as much as possible.
“Obviously, with kids, you have to be more careful with the social networking aspect,” Adams says of the company’s newest division, Jonas Publishing. “We look at it more as an opportunity to promote and market print products, and not as a replacement of a print product. Reading a comic book online is not the same experience as reading a newspaper or book online. The tactile part of reading it and holding it adds a lot to our product, and there’s a collectible aspect to it. With children’s books, it’s the same thing. Ultimately, if you’re reading a picture book to your kid at bed time, you’re not going to read it off the iPhone or a laptop.”
Along with the Earth Day-timed release of the division’s first title, “Michael Recycle,” the company plans online games and comic strips, as well as “how-to” information for implementing the book’s environmental message. Because IDW is a division of IDT Internet Mobile Group, owner of Zedge.net, mobile content is likely also on the horizon.
“As digital distribution of the content gets better, there will be more interest,” Adams says. “We are in the primitive stage of what it takes to make that a good reading experience.”
Rumblings of what’s to come can be heard from within the venerable environments of Macmillan, where MPS Mobile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Macmillan Publishing Solutions, is rolling out its Global Reader—launched in February—a mobile content solution designed to provide print content to any Internet-enabled mobile phone, anywhere in the world.