Educator and children’s author Jill Eggleton, and Tracy Strudley, sales and marketing director are the two dynamic women who, as Global Education Systems, create reading and learning resources and market their products internationally.
Next year they will make their presence felt in the trade market with a brand new range of products for pre-school learning called Bud-e.
Tracking back to the publishing company’s beginning, Key Links, their reading resources series, was begun by Jill in 2004, and gained momentum when Tracy brought her international educational sales marketing skills to the company in 2006.
Their major educational series in the reading resource field – Key Links, has collections of texts for shared, guided and independent reading, including teacher resources, for students from 5 to 10 plus years.
Global Education Systems has a further unique resource for peer group reading, called Into Connectors and Connectors. This resource is based on extensive research that cites the phenomenal success that peer reading has in lifting student’s comprehension levels.
Jill and Tracy are both powerhouses in their specialist areas. Jill is a noted educator with a worldwide reputation in teaching reading and she also undertakes professional development for educators with overseas seminars.
Plus, Jill is the author of around 90 percent of all the stories, texts and resources!
“I’ve been doing it a long time,” says Jill of their educational publishing. “We have a good reputation and people trust us to adhere to the curriculum system in their countries, and to give support.”
Tracy comes from a trade and educational sales product background with a major international publisher. Her success has been to sell the Global Education Systems product into several major markets – America, UK, Canada, South Africa and now into many Asian markets.
All this Global Education Systems material going to the local and international markets and you don’t recall seeing a single GES colophon? That is because GES sells their resource products to other established publishers… here in New Zealand and also in Australia, Canada and the UK that publisher is Scholastic. TWP Digital are the Singapore publishers, and there’s Gill and Macmillan in Ireland, Abrams Learning Trends and Heinemann in the US, Nelson Education and Cheneliere in Canada plus Juta in South Africa.
Despite all the different publisher names distributing the company’s books, Global Education Systems is always acknowledged on the imprint page. Via a production broker in New Zealand, books are printed in Hong Kong for each market’s order, and dispatched from there.
Tracy reckons she spends a third of her year travelling to overseas markets to represent the company and work with clients. Jill is also happy to climb on a plane as needed, and they are both heading to the Texan city of Austin in January to do a training seminar for US sales reps on selling their learning materials to the American market. This extra effort they are happy to make has led to great relationships with overseas colleagues.
Taking educational publishing to trade success
While the core business ticks over, Jill and Tracy are about to launch GES’ entry into the trade market next March with a whole new interactive world of electronic media, apps and conventional product called Bud-e, aimed at the anxious parent market for kids who are keen to learn to read, but too young to go to school.
Bud-e is a friendly little space alien who finds himself on Earth and opens up the world of reading for kids with a comprehensive literacy game.
GES have teamed with gaming studio Custard Square to enter this engaging and carefully crafted new world of augmented reality. Products will range from little books at $6.99 to picture flats at $19.99 and phone apps that reads the text if you scan it over the book. Bud-e Reading World app is their premium comprehensive product which promises to delight and engage young readers.
Just as importantly, the New Zealand book trade is right behind this launch, with Bud-e (from the world of Bubble-o) to be stocked by Whitcoulls, Paper Plus and The Warehouse Stationery.”Game elements to entertain children, but with a purpose,” notes Tracy.
Again, this product – 60 small books, seven ancillary books, and around 150 apps so far – is making its presence felt internationally. Tracy has interest from, and is currently negotiating with Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore at government level and also with USA publishers.
In New Zealand Bud-e is represented by South Pacific Books, who get a big tick from Tracy because of their in depth knowledge of this area of the market.
On the story side, Jill decided that children needed to be captured into the reading world. So tapping into their hunger for imagination, she created the world of Bubblo from where Bud-e fell. Jill believes that stories need the right elements to spark a love of reading and the creation of an imaginary world – within the bounds of possibility to some degree – provides the right elements for capturing young readers.
For even a well established and successful firm like GES, the investment in this new area has been ‘quite brave’ – surely an understatement! “We have researched for several years and are confident there is not only a gap, but for children and families, a real need in this market,” Tracy says.
“Bud-e is the new baby in our product portfolio, and that of our partners Custard Square. We are thrilled to see the enjoyment on children’s faces and those of their parents as they navigate their way around the Bud-e Reading app, read the book, engage in poetry, alphabet raps and enjoy literacy games,” says Tracy. “Bud-e motivates young children to want to learn to read!”