Trustbridge Global Media, parent company of Holiday House and Peachtree Publishing, and an affiliate of the China-based global private investment firm Trustbridge Partners, has announced a new children’s imprint, Pixel+Ink. Based in New York City, the imprint will be helmed by Bethany Buck, who has been named editor-in-chief.
Buck was most recently editorial director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books. Previously, she was editorial director of Sky Pony Press, v-p and publisher at Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin and Simon Pulse imprints, and associate editorial director in Scholastic’s trade division. She also worked as a literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.
The emphasis of Pixel+Ink will be on books with the potential to translate into various platforms and internationally. The debut list will focus on fiction series for children ages three to 13, featuring a combination of picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and graphic novels.
Citing her passion for series publishing, Buck told PW she was particularly drawn to the opportunity “to branch out and think about properties that could be developed on the media and global publishing side.”
She also foresees collaboration with fellow members of Trustbridge’s portfolio, Holiday House and Peachtree. “We’re sort of being sister imprints. We will be working together, learning from each other, and sharing experiences and publishing services.”
In terms of staffing, she said, “We’re very small. I’m overseeing the editorial, and we’re hiring a development director as well, who will serve as the hub of communication, contracts, and managing editorial, also coordinating with sales and marketing.” Pixel+Ink is currently in discussions with the industry’s major sales and distribution providers, but has yet to make a decision about partnering. Buck added, “Because we’re doing so much development of properties—and when we get into developing IP—we’re looking to hire a writer who specializes in children’s, who can also do some writing in-house.” The imprint will also work with a wide variety of TV consultants as part of its publishing model.
The debut list will launch in summer 2020 with Black Sand Beach, a middle-grade graphic novel series by bestselling New Zealand comic book and picture book creator Richard Fairgray. Buck previously published a number of Fairgray’s picture books at Sky Pony. “I loved working with him, and we reconnected when I started [at Pixel+Ink],” she said. The books are based on a location from the author’s childhood, which Buck described as “a world that’s very rich and full of possibilities. It’s a wonderfully creepy, beautiful place that hosts lots of odd activity.” Buck said the imprint has offers out on other titles, including a variety of picture books, chapter books, and another middle-grade graphic novel.
Pixel+Ink will preview its rollout titles at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair next month, alongside Holiday House and Peachtree. Miriam Miller, senior rights manager at Holiday House, will represent the list. Buck plans to rev up the imprint’s output in 2020, publishing between 12 and 15 titles.