Coffee House Press, known for its literary fiction and poetry lists, is expanding into publishing young adult fiction this fall, with the November release of Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery by M. Evelina Galang.
Previously, Coffee House has published adult fiction and nonfiction titles that have crossed over into a YA readership, some of which were also adopted for classroom use, such as Donald Duk by Frank Chin, Ocean in the Closet by Yuko Taniguchi, and The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang. But this is the first time since the press was founded almost 30 years ago that a release has been officially categorized and marketed as YA.
According to Coffee House publisher Chris Fischbach, the press’s expansion into the YA market does not represent a tweaking of its mission, but rather is a placement and marketing strategy that emerged during the editing process for Angel de la Luna. The book is set against the backdrop of the 2001 Philippine People Power Revolution and tells of a girl’s coming of age after the mysterious disappearance of her father and subsequent fracturing of her family.
“In working with Evelina on this book, we felt that its biggest market was probably in the YA market, with a lot of potential adult trade crossover, so that’s how we're presenting it,” Fischbach said. “We currently don’t have plans to get into YA in a big way, but we will always consider each particular book’s market and then come to a decision. It’s our job first to publish books that reflect our mission well, then find the right way to market them.”
Coffee House also published Galang’s collection of short stories, Her Wild American Self (1996), and an anthology she edited, Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (2003). Her debut novel, One Tribe, was published by New Issues Press in 2006. Galang teaches in and directs the creative writing program at the University of Miami in Florida.
Angel de la Luna is being released in trade paper with an initial 5,000-copy print run. The novel will include a curriculum guide in its back matter which will also be accessible online. “We’ve had a lot of interest from school librarians, and we’re targeting that market as a way to reach educators and students as well,” said Kelsey Shanesy, publicity manager at Coffee House. Galang recently presented Angel de la Luna to participants in the Thalia Kids Book Club Camp at Symphony Space in New York City, and is scheduled to join a YA authors panel at the Miami Book Fair International in November.