'Shrek Forever After'

A scene from "Shrek Forever After" from DreamWorks Animation. Shrek and other DreamWorks' characters will be featured in a new publishing division launched by the studio. (DreamWorks Animation / April 8, 2010)

DreamWorks Animation is branching into the book publishing business.

The Glendale-based studio known for its computer-animated movies said it was launching a new division to publish digital and print books inspired by the studio's library of a characters.  DreamWorks Press will publish books featuring such franchises as "Kung Fu Panda" and "Shrek" as well as assets from the newly acquired Classic Media library and Awesomeness TV network.

"Publishing is a crucial component of any successful franchise, and owning and developing this capability in-house will give us an unprecedented platform to expand the worlds of our most beloved characters as well as introduce families to new characters from within our library," DreamWorks Animation's Head of Franchise Shawn Dennis said in a statement.

FACES TO WATCH 2014: Digital media

The department will be run by Emma Whittard, an 18-year veteran of kids publishing; and supported by studio franchise chief Shawn Dennis, who previously oversaw publishing for American Girl.

The publishing division will also join with the Perseus Books Group for the sale and distribution of its digital and print books through Perseus' Publishers Group West distribution unit. 

"DreamWorks Animation is one of the world's most recognizable entertainment brands, and it is thrilling to join with them on this venture," said David Steinberger, president and CEO of the Perseus Books Group.  "Publishing will open the door to a whole new world for the studio's portfolio, and Perseus is excited to help take this business to incredible heights."

The first wave of books from DreamWorks Press is expected to launch later this year.

ALSO:

 Ken Ziffren to be L.A.'s new film czar

Lego Movie posts top box office opening in 2014

Cowell's 'X-Factor' could never hit the right note