EPIC Press, a new Minneapolis-based publisher of teen fiction, anticipates that its entry into the competitive YA market this fall will be as monumental as its company name suggests. EPIC is being launched as a separate company from its parent, ABDO, a publisher of nonfiction titles for the school and library market that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
EPIC’s debut list will include 48 titles: eight series, each containing six related novels, will be released simultaneously in both hardcover and in digital formats. This approach, EPIC executives maintain, is intended to encourage readers to consume more content at a faster clip, comparable to teens’ propensity for “binge-watching a favorite series” on Netflix.
The eight series include Bots by Nicole M. Taylor; Coming Out by Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny; Earth Aliens by S.E. Wendel; The Haunting of Grey Hills by Jennifer Skogen; He Said, She Said by Shannon Layne; Hoop City by Sam Moussavi; Stoopid by Laura McGehee; and Time of Death by Josh Anderson. The hardcover formats will retail for $18.99, and $27.13 in library binding, for the 200+-page reads.
“Our focus on deliverability was intentional,” Paul Skaj, ABDO’s v-p of sales, stated in a release. “In the Internet age of ‘instants’ (i.e. instant downloading, instant subscriptions, and online ordering available at the click of a button), offering a complete series of novels for consumption in one single sweep is something we’re pretty excited about and believe readers will be too. This type of distribution allows books to be read at the accelerated pace of the modern lifestyle.”
EPIC is also implementing an Instant Access QR Code program for libraries: QR codes and hardcover copies of EPIC releases are available free of charge after librarians have purchased $500 in e-books.
“This technology also allows readers to carry the book around with them on their personal device once downloaded for convenient reading, anytime, anywhere,” ABDO marketing manager BreAnn Rumsch said.
Kenneth Abdo, whose father, Joseph Abdo founded the company in 1985, serves as EPIC’s managing editor and its only dedicated employee. Kenneth will be assisted by ABDO’s editorial, marketing, and production team.
He will be responsible for editing “every manuscript from cover to cover,” and will approve “all creative aspects of design” in EPIC’s list. “In short,” Abdo stated, “I make sure that every book turns out better than perfect and that they get out on time.”