A decade after it launched the Arabesque imprint to publish contemporary romance novels aimed at the African-American market, Kensington will return to the genre with a new line of books to be published under the Dafina imprint.
The mass market line will debut next summer with Say Yes by Donna Hill. Dafina editorial director Karen Thomas said the books will follow no formula. "We're not going to limit ourselves to strict guidelines," she said. "We want to give our writers as much free rein as possible." Dafina expects to publish up to 12 books a year in the line.
Kensington hasn't published contemporary African-American romances since it sold its Arabesque imprint to BET Books in 1998. Though Kensington continued to distribute the books, the deal with BET prohibited it from publishing competing titles. A new agreement with BET continues the distribution relationship, but lifts the restriction, allowing Kensington to develop the new line.