Quindaro Press celebrated its 10th anniversary last year by reinventing itself: the Kansas City small press, which in its first decade published history books for adult readers, changed its mission to publish instead historical fiction and nonfiction for YA readers that emphasize social justice themes. Its debut title as a publisher of YA books launched last month.
“Our mission is a blend of passion and market opportunity,” publisher Aaron Barnhart explained. “We saw the YA market as an opportunity.”
Plus, he added, “This next generation of readers [is] idealistic and has a burning social conscience. They watch John Green’s YouTube channel and read Steve Sheinkin’s books. They follow #BlackLivesMatter. They want to know why the world is the way it is.”
Barnhart explained that Quindaro Press will seek out “big stories, not acts and facts” in building its list. While Firebrand (Oct.), the press’ debut YA release, is a novel, he says, he anticipates that Quindaro’s list will contain more nonfiction than fiction. The press is publishing six titles in 2016 and anticipates publishing another six in 2017; it hopes to increase its output to eight releases in 2018. Print runs are 3,000 copies and Itasca Books in Minneapolis is the press’s distributor.
Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols by Diane Eikhoff, which was the press’ inaugural release in 2006, is being tweaked to fit into the YA category and will be reissued next February under the title Speaking Up for Women.
Quindaro is also publishing in Gunpowder Girls: Three Civil War Tragedies by Tanya Anderson (Oct. 2016), which is part of the press’s ongoing Tanya Anderson Project, focusing onbooks about “girls caught in the crossfire of the Civil War.”
Following in November 2016 will be The Road That Divided America: The Audacious Plan to Segregate Indians and Whites on the Frontier by Lila Lee Jones, which Barnhart describes as a “historical picture book.”
Among further plans for the future, Quindaro is in the midst of negotiations to obtain the paperback rights to “an award-winning YA historical picture book” that it intends to publish in 2016.