Learn More about Pulp, Our Imprint for New Adults!

Pulp 2014At Zest Books, we’ve been publishing nonfiction books for teens and young adults since 2006, but we’re growing up a little bit in 2014: Today we’re proud to announce our launch of Pulp, an imprint for “new adults.” Like our previous Zest titles, the books in the Pulp imprint will include contemporary and narrative nonfiction books, specializing in memoirs, graphic novels, and art and humor books, but for a slightly older audience. In the words of our editorial director, Daniel Harmon, We’re focused on creating books whose entertainment value never comes at a cost to the reader’s intelligence. We want the information in our books to be embedded within the art, the joke, the advice, or the story. That’s always a challenge in nonfiction publishing, but for this still undecided, not-quite-adult audience, it’s essential.”

Looking back, there was a time when young adult books really were for those who were “in between” — in between childhood and adulthood, Harry Potter (vol. 1) and Stephen King. Thankfully, young adult is now thoroughly established as a genre with a very real audience and very firm expectations. And although it certainly makes sense to think of the new adult genre as being for a new kind of “in-between” stage, that’s only a part of the picture. For us, new adult nonfiction isn’t just about a new demographic group; it’s also about an entirely new outlook, one in which the traditional barriers that stand between various age groups and genres give way to the simple curiosity of our authors.Alice+FredaForever_9781936976607

Luckily, we’ve already had some success in publishing for this age range with
How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday
Etiquette Guide
, our bestselling humor title. Our additional new adult books will continue to blend information with entertainment in creative new ways. The first book to publish under the Pulp imprint will be a work of Victorian era history, Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis, written by The Toast’s history blogger Alexis Coe, with illustrations from artist Sally Klann. We expect to publish four more Pulp titles per year going forward.

We’re looking forward to taking even more risks with these books, especially in terms of how we cover our topics. Many of our Zest authors were coming to us because, as readers, they appreciated our honesty and curiosity, but that sensibility is something that has value for adults as well. In fact, that sensibility is already being reflected at sites like Rookie and The Toast, where some of our current authors now publish. Additionally, the issues that we’re now covering for teens—such as sexuality, health, behavior, and relationships—shift significantly as young adults mature, and the Pulp line allows us to expand both what we can cover and how we can cover it. Some of our Pulp books will have immediate appeal to teens in the same way that our Zest Books titles often sell into the adult market. We embrace that fluidity, while at the same time recognizing a need to let booksellers and librarians know how our respective books are intended.
Of particular interest in the coming year for Pulp is Plotted: A Literary Atlas, by Philadelphia-based artist Andrew DeGraff. DeGraff has made a name for himself through his movie maps, but he now turns his eyes to the journeys and geographies of literary classics including Hamlet, Rebecca, and Watership Down. Other acquisitions – including an illustrated update of Dante’s Inferno, and a self-improvement book that explores the effectiveness of bad behavior in today’s celebrity culture – show a similar willingness to use all the resources at an author’s disposal in order to create books that don’t just seek out an existing audience, but instead go out and create one.

The Pulp name is derived from our origins in book packager Orange Avenue Publishing, and speaks to the imprint’s mission of getting to the juicy core of complicated – even messy – topics and ideas. And we hope that, if you like what we’re doing at Zest, you’ll enjoy the possibilities that Pulp provides as well!



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