Niani Colom, associate publisher of Genesis Press, is hoping that Genesis's new distribution agreement with Kensington Publishing will get the company attention outside the bookstore channel. With only three full-time staff members, the 10-year-old publisher of African-American books "is not big enough to get into nontraditional outlets," Colom said. Kensington's ability to get its books into such outlets as airports and libraries should provide "a big boost," Colom said.
To date, Genesis has focused on African-American romance, which it publishes under the Indigo Romance imprint. All titles are done in trade paper, and most sell for $9.95. Recent bestsellers include Dangerous Obsession, which Colom describes as action romance; it has 15,000 copies in print. Another action romance, Code Name: Diva, is set for a September release with a 15,000-copy printing. In the more traditional romance vein, Office Policyhas 10,000 copies in print, while Crossing Paths, Tempting Memories has 15,000 copies in print. The latter benefited from a sweepstakes Genesis is running in conjunction with the Barbados tourism office.
Colom is steadily broadening Genesis's list beyond romance. A new interracial fiction imprint, Love Spectrum, has gotten off to a good start, and next spring the company will launch the first three titles in a gay/lesbian imprint called Le Marais. Colom is also looking to add a few educational nonfiction books to Genesis's mix, but the company has no plans to publish urban fiction. "It doesn't fit with our mission," Colom said, explaining that she wants Genesis's titles to reflect positive values.
Located in Columbus, Miss., Genesis published 18 titles last year, will do 24 this year and plans to publish 30 in 2005. After a poor 2002, sales began to improve in the middle of 2003 and have remained solid into 2004, Colom said, adding that she hopes the deal with Kensington "will take us to the next level."