U.K.-based indie graphic novel publisher Nobrow Press is launching Flying Eye Books, a children’s book imprint that will debut in the U.K. in February and in March in the U.S. Flying Eye Books will release 12 titles in the first year including comics, picture books, activity books, fiction, and nonfiction for kids aged 4-11 years old.
Founded in 2008 in London, Nobrow Press is run by Sam Arthur and Alix Spero and specializes in carefully designed graphic novels and illustrated books that highlight their focus on physical book production quality. While the company has published books for children in the past—Luke Pearson’s picture book Hilda and the Midnight Giant was a Publishers Weekly Best Book for 2012 – Arthur told PW that the market is so specialized the house believed they needed an imprint focused on children, to target the market directly.
“We've always been great fans of children's books,” Arthur said via e-mail from London. “We felt that some of our Nobrow books, such as [Pearson’s] Hildafolk series, could benefit from being part of a dedicated children's imprint. So with Flying Eye we would like to create the kind of books that inspired us as kids for our children's generation.”
Flying Eye books will be priced between $14.95 and $24 for hardcover editions, and the first two paperback editions will be $8.95 and $13.95. Among the Flying Eye titles coming in 2013 are a new Hilda book from Pearson, Hilda and the Bird Parade (April); Welcome to Your Awesome Robot by Vivienne Schwartz, an activity book for creating cardboard robots (April); and Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin, the story of a West African girl and her pet monkey. Nobrow's books are distributed by Consortium in the U.S.
Nobrow Press, Arthur said, “will continue to publish books for an older audience, but we have a feeling the occasional Flying Eye book will be on a grown-up's wish list from time to time too.” The house has a mixture of titles, some developed in-house some licensed from European publishers. “We have found several titles that we feel are perfect for the voracious North American market, “ Arthur said highlighting more forthcoming titles for kids: Topsy Turvy World by Atak (May), Akissi, One Night Far from Here by Julia Wauters (June) and Monsters and Legends by D. Cali & G. Giandelliare (June), "all beautiful books that we are delighted and excited to introduce."
And despite Nobrow’s emphasis on print production and book design, Arthur did not rule out digital editions. “We are looking into the digital side of things, though there certainly won't be anything in our first year."
Arthur said he considers Flying Eye Books a way "to introduce our aesthetic and design approach to the children's book market. We want to create books that will be loved and cherished—and if that means they are scribbled and dribbled on by the children that love them, then all the better!”