B&T Buys Bookmasters

Baker & Taylor’s majority owner, the private equity firm Castle Harlan Partners IV LP, purchased 41-year-old distributor Bookmasters in Ashland, Ohio, allowing B&T to offer many of the same publisher services as its largest competitor, Ingram Content Group. Both Dave Wurster, CEO of Bookmasters, and his brother, COO Matt Wurster, will stay on with the company, which will remain in Ohio, close to the B&T warehouse in Momence, Ill.

Amazon Debuts Jet City Comics

Amazon Publishing has launched another imprint, Jet City Comics, which will focus on comics and graphic novels. By the end of 2013 Jet City will have new comics adapted from prose works by such authors as George R.R. Martin (The Hedge Knight), Hugh Howey (Wool), and Neal Stephenson (Foreworld). The imprint’s titles will be published on Kindle as stand-alone comics, as serialized comics, and as bundled graphic novels, with print editions.

Ziccardi to Head Humanix Books

Anthony Ziccardi, former deputy publisher at Simon & Schuster’s Gallery imprint, has been named publisher of Humanix Books, a division of the online media company Newsmax Media. Ziccardi will be based in Newsmax’s New York office and is charged with expanding Humanix’s book business by broadening the types of titles it publishes and adding new authors. Humanix publishes about eight to 10 books annually in the areas of health, personal finance, biography, current affairs, and politics.

Marvel Unveils Share Your Universe

Marvel Comics unveiled Marvel: Share Your Universe, a new initiative aimed at providing free content to help hook younger readers. Share Your Universe will feature downloadable cartoons on PS2 and Windows 8; a free sampler comic, available at comic shops; and free digital comics and activity guides. The material is aimed at readers aged 6–10, and marvelkids.com and a new Facebook page will form the hub for disseminating the material.

Pinter Starts Polis Books

Author, former editor, and social media mainstay Jason Pinter has launched a new digital publishing venture called Polis Books. The company will be publishing e-book editions of new and backlist fiction in three genres: crime, under an imprint called Vice; science fiction/fantasy, under an imprint called Elysium; and romance/erotica/commercial women’s fiction, under the Crave imprint. Polis’s first list, planned for this fall, will feature new titles by a mix of veteran and debut authors.