January 19-26, 2006 Edition

Two Major Publishers

Add New Imprints

For African Readers

NEW YORK/NY/1/19/06—Two major publishers, Random House and Harlequin, have launched new imprints for African Americans and South Africans.

Random House will launch the South African imprint Umuzi under the direction of Annari van der Merwe. She was founding publisher of Kwela Books in 1995 and moved to Tafelberg’s children’s division. Her Kwela publishing unit has published 33 new writers during the past ten years.

Umuzi will be launched in March, and will publish seven new titles before June. The imprint plans to publish two volumes of poetry in 2006, all by South African authors.

Meanwhile, Harlequin Enterprises, the leading publisher of romance novels, has launched a new line called Kimani Press, which includes the “Arabesque,” “New Spirit” and “Sepia” series.

The line reportedly will feature “Solid Soul,” a novel by best-selling author Brenda Jackson, as its first title.

Mavis Allen, senior editor of Kimani Press, has been quoted in the media as saying the new book series “will feature novels written by and about real African-American women dealing with relationships and careers, while facing life’s everyday challenges.”