Random House Children’s Books is reorganizing its paperback publishing program and launching two new paperback imprints, Ember and Bluefire. Both imprints will publish middle-grade and YA books, yet each has a different focus. Ember will be the new trade paperback home to bestsellers and award winners, while Bluefire will feature classic fantasy titles published in all paperback formats, including digest, trade, and rack-size. Joining the company’s existing paperback imprints – Yearling, Laurel-Leaf, and Dragonfly – the new lines aim to help readers easily identify books that appeal to their tastes. The first titles from both imprints are due out this month.
Overseeing Ember and Bluefire is Robin Corey, v-p and publisher of Robin Corey Books and Paperbacks, who emphasizes that launching the imprints was a group effort. “Because the grand majority of the books that will be now be published under these imprints comes from originating Random House imprints, many of us have been in on Ember and Bluefire,” she explains. “In 2009, when editors from our various imprints, plus sales and marketing people, began analyzing our paperback publishing with an eye toward revitalizing or revamping whatever was needed, it became clear that having dedicated imprints will not only help consumers and retailers, but will help make us better at what we do. Taking a strategic look at our frontlist and backlist allows us to identify trends and gaps we need to fill, and to reformat titles as needed.”
Ember will largely consist of reprints, but will also include original paperbacks. Among the 25 titles on the imprint’s inaugural list this spring are Michael Scott’s Necromancer, They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney, Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski, Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and Torment, Lauren Kate’s sequel to Fallen. Ember also rolls out with two original paperbacks: Amen, L.A. by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld, and Caissie St. Onge’s Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever.
Readers will discover wizards, dragons, gods, quests, and battles in the pages of Bluefire books. Corey says that the imprint publishes “classic high-fantasy—no supernatural or paranormal romance, dystopian, or science fiction. This is core fantasy that takes place in imaginary or re-imagined worlds.” She notes that Mallory Loehr, v-p and editor-in-chief of Random House Books for Young Readers, is “our fantasy maven, and reviews all of the Bluefire titles to make sure they fit the core fantasy definition.”
Six novels comprise Bluefire’s launch list, including The Ring of Five by Eoin McNamee, Susannah Appelbaum’s Poisons of Caux: The Tasters Guild, and Guinevere’s Gift by Nancy McEnzie. Fantasy series that will now fall under the Blueprint imprint include 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson, Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper trilogy, and The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.
Random House Children’s Books is supporting the debut of Ember and Bluefire with a national marketing campaign that includes print advertising, blogger outreach, and the launch of a dedicated Web site for each imprint.