The distribution will be via a partnership with Asian publisher Muse Future Ltd.
This is a considerable milestone for Storytime, which celebrated its seventh anniversary this year. Storytime magazine already appeals to an international audience and is currently distributed in over 60 countries in its English and Dutch versions.
The content is curated by an international creative team who select, write and illustrate all the stories. The magazine includes, say the publishers, culturally rich content of high educational value including its popular Around the World Tales section, real-life tales and fairy tales. These are available in the monthly magazine and via the Storytime online Hub which includes the back catalogue of over 700 stories as well as home learning packs for parents and teachers.
The Chinese Storytime, published in Mandarin, will be slightly different from Storytime’s English version, including more pages and audio content. A website in Mandarin will be launched in early 2022. Muse Future Ltd will manage the entire process, translating and creating the content with Storytime approving the edition before going to print.
The Storytime founders, Leslie Coathup and Lulu Skantze, have had a global audience in mind from day one, and have developed an active licensing programme, which is now a core revenue stream for the company. This year, Storytime has also created audio versions of all past stories which has proved appealing to prospective licensors, particularly where English is a second language.
“Children under ten account for approximately 11 percent of the 1.3 billion Mandarin speakers worldwide, so this is definitely a strong market for us”, says Lulu Skantze, Storytime editorial director and co-founder. “We are very excited to work with Muse on this project. We had been approached by publishers from China before, but it has never quite worked out – and Muse had a solid business plan, plus they have already successfully launched some well-known, quality US children’s titles in China and know the kids’ market well, so they were a great fit for us.”
Ji Rongchang, Editor in Chief & CEO of Muse Future Ltd says: “I first came across Storytime in 2018. The illustration on the cover was beautiful, and the magazine was not only attractive on the outside but also had so much inside, with a great variety of stories, fables, legends, folk tales, and adventures from all over the world – and no ads whatsoever. My little boy loved it as much as I did, and I was immediately inspired to introduce Storytime into China to share it with all the other Chinese children! Storytime magazine is one of the most popular children's magazines in UK, and such a brilliant magazine will surely do much good for children around the world. We are looking forward to joining hands with Storytime to produce exciting stories for kids in the UK, China and more countries in the future.”
The first issue of Storytime in Mandarin was published in October.
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