Mcfarlane Launches Lemonfizz Media

Bookseller+Publisher, 15/07/2009

Susannah McFarlane, former co-owner and publisher of Hardie Grant Egmont, has announced the launch of her new company LemonFizz Media (LFM).

The business, which McFarlane said would ‘not be a traditional publisher’ will focus on ‘a small number of publishing projects that we are passionate about’.

McFarlane told WBN LFM would be ‘co-publishing’ its first three series as part of a partnership with Scholastic Australia and described her role under the deal as ‘packager plus’.

The agreement with Scholastic means LFM is ‘responsible for the brand and consumer marketing’, while Scholastic will print the books and drive retail and educational marketing. ‘I needed a market partner and I am thrilled with Scholastic,’ she said.

Andrew Berkhut, head of publishing at Scholastic said he was ‘very excited to be working with Susannah, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishers’.

‘Susannah’s arrival is not only great news for Scholastic, but also ensures her special new children’s series in 2010 will provide Australian children with more opportunities to explore and develop a lifelong love of reading,’ he said. ‘We expect Susannah’s wealth of creativity and marketing experience will complement our extensive distribution capabilities.’

The first two LFM series will be launched in early 2010. The first, ‘EJ12: Girl Hero’, is an adventure series for girls aged seven to 10 that features a young girl with a double life as a secret agent as the main character. The second series ‘Boy vs Beast’ is aimed at ‘the very young and reluctant reading boy’. Created in partnership with educational consultant and publisher Louise Park, the latter series will be a ‘Pop and Fizz’ production, said McFarlane, reflecting the LFM name and Park’s Paddlepop Press business.

McFarlane’s new venture follows her departure from Hardie Grant Egmont last year. She said it was ‘good to be back in kids publishing and I look forward to renewing old relationships and making new ones.’