Kensington Publishing has signed a distribution agreement with Urban Books, a new publishing house founded by author and bookseller Carl Weber. Under the agreement, Kensington will represent Urban Books worldwide and will also handle all subsidiary rights sales.

Weber said he founded Urban Books, which will release its first title in November, in response to the success of hip-hop fiction. "A new generation of African-American readers has emerged. They're seeking more drama-filled stories. What we're trying to do is fill that void," Weber explained. Unlike some previous lines that dealt with the seedier side of inner-city life, Weber said, Urban Books will do "stories of proud, strong people surviving in hard times."

Weber plans to release one trade paperback per month, with La Jill Hunt's Drama Queen kicking off the publishing program in November. In December, Urban Books will release Is It a Crime by Roy Glenn.

Kensington is currently publishing Weber's newest book, Baby Momma Drama, under its Dafina imprint.