Toronto-based indie publisher ChiZine Publications, which publishes a variety of dark science fiction, fantasy, and horror, is launching a YA imprint, ChiTeen, this month.
ChiZine co-owner and co-publisher Sandra Kasturi told PW that initially the plan is to publish four YA titles each year and gradually build on that, in the same the way that ChiZine’s list has grown overall since it was established in 2008. In recent years, though, its growth rate has been faster than she and co-publisher (and husband) Brett Savory anticipated, she said. ChiZine has doubled its output since 2011 and now publishes about 25 titles each year.
Kasturi said she and Savory have talked about a YA imprint from the beginning of ChiZine. “It’s one of my big loves,” she said. "Our YA books don’t necessarily have easy solutions or happy endings, but then neither does The Hunger Games.” ChiZine has previously published a few YA books, but Kasturi said those books weren’t really marketed as YA because they were titles that had quite a lot of crossover into the adult market.
ChiTeen books will be geared for a variety of ages. The Door in the Mountain by Caitlin Sweet, which will be published in May in Canada, is for older teens and “may veer into the new adult arena,” according to Kasturi. The other spring title The Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly by P.T. Jones, will likely appeal to younger teens 13 to 15, or even tweens, she added. Both of those titles will publish in October in the U.S. A third, Dead Girls Don’t by Mags Storey, will be released in October in Canada but as a spring book for the U.S.
But Kasturi and Savory also have plans for ChiZine to grow in other directions. They have just launched an e-book only line, CZPeBook. Kasturi said one reason for creating the e-book lines was to relaunch books that have been out of print for a long time, such as three books by Nancy Baker that ChiZine just released. “Viking published those in the 90s, and they are these beautiful, elegant vampire novels…. Nancy had the rights back ages ago, but back then, nobody was buying e-books,” said Kasturi. “There’s a whole new audience and generation who has never heard of these, and this is our chance to get them out there and get them global distribution,” she adds.
ChiGraphic, a graphic novel imprint with three to four titles per year is also slated to launch in spring 2015, including Vincent Marcone’s The Lady ParaNorma, which Kasturi described as a “beautiful art book…It’s like “It’s like Coraline meets one of those Tim Burton Nightmare Before Christmas kinds of things.”
And in 2017, there are plans to launch ChiDunnit for mysteries and noir titles.
Kasturi and Savory are so far still ChiZine’s only full-time employees, working with many freelancers, and Kasturi said they “don’t want to expand so fast that we can’t pay attention to everything.” But so far, it looks like there’s growth on the dark side.