Independent film and media studio Black Odyssey LLC has announced the launch of Black Odyssey Media, a new publishing venture dedicated to books focused on the Black experience, with a concentration on novelizations and works that can be adapted for film or television. Founded by author, producer, and literary agent Shawanda Williams, Black Odyssey Media will publish around 10 titles annually in hardcover, trade paperback, and mass-market formats with simultaneous e-book releases.
Black Odyssey's inaugural list is planned to debut in summer 2023 and includes such titles as American Gunner by Eddy Clark with D. Andrea Whitfield; Women Cry in the Dark, Too by J.L. Blalock; and The Accidental Queen by L.R. Jackson. The publisher has also acquired thrillers Solomon Dark by E. Gray and Jack Girlz by Danielle Marcus.
Alongside Shawanda Williams, Kreceda Tyler is overseeing acquisitions, with support from editorial associates Mandy Schultz and Brandie White. They are currently acquiring fiction across all genres, ranging from contemporary romance to celebrity/influencer novel-mashups, in addition to select narrative nonfiction.
Trade distribution is being done by Kensington Publishing. Steven Zacharius, president and CEO of Kensington, said that "Shawanda Williams has a singular perspective and a keen sense of what the market wants. We have a history of success together—both in the books we’ve acquired from her as a literary agent, as well as her own novels published by our distribution client, Urban Books—so when she first came to Kensington with her vision for Black Odyssey Media, we immediately wanted to be a part of it.”
“The duality of being an author and having served the market as a literary agent for nearly nine years has allowed me to assess the industry from a unique vantage point,” said Williams in a statement. “With the vital support of our new partners, I hope that Black Odyssey can... usher in more diverse voices to cater to an underserved market.”