Gen-Xers, born between 1965 and 1980, may be more eager than any other generation of Americans to hold onto the objects that remind them of their youth. They’re also more capable than any previous generation of doing so—even when it comes to out-of-print books. Tapping into that Gen-X nostalgia, Ig Publishing, which for more than a decade has been doing fiction and nonfiction for adult readers and reissues for the academic market, is launching a new imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books.
The imprint, says Ig publisher Robert Lasner, will “bring back the very best in young adult literature, from the classics of the 1930s and 1940s to the thrillers and social novels of the 1970s and 1980s” in both print and digital formats.
Skurnick, a freelance journalist and author of Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading (Morrow, 2009), will handle acquisitions and edit the books. Lizzie Skurnick Books launches in the fall, releasing one title per month between September and March 2014. The inaugural release is Lois Duncan’s Debutante Hill, which was originally published by Dodd, Mead in 1958 and has been out of print for approximately 30 years.
While Ig Publishing (distributed by Consortium) intends to market Lizzie Skurnick Books to YA readers, Skurnick believes that Gen-X women who, like herself, came of age in the late ’70s and ’80s, will form the core readership. “These books were so important to women of my generation,” says Skurnick, describing them as a “shared shorthand” for Gen-X women. “It’s always been my dream to get those books back into print.”
Skurnick is speaking about the past and future of Gen-X’s favorite reads on today’s panel, “Backlist to the Future: How Will E-Releasing Out-of-Print Works Change Reading & Publishing?” 11–11:50 a.m., in Room 1E09. The moderator is Bill Tipper, B&N Review managing editor; other panelists include author Laura Lippman; Philippa Brophy, president of Sterling Lord Literistic; and Rachel Chou, chief marketing officer of Open Road Integrated Media. —Claire Kirch