Karen R. Thomas, former executive editor at Grand Central Publishing, left her position at Grand Central at the end of the year to concentrate on freelance editorial projects, including digital publishing and agenting.
Before joining Grand Central, Thomas was editorial director at Kensington Publishing, where she founded the Dafina Books imprint which targets African-American readers; and before that, she was an editor at Berkley.
Thomas told PW that she plans to focus on the digital side of African-American publishing, and that a number of authors are already seeking her services. “Some [of them are] celebrities who just want to publish electronically, and I want to help them do that.” Now, she will also help authors find publishing houses. “I hadn’t considered agenting. But with the loss of Manie Barron and what he did for the industry, it is of concern to me. With the rapid changes in the industry, I just want to make sure [the African American] presence does not disappear from the landscape.”
The list of books that she acquired and/or edited over her 19 years in publishing includes Foxy: My Life in Three Acts by Pam Grier; Love, Honor, and Betray by Kimberla Lawson Roby; Keep The Faith by Faith Evans; True to the Game (II and III) by Teri Woods; God Don't Like Ugly by Mary Monroe; Carl Weber's first six novels; and Payback with Ya Life by Wahida Clark. Thomas can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.