Alert! Random House Struik, home to the illustrious Umuzi and Zebra Press, has announced the incorporation of a brand new imprint under its wings. The new “straight to digital” imprint, eKhaya, will further advance the gains Random House Struik has already made in the world of digital publishing – taking them on to the next level, that of the “superdigital”. Random House Struik has also announced, much to the delight of Books LIVE, the appointment of Louis Greenberg as eKhaya’s Commissioning Editor.
eKhaya is set to release its first title in August – so watch this space! More on the exciting undertaking:
Random House Struik, the leading publisher of general books in South Africa, is thrilled to announce an innovative venture in response to the rapidly advancing new technology in book publishing. Their brand new, ‘straight to digital’ imprint, eKhaya, will take books straight from the edited typescript to an electronic book and then sell this online. eKhaya’s first e-book will be available to readers next month.
eKhaya is unique in its approach in the South African book market, bringing professionally produced books directly into digital format and trading solely on the internet. The digital revolution has reached the South African shores in the last six months, and this imprint, which was originally created with the students of the innovative Random House Struik Creative Writing course in mind, is a significant expression of the faith that Random House Struik has in the future growth of book publishing within the ambit of this technology.
The name eKhaya, means “at home” in the Nguni languages. It ties in with the concept embedded in the name of not only Random House Struik, but also of Umuzi (which means “hearth”), another Random House Struik imprint. eKhaya will publish unillustrated fiction and non-fiction in black and white text.
Random House Struik has appointed Louis Greenberg as eKhaya’s Commissioning Editor. Louis, whose debut novel The Beggars’ Signwriters was published by Umuzi, is also the compiler of the anthology Home Away published by Zebra Press and, as SL Grey, he co-writes horror fiction with Sarah Lotz. He has worked in the marketing department of Exclusive Books, has done freelance website design and book editing, and holds a doctorate in English Literature.
eKhaya will release its first title in August. For Honour, a volume of short stories and the debut of S.O. Kenani, is also the first product of the cooperation between Random House Struik and online education company GetSmarter that has links with UCT. GetSmarter’s Random House Struik Creative Writing Course has attracted just under 500 students with the three courses that they’ve presented to date. Interestingly, the author of For Honour is a Malawian living in Switzerland who presented his work for publication to a South African publisher – a fine demonstration of the borderless nature of the world that technology will bring to every reader’s device of choice.
Several more titles will be released by October 2011.
The Random House Struik creative writing course is a 10-week online course intended for anyone with an interest in writing: published writers, aspirant authors and those who have dreamed of writing a novel or story but never quite knew where to start. It focuses specifically on learning the tools and tricks of the trade that will help you get your work published under this new imprint, and is presented on GetSmarter’s advanced and user-friendly learning model, which provides students with a personal and professional educational experience
Stephen Johnson, Random House Struik Managing Director, says: “When I bought my Kindle in November last year I wondered how much I’d use it. Now a confirmed addict, I am doubly thrilled that our company can embark on this path through a dedicated e-book imprint. This is a bold step into an area where few certainties exist. Publishing has always been something of a gamble, though. That we can move ahead with eKhaya in such close collaboration with our associates at GetSmarter is a significant step forward. It is bound to give the readers of our books an even greater choice than the significant one they already enjoy from the Random House Struik offerings in physical form. That has to be very good news indeed.”
Mark Seabrook, Digital Director, says: “The growth of e-reading in South Africa over the last six months has been very strong, and as the range of local e-books and the availability of e-reading devices increase this growth is set to continue. It is very exciting to launch eKhaya as a direct to digital imprint, taking advantage of the growth of e-reading and making new authors available in this medium across our multiple e-book retail partners.”
Manuscript submissions and enquiries may be sent to Louis Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions must consist of a one-page summary of the manuscript, three sample chapters and a short CV of the author.