Capstone Young Readers, Capstone Publishers Group’s two-year-old trade publishing division, is launching its fifth imprint this fall, a YA imprint called Switch Press. Releases will include contemporary nonfiction, such as cookbooks, craft and how-to titles, and narrative nonfiction, as well as historical fiction, fantasy, graphic novels and poetry. Switch Press titles will be released both in hardcover and digital formats.
John Rahm, Capstone Young Readers senior product manager, will oversee Switch Press, assisted by Michael Dahl, the program’s fiction editorial director, and Nick Healy, nonfiction editorial director. The name of the imprint, Rahm said, is meant to evoke the “ever-changing interests” of YA readers, as well as the “notion of turning them on to new ideas.”
The imprint launches in August with The Isobel Journal, an illustrated memoir by 18-year-old Isobel Harrop, and Grace and the Guiltless, a historical novel by Erin Johnson set in the Wild West. A contemporary novel, Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets by J.A. Buckle, will be released in September, and a historical novel set in Victorian London, The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling, will be released in October.
For spring 2015, Capstone group publisher and general manager Ashley Andersen Zantop expects anywhere from four to six titles, with eight to 12 titles expected each year for the first few years.
Andersen Zantop called the decision to launch a YA imprint the “next logical step” for a company that has published books for readers from pre-K to early high school. “We have a wonderful, devoted readership that extends for many years,” she noted. “It was a shame for that relationship to end because our content topped out at early high school. Our goal is to maintain a connection with our reader base as they become a YA audience.”
In addition to conducting market research while developing the debut list, Andersen Zantop said, Capstone editors considered the preferences of their readership, which she described as being interested in a variety of subjects. “We don’t see their wide range of interests disappearing when readers turn 16,” she said. She also noted that, due to Capstone Publishers Group having four imprints that target the school and library markets, Switch Press is more capable of publishing fiction and nonfiction across a variety of genres than other publishers might be.
To whet readers’ appetites for the new imprint, a Switch Press Web site will launch in May with book trailers for the 2014 list, chapter previews, and social media connections.