The launch of independent publishing house, ZunTold, sees entrepreneurial success story Elaine Bousfield bringing her 16 years’ experience in championing the voice of children and young people to the world of publishing.
With a mission to encourage a diversity of voices in fiction for children and young people, Manchester-based ZunTold is set to publish its first two titles in 2018. Gangster School by Kate Wiseman talks to a mid-range readership, whilst Jiddy Vardy by Ruth Estevez will be marketed to young adults.
Wiseman’s Gangster School is already published in Germany, where the second in the series is being released after an enthusiastic reception to book one. Estevez, meanwhile, is a highly regarded children’s scriptwriter for the BBC, who has entrusted ZunTold with her first young adult novel.
Elaine is no stranger to turning a start up into a success story: she built her first business, XenZone, (where she remains as the Chair and Founding Director), into a UK-wide, seven-figure turnover operation, in just over eleven years. XenZone provides online emotional and mental health services - including a specialist children and young people’s division.
Developing young people’s awareness and development through engaging, readable fiction will be a key focus for ZunTold. Elaine’s roots are in counselling and psychotherapy and the idea that writing helps children and young people to access and understand their emotions is something she explored at XenZone, which developed an online forum, and an interactive magazine.
Bringing this user generated element to ZunTold, in addition to publishing and marketing books through traditional channels, Bousfield has plans for 2020 to launch an interactive online magazine on www.zuntold.com. Keen to tap into and support young people’s talent, the platform will encourage submissions of chapters, illustrations, and collaborative projects.
Bousfield said: ‘‘I’m extremely excited about the launch of ZunTold. Engaging with young people is something I’ve always been invested in, and ZunTold will be at the forefront of a dynamic way of publishing, encouraging reader interaction. With stories that take readers to new places, new worlds and deeper spaces, here at ZunTold we’re ready to get young people involved in our storytelling.
‘’We’ve laid strong foundations by snapping up some tremendous author talent: Gangster School has been a huge success in Germany, which only goes to get our competitive juices flowing to make it an even greater success here in the UK!’’
ZunTold will focus on fiction but plans over the medium term to expand into non-fiction, especially works with environmental and political themes.
"Engaging with young people is something I have always been invested in, and ZunTold will be at the forefront of a dynamic way of publishing."
Elaine Bousfield, MD
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