At long last, 3 classic kid’s books by EB White will soon be released as ebooks. HarperCollins announced on Wednesday that The Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte’s Web, and Stuart Little will be available as ebooks starting 17 March.
The author’s heirs, including his granddaughter Martha White, had been holding out because they believed that ebook sales would hurt print sales.
“After discussing this with our agent (Amanda Urban), it’s become apparent to us that e-books complement sales of paper books, instead of replacing sales,” White told the AP. “The print books of Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web have been selling strongly, and we felt like it was time to allow the books into the market in other formats.”
With Neilsen showing print sales for fantasy novels dropping by 58% since the rise of ebooks, it is actually long past the time when these ebooks should have been released, but better late than never. And with the Pew Research Center reporting that 28% of Americans had read an ebook in the 12 months leading up to January 2014, clearly there’s an audience worth reaching.
Nevertheless, White has no plans to offer the ebooks via ebook subscription services like Oyster or Scribd. “It’s not something we’ve been asked about and I don’t find myself wanting to go down that road,” she said. “The print book is always our primary concern and the bookstores are what we want to support.”
The White estate was one of the last digital holdouts, leaving Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye as one of the last few notable works still unavailable.
The ebooks are up for pre-order in the Kindle Store and elsewhere with prices ranging from $5.70 to $6.64.