Yen Press Debuts at San Diego Comic-Con

by Jeff

NEW YORK, NY (August 9, 2007) — Hot on the heels of a successful debut at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the newly formed graphic novel imprint Yen Press has announced that Little, Brown Book Group UK will simultaneously distribute Yen’s upcoming list in Britain beginning next month. With seven titles scheduled for release this fall, Little, Brown UK’s market-leading sci-fi imprint Orbit has been enlisted to market the Yen Press list in the growing manga market.

Orbit Business Manager, George Walkley, stated about the new partnership, “Orbit has been watching the development of the manga market closely, and we’re confident that in Yen Press we have found the ideal publishing partner. Whilst the SF and manga markets are distinct, there are significant synergies, and we look forward to using our experience and expertise to establish Yen Press in the UK market.”

Yen Press Co-Publishing Director, Kurt Hassler, similarly added, “Yen Press is thrilled to see its books launching in the UK market through our partnership with Orbit. We strongly believe that a strategy of simultaneous release between the UK and North American markets is the best possible scenario for fans and retailers alike and will help to further facilitate the growth of an already rapidly expanding market.”

Working to forge ahead in that expansion, Hassler and Co-Publishing Director Rich Johnson also announced at San Diego Comic-Con three new and exciting Yen Press licenses for 2008:

The first, acquired from Akita Shoten, is Kazuto Okada’s high school sex comedy Sundome (Rated M: Mature). Scheduled for release in January, Sundome is the story of an apathetic young man whose dull existence is forever changed when an assertive young woman wants to join the same after-school club in which he is a member. If only all after-school clubs were as hands on as this!

In April, Sundome will be followed by Kieli – Yakako Kabei & Shiori Teshirogi’s story about a 14-year-old girl with the ability to see ghosts (Rated OT: Older Teen 16+) – also from Akita Shoten, and Kaze no Hana, Yen’s first acquisition from Media Works. Kaze no Hana, by Akiyoshi Ohta & Ushio Mizta, is the story of 16-year-old Momoka Futami who lost her memory after an accident that claimed both the lives of her parents four years ago. Taken in by her father’s powerful relatives, what awaits Momoka far exceeds her own fears and expectations – including a spiritual sword and a tumultuous battle.

In upcoming seasons, expect to see new graphic novel genres published by the growing imprint, including a manga anthology (with a combination of translated and original titles) scheduled to release in Summer 2008. Stated Publishing Director Rich Johnson at Comic-Con, “If it is a good book, and we think there is an audience for it, we are going to publish it.”

Yen Press is an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA dedicated to publishing graphic novels for adults and young readers. Yen Press’ focus is primarily on licensed manga, but will also publish across the wide spectrum of the graphic novel market, including, but not limited to: original manga publications, original American comics/graphic novels, webcomics, licensed adaptations, and children’s graphic novels.

Orbit, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, is the UK’s number one publisher of science fiction and fantasy, with a market share nearly double that of its nearest specialist competitor. Originally founded in 1974, Orbit publishes many of the biggest names in genre fiction, including Iain M Banks, Terry Brooks, Trudi Canavan, Robert Jordan and Tad Williams.

Hachette Book Group USA (HBG) is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Hachette Livre, and is comprised of the following publishing groups: Warner Books; Little, Brown and Company; FaithWords; Center Street; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; and HBG Digital Media.

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