Preschool property, THOMAS & FRIENDS continues its phenomenal publishing success with U.K. book sales up 10 percent in 2008.
First published in 1945 in a series of classic story books entitled THE RAILWAY SERIES, written by The Reverend W. Awdry, THOMAS & FRIENDS has sold more than 200 million books globally to date. Egmont UK has been working alongside rights owner and producer, HIT Ent., to spearhead this growth with an expanded range of titles and formats including classic story books, novelty books, magazines and television tie-ins.
Key to this increase has also been brokering innovative promotions, such as the recent DAILY MIRROR and SUNDAY MIRROR reader giveaway, which offered readers 10 free classic THOMAS & FRIENDS story books over 10 days. This resulted in an estimated 1 million books being redeemed, and contributed to one of the best months yet for THOMAS & FRIENDS U.K. book sales, with close to two million books sold in January 2009.
Egmont UK has also continued to drive growth in new markets with the appointment of new publishing partners in China, Thailand, Spain and Holland. Egmont UK also founded the first pan-Eastern European agreement with other members of the Egmont Group to open up 13 new markets for books and 7 new markets for magazines.