December 7, 2011, 2:13 PM

Amazon looks to expand its publishing into young adult and picture books

The retailer says it will buy Marshall Cavendish Children’s books.

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Amazon.com Inc. this week said it will buy a children’s book imprint, Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books. Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will acquire more than 450 titles through the acquisition, and will use the deal to expand its publishing business into young adult novels, picture books and related items.

 “We’re excited to acquire the Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books titles and expand our publishing business in this area,” says Jeff Belle, vice president of Amazon Publishing. “We believe the children’s book market segment presents a unique opportunity to innovate in both print and digital formats. And since many of these titles are not readily available as e-books, we see a chance to connect a terrific group of authors and illustrators with more readers. We also see the potential for similar deals across other categories in the future.”

Marshall Cavendish titles include The Night Before Christmas” illustrated by Gennady Spirin; “Three Little Tamales” by Eric A. Kimmel; “Chalk” by Bill Thomson; “Yellow Star” by Jennifer Roy; and “My Name is Not Easy” by Debby Dahl Edwardson.

Amazon operates six imprints grouped under its Amazon Publishing arm: AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Powered by Amazon, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer and 47North. Amazon did not say when the deal would close, but after it does, Marshall Cavendish will continue to publish school textbooks and other educational material.

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