Capstone to bring library to TV and film

Children's publisher also eyes merchandising, new media

Actress Marisa Couglan and attorney-producer Eric Feig are joining forces to open Capstone Publishers' extensive library of original fiction aimed at school-age children for film, TV and new-media development as well as merchandising.

Literary rep Alan Gasmer and licensing agent Ken Abrams are joining them in the effort.

Capstone is a major publisher of children's books in the U.S. education market. Couglan and Feig will concentrate on Capstone's Stone Arch Books division, which produces contemporary fiction for boys and girls in grades K-9.

Couglan, who recently appeared in episodes of "Medium" and "Bones," is a member of the family that launched Capstone in 1991. Since then, the Minneapolis-based publisher has added several additional imprints and also expanded into interactive books, audio books and digital media. It partnered this year with Sports Illustrated Kids to create a line of nonfiction and fiction sports stories. And, with DC Comics, it has developed a line of DC Super Hero chapter books.

"The titles have a massive built-in audience of fans in the U.S and around the world, making them a natural fit for every screen available," Couglan said of Capstone's catalog.

Feig, a founding partner of Beverly Hills entertainment law firm Rosen Feig & Golland, noted that the publishers' properties -- used in schools across the U.S. -- have brand-name recognition that appeals to multiple demographics.

"It's very difficult in today's market to create stories that resonate with both boys and girls immediately," Gasmer said. "We're confident that with these Stone Arch Books titles, we have a real springboard from which to begin our creative process."

Abrams, who has served as director of licensing at Paramount and vp consumer products and marketing at Marvel, is president of licensing agency Character Vision.

"Not only is Capstone Publishers the dominant school library publisher in the U.S., their books have been in translated into a dozen languages and are popular in major foreign territories," he said.
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