In her new position as managing director of publishing for London, England-based HIT Entertainment, Ingrid Selberg is hoping to use her expertise to develop the company’s expansion into the yet-to-be-named book division.
HIT built its reputation as an independent producer and distributor of TV programs such as Brambly Hedge and Kipper, but in the last year, the company has opened an animation studio and licensing and merchandising division. In February, HIT bought 40% of the All Books for Children publishing company (ABC) and plans to use this publishing arm to further develop its television character properties. Ludgate 151, ABC’s holding company, owns the remaining shares.
Selberg is quite familiar with this role. A former managing director at Reed Children’s Books (now Egmont), she was instrumental in the development of Thomas the Tank Engine from book character to well-established brand. The new books will be high-quality, high-price-point items, says Selberg.
The relationship between HIT and ABC is still in the early stages, so it is not certain exactly how each will play their roles. ABC owns the rights to Angelina Ballerina, and HIT has plans to expand the literary character into TV and video. ABC also has 300 other titles, but HIT expects to keep only 100 of these on its frontlist, and it’s not certain which ones will be developed.