San Francisco’s Zest Books, known for its nonfiction books for teens and young adults, is making a commitment to the new adult genre with the launch of a new imprint called Pulp.
Under the guidance of editorial director Daniel Harmon, Pulp will specialize in memoirs, graphic novels, and art and humor books, targeting a slightly older reader than the rest of the house's children's list.
"As a category," Harmon said, "we view new adult as a place where some of the caution and, for lack of a better word, delicacy in much young adult publishing becomes unnecessary, even superfluous. We treat our new adult books as part of adult book publishing."
Harmon stresses that Pulp isn’t just about a new demographic group, but represents an entirely new outlook, one which "gives way to the simple curiosity of our authors." Zest has already had success in publishing for the new adult market with its bestselling humor title How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide by Meghan Doherty.
The first title in the Pulp line will be Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis (Oct.) by The Toast’s history blogger Alexis Coe, with illustrations by Sally Klann. It is a work of Victorian-era history. Three more Pulp titles are being released in both spring and fall 2015, including Andrew DeGraff’s art book Plotted: A Literary Atlas, made up almost entirely of maps.
Founded by publisher Hallie Warshaw in 2006, Zest has averaged 12 books a year since 2012, but currently has 20 books slated for release in 2015. The press expects to publish 20-24 titles a year going forward, with half of its output targeted at teens, a quarter for middle graders, and another quarter for new adult readers.
Zest is distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.