National Geographic is planning its “strongest showing to date” at both the Bologna Book Fair and the Bologna Licensing Fair, taking place April 1st to 3rd this year.
The company will once again aim to underline its success in book and magazine publishing, particularly in the children’s market, where a new fiction imprint has recently launched, when it showcases the brand at stand B46 in hall 26 at the Bologna Book Fair.
Meanwhile, at stand A1 in hall 32 at the Bologna Licensing Fair, visitors will be able to hear about the extraordinary growth of the brand in the UK and European market in the past 18 months, across multiple categories for both children and adults.
National Geographic’s publishing presence has grown to encompass 150 new books annually for adults, families and children on a range of non-fiction subjects in 40 languages, alongside more than 100 licensing partners around the world. National Geographic book sales last year exceeded 6.5 million worldwide in local language editions.
Popular titles in The National Geographic’s non-fiction line-up include the likes of Women: The National Geographic Image Collection, devoted to the female experience around the globe, Epic Journeys, for thrill seekers and adventurers, and Vanishing, a haunting photographic exploration of the world’s most endangered species.
Maria Maranesi, vice president consumer products and publishing, Europe and Africa, National Geographic Partners, said: “The strength of the National Geographic brand in publishing is no coincidence, given its strong association with storytelling, exploration and concern for the environment.
“Licensing too has built on the power of a respected brand and an admired set of values. Both are now enjoying impressive growth in the European market and will, I am sure, attract strong visitor interest in Bologna.”
While its adult book division is showing strength, The National Geographic has highlighted that its kids’ business is “even stronger,” particularly in the UK where kids’ non-fiction is the fastest-growing area of book buying. According to the firm, National Geographic titles from Harper Collins have exceeded that growth.
Led by the National Geographic Kids magazine, a leader in its field, and The National Geographic Little Kids magazine (for ages 3-6), National Geographic Kids publishes more than 100 titles each year, including franchises like the National Geographic Kids Almanac, the Weird But True books, the Little Kids First Big Book series, and special collections (for kids and adults) on topic such as history and the human body.
The company now predicts that the big news for Bologna will b the new children’s fiction imprint Under the Stars, led by the Explorer Academy series and published in the UK by Harper Collins. The imprint launched in September last year with The Nebula Secret. A second title arrives this month, ahead of the show, and a third in September.
The next non-fiction franchise, Zeus the Mighty: The Quest for the Golden Fleas, launches in October 2019. Greek mythology features throughout the series and the imprint delivers a new middle grade fiction series, starring Zeus the Hamster and the critters of the Mount Olympus Pet Rescue Centre. They will feature in their first adventure, a reimagining tale of the golden fleece.
The product roll-out features a new book every six months, comics in National Geographic Kids magazine, web videos, podcasts and more.
The success of the National Geographic brand in publishing is now reflected in a licensing division that spans plush from Steiff based on the endangered animals highlighted by National Geographic’s Photo Ark project, sticker albums from Topps, a capsule collection of skateboards, apparel and accessories from Element, a menswear apparel collection from Omnibrand and sustainably produced t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and bags from Teemill.