Originally organized to publish a benefit book in the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake earlier this year, Pear Jam Books has now been launched as full-service publishing house. The New Zealand-based house is the creation of YA and adult novelist Jill Marshall and will launch its first list December 14 with eight titles offered in print, e-book and audiobook formats, with games and apps based on them to come.
Marshall, the author of more than 10 books for children, teens and adults, has teamed up with digital services provider eBooks2go to provide the technical infrastructure for digital conversion, e-book and app development as well as international digital distribution for Pear Jam Books. EBooks2go has offices in India, Singapore and in the U.S. in Illinois and Connecticut. Marshall, a British citizen, lives in Auckland, New Zealand, and is best known for her Jan Blonde series for teen girls, a bestseller in the U.K. that has sold more than 20 million copies around the world.
Pear Jam Books is releasing all of titles initially as print (POD) and e-books, with audiobooks and apps, games and potentially movies and TV versions based on them to come in the near future. Marshall said the new publishing house is an effort to offer writers and illustrators a new way to reach readers that take advantage of digital technology and the internet. “Publishing has had too many gatekeepers along the way, creating obstacles for new and established authors alike,” says Marshall. “Partnering with companies like ebooks2go.com means a little New Zealand-based company can have global reach and immediate connections with the reader, directly from storymaker to storytaker.”
The list features one adult title, Furt Bent From Aldaheit by Jack Eden, a crime thriller, with the other seven titles split between YA and children’s books. Other titles include The Rapture Trilogy by Phillip W. Simpson, a YA religious thriller, and Matilda Peppercorn: Manx by Jill Marshall, a YA novel about a teen girl kickboxer. Marshall will also be offering more of her own backlist titles though Pear Jam Book in the future.
In a phone interview, David Aubrey, director of eBooks2go, said the first volume of the Rapture was “doing very well in New Zealand and starting to do well in the U.S. We’ll have more Pear Jam books available in 2012; the second volume of the Rapture is coming and we’ll be releasing apps and enhanced e-books.”
Aubrey added, “We’re very pleased to be able to have NZ readers with the new Kobo Vox, Barnes & Noble or Kindle afficionados in the U.S., and a Sony book-lover in the U.K., all reading the same great PJB e-books.”