Kensington is about to break into the sci-fi and fantasy world in a big way in January with its new Rebel Base Books imprint. Publishing 26 e-books in 2018, featuring 10 new series by 10 established and debut authors, Rebel Base will instantly make Kensington a major player in the sci-fi and fantasy space.
Kensington is applying the successful model behind its digital-first romance, historical, thriller, and mystery imprint, Lyrical Press, to one aimed at another group of insatiable readers. "We did a lot of research into genres that are booming on the digital side, and we saw great opportunity in sci-fi and fantasy," says Martin Biro, editor of Lyrical Press, who will also oversee Rebel Base. He sees many benefits to digital-first publishing: "Chief among them is having more aggressive release schedules, as well as the ability to sign up additional books in a series quickly if it's taking off," Biro says.
"I definitely think they are voracious," Biro says of sci-fi and fantasy readers. "They appreciate having titles released close together, with large-scale stories that unfold over the course of multiple books." As a longtime comic book fan, Biro shares their tastes: "I've always appreciated this type of epic storytelling."
Rebel Base is designed not only to appeal to traditional sci-fi and fantasy readers but also to expand that reader- ship by focusing on stories that appeal to women. "One of the core things we looked for were books with either female protagonists or strong female characters in general, as well as diverse casts," Biro says.
Kensington has ambitious plans for the launch year: releasing four titles in January, followed by two more each month through- out 2018. The authors, whom Kensington calls the "crew of Rebel Base's maiden voyage," are Lance Erlick, Eric L. Harry, Barb Hendee, Alice Henderson, Leanna Renee Hieber, Jeffe Kennedy, J.T. Nicholas, Alexandra Rushe, Ryan Wieser, and James Wolanyk—and they are excited.
In April, established author Alice Henderson will begin her Skyfire Saga, about a postapocalyptic world where survivors live in shielded megacities. She sees joining the Rebel Base list as a new way to reach fans: "Rebel Base will give me the unique opportunity of communi- cating with readers while I'm still writing the series," Henderson says.
In the Dark Glass series by Barb Hendee, also an established author, each book follows a woman who lives through the outcome of one choice three times by looking into a magical three-paneled mirror. Hendee is eager for the faster publishing schedule: "Rebel Base is going to publish four novels in my Dark Glass series in 2018," Hendee says. "This is an innovative strategy in traditional publishing, and it should help readers connect with the series."
As with Lyrical Press titles, Rebel Base books will simultaneously be available in trade paperback through print-on- demand. Each release will have its own dedicated marketing campaign, and to celebrate the launch of the imprint, Kensington will have a street team at New York Comic Con in October.
"This is exciting," says debut author J.T. Nicholas, whose first book in the New Lyons Sequence, about a world in which engineered "Synths" are created to perform menial tasks, will be among the January releases. "It means having the backing of an established house like Kensington, so even though the imprint is new, you're working with consummate professionals who have been there and done that," Nicholas says. Sci-fi and fantasy fans have a lot to be excited about, too.
The Launch List
Rebel Base Books will publish six new books in January and February. Visit RebelBaseBooks.com for more details:
Through a Dark Glass
Jan. 9, 2018
A Meddle of Wizards
Jan. 9, 2018
Eric L. Harry
Jan. 23, 2018
Jan. 23, 2018
Feb. 20, 2018
The Glass Blade Ryan Wieser
Mar. 6, 2018